Apps may be next wave in couponing

Blogger Mary Edwards helps thousands of people save each week.  And she says coupon apps are quietly changing the coupon game.

Free apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, and SavingStar offer rebates.

And here's a win: These apps are opening the doors to savings on fresh foods -- that traditionally don't carry coupons.

"The hardest things to find coupons for: produce, bread, milk," Edwards explained.  "Ibotta's got you covered there."

Now, you've got do a little work for that extra quarter or 50 cents.  You might be required to scan what you're buying, take a photo of your receipt, and submit it to save an extra 50 cents or so.

But it may be the wave of the future.  Bud Miller of the Coupon Information Corporation polices the coupon crowd for fraud.  He says, in some ways, apps are less susceptible to deal-killing fraud, so he can foresee more.

"I think you'll see an increase in it.  I think it's a great opportunity for consumers.  And, we'll of course be looking to make sure people obey the rules."

The real beauty of coupon apps is that you can combine their digital savings with other offers.

"You can stack -- double stack, triple stack," Edwards continued.

Ideally, Edwards buys buy an item on sale, redeems a store coupon plus a manufacturer's coupon, and then applies for an Ibotta rebate.

It's savvy strategy for sure.  And probably daunting for novices.

But she is confident you can do it.

"Don't give up," she urged. "I think because a lot of people start and they say it's just way too confusing. I say give it some time."