digital couponsUPDATED 1/24/2017 Bed Bath & Beyond and other retailers and restaurants still send paper coupons to your home. However, digital coupons are easier to use and save money.

Paper coupons vs mobile coupons

I have a refrigerator full of coupons from Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. It seems these stores send the most coupons, and I hate to be in the store without a discount of some sort. However, it seems that always happens. Whenever I need a coupon, I don’t have one that’s not expired or I forget the savings at home. That’s why I’ve turned to paperless coupons. Now, I just pick up my smartphone and check my text messages to save.

The next time you are at the store, look near the register. Most will tell you to text an odd combination of numbers (5 or 6) to sign up for text message alerts that notify you of savings.

With Bed Bath & Beyond, you get a text message with a link to the latest 20% off coupon. The other benefit is that you can use it more than once. With the paper coupons, they take them. There is still a limit of one coupon per order or purchase, but you still have it for next time.

There is a catch. You don’t always get the coupon while you’re standing at the store. Sometimes you have to wait a few days. The rules vary by retailer.

Some stores also alert you when the coupon expires so you can plan your purchases better to coincide with a deal.

If you get annoyed by the text messages, you can stop the alerts. I don’t think the stores abuse their privilege of having your phone number. I don’t get that many messages and I haven’t seen an increase in my spam texts.

AT&T is teaming up with several retailers to offer a similar service, only you’ll be notified when you are in the area of a store offering a discount. You need to be an AT&T customer, but it’s another sign that paper coupons will soon be replaced by digital ones.

After all, we never leave home without our smartphone. We do leave home without those coupons. Soon, we won’t have to worry about that.