You know me, I bloody love a coupon. Gone are the days where they will only get you a couple of pennies off a tin of corned beef – they are serious money savers. If you’ve ever watched Extreme Couponers in the USA – it’s big business, and what is big in America, usually comes over to the UK. I bet you, in five years time, it will be a mainstream thing – and now we have apps to make life easier.
The newest one I have discovered is GreenJinn. So asked a friend of mine, who is new to couponing to try it out and give me her honest opinion. I’ve been couponing for years, so it’s great to see how these apps look from fresh eyes. So here you go: Let me introduce you to Leah (she’s a babe!).
Hello, my name is Leah, and I am not good at money.
I’ve been getting better over the years, but I am to personal finances what Fozzie Bear is to astrophysics.
Last Christmas, for example, I finally paid off my credit card debt, which had been looming over me for three years – however, before the year was over I decided I needed a brand new iPhone, and my balance was back to the familiar -£500.
I also have to pay back my £2k student overdraft. Not to mention whatever the five years I spent at uni cost.
For these reasons and more, I save where I can. Most of my food shopping I do at Aldi, I always trawl through the internet looking for discount codes before I buy anything online, and I’ve cancelled Netflix and taken to staring blankly at my walls instead.
Oh and I’m also trying out GreenJinn.
What is GreenJinn?
GreenJinn is an app available for iOS that claims to provide you with personalised coupons you can use while shopping at UK supermarkets. All you need is an iPhone and a Paypal or bank account.
All you have to do is load up the app before or during a shop, buy products that are on the list, photograph the receipt, and you’ll be sent the discounted money back via Paypal or bank transfer (once it has been verified by one of the GreenJinn team).
After installing the app you are asked to select categories you regularly buy from.
I must admit I do not, myself, possess a baby, nor do I have a penchant for fish, but in the interest of a fair review I thought it best to see everything the app had to offer.
As far as I can see this is the extent of the ‘personalisation’ features the app offers.
I was then presented with 29 coupons for Sainbury’s. The only other available supermarket is Waitrose, I don’t know if this is location specific to me (those are two local supermarkets, but we also have an Aldi and a Lidl) or they’ve only managed to negotiate with two stores so far.
But the coupons were very convenient! My boyfriend and I had already agreed on pasta for dinner, (mozzarella, peppers, and chorizo in a tomato sauce with pasta, yum) and I was happy to see two of the key ingredients discounted.
The app is simple and easy to use while walking around. You do need to make sure you pick up the correct size/weight, but that’s nothing new to avid couponers. We picked up the Napolina penne pasta, the mozzarella, and some Head and Shoulders, bringing our total saving to £2 (the minimum to cashout is £1.50).
After the shop we took a picture of our receipt with the app and submitted it for review. It promised a response within two days, but ours was much faster than that.
Our receipt was accepted the same day, and when we claimed (withdrew) our £2 it was in my Paypal account the next day. I’m thinking about putting the money towards a Yankee Candle I’ve had my eye on, but we’ll see how that one goes.
GreenJinn does also offer a shopping list option, which I must confess, I felt was totally superfluous.
There are already dozens of list making apps, which range from the super basic, to incredibly complicated, gimmicky behemoths that can alert you ask you walk into a shop that six months ago you sort of thought about buying something from there, and maybe now would be a good time to do that something, because it’s on sale and you’re running low, and by the way here are five coupons you can use – and also it’s shined your shoes, and booked your hair appointment, and stolen your husband.
But actually this list maker is pretty good. You can type in something vague like ‘apples’ and it’ll present you with all of its apple-related coupons. Although sometimes it’s clearly reaching, I typed in Chocolate and was presented with a discount for coffee flavoured ice cream – which I’m sure probably had chocolate in it somewhere but wasn’t exactly the huge bar of Galaxy I had planned on stuffing my face with.
Is it worth using?
I am not an organised person. I have a handbag full of Nectar card coupons, £5 off No7 coupons from Boots, 20% off ink from WH Smiths, etc, and have never once thought to use any of them.
But GreenJinn this is way better than physical coupons – I won’t have to clear scraps of paper out of my bag once every six months or so. I’ve already used it to save money and it works super well. I would 100% recommend this to a savings junkie.
The only downside is the limited supermarkets. I only shop in Sainsbury’s when I can’t find something in Aldi, and I’m pretty sure everyone in Waitrose would instantly recognise I’m not one of them and pelt me with quail eggs and quinoa until I am driven out of the shop.
***FYI*** This is a collaborative post with Greenjinn, but Leah gave a completely honest review