DALLAS - With inflation at a 40-year high, just about everyone is looking for a way to save.
But a new review by a consumer watchdog group shows seniors are facing a bar to access when it comes to couponing in the digital age.
When it comes to clipping coupons to save, seniors are being sidestepped. That's the finding from a new report from consumerworld.org, a consumer watch group out of Boston.
The site points to what looks like great deals. But look closer, and you'll see they're only available after you navigate your way through a system of digital coupons.
It means digitally-disconnected or otherwise not tech-savvy seniors are unable to access rock bottom prices.
Unlike loyalty cards or traditionally- clipped coupons, digital deals often must be pre-selected in advance from a computer or smartphone and then loaded into an online account to get the advertised sale price.
A 2021 study by the Pew Research Center showed that 39% of those 65 and older do not own a smartphone, and 25% don't use the internet. That means millions of seniors can’t take advantage of digital-only deals.
Consumer World reviewed offers from more than 50 supermarket chains, including Albertsons and Kroger, and found two-thirds of them had digital-only discounts.
Albertsons and Kroger own about 5,000 stores that operate under roughly 40 nameplates. Neither one responded to the site’s requests for clarity on their digital-only offers.
Getting high marks for access is Texas-based HEB. It provides physical coupons in store for those who don't use the internet.
And if you're thinking you've got it figured out, read the fine print. Many of the sale prices you see advertised at the store can’t be accessed simply by swiping your loyalty card. You've got to navigate and clip the digital deals, load them on to your card and then present it at checkout.