Developer: Coupon Sherpa, LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
The old saying goes "you have to spend money to make money." With Coupon Sherpa, you have to spend money to save money, it's up to you to decide whether the $1.99 price tag is worth it. My guess? It probably is.
Coupon Sherpa is a simple application that collects coupons from a number of retailers and restaurants and helps you find them quickly on your iPhone. Using the iPhone's GPS ability, Coupon Sherpa makes sure to only show coupons for businesses in your area, so you never end up with links to a bunch of coupons you can't use.
Coupon Sherpa is very straightforward to use. The main screen has several tabs across the bottom. Store List shows an alphabetical listing of every business for which there are coupons available — from my location in Rhode Island as I'm writing this, I have 182 coupons available from 116 stores. The Categories tab, in case you couldn't have guessed, lists stores by category, so if you're looking specifically for savings on shoes or on hotels and travel, it's a quick way to find what you need. There's also a Featured tab, which show Coupon Sherpa-exclusive coupons.
The next tab on Coupon Sherpa is one that I suspect will come in handy, the Favorites tab. When browsing through stores and restaurants, you can choose to add a business to your favorites, keeping the deals for your preferred retailers readily at hand.
There are a few issues with Coupon Sherpa, however. One, which should be easily remedied, is that there's no indication of how large the search radius is for available coupons. I have no idea if Coupon Sherpa is only showing me stores in my zip code, in my state, or within a certain mile distance. It would be great if future updates to Coupon Sherpa included an option to set search parameters.
The other issue, of course, is how well it will function on a regular basis. While it seems likely that society will certainly forgo paper coupons entirely at some point, right now I'm not sure how widely accepted it will be to simply show a cashier a coupon you've pulled up on your iPhone or iPod. While some scanners will actually scan bar codes right off your screen, not every business currently has that capability.
My point, I suppose, is that Coupon Sherpa looks like the future...I'm just not necessarily sure that the future is here yet. Luckily, in the meantime, Coupon Sherpa also allows you to simply email coupons to yourself to print out on your computer. And those, I'm pretty sure, will work everywhere.
At least until the future gets here.