Have you ever opened your mailbox to find a big blue coupon for 20% off your purchase from Bed, Bath & Beyond? Do you save your three-foot-long receipts from CVS listing coupons for batteries and other various household items? Getting discounts for in-store purchases can be hit-or-miss with expiration dates and coupons coming at the wrong time.
Still, clipping coupons and finding deals is a great way for anybody to save money on weekly groceries and other purchases. The practice of using coupons is more than 125 years old and was already considered to be a national pastime before we entered the digital era. In the 1990s coupons were first used online to promote different brands, and around 2010 national chains began to introduce mobile coupons that can be accessed in-store from your smartphone.
In the last five years, couponing trends shifted away from printable coupons to entirely digital usage. Online shopping started to boom and online stores started to offer more online discount codes that can be entered at check-out. These codes may be called discount codes or promo codes or any other variation, but regardless these are the coupons of today.
Just as with most hobbies and lifestyles or life hacks, there are many different resources and tools that can help a beginner get started. A good place to start is one of the many websites like RetailMeNot.com and TheKrazyCouponLady.com where you can search for coupons and coupon codes by store name, brand name or category. You can also find more tips and tricks in their blogs and tip page or sign up for a weekly newsletter.
Another option is to use an aggregate coupon finder for passive, online couponing. Honey is one such tool available in the form of a Chrome-extension. Once the app is downloaded to Chrome, it works to automatically find coupon codes based on the product you’re viewing. They also list popular codes to their website and include how recently the code was successfully used. Coupons at Checkout is a similar extension that can be used on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
For those online shoppers that want to be more active in searching for deals, services from Poachit and Boo.ly offer a more extensive approach allowing customers to track products and prices while still offering coupon codes at check-out. All of these tools can be combined with others to streamline your online shopping experience and save you money when you buy.
There are countless reasons to shop online rather than in the store, everything from being able to do it in your pajamas (or not in your pajamas) to being able to find better deals with half the effort. Whether finding coupons and online discounts is your life’s passion or you’re a university student trying to save money on new clothes, there are money-saving resources and tools that are worth your time to check out before the next time you hit that check-out button.