Discount and special offer coupons are a favorite way to save money at the grocery store. But gathering coupons, clipping them, and keeping them organized are a tedious hassle. Fortunately, we are well into the age of electronic coupons. Here are some tips on finding online coupons and discount offers...
Save Money With Online Coupons
Finding free grocery coupons online is easy. Start at the logical place - your local supermarket's Web site. Many sites let you tag coupons that you plan to use, then download printable coupons. But then you have the clipping and organizing hassle again. Wouldn't it be nice to dispense with all the paper?
Kroger Corp., parent company of supermarket chains King Soopers, City Market, Fry's, and others, has teamed up with YOU Technology (formerly SoftCoin.com) to make the entire coupon savings process digital. All you need is your supermarket "rewards card" and a Web browser. First, you must log in to your account on the supermarket's Web site. Then browse for online coupons at a YOU Technology site such as Krogers and select the coupons you want. Click a button and digital codes representing those coupons are added to your card's account.
When you swipe your card at the supermarket, any applicable coupon deals are automatically applied to your purchase. Some coupon fanatics even manage to walk out of the supermarket with a basketful of goods and more cash than they brought in!
One drawback of the paperless approach is that you can't see which coupons you have "on the card." Also, many coupon deals are terribly persnickety; i. e., you can get a discount on the 12-oz. box but not on 16-oz. boxes. For this reason, many people prefer printable online coupons that look just like the ones in their weekly specials flyer.
Where to Find Online Coupons
To save time hunting for coupons, there are coupon aggregator sites. ShopAtHome.com is one example. Here you will find online printable coupons valid at hundreds of stores nationwide; not just grocery stores but also major retailers such as PetSmart, Wal Mart, department stores, electronics stores, and so on. Free online coupons are also available for restaurants, health clubs, spas, chiropractors, home remodeling contractors, and just about every kind of service imaginable.
You have to register at most of these sites, providing your name and address. Registration helps the site customize its coupon offerings to your locality (and gives it your couponing activity and contact information to sell to marketers). You can also sign up to receive email notices of new coupons that meet your needs.
E-commerce sites have their own versions of coupons called "coupon codes." A coupon code is a string of letters and/or numbers that you can enter when you check out of an online store to get a discount or special offer. Some popular sites for finding online coupons are RetailMeNot and CoolSavings.com. You'll find coupon codes for online retailers such as eBay, Amazon.com, Buy.com, and the e-stores of brick-and-mortar chains such as Old Navy, JC Penney, and Barnes & Noble.
And of course, there's Groupon, which specializes in coupons for merchants that are local to you. Groupon negotiates discounts with popular businesses (usually 50% or more) and sends daily notification of the deals by email.
Whatever you need to buy, in person or online, it pays to search for it and the keyword "coupon" before purchasing.
Do you have a favorite coupon source? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 18 Feb 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Coupons Online (Posted: 18 Feb 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved