Clipping coupons might be something you associate with the older generation, but the internet has revolutionized this activity. No longer do you need to sift through piles of junk mail to find slips of paper that will save you seventy cents on a can of beans. With a few clicks, you can equip yourself with the best deals, and you can even apply these deals to your shopping online. But which are the best coupon sites out there?
Not all coupon sites are created equal, and there are a plethora of coupon sites to choose from. Finding the best coupon sites is not the most obvious practice. Fortunately, we have done the work for you. We sifted through the detritus, much like our grandparents sorted through the junk mail, to provide you with the best coupon sites we could find.
Coupon Site FAQ
Ultimately, fifteen coupon sites made our list. We will share these sites with you, but first, let us answer some frequently asked questions about the best coupon sites you can find online.
1. What Is a Coupon Site?
A coupon site collates the available coupons into a database which is usually searchable. They link you to deals and provide you with codes to reduce the price of products.
2. Do the Best Coupon Sites Charge Money?
While there are some coupon sites that require payment to become a member, we found few, if any of these were worth their salt. Most coupon sites rely on ad revenue, much how YouTube influencers and independent bloggers do.
3. What Sort of Coupons Are Provided by Coupon Sites?
In our survey, we found coupons for everything from cans of beans to jet skis to group activities. If you can charge for it, you can usually charge a bit less for it when someone has taken the extra effort to gain a percent discount.
4. Are Coupons a Form of Price Discrimination?
Many economists and philosophers believe that a coupon is technically a type of price discrimination. Price discrimination occurs when two different prices are offered to two different people based on some factor. With coupons, lower prices are offered to those who make an effort to seek a coupon.
While price discrimination is usually illegal, it seems most authorities look the other way with coupons. Why? Because the people benefitting are those who are willing to take extra time to research the price point of their potential buys.
Coupons are perfectly legal, but if a hyper-moralistic robot were designing our world, they might not be. This type of price discrimination would not be allowed if it were benefitting the rich more than the cautious; but that isn’t the case.
How We Reviewed
We scoured the internet. We then found a short list of sites that provided viable coupons and discount codes. We further narrowed this list down to the fifteen we considered the best coupon sites on the internet. Sites that made our list had a high success rate for codes and coupons, were easy to navigate, and didn’t charge you for membership. For each site, we’ve given you a breakdown of their features and the ideal way to use them. Stick around to the end, and we’ll tell you which site we deem the best of the best coupon sites.
Overall Price Range
Because part of our criteria for the best coupon sites was no membership fee, there is no price range to speak of. All the coupon sites we have featured are free!
What We Reviewed
Swagbucks is a way to earn free gift cards. How? You sign up, shop as you normally would, and occasionally watch some educational videos. This earns you points which can be redeemed for gift cards to sites like Walmart, Amazon, and PayPal.
A supplement to your online shopping experience that nets you free gift cards.
When you are looking for a rebate, think “eBates.” Through this site, you can earn up to 40% cash back at over 2,500 stores. How can they do this? Well, eBates gets a cut whenever they send business to another site. They then share that cut with you, so everyone wins.
Shop through eBates to get money sent back your way.
RetailMeNot is a perennial favorite and one of the best coupon sites. RetailMeNot collects large lists of all the online codes you can enter into sites to get a discount or other special offer. Whenever we find that “Promo Code” box in a shopping site, we always check RetailMeNot to see if they can garnish us a deal.
Use RetailMeNot whenever you see that “Promo Code” box when checking out.
Groupon has become quite a phenomenon. Using the power of groups, you can sign up for experiences, deals, and activities at highly discounted rates as long as enough other people are vying for the same one.
This is a great site to check before planning a day out.
You cannot get much more straightforward with a website title. Coupons.com provides free printable coupons you can use at a variety of stores. These are excellent for nearly all items you would find in a grocery store.
Check this site out before your next grocery trip to save money.
Red Plum provides printable and digital coupons to save you money. They are merging with RetailMeNot, but to date, they still provide excellent coupons.
It is ideal to use Red Plum quickly before they are subsumed by RetailMeNot.
Living Social is a location-based deals website. It uses your location to find discounted activities like massages, brunches, rounds of golf, and professional kitchen cleaning.
Check this site out when you feel like you need a cleaner or want to play a cheap round of golf.
SmartSource provides both printable and “Direct2Card” coupons. You can save on anything from hummus to foot powder. One nice feature is that it tracks how much you are saving by clipping their coupons.
Use this site when you need multiple coupons and would like to know how much you are saving in total.
Savings.com provides over 200,000 coupons and local deals. Their site is usefully divided into stores that have deals, and they even list how many deals beneath the logos of these stores. That way, you know who provides lots of deals and who just provides a few.
Use Savings.com to save in stores like Gap, Home Depot, and Kohls.
It comes as no surprise the online marketplace giant that is Amazon would get in on the coupon game. Save on anything from stainless steel straws to women’s panties to wine bottle torch sets. Potentially the best feature is that you can sort these coupons by age, popularity, and percentage discount.
Use this page when you are looking for cheap essentials for your house. Try searching by the highest percent discount.
This site helps you get cash back from shopping at over 2000 stores. You even get a $10 bonus for signing up. The site works best for top retailers.
Check ShopAtHome to see if you can get cash back before purchasing things from Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, or Amazon.
Some deals on Slickdeals are truly sick deals. You can get laptops discounted by hundreds of dollars or video games for a sixth of their advertised price. Once you use the site, you can customize your displayed deals to suit your preferences.
Slickdeals works best if you customize the deals are shown to you.
Why should you ever pay full price in this age of constant coupons and cash back deals? You shouldn’t! That’s why DontPayFull provides a searchable database of discount codes across many stores.
Check out the deals here before shopping at Amazon, Best Buy, or other top retailers.
We’ve all been stuck behind the “crazy coupon lady” at the supermarket. Luckily the online version is much more pleasant. This site looks more like a blog than a searchable database, which means it provides stories on which coupons are hot and which ones might even make you money if you flip the products in a timely manner.
Use this site when you need truly crazy deals on products.
Hip2Save provides coupons, but it also highlights deals at certain stores. Sometimes it is not the coupon itself which saves you money. Sometimes you need to know which store has priced certain items extremely low.
When you are willing to drive to the right shop to find the right product for a low price.
Each of these sites provides a niche which can be useful for saving you money. We visit RetailMeNot often, but for the best of the best coupon sites, we have to recommend The Krazy Coupon Lady. There you will find moneymaker deals that other sites just don’t provide without first requiring you to shop a specific way.
If you shop online, or you still prefer to shop in the store but have access to a computer or mobile device, you can make money—for spending money—just by logging into an online shopping rewards site like Coupon Cabin. If you aren't familiar with shopping rewards sites or you know about them but aren't aware of the many benefits you can recieve, this Coupon Cabin Review will explain all about how they work and why you must log in, to cash out, while you are shopping for almost any product or service.
It sounds too good to be true, retailers just giving away money. It may sound like false advertising, but Rewards sites are the real deal and the deals you can get range from online coupon offers, to store loyalty rewards and even 100% money back incentives per dollars spent. If you are taking money out of your wallet, you can also be putting money back into it at the same time. This Coupon Cabin review will tell you how you can to turn those dollars spent into dollars earned.
What Is The Coupon Cabin?
Coupon Cabin is an online coupon hub that offers cash back for shopping through their portal. If you are an online shopper, and especially if you are doing more and more of you're shopping online, then you want to read this Coupon Cabin review.
A shopping portal like Coupon Cabin is easy to use, it's free, and you not only access money-saving coupons but receive rewards for spending. What's the downside? There isn't one, other than the few minutes it takes to read this Coupon Cabin review, because once you get the scoop, you will want to start shopping and saving, right away.
When we opened the Coupon Cabin site to begin our Coupon Cabin review, the first thing we noticed is that it featured popular stores (CC has deals with over 3500) like Kohls, Macy's and Kmart, with current offers tested by users within hours. From 15% to 80% off, these discounts alone make the site a worthwhile stop with your shopping cart.
From motels to phone providers, there are bonuses given back for spending money. You can spend 100 dollars at Walmart and get 100 back to spend again. These offers come up daily for members to grab; there are a limited number given to keep them coming and for all members to get a chance to redeem. Although you are restricted to a 90-day wait period at any particular retailer, you can redeem special offers at a variety of top-notch stores.
The coolest thing we found during our Coupon Cabin review investigation is that some of the cards give a bonus just for choosing their card. For instance, if you have your rewards applied to an Amazon Gift Card purchase, your 30.00 will become 33.00 because Amazon gives you 10% extra as an incentive.
Coupon Cabin has an App that, once downloaded, allows you all the functionality of the site, so you can use the program from your computer or mobile device. Plus, the don't-miss-a-deal feature makes you feel as if you're shopping with your best friend, as your phone will jump in with reminders when there are discounts available at the places you're browsing. We especially like this feature that helps you to remember you can save even when your mind is on choosing what color shirt to buy and not the money it will cost you. Who knew a mobile App could be such a good pal.
There is no cost to become a member. In fact, you get bonus cash for using some of its features.
How It Compares
Our Coupon Cabin review includes a look at other online discount shopping portals to make it simple for you to cut through all the choices—as easily as cutting a virtual coupon. Below are the other shopping rewards programs we compared:
Ease of Use [5 Stars]
Coupon Cabin coupons are accessed by simply clicking on the discount offer or bonus displayed on the site. Some stores will ask for a promo code; others generate the discount automatically as long as you are first logged into the CC site. You just have to remember to shop through Coupon Cabin and not directly on the retailer's site.
Valid Coupons [5 Stars]
Our Coupon Cabin review did not find any issue with validity of their offers. They do, however, give a $25 gift card to restaurants.com for any proven offers proven invalid.
Flexibility of Use [5 Stars]
You can access Coupon Cabin through your computer or mobile device either direct to the site or through its downloadable App.
Coupon Variety [5 Stars]
From motels and vacation packages to restaurants and top brand retailers, our Coupon Cabin review found a great assortment of offers to choose from.
Our Coupon Cabin review has to give props to the name of this program as it tells you right away you're not going to pay retail. With over 50,000 coupons to just as many retailers, and numerous savings options including storewide discounts, product deals, digital rebates and gift cards for purchase, RetailMeNot seems to be a sort of department store for offers.
Ease of Use [4 Stars]
Although we found there are many options for rewards through RetailMeNot, our Coupon Cabin review discovered that both the app and site are relatively easy to navigate. In fact, you can search in a number of ways by inputting deals, digital rebates, storewide sales, and even offer codes.
Valid Coupons [2 Stars]
Instances of offers not being valid or current have been reported.
Flexibility of Use [3 Stars]
RetailMeNot can be used on an App or through their website, and offers can be redeemed in store and online. However, with such a large amount of offers listed, sometimes offers have been reported as not valid or current and navigating can result in a glitch as you browse.
Coupon Variety [5 Stars]
With so many coupons pulled from a multitude of places, there is great variety on this site. One of the capabilities that got our attention is the RX Saver site that compares costs of drugs at local pharmacies. With the cost of medicine, this is an especially welcome feature.
This site primarily scopes offers from several retailers and adds them to their site daily. The user then clicks on an offer and is taken to the store to redeem the offer directly. The sign-in process includes a questionnaire that prompts users to add their interests so the site can generate targeted email notifications when relevant offers are added.
Additional Help for Shoppers
This site has a feature that enables shoppers to post an offer they have found outside the site, on Offers.com. It also has a Savings Tips blog that provides ideas for users to save in a variety of ways, including tax tips and upcoming holiday deals. Offers.com curates offers of refurbished items from companies like Sony and Best Buy, with many products protected by warranties and money-back guarantees. They also specialize in notification of clearance and closeout sales that change often. so they are good to catch while they are being advertised. Freebies and samples can be found here as well.
Ease of Use [3 Stars]
This App-only program is easy to use but asks the “member” to take part in some brand activities from participating vendors along they way. It seems more interactive than some other sites with the personalization feature designed to sort through the offers and send notifications of those most relevant to their users' preferences.
Valid Coupons [2 Stars]
This program claims it verifies their offers in real time, but some have been reported by users not to always work. Variety is key, but the key has to fit in order to open the door to the savings.
Flexibility of Use [2 Stars]
This company features an App for mobile devices only, which limits usage for some shoppers.
Coupon Variety [4 Stars]
Offers.com claims to add hundreds of offers every day from approximately 8,000 retailers
Ibotta, founded in 2012 in Denver, is an App that partners with stores (many popular grocery chains) to give discounts on particular items. With this App you can shop online or in a store and still receive the discount by scanning a receipt. You can also log in a participating store that will track your rewards without a receipt needing to be entered.
Once you decide you want to redeem your cash back in your Ibotta account, you will have the choice to have the money deposited via Paypal, Venmo, or you can buy a gift card. Gift cards are sometimes offered for purchase with a discount so you can make even more money by choosing that option.
Ease of Use [2 Stars]
This rewards program is a bit taxing to get started. Once you set up your account, you have to enter participating stores used, and then enter purchases for many of the rewards each time you buy a qualifying item. Like many sites, you will need to wait through short advertisement videos as you move through the process. They will also ask you to complete some “fun tasks” to add offers to your account.
Valid Coupons [5 Stars]
No issues were found pertaining to offer validity during the process of our Coupon Cabin review.
Flexibility of Use [3 Stars]
This is an App platform only and can be accessed through your mobile device. You can also get credit for in-store shopping as well as online purchases, which can add to your rewards.
Coupon Variety [4 Stars]
Ibotta is best known for its grocery and big box chain stores, but it is expanding and includes some other categories such as beauty, clothing, travel and restaurants. It also features limited time special discounts for trying out new products. These offers can be substantial, so this encourages users to check in often to see what has been added.
Coupon Cabin Review: Conclusion
It's a big marketplace out there for online rewards and discount offer programs, with all of them having something to offer. Ibotta has what sounds like an opportunity for building rewards through teamwork, but our Coupon Cabin review research found the explanation and the setup for users to be tedious and time intensive for this kind of program (though we do like being able to tell friends you bought a carton of eggs at Ibotta, so it gets props for the name.)
Offers.com is like a great big coupon carrier, which is great, but it seems the offers can be expired by the time they are clicked for use. RetailMeNot also has good features, especially the RX Saver portal that compares drug prices to find users the best deal. But for overall usability and reward benefits, our Coupon Cabin review brought us right back to Coupon Cabin.
An Impressive Way To Save
With its easy-to-use functionality and membership bonus specials, we gave Coupon Cabin 5 stars in each category. It came out on top in all areas. We have to admit, we are also partial to their Coupons for Troops Program and the fact that if your offer doesn't work, they will give you a $25 gift card to restaurants.com. Our Coupon Cabin review definitely convinced our team to use the rewards site. See you online.
Featured Image: Pexels
What Is a manufacturer coupon? First, know that there are two main types of coupons: manufacturer and store. So the question is really asking what is a store coupon and what is a manufacturer coupon, and how do you tell the difference?
To begin with, almost every coupon will specifically state whether it is a store or a manufacturer coupon, but that statement may be hard to find unless you know what you are looking for. If you know the differences between various types of coupons, you can maximize your savings, since certain coupons can be 'stacked.' Stacking uses two or more coupons to get multiple discounts on a single product purchase.
One of the most important lessons to learn is that store coupons can always be stacked with manufacturer coupons to increase your savings. We'll cover this more in a later section.
Where Do You Find Manufacturer Coupons?
Most often, you can find manufacturer coupons in Sunday or weekly coupon inserts in your local newspaper. They are also available from online sources such as eCouponshub.com, or from the producing company's Facebook, or on website pages. They also may arrive in your mailbox or may be in marketing flyers or magazines.
What Is a Manufacturer Coupon?
A manufacturer coupon will often, but not always, say, ‘Manufacturer's coupon' along the top of the coupon. This is the easiest way to determine if your coupon is from the manufacturer. For example, it may have instructions to the redeeming store, saying something like, “We will reimburse you the face value of this coupon plus 8 cents handling if submitted in compliance with our coupon policy. Send coupons to: ______.”
A manufacturer coupon will always include redemption information for retailers. Obviously, if the coupon is not from a manufacturer, there would be no need to include redemption information, since the store would already know how to redeem its own coupon.
What Is a Store Coupon?
A store coupon will have one or more of these traits:
The store logo will be on the coupon. It will contain some reference to the specific store. For example, it may say, “Store coupon,” or “Safeway coupon,” or whatever store issued the coupon.
The coupon may say something like, “Must be redeemed at __________ (the name of the store),” and give the name of the store. There will be no redemption information on a store coupon. There is nothing that tells the store the coupon must be sent to XXX address for redemption, since the store already knows how to redeem the coupon.
Often, the store coupon will have a price listed for an item rather than a discount or savings for that item. For example, rather than saying “$1.25 off product X,” it will say “$1.99 for product X.”
There are times when a store will put out a coupon that looks like a manufacturer coupon. There are differences that the informed consumer can easily see. So when answering the question 'what is a manufacturer coupon,' remember this: manufacturer's coupons can be redeemed anywhere, while store coupons can only be redeemed at that store and no other.
What Type of Coupon Predominates?
Remind yourself of the difference between what is a manufacturer coupon and what is a store coupon. Then know that the majority of coupons come from manufacturers rather than from stores. Manufacturer coupons are published and printed by the manufacturer of the products you are considering purchasing.
How Do You Tell the Difference?
Store coupons are put out by an individual retailer or other grocery or retail stores. Rather than being a true manufacturer's coupon, store coupons are actually a store sale presented in the form of a coupon. It's really a gimmick: a way to give you a sale price that can be available to anyone, couched in the form of a coupon that pretends to give you a discount on an article that is already discounted. These coupons are funded solely by the store and are usually found in the store itself or on the store's website.
Can I Use Both Coupons?
Yes, emphatically! Remember, you can always combine a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon for the same item.
Is My Coupon Valid?
There are many web sites to which you can go to check the validity of coupons. Here are some of the best:
Box Tops for Education
These are coupons that are sponsored by the General Mills Corporation. They are available to get savings from Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and of course, General Mills.
Snackpicks by Kellog's
These manufacturer coupons have great discounts on popular snacks such as Cheez-its and Rice Krispies Treats. If you have the need to find savings for little peoples' lunch boxes, this is one place to go.
P&G (Procter and Gamble) offer many great offers online or at their eSavers site for participating stores. You need to register with them, and then use your eSavers coupons to save on Charmin, Olay and Pantene products.
Making Life Better With Unilever
You can save on products like Dove and Q-Tips at Unilever's Making Life Better website, where you can print coupons once you've joined.
Right at Home by Johnson
Johnson offers printable coupons for Johnson products such as Raid, Glade, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles, and just about everything you need to clean your home and keep it smelling great.
Why Is There Confusion?
Image via Pexels
The confusion comes into play most often when a manufacturer's coupon also has a store name on it. If you're not sure which type of coupon it is, you need to investigate further. Check to see if there is a redemption address or if there is a notation that says it is a manufacturer's coupon. Either of these will let you know which kind of coupon you have.
Remember that store coupons do not have to send the coupon to a particular address, so there will not be a redemption address listed. Manufacturer coupons must have a redemption address listed; otherwise, stores can't get reimbursed for the coupons they take in.
Other Ways to Check:
The easiest way to check your coupon, for those who are tech savvy, is to read the bar code on the coupon. All coupons use a bar coding standard known as UPC (Universal Product Code). Every product that's available for sale and that has a bar code uses this all-numerical standard.
All UPC bar codes have the numerical equivalent of the bar code printed below the bar code itself. The reason the numerical codes are there is in case the bar code, for whatever reason, cannot be read by the scanner.
Please note that, as it is always the case when trying to determine what is a manufacturer coupon, all manufacturer coupons start with a ‘5' while all store coupons begin with a ‘4.' So if you see a bar code that starts with ‘5,' you can be certain you have a manufacturer's coupon.
What Are Catalinas?
Do you recall seeing long, narrow receipt-like coupons that get printed after you make a purchase? Those are called ‘Catalinas.' Sometimes they are store coupons, including savings from your purchase of either specific products or general discounts or dollars off. They also may contain discounts to vendors who put advertising on the back of the coupon. Be sure to check out both sides of your Catalina.
Regular coupon rules apply to manufacturer Catalinas. You can only use one per item.
What Other Coupons Don't Stack?
Same type coupons don't stack. So Catalina coupons and newspaper coupons won't stack, for example.
Are There Other Coupon Programs?
Most stores offer loyalty programs. You should join as many as you have stores at which you regularly shop. Drugstores like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid all have programs you should join if you regularly shop at those stores. So do many chain grocery stores.
Where Else Can I Find Coupons?
One of the best places to find coupons online is www.eCouponshub.com. When you access their website, you can search for coupons for your favorite retailers or scroll through the hundreds of coupons they have available. Let them do the legwork of finding coupons that match up with the stores you frequent most often. Once you find them, you can print coupons and take them to your favorite store.
There are definitely significant savings when you use the coupons available through various sources: stores, manufacturers, and various loyalty programs. The secret to maximizing your savings is to know the difference between the many types of coupons and then stacking them when appropriate to give you the greatest return.
Remember to always look at the source of the coupon, determine the ability to stack coupons, and ensure that you join loyalty programs at stores you regularly shop at. And, if you're looking for a top source for online coupons, don't forget to check out eCouponshub.com if you want to get the best online coupons available!
Featured Image: Image via Flickr
We've all seen it... those extreme couponing shows featuring people who use 300 coupons every time they go to the grocery store. They walk out with 80 bags of dog food, 25 gallons of laundry detergent, 50 tubes of toothpaste, 12 packages of spaghetti noodles and a case of diapers — all for under $10. Let's be honest, we all want to know how to start couponing to save those big bucks, but most of us don't want to spend that much time couponing.
Good news! The reality is that anyone can learn how to start couponing. Do you want 30 bags of dog food? Probably not, especially if you don’t have a dog. But couponing isn't just about leaving the store with a bunch of random free stuff. If you do it right, you can easily cut your monthly grocery bill in half. If you've been wondering how to start couponing, this quick-start guide is for you.
Before you jump in feet first and learn how to start couponing, decide on a goal. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to save money at the grocery store? Do you want to stock your pantry? Do you want to go out and do some good in the world? Whether you want to reduce your grocery budget or you want to make care packages for the homeless, you have to start with a plan.
Learning how to start couponing can save you so much money, even for the average person who only uses coupons for the items they need. You really don't have to be an "extreme couponer" to save money. Even a broke, single college student can learn how to start couponing to stock up on essentials like pasta, toiletries, snacks and other such items. By taking a few hours to learn how to start couponing, anyone can save up a good chunk of money.
How To Start Couponing
What You Need To Get Started
All you really need to know how to start couponing are:
A calculator might also come in handy, and if you end up falling in love with couponing, it makes sense to invest in some organizational tools, like a binder with pockets and sleeves to hold your coupons. You may also find that a filing cabinet is helpful for organizing your coupon collection. But when you're just starting off, stick with the basics.
Finding Time To Set Up Your Coupons
Shopping Terms To Know
Couponing can take up as much or as little time as you want it to. It can be a casual pastime or an extreme hobby. The important thing to know is that you control how much time you want to invest in it. Learning to how to start couponing can be an hour of your Sunday, or a full-time job, it's up to you.
To get a running start, plan on spending a couple hours a week on Sundays when the newspaper comes out. Plan to buy one copy of the paper for every member of your family — so a family of four should buy four copies. Then you start the real work: planning your shopping trip.
If your store offers a loyalty card then make sure to get one. Some stores only give the sale prices to card-holders. Loyalty cards are free.
Amazon prime is renewable yearly. However, one can pay on a monthly basis at a rate of $12.99 dollars a month. We rated this segment with a 4-star rating.
Doubling or tripling coupons is when the store will take your 50¢ coupon and double it to make it worth $1. This is done automatically at the register; you do not have to do anything to take part in this promotion. First, find out if your store doubles or triples coupons. If they do, find out the maximum double/triple value and how many they will double/triple.
Since Amazon Prime is purely an internet-based company, you apply through the Amazon Prime membership portal. We have rated the process with a 5-star rating.
Some stores will allow you to use one store coupon (the discount is provided by the store) and one manufacturer coupon (the discount is provided by the manufacturer) per item.
Once you have ordered the product, you will get a two-day free shipping bonus. We rated this service with a 4-star rating.
You are only eligible for a full refund if you have not spent your Amazon Prime benefits. We rated this service with a 4-star rating
Some stores will accept expired coupons, though it is rare.
Make A Plan
Read the weekly store ads to see what is on sale and which stores have the best prices on the items you need. If you don’t get the weekly ads delivered, you can usually view them on the store’s website.
See if you can match coupons to the sale items to get an even better deal. Some websites do this for you. Couponing 101 provides weekly coupon matchups for CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target, Walmart, Sprouts/Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, Safeway/Tom Thumb, Albertson’s, and Kroger.
Some stores, like Walmart, will price match. This means that if grapes are on sale for 99¢/lb at Kroger, you can take the ad to Walmart and at checkout tell the cashier you would like to price match the grapes. Show them the ad and they will sell you the grapes for 99¢/lb versus their higher price.
Make a List
Don’t go to the store without a list. Lists remind you what you came for and keep you from buying items you don’t need.
If your store is out of the sale item, get a raincheck. Go to customer service and ask for a raincheck for the item you wanted. They will fill out a piece of paper with the item details and price. Then you can come back another day (usually no more than 30 days) and buy that item at the sale price by giving the cashier the raincheck. This also gives you more time to gather coupons for the item. You can still use a coupon if you are using a raincheck.
Beat The System: Understand Overage
“Overage” happens when the worth of your coupon exceeds the cost of the product. That means you are owed money in cash from the grocer or get credit towards your current bill. Awesome! But how does this happen? There are many scenarios that can create overage:
Combining a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon together. Example: Home Pride has a manufacturer coupon for buns. Your local grocery also has its own coupon for Home Pride buns. Combine and double the savings.
Using a coupon on an item that has been reduced/on clearance. Example: You have a Home Pride manufacturer’s coupon for buns and then find a bag that’s reduced by 50% for quick-sale, now only $1. Apply your $3 coupon to the reduced $1 buns and presto—you’ve got $2 in overage.
Applying “Catalina” coupons on your bill. Example: Big chains like Walmart may offer “save _ dollars off your next purchase”—these are also known as “Catalina” coupons. Let's say you only owe $3 on your current bill. Apply a “$5 off” Catalina and you’ve now got a $2 overage.
Price-matching an item you’re already using a coupon on. Example: Walmart is selling Oral B toothbrushes for 99 cents. You price-match at a neighboring store and apply a coupon offer of “buy 3 toothbrushes, get $4 off." Since they’re only 99 cents each, if you buy 3 then you’ve got an overage of $1. Well done!
Don’t Be Fooled
You do not have to buy 10 items to get the $1 price. The only exception to this rule is if the ad states that you must. Those times are rare and are usually for items that are buy X get Y free, final price 2/$5, etc.
Don’t go out and use your coupon immediately. If you use that 25¢ off toilet paper right away when it’s not on sale, you aren’t reaching your saving potential. Wait until toilet paper goes on sale for $1 then use the coupon. If your store triples coupons then your toilet paper coupon could be worth three times as much. Matching sales with coupons is getting a great price. Combining sales plus coupons plus another promotion (rebates, double coupons, store coupons) is getting the best price.
“One Per Purchase”
Most coupons say “one coupon per purchase” somewhere in the fine print. Cashiers will try to tell you that that means you can only use one coupon per transaction/day. This isn't true.
One per purchase means that you can only use one coupon per item purchased. So if you are buying 10 items and have 10 coupons then you can use them all. Learning how to start couponing with this knowledge will save you time and frustration at the checkout line.
Make A Pricebook
Start paying attention to prices and keep a list of items you regularly buy with the best and regular prices for those items. This will help you when you see that canned veggies are on “sale” for 10/$10 but the regular price is actually 99¢.
“Bigger Is Better”
The cost per unit of the bigger box of cereal may be less than the smaller one, but when combining coupons with sales, the smaller box is likely the better deal.
Watch the Cashier
When checking out pay close attention to the price screen to make sure everything rings up at the correct price. Also, make sure that the cashier scans all your coupons. Coupons sometimes stick together or get dropped or the cashier will scan the coupon but not realize that it didn’t go through. Kindly point out they missed one, and they will correct it.
Stores will sometimes put limits on the item to make you think it’s a great price. If cereal is on sale for 2/$4, you might not even notice it. But if it’s on sale “2/$4 — limit 2!” then you will probably think it’s a great price since they had to put a limit on it.
Shop early. If you have couponers in your area, then it’s best to get to the store as early in the sale as you can.
Check Your Receipt
Before you leave the store look over your receipt to make sure everything rang up correctly and all of your coupons were scanned. If there is a problem, take it to customer service immediately so they can fix it. If you leave the store and come back at another time, then it might not be fixable. If the cashier missed a coupon and you notice right away, it’s easy to see the mistake. But, if you come back later after several other coupons have been added to the cashier’s stack, or the stack is gone, then there is no way to prove that they missed a coupon.
Some of the most common couponing issues you may encounter include:
Some stores will not pay overage in cash but in credit for future purchases.
You may need to fill the overage gap with “fillers”. Because a store may not grant overage in cash or a shopping credit, you may need “fillers”—items that add up to the near/exact overage amount. For instance, you have a $1 overage from coupons, you may then need to grab an item that’s $1 (e.g. gum) to fill the remaining overage. If you’re really savvy, you’ll have lots of overage and this will fund the rest of your regular grocery items like fruit and meat.
Stores may not allow you to use two coupons simultaneously, such as a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon. A store may also not carry the product you have a coupon for. If your trip is far or your item is essential or popular, you may want to phone ahead to see if it’s in stock.
Finding And Organizing Coupons
The Sunday newspaper is a great source of coupons. Buy the newspaper with the largest circulation to get the best coupons. You can sometimes get them cheaper by buying a double pack. Purchasing one newspaper per family member will help you add to your stockpile.
Ask your friends and family for coupons. If they get a newspaper but usually throw out the coupons, then they’ll probably be happy to give them to you. Peruse the Internet. There are many great online printable coupons to be found. There are several legitimate printable coupon websites. Check the store. There are many varieties of coupons you can find in the store.
There are many places to find coupons, and there are just as many strategies for gathering them up in multiples. Many people on shows featuring extreme couponing have been building up networks of people through their churches or neighborhoods for years — that's how they have so many multiples of the same coupons. Don’t be discouraged if you can't achieve that level of savings right off the bat. You can be successful with just a few multiples of the coupons that offer discounts on products you’ll actually use.
Organizing Your Coupons
You can start by clipping and putting them all in an envelope or check file. Once you’ve been couponing for a few weeks, you will need something bigger.
File by Insert
With this method, you file your inserts by date in a box and use an online coupon database to find the coupon you need. This method doesn’t require much work, but you might miss out on unadvertised deals by not having all of your coupons with you at the store.
With this method, you would clip all of your coupons and file them in baseball card holders in a three-ring binder. With this method, you can carry your binder to the store and have all your coupons with you while you shop.
Where to Shop
Learning how to start couponing also includes learning where the best stores to shop are. Do your research each week. Many extreme successful couponers start each week by writing down each store's sales and seeing who has the best price on each item.
A frequent mistake often made by people when first learning how to start couponing, is that they think everything needs to be bought at the same store. This simply isn't true, go to as many stores as you can to save the most money.
Don’t just buy something because it has a coupon. Only buy what you need. It pays to check. A brand name with a coupon isn’t always cheaper than discount brands and buying it at a more expensive store that accepts your coupon could still be pricier than buying it somewhere else.
See a free coupon magazine? Don’t just grab one, grab several. Even if coupons are limited to one per transaction, you can use them again at another time. If you have a high-value coupon, hold out until that item is further discounted for maximum savings. If you’re really keen for savings, write to manufacturers of products you love & you’re likely to get some coupons of appreciation in return. Extreme couponers vouch that this works quite often.
Know the terms & conditions of your coupon before going out so you are prepared to explain them on check-out if need be. Shoppers behind you will also be grateful if you know what you’re doing and are prompt.
Featured Image: Flickr
Going out to eat can be a great family activity. Whether you're celebrating a special day with your kids, stopping for a bite to eat on the way home from soccer practice or just don't feel like cooking, going to a restaurant is a great way to get everyone at the table together for some quality time. But eating out can get expensive. One way to get around this is to look for restaurants where kids eat free.
1. Why Do Restaurants Offer "Kids Eat Free" Deals?
There are about 49,000 children, ages 11 and under, in the United States today. Restaurant owners know that raising kids can be expensive, and the best way to get a lot of those parents to go out to eat is to offer them a deal they can't refuse. Creating a "kids eat free" deal makes it likely that families will return to the restaurant again and again.
2. Can I Bring my Kids to A Restaurant and Let Them Eat for Free, Without Spending Any Money?
Usually, no. Nor can children just show up alone and ask for a free meal. Restaurants generally offer this type of deal with the expectation that the adults will order meals. Most restaurants allow one free kid's' meal per adult meal purchased. Some restaurants will allow two.
3. Why Do Some Locations of Certain Chain Restaurants Offer "Kids Eat Free" Deals, While Other Locations of the Same Chain Restaurants Do Not?
Some restaurants are franchises. This means that the locations are owned by individuals, while the larger company oversees them. Usually, franchise owners have the option of participating in deals.
4. Will I Need to Bring Coupons to Get These Deals?
Not for the restaurants listed here. To get these deals, you just need to show up. Be sure to call ahead to your specific location to find out the details of the deal.
5. What Do Free Kids Meals Usually Include?
It varies from restaurant to restaurant. Some free kids meals include a side order, a drink and even a dessert. Others may just include the main entrée.
6. Is This an Extensive List of Restaurants that Offer "Kids Eat Free" Deals?
No. These are a few of the most popular restaurants that have locations across the country. You may be able to find more deals like this in your area.
How We Reviewed The Top 10 Kids Eat Free Deals at Chain Restaurants
The following restaurants were reviewed based on the days of the week the deal is offered, age groups it is offered to, and what is included on the kids' menu.
Overall Price Range of This Product
(and Similar Products)
The meals are free; the circumstances surrounding the complimentary kids' meals differ.
What We Reviewed
- Famous Dave's
- Steak N' Shake
- Jason's Deli
- Qdoba Mexican Grill
- TGI Fridays
- Pizza Hut
- Golden Corral
At this iconic pancake restaurant, kids eat free every day of the week, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Some locations extend this deal to 9 or 10 pm, and other locations may not participate, so be sure to call your local IHOP ahead of time. At participating locations, families can get one free kid's meal with each adult entrée. This means, if one adult is eating with two kids, you'll have to pay full price for one of the kid's meals. The free deal is for kids 12 and under and does not include drinks. Kids' meals may include the Build Your Own Rooty Jr, Funny Face Pancakes, Cupcake Pancake Combo, Jr. Chicken And Waffles, Jr. Cheeseburger or grilled cheese. Regularly-priced adult meals range from about $5 to $10, not including drinks.
Kids eat free here all day, every day, with an adult meal purchase. The deal is for kids 10 and under and does not include drinks. Some meals include side items, but others include only the main entrée. Items on the kid's menu include grilled chicken salad, BBQ Ribs, pizza, grilled cheese, cheeseburger, mini corn dogs, mac and cheese, bite-sized shrimp, chicken tenders, grilled chicken breast or steak. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $7 to about $20, not including drinks or appetizers.
This deal is available only on Tuesdays, at participating locations. Kids eat free from the Lil' Wilbur Menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. The meal, which is for children 8 years old and under, includes a side order, a drink and Oreo cookies. Menu items include Country Roasted Chicken, BBQ chicken, Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich, mac and cheese, burger, mini corn dogs or ribs. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $7 to $27, not including side orders or drinks.
Steak N' Shake
At participating Steak N' Shake locations, kids eat free on Saturdays and Sundays. This deal is a little different from others, because the number of free kids' meals is determined by the amount of money adults spend rather than on the number of meals purchased. For every $9.00 spent by an adult, one Kids' Plate meal is free. The deal is for kids 12 and under and does not include drinks or shakes. Menu items include steakburger, mini corn dogs, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, mac and cheese or hot dog. Steak N' Shake also has collectible cardboard "cruisers" free for kids. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $1 to $7, not including side orders or drinks.
KIds eat free here on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at participating locations. Some locations allow 2 free kids' menu meals per adult entrée of $6 or more, but others may just allow one. Menu items include pancakes. Jr. Grand Slam, French toast, Grilled Chicken On A Stick, spaghetti, cheeseburger, chicken nuggets or mac and cheese. With lunches and dinners, kids can also choose side orders of salad, grapes, corn, apple dunkers, broccoli, mashed potatoes, yogurt, goldfish crackers or banana slices. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $2 to $12, not including drinks or side orders.
Kids eat free at least one day of the week, but you'll have to call your local Jason's Deli to find out which day of the week they offer this. Some locations will allow two free kids' meals per adult entrée, while others may allow just one. Every kid's meal includes a choice of drinks: bottled water, apple juice, milk or chocolate milk. (They do not allow soda as part of kids' meals although parents are free to purchase soda separately, if they want their children to have it.) Menu items include mac and cheese, pizza, bowtie pasta with chicken Alfredo or meatballs, baked potato, chicken nuggets, hot dog, ham and cheese sandwich, turkey and cheese sandwich, grilled cheese or hot dog. Some of the items include a pickle on the side, while others include a choice of fruit, carrots or chips.
They also have an interesting "Kids Pick Four" option on their kids' menu. Kids can choose four items from the list: a piece of fruit, a hard boiled egg, cucumbers, organic carrots, grape tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini sticks or sliced cheddar. This comes with hummus or ranch dressing. This is a great choice for picky eaters who are more likely to munch on finger foods than to devour a sandwich. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from between about $5 to about $12, not including side orders or drinks.
Qdoba Mexican Grill
The days that this deal is offered vary by location, but most locations seem to offer free kids' meals on Saturdays and Sundays. One free kid's meal is offered per adult entrée. The meals include burrito bow, quesadilla, 3-cheese nachos or taco. Every kid's meal includes a side order and a fountain drink. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $7 to $9, not including drinks or side orders.
Kids eat free at participating locations, but the day of the week that this is offered varies by location. You'll want to call ahead to find out for sure. Where it is offered, families can get one kid's menu entrée for each adult entrée. Menu items include chicken tenders, sliders, pasta or mac and cheese. Meals include a kid-sized side order. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $10 to $20, not including appetizers, side orders or drinks.
Some Pizza Hut locations offer a buffet. At participating locations, kids 10 and under can eat free from the buffet on Tuesdays. Be sure to call your specific location to check the details. The regular price of the buffet varies by location but is usually around $5 to $8.
At Golden Corral, kids 3 and under eat free any day of the week. At some locations, any kids ages 10 and under can eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. The price of the regular adult buffet is between $9.50 and $15, depending on the day and time. This does not include the price of drinks. Kids between 4 and 8 years old ordinarily eat for between $6 and $7, not including drinks. Kids between 9 and 12 years old ordinarily eat for between $7 and $8, not including drinks.
It was tricky to make just one recommendation, especially since so many of these offers vary by location. We think that Denny's may be the best bet for families on a budget. The other restaurants' "kids eat free" deals were hard to find information about; Denny's actually mentions it on their website. Denny's general menu is also rather inexpensive. They mention on their website that the adult entrée must be at least $6, but up to two children can eat for free with one adult.
We figured out that: if two adults and four children go to Denny's on a Kids Eat Free day, and each person orders a drink and a meal, they can feed their whole family for about $20. (Kids' drinks are about $1, and adult drinks start at about $2.30.) That is a great deal for the amount of food each meal includes! We also love how, for lunch and dinner, the kids can build complete meals from the wide variety of entrées and healthy side orders. Be aware that the kids' breakfast menu is not quite as healthy as the lunch and dinner menus. Many of the choices include whipped cream and chocolate chips.
For health-conscious parents, Jason's Deli is another great choice. They pride themselves on offering only nutritious food for children and even partner with the Texas Health Institute. They keep dyes, artificial trans fats and flavors, MSG and high fructose corn syrup out of their kids' menu choices. They also have some gluten-free options, which is important for parents who have a child on a gluten-free diet.
In fact, their gluten-free chicken nuggets were listed in an article called "20 Best Kids-Menu Dishes" in the March 2015 issue of Parents Magazine. We like that they don't include fountain drinks as a choice for the kids' menu. We also love their "Kids Pick Four" menu option, where kids can choose four options from a list that includes a boiled egg, cheese slices and lots of fruits and vegetables. They can then choose hummus or ranch dressing to dip it in. It is perfect for picky eaters, gluten-free kids and kids who stick to vegetarian or vegan diets.
If your goal is simply to fill your family up with as much as you can, as quickly as you can, you can't beat Golden Corral. Since they only allow one free kid's meal per paying adult, you'll pay more than at Denny's, unless you have children age 3 or under. But if you have kids up to age 12 who love to eat and can't seem to get full, a buffet may be the way to go. There is definitely something for everyone at Golden Corral, including different kinds of meat, pizza, mashed potatoes and salad. Plus, although you'll have to pay extra for drinks, the price of the buffet does include all the dessert you can eat.
Going out to eat together is a great family activity. So, wherever you go, be sure to enjoy your quality time together!
These days, a lot of people are using Groupon and Groupon.com to get great deals on products and services. But, if you’re new to the idea of Groupons, you may be wondering what it’s all about.
To put it in simple terms, Groupon is a service that people can sign up for free. Once they’re signed up, they’ll enjoy a “deal of the day” recommendation. This might be a Groupon coupon for dinner at a restaurant or a discount at a local store. Sometimes, it’s even fun things like a free or reduced price dance class or skydiving sessions.
It’s up to the user which Groupon promo code he takes advantage of and which ones he ignores, but there’s typically something for everyone. In fact, most people really enjoy using Groupon for a variety of reasons.
Try Out New Things on a Regular Basis
One of the major things that people really like about Groupon is the fact that it gives them the opportunity to try out products, places, and services they never would have even given a second thought before.
Maybe you’re not a big sushi fan, for example, but one day, you see an ad for some delicious-looking sushi come across your Groupon. You think it looks good, and the price is right. So, you try it, and, before you know it, you have a new favorite food. That’s just one of the ways that Groupon can introduce new and exciting things into your life.
You might get an inkling to try a cooking class or go ballroom dancing via groupon. You just never know what fun things it might bring into your life to keep things fresh.
Use the App with Ease
Whatever new and awesome thing you wish to try out with Groupon, you’ll be glad to know that it’s incredibly easy to use.
Whenever you come across a Groupon that you want to try, just click “View Voucher,” verify, and submit. From there, you’ll be able to print out the Groupon voucher for your own use.
Be sure that you read the smaller print on your Groupon carefully. This will contain instructions for using your Groupon, as well as any details that you need to know.
Save Yourself Some Major Money
As mentioned earlier, Groupon is absolutely free to use. You don’t have to pay a fee to get a membership or to see the deal of the day each day.
In fact, the only time you pay is when you come across a coupon that you wish to use. You’ll purchase that coupon directly from Groupon itself using your linked card or your Paypal account if you prefer. And, though you do have to pay for your coupon, it will save you major money.
Groupon coupons can typically be redeemed from about double what you paid for them. So, for example, a $10 pizza coupon would likely give you $20 or more worth of pizza!
In this regard, you can save yourself a lot of money and stumble across some truly great deals by choosing to use Groupon.
Support Local Businesses More Often
While many of the restaurants, stores, and more that use Groupon are major, well-known stores, there are also plenty of smaller, locally-owned business establishments that use Groupon.
Many of these smaller establishments might not get noticed if it wasn’t for Groupon, which does act like an advertiser of sorts. In fact, many people who use Groupon report they regularly check out businesses they never would have heard of otherwise thanks to Groupon.
This includes smaller, local businesses, which could definitely use support from the community. If you’re interested in supporting your local economy and “the little man,” then Groupon is an awesome way to find out about local businesses in your area.
You’re Never Obligated to Do Anything
One final thing to appreciate about Groupon is the fact that you are never under any kind of obligation when you use the service.
People often wonder if they have to purchase a certain number of Groupons per week or per month to keep their accounts, and the answer is no. Also, when you don’t care for the deal of the day, you don’t have to opt out or say “no” or anything like that. You simply wait and see if you like the next day’s deal.
In this regard, Groupon truly is a risk-free, hassle-free way to find out about deals that interest you and to save yourself some money, no strings attached.
If you’re curious, then be sure to check out Groupon for yourself. After all, you have nothing to lose and lots to potentially gain.
Everyone loves saving money, and, fortunately, there are many easy ways to do just that.
One of those ways is through the coupons that you’ll regularly find in your local newspaper. There are all kinds of newspaper coupons, like P&G coupons, Smartsource coupons, Brandsaver coupons, and more. Most of these come as Sunday coupons inserts, though you can sometimes find such coupons throughout the week too.
Plus, there are websites that allow you to see a Sunday coupon preview so you can plan out your money-saving week in advance. In addition to planning, though, there are many things you can do to make the most of your coupons and to save even more money than anybody else.
Buy More than One Copy of the Sunday Paper
One easy way to save money is to make sure you get more than one copy of the Sunday paper each week. There are typically so many coupons stuffed inside that it’s worth it to buy a few extras.
In fact, couponing experts often recommend getting four copies minimum of the Sunday paper, especially if you have a large family or are really needing to pinch pennies for a little while.
You can ask your neighbors for their papers when they’re done with them, or just go to the local dollar store or gas station and pick up extra copies cheap. It will be worth it when you start using all those great coupons.
Don’t Be Afraid to “Pipe Up” and Ask for What You Want
Above, we mentioned that it’s not a bad idea to ask your friends and neighbors if you can have their papers when they’re done with them.
This isn’t a bad tip to follow when it comes to anyone however. In fact, tell co-workers and friends what coupons you’re looking for, and see if they’re willing to spare them. Many people are happy to share their coupons, especially those that they don’t use. So many coupons go into the trash each week, and it’s nice to put them to use instead of letting them go to waste.
You may also have friends who would be willing to trade coupons. Maybe there’s some coupons you don’t need or want but that they do. In that case, a trading session might be in order so everybody wins.
Just remember, there is no harm in asking for the things you want, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
Complain When You Don’t Get Your Coupons
Every once in a while, you may have a Sunday paper delivered or you may buy a Sunday paper that is missing the coupon inserts.
This often happens because those inserts are slippery and will slide right out of the paper without anyone noticing. Sometimes, sadly, it is also the case that these coupons get stolen by those who think you won’t notice.
If this ever happens to you, don’t just say “oh well.” Remember that you can and should call the newspaper office and complain. Typically, they’ll bring you over a fresh paper or at least your coupon section. Sometimes, they’ll even bring you extra coupons as a sort of apology.
So, make sure you always stand up for yourself and get what you paid for. You deserve your Sunday coupons each and every week.
Organize Your Coupons Carefully for Easy Use
Once you get into the couponing habit, you will likely find that it can be easy to get overwhelmed with coupons, especially if you’ve got a lot of them coming in on a regular basis.
The key is simply to get and stay organized through a method that works for you.
Some people prefer to buy storage bins and store their inserts there, being careful to note expiration dates for easy use. Others use a more involved method of splitting coupons up into a binder, often by category or brand.
You can be as organized as you like, and you can do your organization any way you like. The key is simply that you are organized and that you have a system that works for you. Your system should keep you from missing out on deals due to expiration dates and should also make it easy to find the coupons you need. Aside from that, though, how you organize is totally up to you.
As you can see, making the most of newspaper coupons is pretty easy, as long as you know what you’re doing and as long as you can follow a few simple tips. Give these tips a try to start saving money today. Just be careful; couponing is addictive.