If you're not using coupons, it may be time to give them a try. With a number of websites and new apps, it is easy to learn how to find coupons for exactly the items you need to buy. It helps to do your homework and to be organized so you can make the best of your coupon shopping experience.
There are several different types of coupons and different ways of receiving discounts by using cash back apps. All of these have brought couponing into the 21st century. Here's a helpful guide to how to find coupons, but it's only a starting point. There is a whole world of couponing out there, waiting for you.
What Is Coupon Shopping?
For a long time, coupons and couponers, which is the word for people who use coupons, got a bad rap. They were the butt of jokes on TV and they got blamed for slowing down the line at the grocery store checkout. But now, like everything else, coupons have gone online, and they're suddenly hip. After all, who doesn't like saving money? And with so many new and convenient ways to find and use coupons, it is worth learning how to find coupons and how to use them.
Whether you're going on a baking spree or getting an oil change or planning a night on the town, chances are that you can find a coupon that will make it a little cheaper. There are websites that will find coupons for you in different categories, and even apps you can use. You can use coupons for both online and in-person purchases, and they help you expand your budget a little each time.
How to Use Coupons
Coupons are typically used by manufacturers to persuade customers to buy more. But with a little planning, and some knowledge of how to find coupons, you can save as much as $1,000 a year by using coupons for basic groceries and household items. You can coupon the old way and go through those you get in the mail or with the weekend edition of the newspaper. But going online is a much easier way to find coupons.
When you search for coupons online, you are not limited to the ones that show up with the Sunday papers. You can go straight to the ones you need at that particular time. You can save online coupons to your phone or mobile device, where they will be available whenever they're needed. Or you can print them and take the printouts when you go shopping.
What Are the Different Types of Coupons?
There are online and paper coupons, and then there are the online coupons that can be printed. There are two major kinds of coupons—manufacturer coupons and store coupons—which are a little different. Here's how they work.
As the name suggests, these coupons are issued by the manufacturer and can be used at any store that stocks products made by the company. These are usually product specific, and can only be used on that product. For example, coupons for a particular type of cereal can only be redeemed for that specific kind.
You can find manufacturer's coupons in newspapers and online. Each typically has a unique bar code and can only be used once.
These are issued by a store and can only be used for purchases made there. These are generally valid for all locations of a particular store.
Other Things to Watch Out For
When using coupons, there are some things you have to keep in mind. First of all, it helps to be organized. If you're printing or clipping coupons, get a small folder or even a ziplock bag to keep them safely in one place. This will save you a lot of time and bother looking for the coupons you need at a particular time.
With online coupons, you can bookmark them and organize your bookmark folders so there is a special one just for coupons. Once you have your coupons ready to go, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
All coupons have an expiration date, and you will find it listed at the top or bottom. They must be used before the date specified, and there are no exceptions.
Many online retailers will give you coupon codes which must be used during checkout to receive a discount. Typically coupon codes also have expiration dates.
4 Top Tips on How to Find Coupons
Now that you've decided to start using coupons and know how to use them, it's time to start looking for coupons you can use. This is the easy part, because there are a lot of websites and even apps that can help you track down exactly the coupons you need at a particular time. This makes how to find coupons easier than ever.
In fact, there are many more ways how to find coupons than we can list here, so this is only the start of your quest. Here are 4 ways how to find coupons online and start saving money.
1. Check Out the Coupon Websites
There are entire websites dedicated to finding coupons. Most are searchable by item type and brands, and provide printable coupons you can take to the store with you. Here are some of the most popular coupon websites.
This is where the Sunday paper coupons live on the internet. Like the Sunday paper coupons, you'll find basic grocery and household items here. There is even an online version of clipping coupons, only here you select them with a small blue plus sign. Much easier than clipping little bits of paper, we think. When you've got all you need, you can print them and bring them along when you go shopping.
The Krazy Coupon Lady
This site lets you search for coupons for specific stores, items and even brands. The section on “Deals” has even better ways to save money. You can print out your selected coupons.
You may recognize the name from their Sunday paper coupons, but you can also find most of their coupons online. You can add all you want to your print queue and take the printed coupons with you.
SmartSource And Hopster
These are other coupons sites to check when you're going shopping. At Hopster especially you can sometimes find coupons you won't find anywhere else.
This site offers group discounts for restaurants, events, museum visits, beauty and spa services, and travel and vacation packages. They also offer discounts on all kinds of merchandise, from jewelry to yoga pants to cell phones. It's well worth a visit, and a good way how to find coupons for just about anything.
2. Use the New Coupon Apps
Coupon apps bring couponing into the 21st century. Most of them function as cash back apps, where you get refunds after you scan your grocery store receipt into the app. Others will activate the discounts if you click through the app to the store where you make the purchase.
This app lets you search for the grocery or household items you need and add them to your shopping cart. Then you go shopping at the store as usual and buy all the items you added to the Ibotta cart. Next, you scan your store receipt with the Ibotta app, and you will get a refund within 48 hours for the value of the coupons. When your account reaches $, the money can be redeemed via PayPal, Venmo or gift cards.
One useful feature of the Ibotta coupons is that for some items like milk or fruit, you can use them for any brand that's available in the store.
Like Ibotta, you select all the coupons for the items on your shopping list, and then scan your receipt. Also like Ibotta, you can cash out when your savings cross the $ mark.
This is another cashback app, but it also gives you the option to link your credit card to the app. You can choose the stores where you shop, and a percentage of your purchase price will be reimbursed to you via the Ebates app.
Most coupons here work like Ibotta and Checkout 51, but with some coupons, you have to add them to your grocery store loyalty card. This is a little more work, but you get your discounts when you check out at the grocery store instead of waiting for a refund.
3. Visit the Retailer's Site
Manufacturers, grocery stores, pharmacies, and many other retailers offer coupons on their sites. For example, brands like Pillsbury's, Betty Crocker, Seventh Generation, Kellogg's, and others regularly post coupons for popular items on their sites. You can also sign up for emails to receive coupons, free samples, recipes, and more.
4. Keep an Eye on Store Websites for Discounts
Most stores now offer online versions of their weekly newsletters. Depending on where you live, you can find coupons for grocery stores like Kroger, Whole Foods, Food Lion, and Safeway, and pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS. All kinds of speciality stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Petsmart also offer coupons that can add up to significant savings. You can stalk their coupon pages for special deals or sign up for email alerts.
With so many new websites and apps, it's easy to learn how to find coupons for the items you need to buy. In fact, there are so many options that the only difficulty you may have is in deciding which one is your favorite.