I love coupons. Finding one that will save me a chunk of cash on something I'm about to buy is like hitting the jackpot in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I have no use for most of the coupons I find in the newspaper or get in the mail. If a coupon gets you to buy something you don't need, just to save a few bucks, then in the long run, you really didn't save anything.
Lately, I've started to click for coupons rather than clip them. I learned about these online bargains from my frugal friend, Edgar Dworsky, president of ConsumerWorld.org. "You're buying the thing anyway," he says, "go see if you can save a little extra money or at least get free shipping."
There are lots of Web sites that specialize in coupons. In fact, type the word coupons in a search engine and you'll get 21,800,000 results! Let's see if we can whittle that down a little for you.
Here are some sites that you might want to start with:
You'll find lots of familiar names here: Borders, Circuit City, Hallmark, Office Depot, Sharper Image, and Staples, just to name a few. When I went on today (Monday, Mar. 21), I found that Ann Taylor is offering 15 percent off any purchase of $100 or more and 20 percent off any purchase of $175 or more.
I could print a coupon to get 10% off any baby product at Sears or 15% off the regular price of anything at Walden Books. There was even a timely offer for new customers at H & R Block: $25 off your tax preparation bill with this coupon.
People who've used Fat Wallet for a while like its forum section. You'll find reviews of products that are on sale, special promotions that people have discovered, or coupons that might be so new you won't find them anyplace else.
One of the forum pages is dedicated to free stuff: free merchandise, free subscriptions, free food samples. While searching around today, I found a coupon for a free week of Jazzercise classes.
Edgar likes Fat Wallet's forum section: "You find out about the deal and if it is really something you want to buy. It's not just saving money, but do people like the product that's being offered for sale."
This makes it a lot easier to find the deal that fits your needs. There's even a section called "Expiring Soon" which lists money saving offers that expire today and later in the week.
Let's see...today (Mar. 21) is the last day to save 20 - 60% on select window coverings at JC Penney. Order online today at Omaha Steaks and you'll get a free ham.
If you really want to get the best deals, Edgar says search more than one coupon site, "Because you'll find one deal at one, one deal at another. No one site has them all."
When using a an online coupon or promotional code, be sure to check the total price before you click "confirm" to make sure the discount has been subtracted.
Edgar says "online coupons can be pulled without notice or expire without notice," so check the math. You don't want to get caught in a situation where you buy, don't get the lower price and try to argue with the company to get your money back.
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