Couponing: I suck at clipping but I rock at typing

The title of this article should give some hint at my success rate at traditional couponing. I get excited when I get to save money and use a deal. Unfortunately that excitement does not generate enough happy juice to make me create color coded folders of organized coupons.

So what’s a clipper challenged woman to do? While I can’t guarantee the same results as some of the extreme coupon stacking expert sites, if you’re like me, implementing the below just a few times a month will be better than nothing.

Preparation

Some of what I will mention below will require you to sign-up for a newsletter or in some way receive notifications to your email. I therefore believe wholeheartedly in creating a deal account. This is a not a junk folder but an actual email account.

For example, I have a gmail account that is my primary personal account. I protect this account like it’s my last chocolate bar. My deal account is my yahoo account. I give out this account information freely knowing it will fill up but not caring. I check this account a few times a week or sometimes just once a month. To prepare for the below I highly suggest creating deal account and use it to sign up for perks.

1. Sign-up for the e-Newsletter

This isn’t as terrifying if you’ve done what I mentioned above. Retail chains and online stores regularly have discounts. They almost all practice the art of sending these discounts via email to anyone who has signed up to receive their newsletter.

They’re like the coupons that come in the mail only better because: 1. It saves trees therefore helping save the planet and 2. You only get news from the companies you’re interested in. Not the garage door installer for your house that only has a car port (firsthand soapbox moment).

Bonus: Many companies will also give you a special discount code as a thank you for signing-up!

2. Search the store’s website for their deal section

You might not want to sign-up for the newsletter of every site you may ever visit and purchase from. And that would indeed be wise. As a result, if you are on a site and thinking about making a purchase, take a moment to search the term promo or discount in their search function. It might also be located somewhere in the menu. A lot more sites than you’d expect have a page where they display promotions and discount codes. Below is an example from Staples.
staples

3. Download the app

Not all apps are created equal. The one’s that move up in the rankings for me are the ones that offer instant savings directly to my phone.

For example, Publix and Kroger have some nice apps that:
A. Tell you what types of sales are currently going on. $3.99 for strawberries etc.
B. If you have a shopping/reward card you can create an online account that is tied to the number on your card. Why is this important? Because you can go online or on the app, browse coupons and ADD them to your card. The discounts are applied when they swipe your card at the register!
Dunkin Donuts
I hesitate to give this next example because it reveals some of my not so great eating habits but I have to do it for the sake of sharing knowledge! Other apps like Smoothie King and Dunkin Donuts have a perks section in their apps that are updated monthly or more frequently. You can view the perk and show your phone to receive the discount. Again paperless and clipless.

Do I check my Dunkin Donuts perks section the first of every month, yes I do. But guess who gets a free donut with her coffee…this chick right here!

4. Search 3rd Party Sites

This pertains particularly to those who shop online. Before you click checkout open another browser and type “the store name, promo codes” or “store name, discount codes” Some codes won’t be valid. But if I try six usually one works! 75% of the time I end up saving 10-40% on items by doing a quick search.

Here are sites that I’ve used and that have had some valid coupons:
Coupons.com
Retailmenot.com
Dealnews.com
Goodsearch.com

*public safety announcement: married to a cyber security engineer I feel it my duty to remind everyone to browse the internet safely. Try your best to make sure a deal site looks legit before clicking on a bunch of buttons.

coupons.com
To digital savings that keep us laughing to the bank,
Nicole Selena