One really good reason not to sit around clipping coupons from your local papers is that it’s time-consuming. My time is valuable, and I figure the cost of any “free labor” I’m performing against my savings when I consider my best strategies. But when it comes to coupons, clipping is no longer the only way to get them: you can go online, quickly find precisely the coupons you want, and print them.
Advantages of online coupons
Most coupon websites are designed to be browsed in much the same way you browse through a newspaper. But you can also search specifically for those shops or products you want. This takes less time than going through newspapers, and also cuts down on the chances you’ll be tempted by some great deal into buying something you really don’t even want or need. Browsing these sites is also generally easier and quicker than browsing through printed material, since you can just scroll through lots of offers at once.
Many of these sites also have the ability to let you click several coupons to print, and they will automatically fit them onto as few sheets of paper as possible. In some cases, you have to download a small free application to do this.
Clipping coupons from periodicals costs: the price of the periodical plus your time. Printable coupons cost you: paper, a little bit of ink (use the most economic setting on your printer) and some wear and tear on your printer. In my opinion, my savings are much better with online coupons. Another savings trick: use the backs of pages you’ve printed on before. As long as the coupon is visible, the store can’t refuse to accept it because part of an article you printed about turtles is on the backside.
Most printable coupons are good for online or in-store purchases.
You’ll want to find more than one site to check, since they all have different offers. Don’t make a part-time job out of it, but tracking 3-5 sites doesn’t take much time, and will maximize your savings.
- Coupon Cabin makes it really easy to find the coupons you want. You can browse several categories, like grocery, or top deals, or local deals (input your zip code). You can also look up specific stores to see what they have on offer.
- Mommy Saves Big has just the sort of layout I was talking about earlier. It’s geared to let you search for just those coupons you really want, or browse to get ideas. When you browse, your gaze naturally drifts over the list, ignoring stores you don’t shop at, and focusing on those you do buy from. At no time does it ever try to get you to log in or start an account (some of the others do).
- RedPlum, the online version of the circulars, has a very nice setup – you can print several coupons to a page without getting a free account or downloading anything. I find they have a few really good offers most of the time.
- CouponDivas has many of the same vendors as Coupon Cabin, but here you don’t have to download anything to print several coupons to a page.
Those are the sites I personally use and find most helpful. There are others that I find more difficult to use, or that don’t have as impressive offers as these, but feel free to search out others on your own. Let me know if you find any great ones!