Using coupons to save money has been a staple of frugal living for decades. Until recently, however, shopping with coupons could be an extremely time consuming endeavor. Sifting through dozens of Sunday advertisements, clipping coupons for products you or your family needed, sorting all of them to make sure you could find the correct coupon when it was needed, checking expiration dates to be sure they were still usable…the entire process could easily take hours each week. But now, thanks to the internet and online coupons on ChameleonJohn, saving money has never been easier. Here are some of the top ways to find savings electronically:
1) Rewards Programs
Once just the territory of coffee shops and restaurants, store rewards programs are now commonplace in so many types of stores. Rewards programs, of course, typically allow you to get free stuff after a certain number of purchases or a certain amount of money spent, but many rewards programs also give you coupons to sweeten the deal. Companies like Starbucks are notorious for running specials that are exclusive to rewards program members; if you are part of their rewards program, your inbox will have a brand new coupon code almost every week. Be sure to check the rules for joining the program though—most stores will let you enroll for free, but if you have to pay to be part, make sure you plan to shop enough to make your fee worth it.
2) E-mail lists
Rewards programs and email lists often go hand-in-hand, but some retailers will also directly send you coupon codes without you enrolling in any program. This model is most typical for online retailers, such as Alloy apparel, or for small businesses that don’t have the infrastructure to provide a rewards system. Online companies, such as Alloy, typically send coupon promos such as free shipping when you use the enclosed code or flash sales with deep discounts on popular items. It is also common to be offered codes for a free gift with your order. On the other hand, small businesses usually use their email lists to tell customers about in-store sales and events. Whether online or small business, email lists are also a really great way to get information about new products, updates and company news. Some companies, like Michaels, even send you lifestyle ideas and inspiration.
Is there anything Google can’t do? If you haven’t shopped at a certain online retailer before, chances are that you aren’t a member of a program or email list. Never fear, however, you can still save money! One of the most foolproof ways to easily find deals is to simply search “(company name) online coupon.” Your search should turn up websites such as retailmenot.com or coupons.com, where users can share codes to get great bargains. One of the best features on these sites is that you can see how many users have had success with the code, letting you pick whichever offer will be best for you (remember, you can typically only use one promo at a time).
4) Company websites
Companies know that users are sharing discount codes anyway, so they sometimes simply acknowledge that fact and put coupon codes right on the homepage to give customers the impression that the company is generous. Other times, the company hides deals in the bowels of the website. If you don’t see an offer obviously displayed, scroll to the bottom of the page and look for a little link that says something like “deals” or “promos.”
With these great resources up your sleeve, you will be saving money in no time!