Have you ever clipped a coupon out of a newspaper and redeemed it in person at a store? Well there are great ways to save money by using coupons online, and by using online coupons in-store! There are two basic types of online shopping promotions that you’ll see when looking online. One is a “coupon code” or “promotional code” and the other is a “link only” deal. Most online merchants will offer one or the other when running online promotions or sales.

How to use “linked” coupon :
A linked coupon does not have an actual coupon code to activate the promotion, but instead a special link. When you click the link to the online store, you will get the discount automatically when you check out.

How to use a “coupon code”:
Depending on the merchant, there are a few different places to enter the coupon code. In some cases, the coupon can be entered while in the shopping cart. Other times, the coupon is entered on the order review page prior to checkout. Look around carefully for the coupon “submit” area the first time you purchase from any website. You will see the new price updated in your cart during the check out process.

How to use an in-store coupon that was emailed to you on your cell phone:
If you are part of the 99.99% of the population who has a smart phone enabled with email, then this is for you. I often times get store promotions and coupons emailed to me from stores that I am subscribed to. By being on their email list you get all sorts of perks emailed to you. When I go shopping in the store I usually present the emailed coupon on my phone and the salesperson can either scan the barcode of the coupon directly, or type it in manually. It’s a great way to both save money and not have to waste resources by printing out coupons that end up either not used or in the trash.

Online Coupon FAQ’s

Can I use inline coupons in my local stores?
Some stores are not obligated to honor online deals unless the promotion specifically states that they will. If you bring the offer to the store, some will honor it anyway as a courtesy to you. It all depends on the deal and who the merchant is, but it never hurts to ask!

Can I double up on coupon deals by using more than one at time?
Most coupon codes specify that only one promotion can be used per transaction or per item purchased. You can get extra savings however, by looking for a rebate on the item that you purchased with a coupon code. Rebates are fairly plentiful on electronic devices, computers, software and home improvement items. If you can not find one online, contact the merchant and find out if one is available for the item you wish to purchase.

This sounds great! But how do I find out about the really good online deals?
One way to find out about deals is to visit the forums of your favorite coupons sites. There is a lot of great information on the boards, but you must act fast as some retailers sell out quickly. It’s also a good idea to sign up to the email lists of your favorite stores. If you don’t like being bombarded with emails, there is good news; most retailers have caught on to this and offer email settings so you can request for them to send less frequently since given the choice they would rather email you once a week than not at all. You can also sign up to a store email list if you are watching for a certain item to go on sale. This works great around the holidays and can save you a lot of money!