Admittedly, couponing and saving money can take time. In fact, the average money saved, or earned in my opinion, by couponing is about $40 an hour, and after a year of doing it myself, I believe this whole heartedly. That being said, I know there are several of you out there who are working full time jobs or more than full time jobs and just don't have the time to spend an hour or two every week to do couponing and bargain hunting. What you can do, however, can save you this year! (And this is for everyone, avid couponers too!)
Tip number 1: Retail Me Not
Retail Me Not (dot) com is a coupon finding website that I find faster than googling for a coupon code. If you shop online at all, it's worth a stop here, as it will literally take you seconds to type in the store name you are shopping from and look through the possible coupon codes that may or may not be available. What I love about the site, it gives you a percentage of how often it has worked before (based on human error as well, I've had codes in the 70% ranges work for me, just make sure you read all of the qualifications for the code, if you have to use a certain credit card, do it before a certain date, etc.) Also, you can read other customer comments about the code to let you know why or why it didn't work for them. Go check it out before every online purchase!
And remember, several online stores let you stack coupon codes, especially if one is for free shipping and another is for a percentage off, etc. It doesn't hurt to try. All it can do is refuse your extra codes! I've used 3 codes in one transaction before!
Tip Number 2: You have to shop through Ebates
It's super easy (and free) to sign up. In fact, they give you a 'bonus' when you do sign up... so technically they pay you to be a part of their cashback rewards. How does it work? Easy. When you are looking to shop online, go to ebates first, search for your store, it will show you a percentage you get back for shopping at that particular store (all stores I shop at have been between 2 and 20%, anything is better than nothing!), click on the store name, it will open up the store website in a new window or tab (definitely use this to complete check out, it's connected to your ebates account), and when you complete your transaction, cash back will be added to your ebates account! Money accumulates in your ebates account and you can request a check!
This is great to use in addition to using all of your coupon codes on websites! It's really a must do!
For example. I placed an order through The Children's Place, used two coupon codes (one for 15% off - and The Children's Place has way cheap stuff right now fyi - and another for free shipping, $5), I went through ebates when I made my transaction, and I received 3% cash back for my purchases. Some may seem like it just amounts to pennies, but those pennies add up. I requested a check at the end of last year after only being signed up through June, and I received a $15 check! Not bad for an extra 2 seconds in each of my online shopping events!
Go check them out!