Getting the Best Deal on Your Coupons

Everyone likes a good deal. Coupons are a good and very cheap way of shaving off several dollars from retail prices. However, using them to their fullest potential requires a bit more thought on where you get them from and how you use them. This became especially true with the advent of online shopping and Internet coupons. Apart from legitimate websites offering real functioning coupons, there are just as many, if not more, fraudulent webmasters attempting to exploit the consumer’s thirst for a good deal.

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Don’t Pay for What You Can Get for Free

The rule of thumb when it comes to Internet coupons is that they are free. If you are told that in order to qualify for a coupon you need to register for a membership and pay a fee up front, it’s best to simply leave the website. You can usually find the coupon for what you want for free elsewhere. If it sounded really good, ask yourself this: is it worth paying $19.95 for a membership just to get a coupon that allows you to cut $2 off the base price? Not to mention that selling coupons goes against the retailer’s policies in practically every case.

Mind Your Privacy

If you are looking for a coupon, use a reputable coupon clipping website to get them. You can easily gauge how reliable the site is by looking at the amount of hoops you have to jump through just to register. Good websites will want nothing more than your e-mail address. If you are expected to provide personal information, such as your telephone number or address, chances are, you are about to fall victim to a scam. A 10% off coupon code from JCPenney isn’t worth the hassle with telemarketers or expensive SMS schemes.

Examine the Coupons Closely

Every coupon you get on the Internet should look like the one you get from a magazine or a newspaper. When in doubt, compare it with an existing copy. Even if it turns out to be perfectly legitimate, make sure to inspect it for one thing: expiration dates. Many coupons become just scraps of paper past a certain date. Paying attention to what you are about to use helps avoid a nasty surprise or an embarrassing situation.

Know Who to Talk To

Sometimes, getting a deal with your coupons is hard not because someone tries to scam you or due to your inattentiveness. Sometimes, it’s just a poorly trained clerk that refuses to accept a legitimate Internet coupon on a pretense. In such cases, make sure to file a complaint with the shop that employs the person in question and demand to talk with the manager. Usually, a bit of stubbornness is all that’s necessary. Even if the clerk accepts the coupon, pay close attention to the register and make sure the coupon is accounted for. Discounts are applied before the bill is finalized. Never afterward.

One thing to remember: If someone does attempt to cheat you, you shouldn’t leave it unreported. Fraudulent activities should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. It can be done either on-line under www.ftc.gov or by telephone, using the number 1-877-382-4357.

4 Couponing Programs To Help With the Savings

All families can benefit from coupon and giveaway programs as a way to save additional money, particularly during this period of financial crisis. Taking advantage of these programs can save families money not just in groceries but in many other household products and entertainment options. For example, if family members enjoy listening to audio books, programs that provide them with Audible.com coupons or Audible.com promo codes can help them lower their entertainment budget. With some research, families can find new programs such as the ones that follow that best fit their lifestyle and start saving right away.

Publix’ Digital Coupon Program

Even families with the best intentions often forget to cut the coupons they like or even worse, they forget to bring the coupons to the store after taking the time to cut and organize them. Publix Supermarkets is hoping to make life easier for their customers by introducing a new program where customers will be able to register for an account, choose their coupons online and then have them applied to their purchase by only providing their phone number.

Customers will be able to see their selected coupons and any new coupons available at any time even from their mobile device. This is an easy to use program that will eliminate the need to cut and take the coupons along and ensure that customers can take advantage of all the additional savings possibilities.

Winn-Dixie’s Digital Coupon Program

Another program designed to take the hassle out of couponing, Winn-Dixie’s program allows customers to save up to 99 coupons at a time to their Customer Reward Card. After registering their account for the program, customers can browse Winn-Dixie’s library of e-coupons and select the ones they want. During checkout, customers simply have to swipe their card to match the coupons with their purchased items and get their savings.

Coupons.com

This established program has now expanded its offerings to include entertainment and dining options for the whole family. Coupons.com, which already offered e-coupons and other savings opportunities for groceries and many household items, now also offers members local and national e-coupons and deals for restaurants, movie theaters and other entertainment options such as bowling, cultural performances, sporting events and theme parks through its Savings Club. While the basic service for e-coupons is free, the Savings Club is a low-cost membership service that will pay for itself very quickly when members take advantage of their offers.

PoachIt Deal Hunting Program

PoachIt.com is all about making the shopping experience smoother by helping shoppers save both time and money. PoachIt, which is currently available by requesting an invitation, searches for working coupons so that shoppers do not have to waste time trying a variety of coupon codes that simply do not work. Members download the PoachIt button, add it to their browser’s Bookmarks toolbar and click on it when they find the item they want to buy, no matter the shopping site they are visiting at the time.

If they like the price and the coupon, they can go ahead and use it, if not, PoachIt will continue to track the item and email the member when the item goes on sale. The whole shopping online with coupons experience becomes much more satisfying without the disappointment of e-coupons that simply do not work.