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Shopping Tips: Coupons, Codes and Mastering the Back End of Retail

Online Coupons You have been tried and tested, you have purchased and saved. Congratulations! You've come far, but you have one crucial lesson to learn. Knowing the sales, staying vigilant and maintaining a list of priorities is great -- but nothing will get you farther (or make our bubby happier) than some good ol' fashioned coupons. If you haven't noticed, almost every single check-out screen offers the ability to type in a promotional offer or discount code (usually next to your final total). And, more often than not, codes are waiting for you out there in the vast wilderness of the Interwebz. Besides the traditional trick of Googling "StoreYouLike + coupons," there are a few other ways to find rebate codes that don't send you spiraling towards possibly unsafe sites.

Coupon Websites Decoded

Different sites are great for different things -- and as we've said before, a lot of our knowledge comes from fashion. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't apply these tricks to other merchandise. Often times, shopping-related message boards have info from die-hard fans, so choose "blogs" on the left-hand side of your Google search to see user-submitted codes. Our favorite go-to coupon site is RetailMeNot, a simple, friendly interface that highlights the most popular websites and best deals of the day. You can also search the site for a specific store -- more often or not, it's available. Other thorough, but less easily navigable sites include Coupon Cabin, Coupon Mountain, Coupon Sherpa and Coupon Mom. Search the site, see the code (often titled something like HOLIDAY20 or TREATS2), and take it back to the seller. Enter it in the discount box, and voîla. You have saved yourself some dough. And nothing says holidays more than saving cash.

Now that you are armed with the knowledge and the resources to pay what you like, we have one last, crucial tip, turning you from a pupil to a professor. You've got the e-mails and the sites -- now make sure to pay it forward. If you get a VIP friends and family sale, make sure you submit it to RetailMeNot. If there is a great deal in your neighborhood, pass it on to your friends. If a store your coworker loves is offering 20-percent off, forward it on. Shopping karma, of course, is a very real thing.

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