Frugal Find Friday: Extreme Couponing, The Online Edition

Last week, a co-worker mentioned, “if you ever pay full-price at GAP, you’re doing something wrong.” Guilty of buying several pairs of full-price jeans from GAP, I inquired about her philosophy. She informed me there are always sales running or, online coupons.

As highly as I’ve touted my frugal ways, I’m woefully inadequate in the art of online shopping. I don’t enjoy the process of shopping, in stores nor online. It’s really a get-in and get-out process for me; only to be resorted to when an item has become so worn out it absolutely has to be replaced. However, there is an exception to my rule, shopping for presents. Nothing gives me a thrill quite like the hunt for the perfect gift. This process has resulted in many hours of online shopping, particularly for custom made items.

Optimized-statue

(The dimensions were smaller than anticipated, but picture statues are a fun gift! At least my Mommy says so!)

I usually end up Googling for discount codes. Sometimes, I sign up for a  free trial to a site just to place an order and then cancel my membership (just remember to actually cancel). But these days, finding discount codes has become an art form, probably on-par with extreme couponing. Luckily, plenty of people have tips on the best sites for finding the almighty online discount.

Optimized-ryan-gosling-coupon(For Ryan Gosling, I’d stick with clipping coupons forever. Until he ages poorly. Then all bets are off.)

Here are some of the recommended sites:

  • RetailMeNot – the world’s leading digital coupon marketplace.
  • Honey – Google Chrome browser plugin. According to the website, “It places a non-intrusive “Find savings” button in the checkout page at hundreds of online shops. Simply click this button and Honey will automatically find and apply the coupons for you.”
  • FatWallet.com* – lists lots of deals and coupons daily, just search the site if you have a specific store in mind.
  • Woot.com – Woot advertises deals from a selection of companies each day, including featured deals and one day sale deals.
  • Gizmodo’s Dealzmodo – Helps consumers keep up with recent technology for cheap(er).
  • Ebates.com – You don’t just need your credit card to earn cash back, try online Cash Back Shopping.

BONUS: Buy & Sell Gift Cards! You can find details on Young Adult Money‘s recent post about GiftCardRescue.com.

What are your tips for online shopping? What is the best shopping deal (online or in-store)?

*If you sign up and use FatWallet through this link I will earn a $5 referral bonus.

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17 comments on “Frugal Find Friday: Extreme Couponing, The Online Edition
  1. cashrebel says:

    I’ve never really been into much couponing, but honey sounds intriguing. If google made it, it must be good.

  2. I’ve gotten a number of deals with RetailMeNot. Whenever a site I’m already shopping at asks if I have a coupon code, that prompts me to remember to open another window and search RetailMeNot to see if there’s anything currently available. It works about 85% of the time, I’d say. Not bad for stuff I was about to buy anyway!

  3. Sweta says:

    I love ebates, I always click on it before shopping online.

    Another website I like is http://www.moneysavingmom.com. There are so many deals on that website everyday like free food samples, coupons, and Sunday coupon matchups you should check it out. I’m not even a mom. It can get annoying sometimes because the author is really into her faith and sometimes she talks about that but once you get past that the site is great.

  4. Brian says:

    I do my best to try to “double dip” for cash back. Step one, buy a gift card using an online shopping portal (like chase ulitmate rewards, ebates, etc). Step 2 go back through the online shopping portal and make the purchase. It doesn’t always work and you have to check the terms and conditions but sometimes you can get some serious cash back.

  5. I stopped all this long ago and noticed my spending decreased considerably.

  6. Kyle says:

    I don’t make too many purchases online anymore, but whenever I do and the site asks for a coupon code I always vigorously search for one online. Might as well if the extra 2-5 minutes of time spent saves me a couple bucks!

  7. Jess says:

    One of my friends subscribes to all of the promotional emails for the stores she shops at often–Banana, Gap, JCrew, etc but then directs the emails to a different folder so she never sees them. When she actually needs/wants to make a purchase, she goes into the folder to see if there’s a relevant code (and in the case of the GAP stores (BR, ON, GAP) there ALWAYS is, almost 100% of the time). I would venture to say don’t purchase anything from their online stores with less than 20% off but it’s pretty easy to wait a week or two (if you can) and get as much as 30-35% off.

    I love online shopping, as long as there’s free shipping and preferably a way to make free returns–like in store at Gap, etc. I can try clothes on in the comfort of my own home which is great. Then again, I actually do like to shop in general (not that I DO al l the time, but I generally enjoy it). I don’t like shopping if I need something particular–having to find the perfect pair of jeans or dress for an occasion or something tends to make things more stressful. I prefer to casually shop throughout the year and buy things when I find something that I like and at a price I’m willing to pay. If I know that I’ll need a new pair of jeans in the next several months or so, I think it’s more enjoyable to look for the right pair over the course of that time than in one do-or-die shopping trip.

    • Love this idea about forwarding promo emails to a folder..mine have been taking over my email account. And it’s probably a better way from preventing impulse purchases whenever you see a deal come into your inbox.

  8. When we do shop, it’s largely done online. I’ll check out sites like Retailmenot or just do a Google search. I’ll have to check honey out, I have not heard of it before.

  9. When I was a Chrome user I was definitely a Honey user as well. I used it when I bought my domain name and when I purchased hosting as well. It saved me hundreds of dollars. If only they’d extend the service to Firefox.

  10. Great ideas!! I usually google and try and find something online. Also, Amazon’s subscribe and save has been good for some items for us.

  11. Searching online for codes can be time consuming. You can save time and money using an automated free tool, not needing to look. BeFrugal’s patent-pending browser add-on tool automates the promo code finding process by offering you a drop down box of valid promo codes when you are at the checkout stage at 3,000+ online stores. And all online coupons on BeFrugal are guaranteed to work. If they do not, you can get $5 credited to your free account.

  12. Hmm not sure if my comment posted or not from a few days ago? Anyway, thanks a ton for the mention, I really appreciate it!

  13. I wish the RetailMeNot coupons worked more often through Canadian sites, but I gave up a while ago because of it. I have just signed up for a bunch of store’s newsletters instead and use those discounts whenever I can, plus making sure I get rewards through AirMiles whenever a retailer offers it.

  14. Great post! I’ve recently started using discount gift cards regularly (I go through GiftCardGranny.com) and didn’t used to be a couponer until I started my job in the money-savings industry! I still don’t coupon for groceries (tsk tsk), but I don’t think I’ve paid full-price for a retail clothing purchase in a long time. When shopping offline, I use the Coupon Sherpa mobile app for quick access to mobile coupons. I love it because I don’t have to carry bulky coupon printouts with me. I’ve also used the Hukkster browser add-on to get notifications when items I “hukk” or save go on sale. Lots of great tools out there!

  15. Katie C. says:

    I’d put money on Ryan Gosling aging well, like George Clooney. *fans self*

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