smart spending

8 tips for online coupon clipping

7. Join the store's loyalty card program. The card gets users a discount on certain items at checkout. The trade-off: The store tracks what you buy. In return, the retailer will mail or e-mail you coupons for products that you regularly use or even for generic items, like fresh fruits or vegetables, Nelson says.

8. Opt in for mailed offers, newsletters and offers for special deals. Want some additional coupons from manufacturers or issuers? Sign up and you shall receive.

But read the site's privacy policy. You want to know what information it collects, whether it shares your personal data and with whom.

"Sign up for everything," says coupon clipper Jamie Howard, who estimates she saves 30 percent weekly with coupons. "For me, it's worth the effort."

And while the discounts and offers are great, if the spam becomes too much, "I unsubscribe immediately," she says.

A favorite clippers' trick: Use a separate e-mail address just for coupon offers, Freeman says. That way, if that address gets spammed, your personal e-mail address is still protected.

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