smart spending

Insider tips for finding online coupons

Hide your savings

You don't want to pay full price for a gift, but you don't want to seem cheap when you give it. Fortunately, there are simple ways to hide your savings.

Browse through the leads on FatWallet.com's or SlickDeals.net's Hot Deals forums; you don't need to register to read them. The registered users are deal fanatics, and they post about everything from steeply discounted DVDs and gaming systems to products that are free with purchase or free after rebates. If users have any difficulty redeeming an offer, they'll post about that, too, saving you frustration if a deal turns out to be more trouble than it's worth.

Pay less than half price for merchandise by buying discount gift certificates at such sites as HalfOffDepot.com and Groupon.com and then redeeming them for everything from personalized gifts to theater tickets for people on your list. A word of warning: The discount restaurant certificates won't pass as full-price certificates. But because the sites occasionally offer plastic gift cards, the recipient will have no idea that you only paid $25 for the $50 restaurant gift card.

Looking for deals for local merchants? Check sites like 8Coupons.com, Travelzoo.com and CitiesOnTheCheap.com for city-specific entertainment, shopping and restaurant coupons. You can search for deals by city and sign up to receive e-mail updates to find out about new coupons available in your area.

Prefer to shop for gifts online? Don't forget to track down a coupon code for free shipping or percent-off savings before you place your order. Search such sites as RetailMeNot.com and PromotionalCodes.com for merchant-specific discounts.

Or you can let sites like ShopItToMe.com or LuxGoddess.com scout name-brand deals for you. When you create a profile, you customize it with your size and your favorite designers, and they e-mail you when there's a sale. Plus, LuxGoddess.com partners with CouponCabin.com, so when a retail offer becomes available that matches your interests, they'll tip you off to that, too.

Even without a coupon code, you can get free shipping when you order online at participating retailers on Free Shipping Day, Dec. 17, 2009.

While it's tempting to buy things just because they cost less, think before you spend. "You can find bargains in this economy, but you still need to consider who you're buying for if you're shopping for a gift," says Teresa Britton of MomsWhoSave.com. "That 80 percent off sweater won't be everyone's style, or a kitchen gadget for 50 percent off might never get used.

"No matter how much something is discounted, if you don't need it or won't use it, it's not a bargain."

Become a fan of Bankrate on Facebook.

News alert Create a news alert for "smart spending"

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
MORTGAGE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed 3.93%  0.22 4.15%
15 year fixed 3.03%  0.09 3.12%
5/1 ARM 3.27%  0.08 3.19%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.32%  0.02 4.30%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.06% --0.00 4.06%
100K FICO-based HELOC 3.92%  0.01 3.91%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.81% --0.00 2.81%
48 month used car loan 3.04% --0.00 3.04%
60 month new car loan 3.24% --0.00 3.24%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 1.00%  0.02 0.98%
2 Year CD 1.19%  0.02 1.17%
5 Year CD 1.85% --0.01 1.86%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.73%  0.02 15.75%
Cash Back Cards 16.43%  0.02 16.45%
Low Interest Cards 10.98%  0.02 10.96%
 
Next
advertisement
FRUGAL NEWSLETTER

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us