Paying full price can be considered foolish or even lazy by some extreme bargain hunters, but finding the most current online savings offers can admittedly be a tedious task. Skip trying to do all the research on your own – coupon websites are designed to make shopping (and saving) easy for the average consumer. These top sites not only offer a wide range of deals and discounts, they have unique added benefits to make the experience a pleasant one. (For related reading, also see Coupon Shopping: Clip Your Way To Savings.)
IN PICTURES: Top 6 Mindless Money Wasters
In addition to offering a wide range of shopping categories that users can browse through (baby and maternity, groceries, and shoes, for example), CouponMountain features a handy list of the top coupons right on the front page. The coupons range from percentages off your online purchase to exclusive bargains for email subscribers, and the search bar at the top lets you look specifically for just the right product or store you're interested in.
Looking for a deal on a hard-to-find or very specific product? Use CouponMountain's Facebook page to post your wish-list item. Someone from the site will try to respond within a day or two with a coupon code or sale for maximum savings!
One of the first of its kind to offer special limited-time and geographically focused offers, Groupon still reigns as the top pick for getting discounts of 50% or more on all kinds of beauty service, restaurant and travel purchases. With the buying power of thousands of consumers driving the prices down on these "hot offers", the site pushes shoppers to claim the deal before they disappear. Groupon buys are often impulsive in nature, but they make for great "experience" gifts for those whose budget has historically forced them to go without.
No printer? No problem! Smartphone users can snag a deal anywhere by utilizing the Groupon app for iPhone and Android phones. Purchase with the touch of a button, and cash in your discount by flashing your phone screen to the establishment at the time of redemption.
IN PICTURES: 5 Money-Saving Shopping Tips
With a focus on some of the most aggressive electronics deals available, DealNews has been a popular stop for techies with an eye for saving money. Whether you're in the market for a discounted netbook, DSLR camera or boxed DVD set of your favorite sitcom, usually at least one online retailer has a hot deal to share. DealNews is also a must-see destination for Black Friday shopping enthusiasts. It showcases some of the earliest "leaked" ads, as well as those officially provided by the retailers.
Newbies to the site can find out just how worthy a deal is by checking out the "hotness factor" for any listed deal. This rating system helps separate the scorching good deals from the rest.
4. Retail Me Not
The premise behind Retail Me Not's clever name and layout is that no one should be paying full retail prices for their online purchases. If you agree, you'll enjoy perusing coupon codes for over 65,000 online stores by using the site's intuitive search engine. In addition to online codes, you'll find printable coupons to use in your local brick-and-mortar shops, and site members can contribute their own discounts with the community.
Not every discount shared will work for all shoppers. Retail Me Not's feedback buttons allow you to check whether it is still valid when you shop, giving the community at large a snapshot of how many shoppers it has already worked for.
The Bottom Line
As it stands, most coupon and deal sites make money on a large number of the purchases originating from their site. By frequenting the best sites to help keep them in business, you'll likely see a continued improvement of features over time.
Find out what happened in financial news this week. Read Water Cooler Finance: G20 Leader Spats And China Fakes It.
Active Trading FundamentalsFind out how Groupon makes money, including a rundown of how Groupon works and what benefits it provides to the businesses it partners with.
EconomicsCompanies use like-for-like sales figures to compare sales volume from one period to another.
EconomicsEmerging markets have been hammered lately, but these three countries (and their large and young populations) are worth monitoring.
InvestingHow do bond exchange traded fund (ETF) distributions work? It’s a question I get a lot. First, let’s explain what we mean by distributions.
Investing BasicsAre bonds safe or risky right now? It depends on the type of bond and how you invest in them.
Stock AnalysisLearn about three value stocks Warren Buffett holds in his portfolio. See how Buffett uses market declines to find good deals on stocks.
Stock AnalysisLearn about the top six companies that make an attractive investment for investors looking for stocks for dividend income investing.
Mutual Funds & ETFsObtain information on, and analysis of, some of the best performing mutual funds that offer exposure to the consumer cyclicals sector.
Mutual Funds & ETFsDiscover analyses of the top three California municipal bond mutual funds, and learn about their characteristics, historical performance and suitability.
Stock AnalysisFind out which risks are most important to Amazon's shareholders. Learn which operational risks impact share prices and which financial risks affect investors.
Many traditional lenders and banks are failing to provide loans. In their absence, hedge funds have begun to fill the gap. ... Read Full Answer >>
Bonds are rated according to their risk of default by independent credit rating agencies such as Moody's, Standard & ... Read Full Answer >>
The maximum Social Security disability benefit amount for a single eligible person in 2015 is $1,165 per month, but you can ... Read Full Answer >>
The general relationship between current yield and risk is that they increase in correlation to one another. A higher current ... Read Full Answer >>
In finance, a convertible bond represents a hybrid security that offers debt and equity features and risks. While a convertible ... Read Full Answer >>
Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>