Remember sitting at the kitchen table on Sundays and sifting through the Supermarket Circulars? I spent hours clipping coupons for my mother to file away in her accordion filer. (I now realize this was not just a money-saving technique; it was also a great way to keep me occupied.) But the days of hacking through Sunday Circulars with scissors are practically gone. Now it is a much more streamlined online operation.
With more than 500 coupon sites on the web, it would seem that saving is easier than ever before. But all coupon websites are not created equal. Many sites provide coupons and coupon codes that are invalid or unreliable. It can be overwhelming to filter through the muck.
Fear not. I spent a Sunday, sitting at my kitchen table and sifting through the sites for you, just like the good old days.
THE 6 BEST COUPON SITES
1. Keycode.com • Keycode is the easiest to navigate with the best search options. It allows you to search by store, product, or product category. Or you can search the entire site with one keyword, which can result in big savings from everything from diapers to smartphones. You can opt to view the newest coupons, or those that are expiring soon so you don’t miss out on any deals. Become a member to receive email alerts, a newsletter, and your own customizable webpage.
2. Dealcatcher • This site has several unique features that set it apart from the pack—my favorite is the SundaySaver, which compiles all of the ads from the Sunday papers. Just enter your state and all of the Sunday deals show up on one neat website. Who needs scissors now? The forums on this site are also a good resource for discussing savings with fellow couponing queens. And the compare price element, powered by Pricegrabber, allows you to enter a product name and then see just where to go to get the best markdown.
3. Coupons.com • This is the original go-to site for printable grocery coupons, with 100-200 new coupons featured daily. Some deals can be loaded to your supermarket loyalty card and will show up at checkout, without any printing required. Save money and save paper—gotta love that. But Coupons.com does not stop at the grocery checkout; it has you covered from Best Buy to Target. And after driving around gathering up all of the deals in your zip code, Coupons.com will even save you money on your oil change and tire rotation.
4. Couponmom.com • Couponmom was launched in 2001 by a former marketing professional turned stay-at-home mom, Stephanie Nelson, who has since been featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz. I love this site not only because it was created by one smart mami, and not only because it has great deals, but because it has heart. There is a “Military Coupon Program” that informs users on how to get expired coupons to troops overseas, where commissaries will accept coupons up to six months after the expiration date. Nelson also posts a blog and informative videos, offering simple and easy ways to save. For more of Nelson’s tips on saving and getting your kids involved in the action, pick up her book The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half.
5. RetailMeNot • This is an incredible, interactive couponing site for the computer savvy. You can log in through your email, Facebook, or Twitter accounts to keep track of your savings and to share deals with friends. There is a feature allowing users to vote for the success rate of the coupon or the code. The RetailMeNot faithful keep the site fresh and full new deals by sharing their savings. RetailMeNot has a wide selection of printable coupons for restaurants and departments stores, so you should never head out without first logging into the site. My favorite feature this month is the “Back to School” category, which lists all school related deals on one page: retailmenot.com/coupons/backtoschool.
6. Cuponeando • This is an all Spanish site. It has the same coupons and deals as the other sites, but Cuponeando lets you practice your Spanish while you practice your saving. Double bonus deal!