Coupons

Want the Best Deals? Use a Coupon App

One of the best ways to trim your budget is to go where the deals are. That may seem obvious, but finding those discounts easily, and on a regular basis, can be tricky. That’s where coupon sites come in. They make it efficient for you to find deals you’ll enjoy and even get some cash back in the process.

How Do Coupon Sites Work?

Every coupon site has a different strategy to help you save money. Sites like Flipp consolidate weekly flyers in your area so you can find the best deals on items and then plan your shopping. Shopular works in a similar way, but also allows you to add your favorite stores to the app. Its location-specific algorithm means you’ll receive deal alerts when you are near a store with a sale going on.

Then there are sites like Ebates, which are best known for their cash back feature. In the case of Ebates, the site earns money through affiliate links. When you click on those links and make a purchase, Ebates splits the referral revenue with you.

Of course, coupons are just one way you can save with retailers. Many stores have points programs that give you access to special deals and rewards. In some cases, you may be able to use a coupon site in conjunction with a retailer points program.

How Much Can You Save?

The amount of savings depends on how much you buy. But there is no real catch to couponing; if you save a dollar, it’s an extra dollar in your pocket — as long as you were going to buy the item anyway. Couponing works best when you can apply discounts to your regular shopping list, not when you fall into the temptation to buy things you don’t actually need.

But the savings can be substantial. Some people say they save 30 to 35 percent on their grocery bill at every visit, after employing a very deliberate couponing strategy. Saving $15 to $20 a week using a combination of apps is easy to do, and cash back apps could save hundreds if used strategically.

Will it work for you? The best way to answer that question is to try it out. Track your spending for one week. Use coupons the following week and compare. The results will tell you whether coupon sites are worth your while.

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