SAVE MORE WITH LESS EFFORT
With coupon and deal sites continuing to sprout, Cheapism has updated its roundup of the best coupon and deal sites for 2017. Use this guide to fight the flood of promotional emails and discover discount codes that actually work and real money-saving coupons and deals -- ideally, to add savings to already smart shopping habits.
RETAIL ME NOT
Before pressing the online "submit order" button or getting in line at a retail store, check RetailMeNot for promotional codes and coupons. This site has made Cheapism's list of best coupon sites for several years running. It organizes coupon codes and specials for thousands of stores in a format that is easy on the eyes. Users can give each code a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, to let others know if a coupon works or not, and post comments on the specifics of a promotion. The mobile app has location services to make it easy to find coupons while shopping offline. Save favorite stores and coupons to pull them up quickly.
A perennial favorite remains a top pick this year because of its wide selection. As one of the biggest sources of online coupons, Coupons.com feeds into many affiliates and other coupon sites. It's especially useful for grocery trips. Coupons can also be electronically added to shoppers' loyalty cards at select grocers.
Amazon acquired Woot in 2010, but there is little evidence of the corporate parent aside from being able to check out using Amazon payment information (although some former fans assert that the site has gone downhill under new management). Woot features daily deals in nine categories, such as home, computers, sport, and kids, and a special sellout section features last-chance deals. The site's T-shirt section is especially popular. Members submit and vote on unique designs.
Another source for deals curated by frugal editors, Brad's Deals lets visitors switch quickly between viewing the newest or the most popular deals, along with the day's "top deals." The editors also compile seasonal shopping guides, such as back-to-school deals. Visitors can search by category or store, and there is a section with printable and online coupons. Consumers who create a free account can comment on and save deals for later.
MONEY SAVING MOM
The recipes and frugal-living blog at Money Saving Mom are extras atop a comprehensive coupon database. Coupons are listed along with the associated retailer, item, expiration date, and coupon source. This site draws from other major aggregators such as Coupons.com, as well as individual retailers such as Target, so users can search thousands of coupons in one place. The database may look a little messy, but with 4,000 coupons, it's hard to complain.
THE KRAZY COUPON LADY
The Krazy Coupon Lady's coupon database is simple to read and sort, making it easy to find an applicable coupon. Search by keyword and coupon type (printable, newspaper, or mobile). Visitors can also browse curated deals for the day, read money-saving tips, learn how to coupon, or post a "brag" about a recent bargain-filled shopping trip. The main page features recent deals, including a number of money-making opportunities that result from combining coupons with cash-back apps.
Instead of combing through dozens of daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial, sign up for Yipit, a daily deal aggregator that works much like Kayak does for travel deals. Bargain hunters can view hundreds of daily deals sorted by category and location on a single site. Narrow the deals to see only what is most interesting -- say, restaurant deals or spa discounts.
AMAZON GOLD BOX DEALS
The ecommerce giant's daily deal section features limited-time and limited-quantity deals throughout the day. Gold Box listings come from Amazon's many categories and include anything from an infrared thermometer to a diaper bag. Shoppers can browse upcoming items that will be on sale, but the size of the discount is hidden until the deal goes live.
Always-active forums are the highlight at Slickdeals. Promo codes are shared among members before they show up on other sites. Forum members are quite savvy, on the whole, and the site has a tight-knit community feel. Members report their success when trying out coupon codes and often collaborate to help others get the best deal available. The site doesn't have a particular product focus; members post everything from electronics promotions to half-off underwear sales and even moneymaking deals such as a $100 gift card for $70. The front page spotlights the hottest current deals as voted on by members, though it is sometimes criticized for highlighting the promotions that make money for Slickdeals.
Consumers looking specifically for electronics have found TechBargains an excellent resource. Although the site posts deals on all sorts of items, it focuses on finding and sharing coupon codes and sales for computers, phones, cameras, TVs, and other electronics.
Goldstar features discounts on tickets for live events at thousands of venues in more than 40 cities and metro areas. Shoppers can often save at least 50 percent on all sorts of performances and experiences, including comedy shows, sports tickets, theater performances, and wine tastings.
The editors at DealNews faithfully scour the Web to collect each day's best sales and deals. A daily newsletter keeps subscribers in the know about the latest flash sales and several good buys in categories such as travel, clothing, and electronics.