Couponology – Online Coupon Screening Resource

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If you’ve stopped by my blog before, you probably have picked up that I am a very frugal (maybe even cheap!) person. I enjoy saving money and am fairly effective at doing so.

However, one thing that I desperately fail at in life is taking advantage of coupons (both online or in newspaper/print resources) for my major and minor purchases. I think part of this failure stems from having convinced myself that I don’t need to use coupons since I already save a sufficient amount of money. After all, if I am shopping at Wal-Mart and buy most all of my groceries from the Great Value generic brand family, why would I ever need coupons to save additional money? Furthermore, I get slightly discouraged by how the coupons in newspapers seem to exist only to get me to spend more money buying things that I don’t need.


Other reasons for why I fail to use coupons are because 1) I think that the coupons for things I actually need to buy will not be available or 2) finding these targeted coupons will take far too much time. Because of these reasons, I am always on the lookout for new, improved resources that will make coupons for products I need more accessible and easier to use. Recently, I’ve been exposed to a new online coupon website/resource that meets these qualifications. The website is called Couponology.com.

Upon checking out their site, I found that Couponology offers the following features for screening through the overwhelming thousands of coupons available on the Internet to enable you to find ones that you actually need.

  • Coupons by Store: This is exactly what it sounds like, with stores listed alphabetically. You’ll find coupon codes for many of the stores you probably shop at, including Staples, Eastbay, and Home Depot. You will also find Bath and Body Works coupon codes on the site. 
    • Truthfully, I was quite impressed by the sheer number of stores they have listed for coupons in their directory (~500). 
    • They also have a feature that enables coupon shoppers to request that additional stores be added.
  • Coupons by Category: Sorting coupons by different categories proves useful when a shopper, for example, knows that he or she wants to buy a grill or some other type of home/garden hardware. However, he or she doesn’t care what store it is from (just wants the best deal available). 
    • Categories include Professional Services, Entertainment, Apparel & Accessories, Sporting Goods, Food & Groceries, Travel & Tourism, and all points in between.
  • Best Online Coupons: From the looks of this sorting feature, it appears to be a listing of the most “valuable” coupons on the site. However, what determines most “valuable” is by nature, quite arbitrary. 
    • So, caution should be taken to shop around the site and compare prices on other products before buying directly from this menu.
  • Most Popular: This coupon screening feature displays the most frequently-used deals on the Couponology.com site. 
    • Before buying a product using this feature, make sure that the item is something you previously determined that you need. If you don’t consider this, it can be easy to get caught up in buying something frivolous simply because it is on sale. 
    • However, if you are out to have some pre-planned shopping fun, this feature may be for you! 
  • Free Shipping Codes: Even though shipping rates have become quite competitive in recent years, paying for shipping and handling can slowly eat in to money saved up by consumers for online purchases. As such, this feature allows you to view the various free shipping deals in the different categories in which you are considering purchasing products. After all, who doesn’t like free shipping?! 
  • Printable Coupons: This section of the site includes coupons you can print off and bring in to use in stores. I saw printable coupons for stores like Whole Foods, Sears, and Zales.
    • While printing off a coupon and subsequently going shopping at a physical store can be both easier and more familiar to many shoppers, caution should be taken because often, the best coupon deals apply only to purchases bought online.
    • Thus, it’s always a good idea to consider your online options before going to a physical store.
  • Search Coupons: In addition to the screening options discussed above, Couponology also allows shoppers to search for specific items that have deals associated with them. 
    • In my mind, this is the most useful feature of Couponology, since going forward, I will most likely only use coupons to save money on larger, pre-planned purchases. 
    • For example, recently, I’ve been in the market to buy a new bicycle helmet. If I type in “bike helmet” in the search field, about 40 relevant bike helmet deals from multiple vendors come up that I can read through. Doing this saves me both time and money. Definitely a good combo!

My Planned Path Forward
Going forward, to help me remember to use coupons more often, I’ve placed an automatic weekly reminder on my Outlook Calendar to check various online resources (such as Couponology.com) once a week prior to making any large pre-planned purchases. I’m hopeful that doing this will get me in the habit of using coupons to save even more money and enhance my frugal lifestyle!

How about you all? Do you use any online coupon resources to save money on purchases? If so, which ones? Have you used Couponology before? 


In your opinion, do you feel that the money you save using coupons is worth the time and effort?


Share your experiences by commenting below!

Note: I received monetary compensation for this review of Couponology.com. However, the feedback expressed represents my honest opinion of the service.

    ***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/24218656@N03/4589929510/sizes/m/in/photostream/

    Comments

    1. I have always been a fan of RetailMeNot. I will have to check this one out too. I think coupons are worth it if they are low effort for the savings. It is not worth the time for me to clip a grocery coupon for .40 cents, but if I can grab a GoDaddy coupon in twenty seconds that saves 20%, it is a good deal.
      My recent post Home Buyer’s Guide Part II: From Offer to Contract

      • RetailmeNot – I like that name of that one! I'll head over and check them out as well. I'm definitely in agreement with you on the time required vs. benefits. You always have to weigh the two.
        My recent post Zecco.com Investing Brokerage Review

    2. I have always shied away from coupons unless they were very convenient and coincided with what I wanted to buy. This sounds like a great resource that I will have to check out.
      My recent post Frugal Eating, Budget Meals, Budget Eating

    3. I do not use a lot of coupons, but I like the idea of making it easier to find them.
      My recent post 20 Interview Questions to Ask Employers

    4. I do not use a lot of coupons, but I like the idea of making it easier to find them.
      My recent post Am I Training for a Race?

      • I'm with you on that one krantcents! I don't use coupons nearly as much as I probably should. Let me know if you find any other good resources.
        My recent post Zecco.com Investing Brokerage Review

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