Coupons can be a winning strategy for savings


Saving is not just good financial sense, but for some, it's an adventure. A survey by Shop Smart magazine found that 8 out of 10 women would seek a sale even if money were no object.

Coupons these days are as much a part of shopping as credit cards.

"You know, it's funny, if you're not going on line and looking for coupons, you're really leaving free money behind," Shop Smart's Jody Rohlena said.

And it seems many are already doing that. Fifty-one percent of shoppers surveyed by Shop Smart say they already print coupons from the Internet.

7 On Your Side asked the magazine to name the three best web sites for coupon and money saving shoppers.

No. 3: This is where you can get codes for free shipping when you buy online.

"If you can save money on your shipping, you can save money right off the top of your purchase," Rohlena said.

No. 2: There you find discount codes for your online shopping.

"It's a few letters or numbers that you type into a little box at checkout and this is where we're talking about savings, 20-25 percent, getting free shipping sometimes. Those codes can really save you big money." Rohlena said.

No. 1:

"This is where you go for your everyday items. Your personal care items, your toothpaste, your deodorant, your body wash as well as items in the grocery store," Rohlena said.

But there's also a new kid on the block that claims to combine the best of all three websites and more. Users of can find discount and promotional codes from more than 2,000 merchants. Free shipping coupons are also available there. But its main attraction is the ability to resell gift cards or daily deals you don't want. You can also buy them at a discounted price.

"If you get a gift card for a store that you're not interested in, it's going to sit in your sock drawer in the junk drawer in your house and you may never use it; $65 million a day in gift cards goes unused," founder Bradley Wasz said.

You set your own price for the sale, but takes 10 percent of each sale from the seller as its commission. That's different from a site like PlasticJungle, which buys directly from you and offers you a price based on demand.

"So it's always smart to shop around and make sure you can make the very most for it so that you're not out that money," Rohlena said.

One last tip: Type the word coupon and the product you want into any search engine and see what comes up.

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