Marshall Loeb at MarketWatch recently shared some tips for online coupon clipping:

A recent study by comScore, an Internet information provider that tracks consumer behavior, found that 53% of consumers say they regularly visit brand Web sites to find promotions.

Visiting a manufacturer’s web site is a great way to find coupons (or other promotions) for products you plan to purchase. But, as Loeb notes, there are many web sites that amalgamate deals into one location so you don’t have to waste time looking for them yourself. He recommends these five:

  • Coupon Mountain offers “free coupon codes, bargains and sales from more than 2,000 online stores.” No registration required.
  • Coupons.com allows users to browse current grocery coupons and then print them at home. I don’t like that you have to download special software to print the coupons, though — that seems unnecessary.
  • DealCatcher “is updated daily and features coupons and deals for online merchants as well as printable coupons for local stores.”
  • Currentcodes.com “has a full-time staff of trained individuals whose only job is to find new coupon codes and discount codes and verify the accuracy of the existing database.”
  • And, of course, FatWallet is the mother of all money-saving sites. You can find online coupons and compare prices. But the heart of this site is the discussion forum. I’ve spent hours reading various threads here, learning great ways to save money. Highly recommended.

These aren’t the only money-saving sites on the web, however. In the past, we’ve discussed several others here at Get Rich Slowly:

  • The Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder, an automated free-stuff aggregator designed to collect offers from top freebie sites while filtering out scams.
  • RetailMeNot is another smart source for online coupon codes. The site offers discussion forums, a Firefox extension, and a Macintosh widget.
  • Explore online grocery flyers from mygrocerydeals.com. Want to learn what’s on sale this week at your local grocery store? This site has the lowdown. It also provides nutrition information for most products.
  • The Grocery Game is a for-pay site designed to maximize coupon savings through the use of an up-to-date price database. Many people love it.
  • We’ve also learned to check for coupons and rebates before having prescriptions filled. Discounts aren’t available for every product, but it’s worth your time to do some quick research because the savings can be enormous.

Over the past couple years, Get Rich Slowly readers have recommended a number of other sites for finding good deals. I haven’t had a chance to explore these myself, though I hope to in the future:

  • The Coupon Clippers is “the nation’s largest online grocery coupon clipping service, offering more than a million national-brand coupons at any given time in our warehouse and shipping center.”
  • Ben’s Bargains tracks deals, coupon codes, rebates, and freebies.
  • Coupon Cabin provides up-to-date online coupons. View the animated demo to see how the site works.
  • Flamingo World is yet another online coupon code aggregator, but this one offers a UK version, too!
  • Deal Locker offers a treasure trove of online coupons. It also features a coupon blog that highlights tips and tricks for saving money while shopping online.
  • Slickdeals.net bills itself as “the most frequently updated and complete deal site on the web.” But rumor has it that the forums are where all the action is.
  • Dealio is “your source for the best deals on anything, anywhere. Search for deals directly from our Web site or use our arsenal of FREE deal hunting tools to find the best deals while you’re on the go.”
  • Hot-Deals is “a collection of websites and RSS feeds built by deal seekers. This website is updated continuously…We only post deals that we truly feel are hot deals, which is why our users call us the most trusted deals portal site on the Internet.”
  • Techbargains offers a human-generated collection of links to “the best deals in tech”. While exploring the site, I found two great deals on products I’ve been wanting.
  • My brother loves Woot, an online store that sells “cool stuff” for cheap. Woot sells one geeky item every day. The site can be addictive. You’ve been warned.

Finally, if you purchase products online, don’t forget to use PriceProtectr, the smart little web app that helps you take advantage of “price protection” guarantees.

A word of warning
If you visit these sites, you’ll see that many offer the same services: online coupon codes, deal aggregation, rebate tracking, etc. How do you decide which one to use? I think it ultimately comes down to which interface you prefer, which site makes it easiest to find deals on the items you regularly purchase.

That last point is key: A deal is only a deal if it’s a good price on something you would purchase anyhow. If a site induces you to buy something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place, it’s not saving you any money. This is why I avoid sites like Woot. Yes, I know Woot offers great deals. But I’m worried that it would simply cause me to buy stuff I do not want or need.

This article is about Money Hacks, Shopping, Tools