While we focus mainly on grocery coupons on this site, there are other coupons that you should also be taking advantage of such as online coupons/promotional codes. If you do any amount of online shopping, these can greatly reduce your costs. Using coupons and promotional codes while shopping online is a great way to save money, but you will basically shooting yourself in the foot if you abuse their power. You have to be able to learn how to use coupons as a necessary tool rather than an optional luxury that you can just toss to the side. There are several key steps that must be followed in order to accomplish this goal.

Use Them, Do Not Abuse Them

It’s important to remember that with any type of online savings, whether it is a coupon or promotional code, comes with an expiration date. In most cases, a coupon’s average life cycle is approximately 9 weeks, according to the Nielsen Company. However, that two-month period will come and go faster than you might think. This is one of the reasons why there are so many coupons available but so very few that actually get used. Over $480 billion worth of coupons are distributed each year, but less than one percent of them are redeemed, according to StatisticBrain.com. A great coupon is only valuable when it is used. Otherwise, it is only good for recycling paper.

Do Not Hesitate to Share Your Savings

There are many different websites that invite e-mail subscribers. Adding your e-mail to this list will actually place you within a wide network of other coupon savers. You will gain direct access to even more coupons and promotional codes than you could ever imagine in most cases, because only a fraction of them may have been advertised in your local area or on the websites that you visit regularly. For example, someone may have a coupon available on one of those sites that will allow you to save money at your favorite store. You more than likely would have never known about it unless someone shared it with you in the first place. This type of sharing is why the redemption rate of online coupons was over 260 percent in 2012 alone, according to eMarketer.

Become a Master of Combining Sales

One of the best skills that you can learn as a smart online shopper is an art of combining sales and existing promotions with your coupons. Even though you may receive a coupon or promotional code today does not necessarily mean that you have to be in a rush to use it. As mentioned earlier, the average life cycle of a coupon is at least two months. This means that you will be able to save even more money simply by waiting to use the coupon as a secret weapon at that time.

If you watch different television shows and read published articles about extreme coupon shoppers, one of the tricks of their trade is saving coupons and using them to get even more money off of products that are already on sale. This is something that can be applied to online shopping even more so than traditional. You just need to know how and when to wisely use your coupons in order to find or even create the best possible deals.

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