The Definitive Guide to Promo Codes, Coupons and Deals

Photo (cc) by jridgewayphotography

Frugality means shopping responsibly: not spending more than you can afford and NEVER paying retail prices.

Discounts are everywhere, as long as you know where to look. With that, I give you the definitive guide to promo codes, coupons and deals. With more than a dozen resources at your fingertips, you’ll never have to pay retail again.

1. Coupon sites

Probably the easiest place to find promo codes is on online coupon sites. Among them:

2. Daily deal message boards and sites

Whether created by an in-house staff of professionals or user-generated, daily deal sites and message boards scour the Internet for what’s cheap right now. You’ll find deep discounts on these sites, but proceed with caution. Limited-time sales can easily tempt you into overspending.

  • Slickdeals — deals in every category you can imagine, both in-store and online.
  • Techbargains.com — mostly online tech and gadget deals.
  • Woot – a daily roundup of super cheap offers.
  • Groupon — deals at local businesses like spas, restaurants and hair salons.
  • LivingSocial – another local deals site.
  • HauteLook – daily discounts on designer clothing.
  • Eversave.com – daily limited-time sales and printable coupons.
  • Doggyloot – limited-time sales on dog gear, toys, treats and food.

3. Online games

Playing a game for prizes isn’t a new concept, but some retail sites have embraced the idea of playing for discounts. For instance, Out of Print Clothing, a literature-inspired T-shirt shop, is hosting “The Great Gatsby” game mirrored on the old Nintendo style of play. If you win the game, you’ll get a coupon code to use on your next purchase.

4. Instagram

Instagram is a photo sharing application for iPhone and Android devices. It was designed for casual users, but businesses are coming around to using Instagram as a way to connect with their fans. Many post coupon codes and secret sales for their followers.

To find deals, download the Instagram app, search for stores you like, follow them, and keep an eye out for promotions.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest is a popular social networking site used by both casual users and businesses. You can find deals and coupons by following the Pinterest page of a retailer (they usually provide a link to their Pinterest page on their website).

Other users have created boards for deals, printable coupons and promo codes. Find them by entering key phrases like “deal,” “promo code” or “coupon” in the Pinterest search bar. For example:

6. Twitter

Following a retailer’s Twitter feeds will get you access to secret sales. Many companies also have a separate Twitter account just for deals, including:

You can also find discounts by following deal-savvy Twitter accounts like:

7. Facebook

By now most retailers (both online and off) have created a Facebook fan page. Like your favorite retailers on Facebook and you’ll get access to coupon codes, printable coupons and secret sales. Many manufacturers and retailers will also give you a discount just for “liking” their Facebook page.

8. Receipts

My rule of thumb: Never toss a receipt without checking the front and back. Look for manufacturer’s coupons and opportunities to complete surveys. You may have to call a number and answer a few questions, but you’ll get discounts, buy-one-get-one-free offers, and other deals for a few minutes of your time.

9. Apps

If you have a smartphone, make it work for you. Numerous apps post deals, coupons and information on sales (both online and in-store). Check out:

  • Weekly – tracks local sales at department stores and other retailers. Available for iPhone.
  • Zoomingo – has a database of sales at brick-and-mortar stores. Available for iPhone and Android.
  • The Coupons App – coupons for online and brick-and-mortar stores, daily deals, plus a gas price tracker. Available for Android.
  • RetailMeNot – the app version of the popular coupon site. Available for iPhone and Android.

10. Reddit

Reddit, if you’re unfamiliar, is a massive message board of sorts where users post anything and everything they come across online. On Reddit Deals users post discounts, and ask and answer questions. Not sure what diner in your area has the cheapest breakfasts? Ask the Reddit community.

11. Magazines

Magazines are still a good source of coupons. Recently I’ve found deals on clothes, shoes, housewares, and a few local restaurants tucked into the magazines I read. Don’t subscribe? Ask your friends or family to bring you their old magazines when they’re done reading them.

12. Manufacturer’s websites

If you’re looking for something specific like toiletries, cosmetics or cleaning products, go right to the source. Many manufacturers post printable and online coupons on their sites. For example:

13. Email

Most retailers have a newsletter. Sign up and you’ll get coupons, links to private sales, and other deals. Of course, you’ll also drown in emails if you sign up for a lot. Instead, set up a new email account only for company-sponsored emails. Here are a few stores with good newsletters:

14. Money Talks News

Finally, don’t forget to check Money Talks News. Our resident deal expert, Karla Bowsher, updates the Deals page every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can also see deals on our daily newsletter after you sign up.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
13 Smart Tricks to Organize Every Room of Your Home
13 Smart Tricks to Organize Every Room of Your Home

Get your household organized with these brilliant and inexpensive tricks.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon
9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon

You don’t have to be a Prime member to take advantage of these little-known perks of shopping on Amazon.

Half of All Retirees Say They Fear This
Half of All Retirees Say They Fear This

Chances are good that you share this fear. Here’s a way to overcome it.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.