Always Look For A Coupon Code
Welcome to Saving Money with Andrew!
A recurring SMwA theme is building money-saving habits that become automatic. One of my favorites is to always use cashback sites when shopping online. Another great one is to always check for a coupon or promo code before submitting an order.
Most online stores offer coupons. But only occasionally are these coupons displayed on the merchant’s website. You must look for them.
Fortunately, a few easy steps will generally let you find most valid coupon codes. Right before checkout, if there’s an option to enter a coupon code (generally either on the shopping cart page or just prior to submitting an order), I simply go to RetailMeNot, search for the retailer, and try each of the recent coupon codes that come up.
A few notes:
Most coupon sites are scammy, and will often bait-and-switch you with coupons that aren’t real. My favorite coupon code site, RetailMeNot (not an ad), is much better about this than average, but isn’t perfect, and so make sure when you click on a coupon that it is offering a certain % or $ off a purchase, and not a different special offer (which generally will just take you to the merchant’s website).
Getting coupon codes on RetailMeNot (and most coupon sites) generally entails clicking on a link, which then pops up a window with a coupon code and sends you to the retailer’s website. If you are using a cashback site, make sure to make your purchase through the window opened via the cashback site, and not the new window opened by RetailMeNot. This will (probably) allow you to “stack” the coupon with cashback.
Certain sites never (or very rarely) offer coupon codes, including most of the largest retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot). If you see a promo code for one of these sites, it probably won’t work, though it’s still worth a try.
Finally, a feel-good coupon code story:
This year, something magical happened. Our son posed for his Picture Day photos, and they came out looking great. But sticker shock set in when we saw that the photo package we wanted would cost $70. I went straight to RetailMeNot and a 20% off coupon code came up, saving us a quick $14.
I then turned around and shared the coupon code with everyone I knew at school, saving us hundreds of dollars in total and making me, briefly, a hero to the other preschool parents. The moral of the story? Always look for a coupon code.
And now, Andrew’s pick(s) of the week:
Magpie Murders (first two episodes free on PBS.org) is a great “cozy mystery” (amateur detective, charming setting, very little violence), adapted from the hit novel by the extremely talented Anthony Horowitz.
Biden Administration Launches Application Portal for Student-Loan Forgiveness - don’t forget to apply if you’re eligible!
Fencing Can Be Six-Figure Expensive, but It Wins in College Admissions - probably not a good thing.
I hope this has been helpful. If you liked it, please share it on social media! Also, please send me your feedback, requests, and success stories.