Most of us are happy to save a few bucks whenever we shop, but for others, bargain hunting is a sport requiring great skill and constant vigilance. Online shopping online has opened up a new world for the obsessive deal hunter and the ordinary shopper alike. There's a huge assortment of Web sites devoted to helping you find the lowest prices and best offers from online retailers. In this guide you'll find our favorites.
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Although many people enjoy browsing online stores, others prefer to actually feel and see the merchandise before buying it. However, even if you like shopping in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, the Web can still be a valuable bargain-hunting tool. Many Web sites offer coupons, deals, and price comparisons for traditional retailers, too.
- Some bargain hunters abuse print-at-home coupons by printing hundreds of copies and then using them to get cartloads of free or very cheap merchandise from supermarkets and department stores. Many retailers have fought back against this coupon abuse by refusing to accept computer-printed coupons.
- You may get unwanted e-mail from many of these coupon services, so keep that in mind when deciding which e-mail to use when you sign up. As we mentioned in the "Free Samples" section of this guide, it can be a good idea to create a free online e-mail address from a site like GMail or Hotmail that you use only to sign up for promotions and memberships.
- It's illegal to sell coupons. Many coupon service Web sites don't technically charge for the actual coupons. Instead, they charge a handling fee.
For printable coupons ...
offers printable coupons for many different traditional retailers, such as JC Penney and Sears. The Web site includes detailed information about the coupon offer, as well as the expiration date.
features a variety of printable grocery coupons for partner brands and merchandise, such as food, household items, and kitchen helpers.
's printable coupons are mostly for services in your city, such as oil changes, haircuts, and carpet cleanings. You can also find coupons for local restaurants.
For grocery coupons ...
Coupons & Forms Central
is a coupon clipping service. You browse the Web site and choose the coupons you need. Then you add them to your shopping cart and pay a handling fee (about 5 cents per coupon). The service sends you the coupons in a snail-mail envelope.
helps you find the absolute best grocery deals. The site pairs up the sales at your local supermarket with current available coupons and rebates, and then lists them on her Web site.
For local prices ...
offers price comparisons at your local stores. Just enter your zip code and the item you want to buy, and the Web site will list local stores that sell the item, plus the current price.
gives you the option of comparing online store prices or traditional store prices. For the best results, enter your zip code and decide how many miles you're willing to travel to visit a local store (located on the very top of the page next to the name of the Web site).
provides an online look at the sales circulars for traditional stores. You can search for national stores or for stores located in your state. Rather than hosting the ads themselves, the Sunday Saver links to the ads on individual retailers' Web sites.
lists brick-and-mortar shopping outlets across the United States. Click on the map to find local discount shopping outlets in your region.
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