Coupon Codes and Promo Codes and Why They are so Awesome

I’m not sure if many of you readers were around when I wrote my beloved post: Ode to Promo Codes but I thought of that post the other day and thought I would elaborate on why I love coupon codes and promo codes.

I’ve been doing a lot of online shopping lately (BAD girl, I know!) because I have been too lazy to go out to real stores to buy things (and I don’t have the time to find parking, walk to the mall, get side tracked at other stores), and on top of that, I think I’ve become more antisocial (I blame it on the blog?) so the social interaction with actual sales people who are obviously out for your commission tends to bug me and make me cringe.

Yeah, I know, I need to get a life.

Anyway, I’ve done a lot of shopping online (some of my favourites are Amazon, Forever 21 when they have free shipping, and yeah, Victoria Secret because we don’t have one here in Canada!).

Before I shop online and actually go through with the purchase, I always see a box that says: “Promo Code” or “Coupon Code” and because there is an empty box there, I always do a quick Google search to find coupon codes or promo codes that will fit in that box and give me free shipping, or a 5% discount, or even just $5 off.  Sometimes I can’t face the fact that the box has to remain empty.  It was such an unhealthy obsession that I wrote about the extreme extent of my obsession with coupon codes, where I literally spent four hours of my time to save FIVE DOLLARS when I was booking a hotel online.

I was excited that I finally found a coupon code but deflated that it was only worth $5… and wasted four hours of my time.

Yup..!  So sad, so sad.

Now, I usually just hit up the regular coupon code websites to search for coupon codes that I can use in Canada.  If I can’t find a coupon code, a little remorse kicks in when I have to click “submit payment” and that box is empty, but at least I know I tried!

Some great Promo Codes Websites

  • CouponCodes- This site shows you the top 50 coupon codes, the expiring coupons, and the new coupons.  It also has an area for travel coupons.  This site also has printable coupons.
  • Retail Me Not- I like this one because it tells you what percentage of Retail Me Not customers had success with the coupon code recently
  • Savings.com- They even have grocery store savings, and printable coupons as well.
  • Discounts.ca- is based out of Toronto and they seem like a small start up (10 employees) but are dedicated to saving you money, even on Daily Deal sites (check out my ultimate guide to Canadian Daily Deals post)

Also, if you’re an eBay addict (I used to be but sort of grew out of that phase when I realized shipping to Canada and within Canada can often be ridiculously expensive…case in point, I bought something worth $3 and paid for shipping really quickly when I realized that the shipping was $30!  It was too late to reverse it at the time.  Yup…. first world problems!), the CouponCodes website has eBay coupons too for specific eBay stores.

Readers, do you regularly search for coupon codes and promo codes when you make purchases online? 

What’s your personal success rate? 

Do you often find good coupon codes? 

Which one is your favourite coupon code/ promo code site?

 

 

About

Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

34 Responses to Coupon Codes and Promo Codes and Why They are so Awesome

  1. Modest Money says:

    I’m the same way, if there’s a coupon code box I just can’t hit the submit button without spending some time searching for something to put there. I feel like I’m getting ripped off if I’m not using a coupon code when it asks for one. I usually have pretty good success finding something to save money, but I don’t really have a favorite coupon site I use. I guess I don’t shop online enough to. I do prefer the ones that have user success ratings so that I don’t waste time on coupons that are invalid or expired.

    • young says:

      @MM- Haha, that’s exactly how I feel- ripped off! That’s good that you have success, because for me, I think my batting average is probably 40% success.

      • Modest Money says:

        Maybe make a point of using the coupon sites that have a user success rating. When I use the sites that don’t have user feedback it seems that the coupon success rate is much lower.

  2. Based on the success we have had with Grocery Alerts, we started another blog just for coupon codes for Canadians – freecanadacouponcodes.com.

    We wanted to include all the top stores and airlines (it is incredible that some airlines have some seat sales based on coupon codes.

    • young says:

      @Steve- Wow, nice site! Can you say “awesome domain name”?? :) I’ll be sure to check your site for my next airline ticket!

  3. Helly says:

    Yes! A friend introduced me to retailmenot.com last year and ever since then, I NEVER check out of online shopping without first consulting it to see if there’s a coupon code. I’d say that about 85% of the time, I find something of use.

    I also need to start making a habit of going through fatwallet.com to get additional “discounts” in the form of cash back.

    And OMG, I’ve been on an online shopping spree for the past few weeks, as well! I’ve been on such a dress kick, especially on ModCloth.com. I am careful, however, to only frequent shops with generous return policies or physical stores that I can return things to, since apparel can be hit-or-miss if you don’t get to try it on first. Also, I typically go clothes shopping maybe once every couple years, so my “personal allowance” has had plenty of time to build up to a sizable amount, and I don’t feel too bad splurging. I’ll be all decked out for spring/summer! That is, if the weather ever decides to play nice :-P

    • young says:

      @Helly- What? Weather not nice in Cali? I just looked at Modcloth- what nice clothes! All those dresses are so unique and pretty :)

  4. Steve says:

    I’m like Modest and yourself, I HAVE to find a coupon code or else I feel utterly defeated.

    Also Victoria Secret has invaded Canada because my wife insists on going to the craziest mall in Canada, WEM, to go shopping at VS. At least the prices are decent compared to some American chains like Abercrombie & Fitch.

    • young says:

      @Steve- Phew.. I thought everyone was going to laugh at my ridiculousness- but I’m glad I’m not the only one. Is West Edmonton Mall like a entire day trip sort of thing? ;) Is that still the largest mall in Canada? A&F is ridonkulous!! Seriously, no one needs $50 T-shirts. No one does!

      • Carolyn says:

        Yes, West Edmonton Mall’s HUGE but Kingsway Mall in Edmonton has Victoria Secret too and it isn’t as huge.

  5. Dude, we have Victoria Secret in Canada now. We have a few stores in Toronto. All the more reason to visit the TDOT.

    • young says:

      @Marissa- LOL okay enough East Coast West Coast stuff Marissa! well, the only VS we have in BC so far is at the Vancouver Airport! The one in Bellingham is close though, but it still means a trip down the border.

      • michelle says:

        I was going to keep it a secret (somewhat) but they’re opening a pink store in metro end of this year (2012) and next year they’re opening the full VS store. BE excited

  6. Okay seriously I just posted about Blockbuster Express coupons haha! I HAVE to put codes in the promo code box all the time. I was just looking for VS promos last night and I couldn’t find any so I decided that whatever I wanted wasn’t worth it.

    It gets to the point where I am looking up coupon codes if I am ordering pizza online or doing anything online… hotels, food, online shopping, anything really. It works wonders! I’ve gotten free breadsticks, a few bucks off hotel stays, free shipping, everything. I love promos!!!!

    • young says:

      @FS2S- What// I thought Blockbuster went out of business? I love promos too- you can’t just not search for it or at least try. It’s like an instant freebie!

  7. mycanuckbuck says:

    I occasionally try to look for them – but most of the time I seem to not find them or only find out of date ones. I’ll have to try out your links and see what I can find!

  8. Michelle says:

    I HAVE to have a coupon code. I will not buy unless I do. I just discovered mobile coupons. Ahh!! You can go to Target and go ahead and forget your coupons…they will scan your phone. How cool is that?! (Forgive me if this is old news to most…it’s news to me and I think it’s AWESOME!) I will check out these sites for sure, but not now. Now, I’m being a good girl. 0;)

    • young says:

      @Michelle- OMG MOBILE COUPONS ARE THE BEST!!! I hadn’t heard about that! I just heard today about Mobile/ Smart Phone loyalty cards. I always forget my coupons at home.

      PS SLick Deals looks pretty awesome! It’s like Red Flag Deals!

  9. Michelle says:

    Forgot to add my favorite site; slickdeals.net.

  10. Oh, wow! Totally gonna use this! Do some of them apply to the US, too? I always do a quick search before my check out, but don’t have any regular sites I use.

  11. Definitely I look for coupon codes when ordering online why not save some money?, sometimes it’s cheaper to shop online then in store. Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy are really great about having a coupon code available usually all the time.

  12. I can sympathize with spending four hours to find a $5 coupon code. I’ve done that kind of thing several times in the past. If the promo code box is there, it must mean that somewhere, out there in the world, a promo code exists! Its like its teasing me, daring me to find it. But much like you, I have learned to let go a little. Now, I use a few google searches to find one and if I can’t find anything within about 5 minutes, I give up and accept that it wasn’t meant to be. I think the worst is when you find promo codes, only to find out that they have expired! Ahh, that’s the ultimate tease!

    • young says:

      @E&M- I’m not alone!!! I thought I was a little crazy. I’m glad there are others like me. Yup, I do a few google searches and if there’s nothing, I move on (though often sadly). I agree expired promo codes are the ultimate tease!!

  13. Monica says:

    I have to confess that I was late to the coupon code game, but now I’m addicted! I love that it’s an easy way to save money and it’s usually worth the time and effort. I’ve saved money on my kids’ shoes, clothes, and hotels. Thanks for the links, I’ll try the ones I haven’t been to yet.

  14. gammj says:

    Speaking of ebay, you can also buy coupons and coupon codes off of ebay.

    I usually check the free sites first but you can sometimes find coupons like $20 off a purchase of 75$ coupon that some person is selling for say $5. They make some money, and you save some money. Everyone wins.

    Of course some coupons are just a coupon code and sometimes you need the physical coupon for some applications so of course proceed with caution.

  15. To be honest, I hated the thought of coupons. All I had was the mental image of waiting to check out and fumbling through an envelope of coupons to save 50 cents on toilet paper. I then got married and my wife cut our grocery bill by 70% in one month! I still don’t do it but I encourage her with all I got. Now working in the financial services industry and working with people my age (25), I see just how important it is to be thrifty.

  16. thank u 4 this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. nena says:

    Everyone want to spend less and save more. More people are turning to clipping or internet coupons. http://www.ezcouponsearch.com/, retailmenot and couponalbum devoted to helping consumers save money on everything from the thousand of top brands. I think this is the best money saving strategy on internet.

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