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How to Get the Best Online Deals

2012 February 19
by Aaron

aaronTo me, one of the most frustrating things is paying for something online and then finding out later I could have gotten it cheaper elsewhere. This sometimes happens when a new online sale pops up or a coupon or voucher code gets released.

But, through these frustrations – I’ve learned a few things about finding the best online deals before I hit the purchase button. And, I’d like to share those with you.

Enewsletters- Be sure and sign-up for your favorite online retailer’s e-newsletter. In it, they will oftentimes have coupons and codes that you’ll want to click on directly – which will take you to their offer page.
Coupon books – I’m sure you’ve heard of the Entertainment coupon books that you can get every year? They now have a section devoted to online coupons offered by various retailers. Use the codes offered there to save money. (I usually get one of these books a month or so into the new year, as they are typically discounted from their suggested retail price).
Coupon sites – There are a lot of em out there now. I typically visit sites like Coupon Cabin, RetailMeNot and Coupon Chief for coupon codes that I can for online deals.
coupon-codeHere, I’m at Coupon Chief. All you need to do is click on the code and it will be copied to your pasteboard. Hit CTRL-V to paste it in the promo box when checking out.
Google search – I also will do a quick search at Google before checking out. You never know what might pop-up and if there is another coupon I have missed or a better deal.
Use those Apps! – Have a smart phone with a RedLaser or another price-matching app? This is also a must – to be sure you are getting the best deal out there. Type in the name of the product you are looking for and it’ll do a quick price match for you – online stores as well as brick-mortar retailers.

Many online retailers will have a box to put the promotional codes when checking out. At, it looks like this:
promotional code

Use this box to put in your coupon or voucher code* to be sure you are getting the best deal.

Do you have other ways to be sure you are getting the best online deal?

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Helped start Three Thrifty Guys with his friends Charlie and Mark after being inspired by how they lived their lives “on the thrift”. A designer by day, Aaron was once $40k in debt. After 5 years – he dug himself out and lives to tell about it. Aaron also blogs at the StarTribune

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7 Responses
  1. February 20, 2012

    Are those Entertainment books really worth it? Do you save enough to justify the cost?

    My favorite site for deal finding is I have a list of things I’m looking for, and once or twice a day I check this site to see if there’s a deal on something from my list. They rate the deal on a “hotness” scale, from one to five circles, with five being the best deals.

    • Aaron permalink*
      February 20, 2012

      Hey Ryan. I think the Entertainment books are.. they have a lot of coupons and I typically don’t spend more than $15 for one.

      Dealnews is a good one. Thanks for sharing it with our readers.

  2. February 20, 2012

    I believe there is a Firefox plugin that will also do this for you automatically, which is nice but it can also load a little slow. At least the last time I used it :) I do most of my shopping from my desktop, so this was the most useful way aside from my own coupon code searching to find best deals.

    • Aaron permalink*
      February 20, 2012

      Really? I’ll have to check that out. Thanks Crystal.

  3. February 20, 2012

    I do find the entertainment book to be great value. I don’t know how it is for other cities, but in mine it has 3 local grocery stores with monthly $5-10 coupons. Those alone make up for the cost of the book. Then if you go to any restaurants or fast food chains, there are coupons for them and plenty of other random stores and services. I’ll also be using the oil change coupons.

    • Aaron permalink*
      February 20, 2012

      I agree Jeremy. It doesn’t take much to make up the costs of these books.

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