How to Find Discounts and Vouchers Online
Given that most of us are likely to be a little more strapped for cash than we used to be, considering the ongoing negative news about the economy, it’s worth knowing that there are a few ways we can save a few pennies whilst still enjoying some treats every now and then.
Claiming group offers from websites
It’s also possible to sign up to websites offering great deals if a certain number of people claim an offer and you can opt to receive regular, geographically personalised, updates about what’s available. The most well known of these is GroupOn, although a quick internet search will undoubtedly highlight a few more that you could try.
These sites work by buying up products and services from third parties at a discounted price and then passing a proportion of these savings onto the consumer via their websites. The deals are usually quite short-lived and are changed frequently, so it’s worth signing up for email alerts in order to stay abreast of what’s available.
There have been some stories in the press about people having problems redeeming some of the deals they’ve bought on these sites, so make sure that you read all the small print very carefully and adhere to all the conditions and deadlines related to the offer.
As with all discounted shopping, try and remain calm in the face of all the offers (it could be likened to a year-round ‘January sales’ effect!) and don’t buy in haste or panic. Consider what you really need or use and make your purchases accordingly.
Using voucher codes and discount codes
Increasingly, one of the most popular ways of doing this is to search for online voucher and discount code websites. These are sites where people will post any discount codes of which they are aware (from magazines, newspapers, promotional flyers, etc) for everyone to share. Before you make any online purchase, it’s worth completing a quick internet search to see whether there is any code you could enter at the checkout to save you some money. Good websites to look out for are vouchercodes.co.uk and myvouchercodes.co.uk
If there are any stores that you particularly like or use regularly, ensure you sign up to their loyalty schemes and email newsletters. That way, you will be the first to hear about any discounts or offers that are coming up and you may even have access to special events and savings that will not be revealed to customers as a matter of course.
It’s also worthwhile signing up to moneysavingexpert.com, as you will receive regular email summaries of many of the current discounts and vouchers that are available, with links to take you straight to the relevant websites.
Be specific in your search
If you are searching for a particular deal - on a holiday or a certain item of clothing, for example - then aim to make this clear when searching online. Use as many key words as possible and, once you’re actually on a useful website, give as much information as possible about what you want. This will save you trawling through what can literally be hundreds of deals that bear little relation to you.
It’s also worth signing up to emails from websites that cater to your specific needs. Therefore, if you live in London, you may well appreciate hearing about deals from ‘Time Out’ (a London-based magazine) . If you are only interested in discounts on holidays, hotel stays and travel, then signing up to a site such as this (a members-only website that offers great deals on hotel rooms) is probably right up your street.
Harness the power of technology
Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are now used by organisations as well as individuals and both smaller and larger businesses often release special discount codes solely for the use of their ‘followers’ or ‘fans’. These are usually only short-lived promotions so will only be of use to you if you check the sites at least a couple of times a day.
The ever-growing popularity of smartphones means that many stores now have their own apps, as do discount-orientated websites such as Groupon and Vouchercloud. If you use these sites a lot then consider downloading their apps as it will make the process run even more smoothly for you and will mean you can start saving money on the go!
As previously mentioned, always read the terms and conditions so that you don’t end up disappointed, but otherwise - have fun!