Clipping coupons from the newspaper is a tried and true way of saving money. But there's a whole new world of savings to explore online. Consumer Reports says you can save big, but you have to be savvy to avoid a lot of SPAM.
Kim Roman likes saving money. She cuts coupons out of the newspaper every week and files them. Surfing for coupons online is a whole new world for her.
"I'm just not used to doing it that way. It always just comes with the paper and you cut them. It almost seems easier to me."
Consumer Reports can take the legwork out of searching for coupons online. Mandy Walker says there are plenty of Web sites offering all sorts of savings — and bigger savings than you'll find in newspapers. But, first, be aware, online coupons can come with strings attached.
"Many coupon Web sites ask a lot of personal questions or require you to fill out a survey. As a result you may end up with a lot of SPAM in your inbox.”
Consumer Reports found sites that generate a lot less SPAM because they don't ask a lot of personal questions. Hotcoupons.com calls itself your “local coupon source.” You'll find a lengthy list of stores and services, everything from restaurants to your local auto repair. Two other Web sites — Coupon Mountain and Coupon Surfer — offer savings at hundreds of merchants and online retailers, such as Target and Dell.
“While these sites generate less SPAM, it’s a good idea to open a free e-mail account at Hotmail or Yahoo and use that to do your "coupon clipping."
That way you can be absolutely sure surfing for online coupons won't jam up your inbox with junk mail.
Consumer Reports says you should be aware there have been a number of bogus e-mails offering savings if you forward the e-mail to everyone in your address book. If you get an e-mail like this, don't fall for it. No doubt it's phony.
To recap, the name of the coupon Web sites that are worth checking out are: HotCoupons.com, Coupon Mountain.com and CouponSurfer.com.