This article is the second in a series on printable online coupons, as well as pros and cons for each particular site. The first article is Frugal Facts: A Review of Printable Online Grocery Sites, Volume 1.
This article does not speak to the pros and cons of using coupons for grocery shopping overall. It also will not speak to how to use coupons successfully. If you want to know where to find those coupons, however, this is the place.
This is the second (out of 8 sites I’ve reviewed) that bills itself as the leading coupon site on the Web. That should be a tip off that you should view any online site with a degree of skepticism.
That said, this site is searchable and lists “the current inventory of the hand-clipped coupons we cut from newspapers across the country and send to you by postal mail. It is updated daily. Not shown here are the thousands of printable coupons and restaurant coupons available in the members area.”
In case you missed the key phrase above, you’ll get the coupons by mail. What that means is that this not a free site. You pay a one-time refundable fee of $9.95 for “unlimited access” to GroceryCoupons.com. That sounds like a good deal. Remember, however, that the coupons are mailed to you, so it’s doubtful they’d do it for a one-time fee of $9.95.
On the sign up page, it’s noted that you also pay a “small clipping fee” of 10 percent of the face value of the coupon. Browse the list of coupons on the home page to determine if you’d get your money’s worth by joining.
WorkingMom touts itself as having the “best grocery coupons on the Internet,” the third exact claim in 9 sites. Sensing a trend? That’s why it’s important to evaluate each of these sites individually according to your needs. What works for one, won’t work for another.
The home page features a tab: “Get coupons here,” so you won’t waste time hunting the site. You can print out the listed coupons directly.
In the upper right hand of the list, you’ll see a tab that says “email coupons.” This is not a duplicate of the list on your screen, so don’t click on it assuming you’ll get a printable list of coupons you are viewing emailed to you. If you use the “email coupon” option, you’ll be asked for information as this is a site for you to sign up for a newsletter of sorts. You may or may not receive printable coupons in the mail; the important point is that this is not the same, or an expanded version of, the original list. A throwaway email address works well when you have a debate as to how useful a site will be for you.
WorkingMom features a multitude of money-related items, some that will save you money (such as the printable coupons) and some that will cost you money (books and products for sale).
A real bright spot of this site can be found under the tab “Organization” that includes sample to-do and grocery lists that you can print out to save time.
WorkingMom also bills itself as a work-from-home site, so be careful what you start downloading and sign up for. It’s probably best to stay directly on the coupons page.
According to the home page: “Now you can get grocery store coupons, fast food coupons and office supply coupons that are specific to your buying preferences and printable right from your own computer!” CouponBug replaces the weekly coupons you’d find in the Sunday newspaper.
CouponBug is free, but you have to install ActiveX (which they provide) to print their coupons. According to the site, while you have to sign up for the program, it should take less than 30 seconds. Once you’ve signed up, it’s a matter of printing out the coupons you want. You may sign up for a weekly newsletter to get coupons sent directly to you.
This site says quite a bit, but says absolutely nothing – all at the same time. I’ll give you the 4-1-1 so you don’t have to spend time navigating the site. Right up front, although there were tables and subheads on the home page for at least 4 versions of coupons and grocery coupons, you’d be hard-pressed to find one coupon. I never saw one. What you’ll see are lots of gimmicks and links to take you to other places to spend money or sign up for money making programs that turn out to be money taking programs.
Within the coupons section, is a subsection for Coupon Codes. It’s terribly confusing, the theme for the entire site. A subsection within Coupon Codes is one for Amazon Codes. You’ve probably purchased items from Amazon so any discount coupon would be welcome, righ?. CouponCobra has a page-long description of Amazon and the discount code, but there is no discount code. I searched the archives and never saw a code for any month. The same goes for Coupon Codes for J.C. Penney. The site drops a lot of names that will draw a consumer in, but little useable material.
One tab hosts “Online Sample Sale.” Even after reading the information behind the tab, I’m not sure what it means. It says it is a way to shop “samples” without fighting crowds, but that’s the whole explanation. You must become a member (free) to be part of the online sample program, but who knows what you are signing up for. Once you’re a member, you will get notification whenever there’s a sale. The sites listed as part of the sample sale are: HautLook.com, OneLaneKing.com and RueLaLa.com. These sites seem interesting enough, but how they relate to CouponCobra is a mystery.
This is just a jumping off point for general, printable online coupons. Look to the Frugal Facts column in the future for more sites for free coupons you can use to save your family money on things you use regularly. Volume 3 is already in the works. Sites to help you save money on groceries are out there. It’s just a matter of rounding them up, then bookmarking them for future use.