Coupons. The very word conjures up mental images of being stuck in line behind an elderly lady rifling through her purse for an eternity to save 2¢ on a package of gum. Fortunately for all of us, thanks to the global superstore of the future, the Internet, today’s shopping experience is far quicker and more efficient. Consequently, coupons have also received a makeover and are much more popular with Americans. No more waiting in line behind Queen Save-A-Lot.

Conversely, your local supermarket just got a few light-years bigger. As such, the prospect of online shopping is a potentially time consuming, not to mention hazardous concept. For instance, one of the kings of the online shopping arena, Amazon, is a venerable one-stop shop for everything you could possibly need, ever. Sites with online coupon deals have considerably lessened your workload, helping you get the most out of your online shopping trip by locating the best deals and conveniently listing them in one spot. This makes the store of the future a much more manageable, far less scary place to venture.

With the tips in this article, you will learn how to develop a smart savings strategy and get the best deal every time.

Consistent Couponing Is Smart Couponing

At the epicenter of the advanced offer-seeking movement are the proponents of “Extreme Couponing”. The crusade of radical savers is gaining popularity, especially among Mommy bloggers and conscientious housewives. There is even a reality television show detailing the unique shopping process of these retail rebels.

While I’m not necessarily proposing you take up the torch and enter the world of professional saving, applying the principles of Extreme Couponing, even in its simplest form, can prove beneficial for your pocketbook. One of the keys to a smart savings strategy is consistency. Work on habitually searching for deals on purchases you plan to make. New offers come in every day, so scanning the online deals often will ensure you get the best offer every time.

Combine Coupons and Offers for the Best Deal

Sometimes, companies will restrict their offers to one per order, but not always. Often, offers can be strategically combined to get the best deal. This could certainly mean additional discounts, but don’t forget about cash back, rebates, memberships, or even credit card offers that may add value to your order. On Amazon especially, these additional value offers abound.

As you practice your habit of checking for daily deals online, also check for deals or cash back offers from the site where you shop. For example, if you plan to buy from Amazon, first visit the Ebates page for Amazon coupons and cash back offers, then check out Amazon’s daily coupons for any offers not listed. This is especially helpful for smaller ticket items like cleaners, toiletries, and other household items. Couponing is not merely for high-dollar purchases. If you purchase everyday items online, an increasingly popular practice, the relatively small savings from smart couponing will add up to be more valuable to you in the long run.

In addition to checking online providers daily and reviewing the online store offers, you can use a tool like the Amazon Discount Finder to search for specific discounts and offers on products you need now. This is especially helpful if you are shopping for something extremely niche. The discount finder will search through Amazon’s hidden pages and find the coupons they aren’t currently promoted for less popular items.

Use Coupons for Everyday Purchases

We already touched on this briefly, but it’s worth another mention. According to Huffington Post, smart couponing is finding applicable discounts for things you are already buying. Many times, consumers use coupons as a way to validate their impulse purchase. They see something they “have to have” and they do a quick Google search for deals and offers. This is impulsive spending.

Impulsiveness is neither smart nor strategic. The goal here is not to “save” by getting a discount on something you wouldn’t have bought otherwise. That is spending, not saving. Saving occurs when you find an offer that applies to a purchase you intended to make anyway. Developing a savings strategy starts with habitually and intentionally seeking out the best coupons and cash back offers for items already on your shopping list.

This is not to say that you never purchase something you didn’t intend to purchase. Sometimes, offers arise for things we actually do need, but simply hadn’t planned to purchase yet. For those cases, it is helpful to keep your finger on the pulse of the online marketplace. This article on has some helpful tips on keeping yourself in the loop for when offers come available on Amazon,.

Smart couponing begins with a strategy of consistency and a little work on your part stay on top of the game. But, thankfully, has made your job a lot easier as you navigate through the aisles of the superstore of the future.

Are you a couponer? Do you use e-bates to save money online? It would seem to make sense to consistently look for deals with coupons on things you already buy. What’s your strategy for saving money and smart couponing?