Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on November 3, 2011. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Reduce holiday expenses with online coupons
As the holidays approach, many Mississippians find that using online coupons can help save money on gifts and food, even in local stores.
If children and grandchildren top your list, most major toy companies offer $5 to $10 coupons on select toys. Some companies, such as Hasbro and Fisher-Price, offer coupons that can be printed and taken to your local store. Others, such as Mattel, offer coupons that can be used only at their online store. When combined with in-store coupons or discounts, the savings can add up quickly.
Countless websites offer special discounts for products in local stores. Frequenting those websites will likely increase the number of pop-ups on your computer and cookies stored on your system. Remember that Alt F4 is the best way to close the foremost window (such as the pop-up). Clicking on the X or “no thanks” option could give the authority to install software on your computer, resulting in a slower computer or unnecessary software.
Companies and stores frequently offer discounts through their Facebook and Twitter accounts, so be sure to check those out before opening your wallet. Discount codes offer another unique way to save money. You can find discount codes online for most major retailers at http://www.retailmenot.com or http://www.coupons.com/coupon-codes and others. Online retailers often have a small box labeled “discount code” where you can type in the code.
Another way to cut holiday expenses is to remember that many companies offer free samples of their products that can be used as stocking stuffers or gift-basket fillers. Some websites, such as http://shop4freebies.com, offer a collection of current freebies, but most companies also offer samples on their websites or Facebook pages.
Just a handful of companies make most of the nonfood items we buy every day. Make sure to take an inventory of the items around your house and check websites for coupons and discounts before hitting the stores. Many stores also offer coupons and steep discounts for customers who attend their Christmas open house events.
While some of us focus on what we will buy for Christmas gifts, others are budgeting for holiday meals and parties. It’s never too early to plan what you will serve friends and family during the holidays.
Your food bill can bite a chunk out of your holiday budget. The U.S. Labor Department finds that the average American spends roughly 12 percent of his or her annual income on food.
In Mississippi, only a few grocery stores offer online coupons that can be downloaded directly to a store shopping card. However, this method is gaining popularity. Coupons allow companies to increase their brand recognition and strength even in tough economic times.
Websites, such as http://www.coupons.com and http://thekrazycouponlady.com, offer printable coupons that can be used at your local retailer.
Coupons and online offers may save a little or a lot, but in these economic times, every little bit helps.