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Find bargains online with coupons, codes

June 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
In this day and age, it often seems easier to shop online than to go to the mall. However, letting your fingers do the walking means you might miss out on comparative shopping and some real bargains. Here are some great ways to get the best food and fitness deals by surfing the Web.

"Well if you're shopping online already it's just so easy to save," said Lenka Keston, an online-savings specialist. "And you're missing out if you're not filling in that little box when you're checking out."

Keston is a pro at getting online shopping bargains. She knows that box asking for a promotional code could mean some serious savings.

"Well, just recently I read that it's about 75 percent of online retailers offer these promotional codes," said Keston. "So it's definitely worth checking because you could be missing out."

Keston works for PromotionalCodes.com and CouponWinner.com. The sites are among hundreds that offer a directory of online savings. They feature everything from printable coupons to free shipping.

"I never shop without getting free shipping. There's so many places that offer it -- you just might have to spend a certain amount or have that promotional code to fill in that box and get the free shipping," said Keston.

Keston suggests going to a coupon site to check options before you buy. Sites sometimes offer a promotional code for buy-one-get-one-free offers, a certain percentage off, or money off if you are a first-time shopper.

Keston also recommends stacking coupons to save even more for everything from nonperishable food to fitness wear.

"Stacking a coupon is when you can combine the savings. Let's say a free shipping in addition to that getting 25 percent off your order, or getting $10 off your purchase," said Keston. "Stacking them just means not stopping at the first coupon that you see, but also maybe looking for an additional one."

Keston says you could "stack" by looking in the Sunday circular grocery coupons and then pairing them up with coupons you print online. She says it also pays to bulk up.

"It definitely depends on how much storage space you have, but bulking up can definitely save you a lot of money," said Keston. "And a lot of places don't necessarily make you purchase the same item. It just means that you have to spend a minimum of, let's say $50."

Along with things like bulk savings, stacking and using coupons wisely, Keston says there is a laundry list of things you shouldn't do.

"You shouldn't have to put in your e-mail address," said Keston. "But personal information is not required when you're looking just for a promotional code or looking for a printable coupon."

Keston also says coupons and deals shouldn't cost you a dime.

"There's no reason why you should be paying for them. It's a free service that a lot of sites offer," said Keston. "So you shouldn't have to worry about paying for anything, or really even spending much time when you're looking for them."

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