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Coupons are vouchers entitling the holder to a discount off the price of a product or service. Physical coupons are distributed in newspapers, magazines, by direct mail, in coupon books, or in merchandise displays. Coupons may also be virtual, available online as printable coupons that can be downloaded as needed by a consumer. Some businesses accept coupons on mobile devices.

Restaurants, museums, water parks, amusement parks, zoos, and stores may all offer coupons, especially to frequent customers or those who sign up for a rewards program.

Coupon Pile.jpg

Flickr: Hobbies on a Budget
Volume 305 billion consumer product coupons distributed (2012)[1]
Prevalence 79.8% of consumers regularly shop using coupons (2012)[1]
Types Printed coupons, online promo codes, social networking offers
Limitations May only be valid for a select event or for a certain time period.
Available from Coupon books, email newsletters, official business websites
Author Susan MacDowell

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Types of Coupons

BOGO offers

These are provided as deals that allow customers to get a free item when they purchase an item of equal or lesser value. For example, a shopper may buy one bag and then get another bag of equal or lesser value free. BOGO offers may also be available as "buy one, get one for half off", which entitles the shopper to get an item for half-price when he or she buys one at the regular price.

Printed coupons

These are one of the most common types of coupons. These savings are published in various mediums, including newspapers, coupon books, and magazines. In addition, some companies hand out printed coupons to customers on a regular basis.

Online promo codes

These coupons are typically available for online purchases. Customers enter these alphanumeric codes in a designated box during checkout and receive a percentage off their orders or a special benefit such as free shipping.

Where to Get Coupons

Printable coupons

Many official websites of businesses publish online coupon codes and printable coupons for use. For example, posts printable coupons on its official website that are good for cents or dollars off select products. Consumers can print the coupons at home and then redeem them on in-store purchases at Target.[2]

Printed coupon books

Coupon books such as the Entertainment Coupon Book provide offers that are valid at restaurants, attractions, and stores within a select area. The Entertainment Coupon Book for the Atlanta, Georgia area includes discounts for such businesses as The Margaret Mitchell House, Honeybaked Ham, and The Children's Museum of Atlanta.

Coupon websites

Legitimate coupon websites offer valid coupons for retail or grocery purchases. features grocery coupons for brands such as Pillsbury and Pantene. Shoppers may print them at home and then take to any grocery store for redemption.

Email coupons

Some stores and attractions feature email newsletters that allow customers to receive email offers and coupons regularly. For example, Cold Stone Creamery operates "My Cold Stone Club", which provides free birthday ice cream to consumers who enroll in the program.

How to Save Money with Coupons

How to Save Money with Coupons


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