The first step in the process of saving a fortune on your grocery bill is simply accepting the fact that you’re a cheapskate. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and it’s certainly nothing to hide. Back in my University days I would surf the Internet (which was very young at the time) for whatever grocery coupon websites I could find, in addition to scrounging through the Sunday newspaper for a very limited collection of grocery coupons. The problem back then was that any grocery coupon websites you could find had probably less than a dozen offers, and most of the websites amounted to nothing more than email collection buckets so that they could turn around and resell your email address to spammers.
Fortunately, the Internet has evolved since then. Today, not only do you not have to put scissors to newspaper anymore, but most of these online grocery coupon sites accumulate manufacturer offers from everywhere and provide them to you in a convenient list that you just select and print in minutes.
Selecting the Best Grocery Coupon Websites
Considering the volume of websites out there that tout themselves as the best money-saving website for groceries, I’ve decided to put together a simple list of sites that are truly the tried-and-true spots that you should check every week to save a fortune on your grocery bill. For starters, MakeUseOf has already covered a number of top coupon websites including:
- GroceryGuide, which lets you find the best grocery deals from stores and malls in your local area
- ShortCuts from AOL, with the convenience of electronically loading all coupons directly to your grocery store loyalty card (no need to carry coupons around!)
- CouponChief, with thousands of retail store coupons. Why buy baby products from a grocery store when you can save $5 off diapers or formula at Diapers.com?
Check out all of MakeUseOf’s grocery resources for other offers and tools for saving money on groceries.
While those resources are excellent, I wanted to put together a definitive guide of grocery coupon websites for other cheapskates out there like me. I no longer bother with using scissors on the Sunday paper – there are much better money-saving resources on line, and they take far less time.
The Big Three
Every grocery coupon hound should know that currently there are three major resources for most of the coupon deals on the Internet. These are three of the earliest websites that started the online coupon craze, and they are now the three that “feed” most of the offers for other, smaller offshoot websites. If you want the access to all of the deals, it’s best to just go straight to the source. Coupons.com is the first major site you should always check for the best manufacturer coupons. These are mostly non-location specific, meaning they’re available nationally (U.S. only).
Coupons.com is the place anyone should begin their quest, since this is the site that feeds most others. One brief search just now turned up 112 offers to sort through and print.
The next major grocery coupon site that feeds data to other sites is SmartSource.com. The cool thing about SmartSource is that you can type in your zip code and get offers from the local “circulars” that are normally sent inside local newspapers.
It just doesn’t get much more convenient than that. If you click on the “Coupons” tab at the top, you can review nationally offered coupons as well, but the thing that really sets SmartSource apart from the other “big three” is the fact that you can get these offers from local circulars.
The final major coupon site that’s been around for quite a while is ValPak. ValPak, like the other two, offers its own list of national manufacturer coupons customized by zip code.
Letting Others Do Your Research
So why don’t people just visit the big three coupon sites and call it good? Because the Internet is so filled with information now, no single website holds all of the best deals. To save the most on your groceries, you’d need to hunt through all three “source” coupon sites, as well as hunt the web for exclusive coupons and offers that are only offered at manufacturer websites and nowhere else. That can take a lot of time and effort. Luckily, there are people out there who love doing this kind of research so much, that they’re willing to do it for you and offer you the fruits of their research.
The Penny-Pincher Gazette is one of those resources. All data at the PPGazette are collected from the three major sites listed above. Membership is free, and every week you can quickly review the best deals (including from local circulars) without having to visit multiple websites to find them.
Another very popular website that I am not ashamed to admit that I visit very often is CouponMom.com. CouponMom is run by Stephanie Nelson who was featured on Oprah, The Today Show and other talk shows, because she offers the service for free as an effort to help stamp out world hunger. By helping people save money on groceries, she’s hoping to encourage people to donate to hunger organizations through her “Cut Out Hunger” initiative.
Her website is easily one of the most comprehensive collections of deals from not only “the big three,” but also many hard-to-find offers from all throughout the Internet. If you choose only one website to visit before you do your grocery shopping, this one should be it.
Unique Grocery Coupon Websites
Sometimes, the standard coupon sites don’t really offer what you’re looking for. Maybe you have different tastes than most people, or you’re more interested in natural products. There are specialized sites that offer coupons for you too, if you know where to look.
One of those is Mambo Sprouts, a website dedicated to offering you coupons on organic foods.
At last glance, Mambo Sprouts offered two pages of coupons, as well as some cool articles and an entire community section where you can hook up with other folks who are into natural and organic living.
A last site that deserves mention, simply because it’s giving “the big three” a run for their money, is RedPlum.com. RedPlum offers visitors with free exclusive offers based on your zip code.
In other words, if you can’t find it elsewhere, you might find it at RedPlum. As you can see, the Internet now offers an abundance of opportunities to shave hundreds off of your grocery bill every month. It seems inconceivable that anyone would go grocery shopping without coupons when there are so many free offers out there (free money, basically) available for the taking.
Shop online? Be sure to check out a list of sites by Sharninder to help you save money while staying on your couch!
If you shop with coupons, do you know of any other great free grocery coupon websites? Share them in the comments section below.
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