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Coupons: Everything You Need To Know To Save Big

Part 1 of 2 - Getting Started

Getting Started With Coupons
In today's economy people want to save money. They need to save money. And they are willing to try anything to do it. With tighter budgets and rising unemployment rates, it's time to get creative. Individuals that may have discounted it in the past are now diving heard first into the wonderful world of couponing. After all, saving money and coupons go hand in hand, right?

No longer reserved for patiently cutting through various newspapers, couponing has come a long way in the past ten years. With the advent and popularity of the Internet, this ain't your grandma's coupons anymore! The rules for paper coupons in the store are more restrictive than ever which has given way to the explosion of online couponing. That's right, coupons have gone digital. There's so much money to save on your favorite brands and products courtesy of your Internet connection. Knowing where to find these cost saving promotions is one of the most important parts.

What are Coupons?
Coupons are FREE money. Yes, that's right, FREE! Coupons save you money by taking a certain amount off of the item that you are purchasing. For example if you plan on buying 4 boxes of Hamburger Helper and you have a coupon for 40 cents. You just pocketed those 40 cents. You were going to buy the boxes anyway, AND now you saved money while doing it!

Benefits of Couponing
The benefits of couponing are pretty obvious. You save money! You also feel better about yourself in the fact that you are providing an extra benefit to your household. That extra money can help with Christmas, relieve stress from your spouse, allow you to donate items you purchased through couponing to food pantries, or your local school. The benefits of couponing are intrinsic and extrinsic!

How Do I Get Started?
Couponing used to begin with your local newspaper. However, now thanks to the online world couponing begins in the palm of your hand! A quick search of online coupons will lead you into hundreds upon hundreds of sites. We will now profile some of the best online coupon sites as well as the best apps for saving money.

Where Can I Find Online Coupons and Freebies?
There are tons and tons of websites and apps available to help make couponing and saving money simple. We are going to take a look at rebates and coupons.

Rebates
Rebates are very similar to coupons but do not allow you to save the money right away. With a rebate you show proof that you bought the item, and will get your money back at a later date.

Checkout 51 - This app is fantastic! Each week on Wednesday there are "offers" listed. If you go the store anytime during that week and buy one of the offers on the list you get money. To receive the earnings you have to upload your receipt, and, typically within 24-48 hours, the money is in your account. Cash out is available at $20.

Ibotta - This is very similar to Checkout 51, but has distinct differences as well. You cannot shop "anywhere" and earn cash; it must be a name brand store. You can also use Ibotta for restaurants, movie theatres, electronics, and home repair items, so the ability to earn spreads farther than just the grocery store. Cash out is available at $5.