More clicking, less clipping

Put down the scissors: Coupons are available by phone, email, online and other digital forms.

Put down the scissors: Coupons are available by phone, email, online and other digital forms. Here are hints on how to stretch your budget with the latest generation of an old standby.

Deals are everywhere. Rather than waiting for a coupon for your favourite cereal or toilet cleaner to show up, you can find deals when you want them online.

Dozens of websites that are searchable by retailer and product category do some leg work for you. At the websites, and many others, you just click on the coupon you want and print it out. Yahoo's recently revamped is similar but covers such a broad range it can be daunting to search. You can even buy coupons on eBay.

Services such as deliver the deals you choose to your cellphone or let you upload them to your grocery store loyalty card. Also check the websites of companies that make your favourite products for direct offers, and check your favourite retailers’ and grocers' sites, especially for deals on delivery or shipping.

STUDY: Numerous websites and blogs are dedicated to the art of couponing, finding the best deals and learning new ways to employ them. New ways of using coupons can yield new results. For instance, if your neighbourhood store is having a promotion on your favourite type of yogurt, don't stop there. Search online for store or manufacturer coupons (remembering to look by brand and maker as well as retailer) to combine with the promotion.

SIGN UP: Get your fav­ourite stores' loyalty cards, which offer exclusive deals. At some retailers, cardholders also get additional coupons at the checkout or in the mail based on their purchases. Sign up for your favourite companies’ Twitter feeds, check their Facebook pages and get on their email lists for deals. Some retailers offer discounts on a second purchase.

Know the prices of items you typically buy: Just because you have a coupon good for one store doesn’t mean the item won’t be still cheaper elsewhere — sometimes without a coupon!

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