Coupons and coupon codes are a practical way to save money.
But as you hunt for coupons, you’ll notice there are different types — and some will have a bigger impact on what you’ll pay compared with others.
Here are some of the best types of coupons you’ll want to clip (or, more appropriately, copy and paste). These offers are primarily suited for online shopping, but some apply to in-store shopping as well.
1. Percent off
When a store offers a percentage off the entire purchase, you’ll usually be able to save big, particularly if you’re placing a large order. We’ve seen retailers offer 20%, 30% or even 40% off a purchase.
Annette Economides of MoneySmartFamily.com recommends checking your inbox to find these types of coupons.
“If you have favorite stores, make sure you’re part of their member or loyalty programs,” Economides says. “I know it gets kind of overwhelming getting emails, but a lot of the stores communicate their great sales and give out great coupons via email.”
Another way to save is BOGO — or buy one, get one. These deals mean you get a discount when you stock up on more than one of a particular item.
“BOGO deals are nice,” says Roland Karim of Coupon Pro, a coupon blog. “I like them when they’re buy one, get one free instead of buy one, get one 50% off. Either way, they help you save money.”
3. Free shipping
Another possible coupon is for free shipping. This is exactly what it sounds like: enter a certain promotional code when placing an online order, and the cost of shipping is removed from your total.
These are valuable deals, but Karim says you should compare the cost of shipping with the potential savings of another coupon code, like 20% off, to see which one would be better.
Although certain sites offer free shipping throughout the year (sometimes with no coupon required), Karim says that retailers particularly like to offer free shipping promotions during the Christmas season.
4. Gift with purchase
Sometimes stores offer gifts with purchase as an added incentive to buy a certain product or spend a certain amount.
In the past, Victoria’s Secret, for example, has given away robes and slippers when shoppers spent a certain amount. Karim says he’s seen promotions at other stores for items like free tote bags and passport holders.
These coupons are enticing, but try to resist the urge to buy things solely for a gift.
Pick and choose
Once you find coupon options, see if you can use more than one on a purchase. For example, a BOGO deal might be stackable with a free shipping offer.