What is a Coupon Code?

A coupon code is a code consisting of letters or numbers used to obtain a discount at an online retailer. Coupon Codes are also known as discount codes, vouchers, rebates, promotional codes, key codes, source codes, etc. Although they may go by many names, these codes all boil down to the same thing, a valuable tool that helps you save money.

Finding Coupon Codes

The best time to search for coupons comes at the beginning of the month since retailers tend to release new codes at the beginning of each month. Also remember that the coupon codes from the previous month are probably expiring so if there is a code that you were meaning to use, make sure to use it before the end of the month.

Thursdays and Fridays are a great time to search for coupons since this is when retailers release their coupons for the upcoming weekend. Holiday weekends are also a great time to shop because retailers have deep discounts and sales including additional coupon codes.

A fairly easy way to find a coupon code is to Google the online retailer’s name plus ‘coupon codes’ (For example, Gap Coupon Codes). Your search will return thousands of links to coupon sites that may or may not be updated. The harder part comes when you have to sift through the invalid/expired coupons to find the ones that are worthy of your time.

Types of Coupon Codes


Monetary Coupons are just how they sound, they save you money. Some offer a specific amount off ($100 off your Order) and some offer a percentage discount (50% off). These discount coupons can be for a specific item or even for the entire store. Discount Coupons are a great way to get those items which may have been just out of your budget.

Sometimes retailers require a minimum purchase to use these kinds of coupon codes. Keep an eye out for this minimum amount and make sure you’re spending that amount or more so that the coupon will be applied properly.


Since you’ve found the joy of shopping at home in your pajamas, you have to pay for the shipping costs. While some are willing to sacrifice the shipping costs for the convenience, you no longer have to sacrifice anything.

The majority of online retailers offer free shipping in some form or another. Usually the free shipping offer is for standard shipping so don’t be expecting your package to be there tomorrow, but on rare occasions you can find retailers offering free expedited shipping. Other options will sometimes include discount shipping, flat-rate shipping, or free shipping with in-store pickup. While these aren’t as free as other options, they can still save you money.

A lot of retailers require that you spend a minimum amount of money on their site before you qualify for free shipping (Free Shipping with Orders of $50+). Free shipping is also offered on specific items. Often times these are big ticket items (i.e. TVs, furniture, rugs, etc.) and since these items usually have huge shipping costs, you end up saving a bunch of dough.


Rebates are similar to monetary coupons except they require a bit more work. Rebates are often offered on bigger, more expensive items and are usually redeemed by the manufacturer of the product you’re purchasing.

With rebates you might have to pay the full retail price when you initially purchase the item, but assuming you complete the rebate, it will only be a temporary investment. Once you have purchased the item, you will be sent to another website or given paperwork to fill out. The forms are usually short and don’t involve difficult thinking so it’s more than worth taking the time to give them your info. Some rebates require proofs of purchase labels or copies of your receipt so be sure to keep these and read the requirements carefully.

Once you’ve given them the information they need, you should receive your check in the mail approximately 4-6 weeks later. By then you have probably forgotten about it, so it’s just like getting free money and who doesn’t like that?

There are some rebates that don’t require any paperwork and those are instant rebates. These will be taken off the purchase price at checkout and you won’t have to invest that money for 4-6 weeks.


I know it’s hard to imagine that you can still get stuff for free, but in the online world, there are free offers everywhere.

A lot of times, retailers will offer free items with purchase of a specific item (Free Wall Mount w/ TV purchase) and all you have to do is purchase that item and your free item will be added to your cart. A popular version of this discount is the BOGO (Buy One, Get One) promotion. When you buy one of an item, you’ll get the second for free, which ends up saving you 50% plus you get two of the item you wanted initially.

Sometimes there is a minimum amount you need to spend on the retailer’s site in order to qualify for the free item. (Free Grab Bag w/ Order of $100+). When you spend that amount, the free item should be added directly to your shopping cart.