What Are Electronic Coupons?

B. Miller

Electronic coupons can refer to a number of different things. It may refer to a type of coupon that is found online, and may be printed and brought to an actual store; or it may be a coupon code, also often found online, applied for a discount to an online order; or finally, it may refer to a type of club card at a physical store which entitles the user to discounts or sale prices. Regardless of the meaning, electronic coupons are a great way to save money.

Groceries bought with electronic coupons.
Groceries bought with electronic coupons.

The first type of electronic coupon is referred to as a printable coupon. These printable coupons may be found online by searching various websites; for instance, if one is searching for a specific brand of cereal, it may be a good idea to visit that particular brand's website to see if they are currently offering any printable deals. Other websites collect printable coupons from all over the web and list them in one place. These are also excellent sources for electronic coupons, and may be found by performing some searches online. Simply print these electronic coupons and bring them to the store to use them.

Electronic coupons can help people save money and find great deals on regularly-purchased items.
Electronic coupons can help people save money and find great deals on regularly-purchased items.

Another type of electronic coupon is the coupon code. This is typically a word or alphanumeric code entered during the checkout process on a website; the code may entitle the purchaser to a certain percentage off or free shipping, for example. A company may send coupon codes to its preferred buyers in the mail or email, or they may offer special coupon codes for all buyers during a certain time period. These electronic coupons may also be found by searching online, and may be found on both reputable and disreputable coupon websites, as well as on forums devoted to the subject.

Finally, store cards are a type of electronic coupons. They are not often referred to in that way, however. A store card is generally offered to all shoppers of a certain grocery store; they may simply need to fill out a form containing their name and address. The store card may then be used to receive sale prices on specified items; the people who do not have the store card may not be eligible for the sale prices. Store cards are quite popular, and are designed to encourage people to shop loyally at a particular store.

All electronic coupons can help people save money and find great deals on regularly purchased items. One way to save money is to purchase items when they are on sale and with a coupon, rather than waiting until the item runs out, and it will be necessary to pay full price to replace it. Remember, electronic coupons are not the only option. Most Sunday newspapers still come with a coupon section, with coupons that can be clipped and saved.

Grocery store cards are a type of electronic coupon.
Grocery store cards are a type of electronic coupon.

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Discussion Comments


Some manufacturers offer coupons you can download on to your phone and have scanned at the cash register. That's great, as long as the store will accept them -- for the same reason Scrbblechick mentioned.

I love having coupons on my phone because it saves so much time. One retail store has a mobile app with coupons, and no matter how many I use, I just click on them through the app and scanning the bar code one time validates all the coupons I'm using on that trip. That's the way to do it, in my opinion. It's much easier than scanning coupons individually.


Some stores won't take printed coupons, unless they are printed in color. They also won't take photocopies of coupons. One store in my area stopped taking these because of the extreme couponers. They were cleaning the store out of products and other customers were complaining because they couldn't use their one coupon. It was pretty bad.

I think stores ought to have a checkout line dedicated to couponers. If I ever see a woman in line who has a three-ring binder, I find another line. They take forever, and frequently are not too nice about letting someone with one or two items in the line in front of them.

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