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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

First Impression Review Of Savings.com

I am always on the lookout for opportunities to save some money on my shopping and other purchases. And most of my research in this area has been online in recent times. I don't have the time to clip coupons from newspapers and mailers. Moreover, it is inconvenient since you have to carry the coupons around with you and make sure they are not lost, expired, etc.

Savings.com is a coupon aggregation website I came across during these online searches. The site is run as a community site where members of the community help each other by submitting good deals on the site. The site has a voting system and members vote for the deals that are submitted, pushing the really good deals onto the page of popular deals.

When you start out at the site, you land on a home page that has the best coupons and deals as picked by the staff. There is a tabbed interface on the top that will allow you to browse the incredible collection of coupons by category, brand, store name, etc. There are also links to the most popular deals and recently submitted ones. The site also has a blog that not only deals with what is happening on the site, but has posts about saving money in general. With the economy the way it is right now, this is certainly welcome too! And the blog posts are written by members of the community too in addition to a few staff members. If you are a registered member of the site, you too can write a blog entry on the site and submit it.

There are also other ways to browse the site. There is a search box on the home page in which you can type in what you are looking for. The coupons are tagged with keywords, so you can also search for the deal you want using a tag cloud on the home page. The breadth of this site is evident when you consider that the number of stores for which they have coupons is over 5,000! They range all the way from "A Gift Personalized" to "zZounds", and from "1 Stop Camera & Electronics" to "911 Health Shop".

You don't have to register at the site to start using the coupons. When you click on a coupon for details, you are given detailed instructions as to how to use the coupon. Many of the coupons on the site are online coupons. When you complete your checkout at the online store indicated, you put in the coupon code to get dollars or percents off your purchase. Sometimes, in addition, you also get free shipping or some other benefits also.

To submit coupons you come across or to vote on the coupon deals you find, you have to be a registered member of the site. You can register at the site with a Savings.com user ID and password, or you can use an existing login credential from Yahoo, AOL, Windows Live Mail, Google, Facebook or Myspace. This makes the registration process practically pain-free since most people on the web nowadays have an account with one of these entities. Read through the guidelines for submitting coupons, and then start submitting away. Helping others save money by sharing money-saving tips, deals and coupons is another way to stay warm (at least on the inside) in this frigid weather!

You can also sign up for their weekly newsletter that contains the best deals of each week, delivered right to your mailbox.

In addition to online coupons (which are mostly just coupon codes that you enter into checkout forms at online stores), the site also has a great variety and number of printable coupons. In fact, there are some categories like "Restaurants and Fast Food" where it does not make much sense to have online-only coupons. In addition to coupons that can be used at single restaurants, the site also carries coupons that you can use at the popular restaurant-coupon site Restaurant.com.

Restaurant.com allows you to buy coupons to the restaurant of your choice from their huge catalog of participating restaurants. The site makes sense becuase they offer these coupons at well below face value (for instance, $25 off your entire tab for $15). Savings.com makes it much better because you can now get discounts off the prices at Restaurant.com. Thus that same $25 off coupon can be yours for $7.50 if you get a 50% off coupon at savings.com to use at Restaurant.com!

The only problem I found with the site was that at first glance it looked a little cluttered. It is a good thing the site has a good search functionality, tags on the coupons and various other ways to organize your search for the goodies. Without all these ways to get around the site, it would be impossible to wade through the thousands and thousands of submissions to find what would be useful to you. There is also no discussion board or forum for community members to banter about coupons and other money-saving ideas. I guess the blog fills this void to some extent, but it is not exactly the same.

Overall, this is one site that has to be on your list of bookmarks if you are serious about saving money. Whatever your shopping plans for the holidays, be sure to check this site for deals and coupons that can save you healthy amounts of money. Make a trip to this site before you make a trip to any store, either online or in the mall nearby. Your wallet will thank you for it!

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