Maybe you joined in the online shopping fun last Monday – Cyber Monday as it is now called. If you did, I hope you had a “Promotions Code.” What a horrible feeling to review your online shopping cart, proceed to “check out” and not have anything to put in the “Promotion Code” blank. You feel so left out.

Not anymore, we can fix that. There are online shopping deals and coupon sites popping up almost daily. We have used some and researched many, and we find the bottom line to be — never buy anything without searching for the “deal” or coupon that you can use for that purchase. At the very least, you will usually find free shipping.

Coupons.com specializes in grocery type items; you search for items on your list and print them for use. This is much faster than scanning the newspaper for what you need, and likely end up with coupons for things you don’t really need. Most of the other sites reviewed are for non-grocery items.

Deals.com was tested for different WII games and we found deals at many stores, including Walmart, Toys-r-Us, and the WII World Store. Typically, you can use the coupons for online shopping or print and present it at the actual store. CouponCabin.com offers free shipping at endless stores; Target, Home Depot, Sears, Toys-r-Us, Amazon, Kohls, and Overstock.com are among them. This site has the added benefit of stating when the deal was last tested and they tend to keep up on the ones that are up-to-date. You can shop for deals by store name or type of product. Even airlines and car rental companies are represented with hot deals.

eDeals.com is quite similar, but may have access to some better brand names for some items, such as deals on Apple products (which we all know are rare!) Harry and David and Brookstone deals are also found on this site.

If you are a bit of a gambler, you might try Groupon or your local “Hop on It.” Groupon is in major cities and once you sign up, you get a daily email advising you of the current deal in your town. This can be anything from an item (purse or shoes) to a service (massage, pedicure). Usually a certain number of the daily deal must be purchased to put the deal at the “tipping point” and therefore available to those who signed up for it. If that tipping point is not reached, the deal is not executed. Once executed, only a certain number offers can be purchased.

Many smaller towns have begun to offer a similar scheme with “Hop on It” – which is normally hosted by the local paper. Our town rolled a “Hop on It” program out just in time for Cyber Monday. The deals were great. One could get a wide array of local gift cards for 40-60% off their face value – now that’s a savings, especially if you turn around and use those gift cards to buy items that are on sale! Happy Shopping!

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