We all love to save money, and I have found that one trick is by far the easiest and fastest way to save me money. In fact, I would say that this one thing saves me money 95% of the time. What is this super easy, super effective way to save money? It’s simply taking two minutes to search for a coupon code online.

Searching Saves Me Money

Before I checkout of any online store, I always open a new browser window and type in the store name along with “coupon” into Google. Then I let the power of the internet take control. Most times, I find the first option to be RetailMeNot, which is a great site for finding coupon codes. The really nice thing about this site is the sheer number of codes they have available.

There have been many times where there are multiple coupons to choose from, some involving math ñ like is free shipping better than 10% off my order. The math isn’t difficult, it just takes a few extra seconds to figure out how to save the most money.

There are times though when another search result has better coupons, so don’t just rely on RetailMeNot or whatever is first in the search results. Check out a few of the other results too. Sometimes they will have the same coupons, but other times they have something different or better.

Other Avenues To Save

Let’s say you followed the plan above and came up empty. Is all hope lost? Not necessarily. You have other options. First, you can try ebates. This is a shopping portal that offers cash back for shopping through the site.

It basically works like this: retailers offer ebates a cash incentive (referral) to drive traffic to their sites. Ebates takes some of this referral and give it to you. For example, one retailer might offer ebates 5% for the money you spend by using the ebates shopping portal. Ebates then gives you 2% cash back for going through their site. It’s a win-win.

There are other shopping portals out there, but I like ebates the best because they offer nice cash back amounts, offer a daily double cash back store and offer double cash back on all stores on Black Friday. It’s a super easy way to save on your holiday shopping. As a side note, I did all of my shopping this past Christmas in one day using ebates. I ended up saving close to $100.

Another option to try is a credit card mall. Not all credit card issuers have these malls anymore, but some do. I have a Discover card and at the Shop Discover site, I get 5% cash back on many of my purchases and sometimes up to 10%.

In some cases, it makes sense to try a shopping portal or credit card mall first as they might offer a bigger discount than what coupon codes offer.

Plan of Attack

So how do you use this information? You have to figure out what works best for you. For me, I have ebates installed in my browser toolbar. It tells me how much I can save on a site right there. I don’t have to go to the ebates website and check out the cash back amount.

After I see this, I will usually go to Google and see if I can do any better. Depending on what I find, I will use the best option. Note that I don’t check my credit card shopping mall only because I know what stores they offer and the cash back amount. In a way, I use this option as a last resort. But, you have to figure out what works best for you.

Final Thoughts

You work hard for your money, don’t pay full price just because you are lazy. Take two minutes and check for coupon codes online or even check out a shopping portal online. Any money you save is time well spent.