How to find discount codes for (almost) everything you buy

Just because you don't have a promo code at the ready doesn't mean you can't find one before clicking Submit Order. The key is knowing when and where to look.

Sites like RetailMeNot aggregate coupon codes from zillions of online stores.
Sites like RetailMeNot aggregate coupon codes from zillions of online stores. Screenshot by Rick Broida

You know the old saying: nothing ventured, nothing discounted. Or something like that.

If you buy a lot of stuff online, you've no doubt experienced the pang of longing that occurs when faced with a Discount/Promotion Code box on an e-tailer's checkout page. If only you had a code, maybe you'd save a few bucks. Or even score free shipping.

Before you click Submit Order, it pays to spend a few minutes code-searching. There might just be one out there waiting for you to copy and paste.

For example, I recently ordered a bunch of water filters from (Seriously, I buy everything online.) When I got to the checkout page, sure enough, there was the Promo Code box.

So I did what I always do: I opened a new tab, ran a quick Google search ("Filters-now code"), and looked for options from the various code-aggregating sites that appeared in the results: CouponCabin,, RetailMeNot,, and so on.

Sure enough, I found a 10-percent-off coupon--and it worked! My minute or two of searching saved me a total of $8.36--not a fortune, but certainly worth the effort.

Now, caveat searchor: this kind of code wrangling doesn't always pay off. Sometimes I don't even find a code for the store or purchase in question, and even when I do, it might be expired or invalid.

But like they say, nothing ventured, nothing discounted. It never hurts to try. A few minutes of searching might just save you a few bucks--and maybe even more than a few. Give it a whirl the next time you buy.

And if you've scored a particularly awesome code just by searching, hit the comments and tell me how much you saved!

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