Before you check out, always check for coupons

Wait! Don't click "Submit Order" just yet. Some quick and diligent Web searching may yield a coupon code that saves you 5%, $5, or even more. It's worth a look!

Sites like RetailMeNot are an excellent source of coupons you can use when you get to the checkout page.

This post is an update of one I wrote nearly a year ago. Due to recent events, I thought it deserved a second look.

There I was, about to order a pack of paper for my new Dell Wasabi printer, when I spied one of those omnipresent promotion/coupon code boxes.

The paper was already on sale at Dell, but I figured, hey, might as well try. So I did what I always do when faced with a checkout page: I went trolling for coupons.

In other words, I searched Google for "Dell coupon codes." These searches routinely lead me to sites like DealLocker, RetailMeNot, and Techbargains, which collect discount codes under one roof for easy searching and browsing.

And guess what: found one! There's usually trial and error involved, as some codes work and some don't. (Sometimes you'll know from the description if a code is valid for your item.)

But this past weekend I batted 1.000, scoring discount codes for four out of four purchases: the aforementioned printer paper, a Brother toner cartridge from SuperMediaStore, a hard drive from HP, and a patio furniture cover from Kmart. Total savings: about $30. Not a fortune, but a pretty good return on my investment of about 10 total minutes.

I can't guarantee you'll have the same level of success (I'd say normally I manage to find a working coupon one time out of three), but for heaven's sake, try! A few minutes of searching might save you a few bucks--or more than a few.

Got a "found coupon" success story to share? Hit the comments and make your fellow readers jealous.