Stores Where You Can Almost Always Find a Discount
If you're the kind of person who likes deals, then you're in luck, because there are some stores that almost always offer mega-discounts to customers. As long as you know where to look, you can buy what's in your shopping cart without doing too much damage to your bank account.
We might actually have the Great Recession to thank for these plentiful discounts. When the economy was struggling a few years ago, retailers started trying all kinds of tactics to get people shopping again. Sample sales and daily deal sites sprang up everywhere. While those types of sites are far less plentiful now that the economy has stabilized a bit, one thing that hasn't changed is that retailers are still coupon crazy. Stores that once would rarely offer coupons now offer them constantly.
Some say that in response to the coupons, the retailers have actually raised their prices and thus are breaking even, and perhaps that is the case. What I do know is that regardless of the retailers' intent, there are some stores where the coupons are so plentiful that it would be unwise to shop without one.
Here are five stores where you will never want to pay full price online. Just be sure to always look for any coupon codes you need to enter before checking out to take advantage of all available discounts. Sometimes it can also pay to be patient and wait for sales to roll around if you happen to be shopping at a time when the sales codes are sparse.
1. J.Crew. J.Crew has steadily gotten more expensive throughout the years, but over the past couple of years, they've been releasing coupons nearly as often as the other retailers on this list. You can normally find a J.Crew coupon at least once a week. Sometimes it will be an extra percentage discount on their sale section while other times it will be 25 to 30 percent off full-priced items. (Sometimes you might get really lucky and also score free shipping.)
In addition to using a web search to find any available coupon codes, you can also search for "free shipping" and "J.Crew" in case any additional discount codes pop up.
2. Ann Taylor. I've never once looked at the Ann Taylor website and not found a coupon available. If you don't see one on the day you are order, come back the next day. Just check the website for any coupon codes and enter them at checkout. You can also check popular sites like RetailMeNot for listed sales.
3. The Body Shop. I remember being a teenager and not being allowed to shop at The Body Shop because it was too expensive. These days they frequently offer 50 percent off site-wide deals, as well as buy one get one deals. Additionally, discounted vouchers for The Body Shop regularly pop up on Groupon. When you visit the website, be sure to look under the "Offers" section. You can find everything from free ground shipping to two for one deals.
4. Kohl's. There are so many ways to save at Kohl's these days. In addition to the store's regular coupons that can usually save you anywhere from 15 to 25 percent (sometimes 30 percent if you have a Kohl's charge card), be on the lookout for their Gold Star Clearance Days when prices get heavily slashed, and you can almost always earn $10 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent. Kohl's Cash can then be used on your next $10 and up purchase. Of course, the holiday season is prime time for the deepest discounts, so when you're out hunting for other people's gifts, be sure to look out for yourself, too.
5. Gap. There are maybe one to two days each week when you will not find a Gap coupon listed on their website. Gap sends out near-daily emails with new codes. In addition to the frequent online codes, coupons are frequently released for Gap Outlet. You might also receive "GapCash" to spend on your next visit if you make a big purchase. It's so enticing that you might have to stop yourself from buying items you don't need just to nab the discounts.
If you head to any of these sites and are unable to find a coupon highlighted be sure to check out a coupon aggregator site such as retailmenot.com for any available codes.
Lisa Koivu is the founder of ShopGirlDaily.com, a budget fashion and shopping blog for women who want to have the best for less.