Making the most of Promotional Codes.

Once upon a time using promotional codes meant getting out the scissors, an envelope and sending them off to receive your voucher; or stuffing your purse or wallet full of them.

Thanks to the internet the range of promotional codes available is massive and it’s a lot easier to use them.

However, codes come and go and tend to do the latter most frequently.  So how do they work and how do you make them work for you?

Most codes come in two varieties; either a link or a code to input on the retailers site.  Linked codes are straightforward as your discount should be applied automatically, if you’ve followed the link. However, be careful to check the expiry date on the link before finalising the purchase.  Codes are normally entered on the check-out page of the retailer, but sometimes on the order review page; it’s important to enter it in the right place so check for a discount code box on each page before you go through with the purchase.  If you get to the checkout button without finding a box, double check the offer is still valid.  It may also be worth checking the retailers FAQ section to see if there is a specific way to redeem your code.

Promotional codes are widely available on voucher and discount sites across the web.  There’s usually a good range of them available as they are designed to encourage you to spend your money.  If you’ve found a great discount but it’s no longer valid, don’t panic.  The chances are that another code is due out any day, so hold off the purchase for the moment.  If you’re about to check out and notice a discount or promotional code box and you don’t have a code, then drop everything.  Keep the page open but dash onto another window and search for the relevant code.  It shouldn’t be far away and you can cut and paste it onto the checkout or review page.  If there’s a box to fill in, there’s usually a coupon to be had.

Thanks to the recession most outlets, both online and offline, are a little desperate to get people through their doors.  This means if you’ve been eating out at full price recently, you’ve been had.  If restaurants are not displaying their discounts and offers in the window, then they’re online and you’ll be able to print off a voucher to claim your money off.  Most of the available deals are for free kid’s meals or two-for-one offers which means it really is good to share.  Many sites will feature the printable real-world variety of promotional code and not just for free lunches (or half priced ones).  Fast food restaurants and chain restaurants are the ones you’ll find semi-permanent offers on, so don’t plan on a quick bite with friends from work without a bit of online research.

Some purchases are more expensive than others and when it comes to flights and holidays the search for discounts has captured the British imagination.  This is one of the ‘big’ areas that people focus on for discounts.  The good news is that there are plenty to be had, from flights to ferries, to discounts on hotel rooms.  The first thing to remember is that there’s no point in booking “in good time”.  When it comes to getting the best discount you need to book either well in advance or at the last minute.

For those travelling with kids the very early booking method is best, for couples or single travellers who can be flexible as to when and where they travel the last minute approach is good.  However, don’t be afraid to search for additional promotional codes, as they’re likely to be around whenever you book.  Combining the early bird or late vulture approach with a promotional code can make that holiday money stretch further than you might think!

Promotional codes are a clever marketing trick to get us spending that little bit more; however, used wisely, they are the best way to make those tight budgets stretch that little bit further, knowing when to look for them and where to find them helps to access a bundle of savings.

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