Many of us have grown up couponing – waiting for the Sunday paper to come so we could peruse page after page to find the best sales going on. Then we’d spend hours (sometimes longer) cutting out coupons and organizing them to take to the store. It has certainly gotten a lot easier over the years, but also a bit more confusing for those of us who are still looking in from the outside. A lot of online stores now allow customers to use coupon codes. If you have no experience with these, however, it can be quite disorienting.

First let’s establish the difference between coupon codes and promo codes. Promo codes usually come as a random string of numbers and letters on a product that you have purchased. You can then redeem the code online wherever the product tells you to go, and you’ll have the chance to win a prize. Coupon codes are strings of numbers and letters that usually come in your email from your favorite websites/online stores. To redeem these, you’ll go to check out from that store and enter your code in the designated box for it.

Now, in addition to coupon codes and promo codes, you also have “regular” coupons. These will come in the form of a link or image link to your email. By clicking on the link and visiting the specific url with its special code, you’ll be able to take advantage of whatever product or service is being offered at a discount.