Coupons have been called a great way to save money. Since they subtract dollars from your total cost at the register it is like saving money. That makes sense and is a big reason why people use coupons.
The other side of coupons is the accumulation process. If you are using only one coupon, there is no accumulation process. However, most consumers use upwards to ten or more when they shop.
The accumulation process can consume a lot of your time especially if you have to look at numerous coupon sources. Newspapers for example don't always have coupons for products you use in that weeks shopper's section.
That forces you to look elsewhere or if they do have the coupons you want, you spend a good deal of time searching for the deals you want and then clipping those coupons. They don't get to the store unless you find them, clip them and take them with you.
Enter the Internet. It has become the time saving machine of this century. It streamlines the process because it has a large number of coupon sites dedicated to giving you the coupons you want. Plus these sites allow you to print out the coupons on your home computer.
In fact, some of the sites offer a version that streamlines the process yet one more degree. This process is called electronic coupons. They too are printable only you don't print them on paper you download them to the loyalty card for that particular merchant.
Instead of walking into your favorite grocery store with a hand full of coupons, you simply give the check-out person your loyalty card with the preloaded coupons and the register does all the subtracting for both of you. If you don't know if your store has this convenient coupon model simply ask their customer service department.
Some consumer advocates believe this type of coupon will become the major way coupons will be delivered to the end user. As of this writing, it is still relatively in its infancy. It is assumed once the consumer realizes the huge convenience factor it will zoom in popularity.
Regardless of the delivery system you use to get your discounts when you shop coupons will be at the heart of that discount. Merchants and retailers have developed this system to make it not only easy for the consumer but to suit their objectives as well.
Free printable coupons will be on the shopping landscape for a number of years to come. After all, years of active service coupled with the billions of dollars in commerce they create are two very powerful forces to keep both the merchants and consumers maintaining a vested interest in their longevity.