Vouchers for shopping: Coupons, discount codes, and apps to save in shops

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What is a voucher in shopping?

A shopping voucher or coupon is a monetary incentive used by high-street and online retailers and service providers to entice customers to buy a specific product or product line at a lower price or to receive a special offer.

Shopping vouchers can be either physical or digital.

The physical voucher must be presented to the cashier in a high-street store or service to unlock discounts and deals on a specific product or range of products.

Digital vouchers usually come in the form of coupon codes sent by email. The codes are then presented at the checkout of an online shop to activate a discount or special offer.

Saving money has never been so easy

All you have to do is make purchases you normally would and get rewarded just by doing that! Turn your received rewards into gift cards with every purchase.

Gift vouchers and voucher codes

Discount vouchers, food coupons, and supermarket voucher codes can come with certain restrictions.

The voucher may only be used in a specific location; it may be limited by an expiry date, and it is restricted for use on a particular product or range of products.

For example, a voucher may offer a 25% discount off wool coats, but the coupon is only valid from 9 am on Friday, October 14th, to 6 pm on Saturday, October 15th, and is limited to 100% men’s wool coats only.

The voucher may not be used against any other products at any additional time. Or, the voucher or code is only valid when you shop online.

While these restrictions may seem rather stringent, the retailer or service provider usually has specific reasons behind them. These reasons are usually determined by market analytics, seasonal changes, overstocking, or a need to clear a certain product line.

Discount vouchers are usually issued via traditional mail or as cutouts in newspapers, magazines, or promotional flyers.

Digital vouchers and coupons are usually sent as emails when you sign up for a newsletter or other online service.

How to save money with vouchers?

There was a time when a discount code, coupons, and vouchers had to be presented by the trailerful to get even the tiniest discount on a purchase or the weekly shop.

Thankfully, those days are long gone.

Retailers and their marketing teams now use vouchers, coupons, and discount codes to help customers make tangible savings and avail of great deals while also promoting a sense of loyalty.

Typically, a discount code, gift vouchers, and coupons are given to loyal customers or potential customers who have demonstrated an interest in a brand or product range.

This is usually done by signing up for a newsletter, requesting further information, answering an online survey, or some other form of direct engagement.

Saving money has never been so easy

All you have to do is make purchases you normally would and get rewarded just by doing that! Turn your received rewards into gift cards with every purchase.

So, how do vouchers save money?

When money is tight, households need to find ways to make savings on their weekly spending. Retailers are acutely aware of this.

Vouchers, supermarket chain loyalty cards, online discount codes, and rewards platforms have become a valuable part of the modern shopping routine.

In the past, retailers knew their customers by name; they knew their shopping habits and preferences, and they also knew their budgets to a certain extent.

Loyalty cards

Times may have changed, but retailers still need this knowledge and are happy to reward their customers with a discount code, coupons, vouchers, or gift vouchers for sharing their data and their preferences.

Through the use of loyalty cards, retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury’s can analyse their customers’ spending habits and tailor discounts to cater to their needs.

For the retailer, the goal is to attract and keep loyal customers. For the customer, relevant discounts, gift cards, and special offers are what bring them back again and again.

Reward programmes

Reward programmes like Monetha use a slightly different voucher system to help shoppers make even more savings and receive even greater rewards.

The principle behind reward programmes like Monetha is simple. Download the free app, start shopping online with a range of the company’s partner stores, get great discounts, and earn points as you shop.

These points can then be exchanged for valuable gift cards and gift vouchers from a range of popular brands in their online stores. The points can also be exchanged for cryptocurrency investments or used to make donations to global and local charities.

What kind of coupons are there?

Generally, there are two types of coupons available: those issued by the retailer or service provider—supermarket vouchers—and those issued by the product manufacturer.

Manufacturer coupons are, as the name suggests, distributed by a product manufacturer and are meant to be redeemed in-store. These coupons usually come with strict limitations regarding terms of use.

Retailer or store coupons are exclusive to the issuing store or service. However, sometimes competitors will allow the coupon to be used in their establishments.

The name of the store is usually highly visible, and each store has its own rules on coupon use. Some stores allow shoppers to buy more than one item with a coupon or use more than one coupon to increase their discount. Some stores and supermarkets limit the use of vouchers by excluding bank holidays and other dates.

Since the decline in the availability of printed newspapers and magazines, coupon marketing has had to go online, and specialist coupon apps have come to the fore.

While printed coupons, vouchers, and money-off codes are still available, supermarket codes and discounts are now more commonly found through smartphone apps.

Where to find the best vouchers and coupons

In stores

It’s unlikely that someone will walk into a supermarket or store and pick up a product they’ve never heard of or used before.

That’s why you’ll often see promotional vouchers – such as ‘Buy One Get One Free’ – being handed out as you enter a store.

These types of vouchers are best suited to product launches, introductory offers, or unique products or services.

Smartphone apps

Smartphone apps have taken over the role of distributing codes, coupons, and vouchers. There are literally hundreds of free apps out there where you can search by item, manufacturer, or even location.

Some other apps offer savings, discounts, and rewards instead of directly distributing vouchers.

One such app is the Monetha rewards app.

Thousands of free gift cards

Shop your favorite online stores and get free gift cards. Every purchase via Monetha’s app grants you a set amount of points which can then be exchanged to gift card(s) of your choice.

When you download the Monetha app, you are immediately connected to hundreds of online partner stores offering great deals and discounts.

Not only do you make big savings on everyday products, luxuries, clothing, travel, and a host of other things, you earn valuable Monetha points as you shop.

Your Monetha points can then be exchanged for FREE gift cards from thousands of different shops, including all the best household names. Collecting points also lets you exchange them for cryptocurrency or they can be used to make charitable donations.

National Press

Despite declining newspaper sales and distribution, supermarkets and other favourite brands often use printed media to distribute vouchers and coupons.

This happens most often when a brand works in conjunction with the media outlet and tokens must be collected over several consecutive days. This ensures that the interested customer has to invest over a certain period.

Airlines and holiday companies use the national press to great effect when offering discounts on flights or holiday packages.

Lidl Supermarket Coupons

Lidl burst onto the retail scene offering lower prices for quality products that were not yet established household names.

Since then, Lidl supermarkets have added the Lidl Plus App as an extra way to make great savings on your weekly and monthly shopping bills directly from your smartphone.

Supermarket Magazines

Every modern supermarket publishes and distributes a free in-store newspaper or magazine. The publication usually features product news, recipes, tips and tricks, and, of course, a selection of discounts and vouchers.

Sainsbury’s Money-Off Vouchers

Sainsbury’s is one of the UK’s leading retailers. As a brick-and-mortar store, Sainsbury’s was regarded as the home of great deals, discounts, and bargains.

With the introduction of Sainsbury’s online store, the retailer has taken vouchers, coupons, and codes to a new level. And if you don’t want to shop online, customers can download their coupons and use them in-store.


The truth is that free coupons can be found pretty much everywhere now, from printed media to mobile apps.

However, the easiest way is to find free coupons and vouchers, especially manufacturer coupons from the following sources.

  • Capital One Shopping
  • Swagbucks
  • Monetha
  • Rakuten
  • BeFrugal
  • Amazon Coupons

Many manufacturer coupons can also be found directly on the manufacturer’s website.

If you’re in the market for something in particular, whether that’s pet food, the perfect gift, or just a deal that’s too good to resist, try looking on the brand’s site first.

Or, if you like a particular retailer check their websites regularly and you’ll be almost guaranteed to find coupons, vouchers, and other cashback offers.

What have you got to lose?

There’s an untapped mine of free gift cards out there waiting to be discovered if you know where to search.

Here’s a short list of some of the best free gift card sources.

  • Capital One Shopping – a site dedicated to earning points on things you already buy
  • Take online surveys – answer questions, earn rewards
  • Monetha Rewards Program – shop with trusted partners and earn points, exchange your points for gift cards from some of the world’s top stores
  • Money Maker Offers – promotions and paid trials give you more money than your initial outlay
  • Referral Programmes – refer a product to others and earn rewards like gift cards for sign-ups

The ten best gift cards in the UK are as follows:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Homesense
  • Virgin Experience Days
  • Argos
  • TK Maxx
  • New Look
  • Mark and Spencer
  • Currys
  • John Lewis
Best deals on top brands!
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