Groupon crosses Atlantic, buys Euro 'clone'

One way to deal with all of those pesky competitors in the online daily-deals market is to buy them. And likewise, one way to expand overseas is to acquire the European version of yourself.

Both apparently made sense to Groupon, which announced Sunday that it has acquired European-based CityDeal, "the world's largest Groupon clone," as it was described in a press release.

"That means we're operating in 18 countries, 140 cities, and we have over 900 employees in about a dozen offices across two continents," Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason, said in a … Read more

Attention shoppers: Target offers mobile coupons

Mobile coupons are coming to mega-retailer Target, which will allow shoppers all over the U.S. to use their mobile handset to get discounts on all kinds of products.

The bar-coded coupons are available now. Shoppers interested in getting the mobile coupons must "opt in" and register on Target's Web site. They can also text the word "COUPONS" to 827438.

Once consumers are registered they will get text messages on their phones with links to a Web page that features various coupons. The program works with any phone that has a mobile browser and data … Read more

Coupons 4U

Web commerce has made it possible for the corner store to compete with giants for consumers' attention. Small businesses are increasingly able to offer enticements, such as rebates and coupons, previously limited to big sellers. Developer Cathy Edwards' Coupon Creator is a free tool that creates unlimited electronic coupon codes and discounted order pages for your Web site or blog.

Coupon Creator downloads as a compressed file but installs easily via a Windows installer. It's freeware so it opens with a page of ads for other Cesales products, but you can click through to the main application, which features … Read more

Five cheap lessons learned in 2009

Hey, has anyone seen 2009? It was here a minute ago. Under the sofa cushions, maybe? No? Dang, guess it's gone for good. That was fast!

Because this is my last post until 2010, allow me to share some of the things I learned this year:

1. Never overpay for HDMI cables Actually, I learned this in 2008, but it bears repeating. If you pay more than a few bucks for an HDMI cable (you know, the kind that connects HDTV to receiver, Blu-ray player to HDTV, and so on), you're getting screwed. Witness this deal from a four-pack of 6-foot HDMI cables for $9.91 shipped. If you just walked out of Best Buy with a $30 Belkin, take it back!

2. Always look for coupon codes Do you often find yourself wishing for a big, juicy coupon code for the checkout page? A quick bit of Google searching may produce one. Or hit up Web sites like DealLocker and RetailMeNot to browse their coupon collections. I can't tell you how many times I've scored an unexpected discount, free shipping, or some other savings.… Read more

Keep your coupons close

If you're not the type of person not to say "no" to discounts, then Cellfire's mobile coupons application could help preserve your savings bit by bit. The deals include local restaurants and retail services in the U.S., as well as national chains. Many coupons have multiple offers, and Cellfire makes it easy to both text coupons to other customers and find locations nearby. Handily, you can also save coupons in a separate tab for later use. When it comes time to present the coupon, you'll simply show the mobile clipping at the register.

Unfortunately, … Read more

Google mobile coupons save a buck or two

Google has been giving companies in its business listings ways to offer digital coupons to visitors since 2007. It wasn't until this week, though, that Google could bring the same coupons to mobile users.

It works like this: Businesses add a coupon to their listing in Google's Local Business Center. When you search a Google local listing from your Internet-enabled phone, any available coupons show up. As with other mobile coupon sites and applications, you'll simply present your phone face at the check-out stand. The checker will enter in the coupon bar code and you'll get … Read more

Get 'Up' and 'Monsters, Inc.' on Blu-ray for $11

Here's an interesting deal for anyone who has:

Children A Blu-ray player A nearby Target store A love of Pixar films

With a little coupon magic, you can score the "Monsters, Inc." and "Up" Blu-ray combo packs for $10.98 (plus sales tax).

Each bundle has four discs: two Blu-ray Discs (one with the movie, one with extras), one DVD of the movie (bonus!), and one disc containing a DisneyFile Digital Copy (for viewing on, say, a laptop or iPhone).

Start by printing this $8 off "Monsters, Inc." coupon. You'll need to … Read more

Save 50 percent on custom skins for your gadgets

I'm a longtime fan of Skinit, which sells nifty vinyl "skins" (i.e. decals) for laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, and other devices.

These custom stickers are a great way to dress up otherwise drab gadgets. For example, I slapped a big ol' Michigan State University logo on the boring black lid of my Acer Aspire laptop.

From now until tomorrow (Oct. 22), Skinit is offering one of the best deals I've seen yet: 50 percent off all skins with coupon code HALFOFF.

Shipping will run you $2.99, unless your order tops $40, in which … Read more

Before you check out, always check for coupons

This post is an update of one I wrote nearly a year ago. Due to recent events, I thought it deserved a second look.

There I was, about to order a pack of paper for my new Dell Wasabi printer, when I spied one of those omnipresent promotion/coupon code boxes.

The paper was already on sale at Dell, but I figured, hey, might as well try. So I did what I always do when faced with a checkout page: I went trolling for coupons.

In other words, I searched Google for "Dell coupon codes." These searches routinely … Read more

Five ways to eat cheap this weekend

People--supermodels, mostly--often stop me in the street and say, "Rick, your tech deals are insanely awesome, but what about food? Surely finding all those bargains makes you hungry?"

Then I say, "Yes, but don't call me 'Shirley,'" and they shake their heads sadly, having realized that bloggers are just as unfunny in person as they are online.

Anyhoo, it being Friday and all, I thought I'd take a tech break and serve up some cheap eats you can score this weekend:

This printable coupon from Boston Market ( PDF) gets you 20 percent off "… Read more