A funny thing happened a few years ago: The recession hit and suddenly people were shopping less. Retailers tried different tactics to get people shopping again and the market became over-saturated with sample sale sites and daily deal sites selling items that couldn't be sold in stores. While those types of sites are far less plentiful now that the economy has stabilized a bit, one thing that hasn't changed is that retailers are still coupon crazy. Stores that once would rarely offer coupons now offer them constantly.
Some say that in response to the coupons the retailers have actually raised their prices and thus are breaking even, and perhaps that is the case. What I do know is that regardless of the retailers' intent, there are some stores where the coupons are so plentiful that it would be unwise to shop without one.
While it may still be harder to find in-store coupons, here are five stores where you will never want to pay full price online:
1. J. Crew. J. Crew has steadily gotten more expensive throughout the years, but over the past couple of years they've been releasing coupons nearly as often as the other retailers on this list.
2. Ann Taylor. Honestly, I've never once looked at the Ann Taylor (ANN) website and not found a coupon available. If you don't see one on the day you are order, come back the next day.
3. The Body Shop. I remember being a teenager and not being allowed to shop at The Body Shop because it was too expensive. These days they frequently offer 50 percent off site-wide deals, as well as buy one get one deals. Additionally, discounted vouchers for The Body Shop regularly pop up on Groupon.
4. Kohl's. There are so many ways to save at Kohl's (KSS) these days. In addition to the store's regular coupons that can usually save you anywhere from 15 to 25 percent (sometimes 30 percent if you have a Kohl's charge card), be on the lookout for their Gold Star Clearance Days when prices get heavily slashed, and you can almost always earn $10 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent. Kohl's Cash can then be used on your next $10 and up purchase.
5. Gap. There are maybe one to two days each week when you won't find a Gap coupon listed on their website. Gap (GPS) sends out near-daily emails with new codes. In addition to the frequent online codes, coupons are frequently released for Gap Outlet.
If you head to any of these sites and are unable to find a coupon highlighted be sure to check out a coupon aggregator site like retailmenot.com for any available codes.
Lisa Koivu is the founder of ShopGirlDaily.com, a shopping blog for women who want to have the best for less.