Bargain Betty is a modern-day coupon ninja. As we're in the 21st century, however, this doesn't involve clipping coupons from the newspapers as our mothers did. Twenty-first century vouchers come via email, text, Facebook and Twitter.

Companies offer their own vouchers to customers who sign up. Or, as I do, you can print them or have them texted from websites such as Vouchermate.co.nz. Our favourites are from Civic Video, which offers two for one or 5 for $5 discounts.

Voucher deals aren't always a genuine discount, and you need to beware. I have my doubts about the "free cambelt" inspection offered by one company, which is probably just a reason to hook you in for an expensive repair.

On the other hand, the $69 AA membership offer on Vouchermate at the time of writing was a full $20 cheaper than the AA was offering via its own website.

Another style of vouchers that have found favour in our household are those from websites dedicated to a particular company.

Birthday treats sometimes involve eating out at Lone Star - but never without checking out Lonestargrabameal.co.nz first. On the day of writing this column the Waitakere branch, for example, was offering quesidillas for $5 and all branches had a $10 deal for regular sized meals. All I had to do was print out the voucher and take it with me.

Just recently I had my annual bunch of photographs printed out in a photo book using Snapfish.co.nz.

Without thinking I Googled "Snapfish vouchers" and "Snapfish coupons" and found that the company itself listed vouchers on its website - one of which was for two photo books for the price of one. Only customers who had found the voucher qualified.

Another type of voucher code worth keeping an eye out for are the ones printed on the fliers delivered to your letterbox by companies such as Pizza Hut and KFC so that you can order online. To make matters easier you don't even need to have the flier.

That's because some kind members of the public upload their voucher numbers to websites such as Retailmenot.com.

Last time I ordered our large pizzas - under duress from my children - we paid just $7.90 each, saving a packet.

Technically you're supposed to take the voucher with you. But an "Oops, I'm sorry I forgot it" does the trick.

After all - what is Pizza Hut going to do if you walk away?

diana@bargainbetty.co.nz