It turns out social media is useful for things other than watching endless hours of cat videos and sharing pictures of your kids. Believe me, no one is more shocked about this revelation than I am. Did you know there's a whole couponing and deal community at your social fingertips? It's true, and I'm here to give you the lowdown on how you can use Instagram to save money.

1. Follow The Krazy Coupon Lady and other favorites

We’re always posting our best and hottest deals in our Instagram feed @KCLDeals. With Instagram's new notification feature, you never need to worry about missing something good. Simply follow @KCLDeals, then go to our profile page and click the three dots in the top right corner. A box will pop up with a few options. Click "Turn on Post Notification" and, voila! You'll always be in the know.

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Many retailers offer special discount codes for their social media audience. Follow your favorite brands like General Mills, Maybelline, Nike, Old Navy, Starbucks, and more to make sure you stay in the loop. Many local businesses, boutique shops, discount wholesalers (like P.S. I Adore You, Jane, and Pick Your Plum), and Etsy vendors have Instagram accounts where they release discount codes from time to time. Pay attention to the suggested users list that appears after you follow an account, as this could lead you to other people who offer great deals.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Money on Facebook

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2. Search Hashtags

A social media hashtag is the pound sign followed by a word or phrase (ex: #coupon). Hashtags are used to categorize posts and make them searchable. If you're looking for deals, searching the following hashtags will turn up a treasure trove of coupons and bargains:

  • #coupon
  • #BOGO
  • #deal
  • #savings
  • #frugal
  • #giveaway
  • #couponing
  • #couponcommunity
  • #flashsale
  • #friendsandfamilysale
  • #discounts

Social media is constantly changing and updating, so if you don't see what you're looking for, you can wait a bit and redo your search to find new results.

3. Post about what you need

If you're looking for specific coupons or deals, post about what you need. Use the hashtags #ISO (In Search Of) or #UFT (Up for Trade). Include any other details you have to try and draw other couponers to you. You can also search those hashtags to try and find what you need.

4. Enter giveaways

If discounts are good, free stuff is even better. There are endless contests and giveaways on Instagram, and many of them offer great prizes in exchange for a post, like, or follow. Bloggers in particular are known for doing giveaways. If you need some ideas of who to follow, search #blogger, #giveaway, or #freestuff to get started finding people with free goods to give

5. Find DIY Projects

If you're itching for a money-saving do-it-yourself project, try searching Instagram for the #DIY hashtag. In addition to a slew of pretty pictures you can use for inspiration, you can often find a clickable link (in the person's profile) that will lead you to a blog tutorial. If there's no tutorial, simply comment and ask the person any questions you may have. A proud DIYer would be happy to share info.

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Have you found other ways to use social media to save money? We'd love to hear your favorite tricks in the comments!