Super sizing your coupon savings

May 26, 2010 3:42:33 AM PDT
Everyone knows coupons can save you money, but there's a real art to saving big. You've got to know all the places to look for coupons. And Consumer Reports Money Adviser says once you've cast a wide net, there are several tricks to tallying up super savings. Georgine Kaczmarek saves thousands of dollars a year with coupons. And she's started her own website, GeorgineSaves.com, to help others do the same.

"Every little bit helps, and even if it's not the volume that I do, you can save at least $100," she said.

The key is knowing how to supersize your savings.

"I purchased all these groceries, and the total was $111.35," she said.

But after coupons, Georgine only paid $9.69.

"To maximize savings, you really want to layer those coupons," Consumer Reports' Tod Marks said. "You want to take the manufacturer coupons typically found in those Sunday newspaper inserts, along with retailers' coupons in their store circular. And doubling up on those coupons can really knock down your costs."

Consumer Reports Money Adviser says it's also worth looking for coupons at websites, such as CoolSavings.com, GrocerySmarts.com and Coupons.com.

"You really want to be aware that when you sign up for a coupon site, you open yourself up to spam that goes along with getting coupons," Marks said. "So you want to open up a separate e-mail account, devoted solely to coupons."

And look to sign up for your favorite brands on Facebook, or join a couponing forum like MomsView.com, again using a separate coupons-only e-mail account.

And lastly, get organized, like Georgine, who always takes her coupon files with her. She pulls coupons as she shops so then she's ready to cash in when she checks out.

In addition to the website GeorgineSaves.com, Consumer Reports says another helpful site is Couponing.about.com. It was also started by a woman who is passionate about saving money with coupons.


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