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Volume II
September 8, 2007

Save Big, with Coupons!
By Camille Rhoades

Couponing has become quite an art these days. In light of absurd price increases in most areas of our lives, most of us would welcome the opportunity to save at the grocery store. As nice as those savings sound, many of us are not taking advantage of them for one reason or another.

Where to look? Knowing where to find coupons is the first step in saving. Most newspapers include a large coupon insert on Sundays. These can be a great wealth of coupons and well worth the cost of the Sunday paper. You can also find coupons online at many sites. This gives you the chance to print out what you want and you can often find more than one coupon for those items you might want to stock up on.

Another option is becoming a part of a couponing group. You may start your own with other shoppers in your area, or join on of many groups online. Everyone submits what coupons they are looking for and then everybody clips their coupons and sends what they wonít be using on to those looking for that item. This is time consuming, but for some it is worth the trade off.

Organize, organize, organize! What more can I say? I remember as a child finding envelopes full of expired coupons in my parentsí office. My mom had gone to such efforts to clip them all and then shoved them in an envelope. When she made it to the store to do the shopping for our family of eight, her disorganized coupons didnít seem worth the effort, so they went unused. Coupons can save you a lot of money, but only if you use them! So find an organization method that works for you. There are many sites online with suggestions, so search around and find the method that will help you get to the check stand with your coupons ready to go.

Combine coupons with store specials. Double coupon days, weekly ads, and in-store coupons are all extra ways to build up the savings. You can really double up and get some amazing deals if you plan carefully. Planning really is the key here. Know what is on sale and have your coupons well organized and you can really save.

Make wise choices. Knowing when to use coupons and calculating cost on sizes can really help you decide the best use for your coupons. For instance, you may find that an acceptable generic brand is less expensive than the brand name even with the coupon. In this case you may be ahead to keep your coupon for another day.

Another place to be aware is buying quantity. If you have the option of sizes with your coupon make sure that you use it in the wisest way. Bigger is not always better. You may find that using your coupon on a smaller package of diapers actually makes the per diaper price much cheaper than applying that same coupon to a larger bag. Keep a small calculator with you for calculating the true per ounce or per item price.

Donít forget the internet! With online ads, printable coupons, advice columns, online groups, the internet is a great resource. Donít forget this helpful tool in your plan. You can find great sites with incredible amounts of information for every aspect of couponing.

Whether you want to save a dollar or two with minimal effort or you want to make major cuts in your grocery bill, these tips are a good place to start. Organization really is the main key so develop your plan and get saving!

* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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