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The Good Life For Less: Not Your Grandma’s Coupons

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(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Have you “clipped” this month yet? September is National Coupon Month (yes, I know, there is a month for everything!) and we are looking closer at how we all save on our every day purchases.

We covered some helpful tips in Tuesday’s WCCO Morning show when we talked to Pocket Your Dollars blogger and coupon expert, Carrie Rocha. Check out the story here.

But did you know with Sunday circulars, direct-mail booklets and online printing, more than $485 billion worth of coupons were distributed last year.

Did we use them all? No.

So here are some coupon-finding tips to help you become a savvier spotter of those handy little money savers.

Show The Web Some Love

It’s not your grandma’s way to find coupons, although if you have a web-chic grandma like mine, it is!

If you would have told someone 20 years ago that they’d never have to scour through stacks of coupons to get a deal — that they could just “Google” a product and download the best coupon — I don’t think they would believe you (or know what the heck you were talking about, but that’s beside the point). Now you can go straight to the source and clip coupons the techy way, with a printer. Sites like CouponSherpa.com and CouponSuzy.com allow you to search by category for online coupons to hundreds of popular merchants.

Don’t Forget About Receipt Coupons

Make a purchase, get a coupon. There are no scissors necessary to use the paper coupons that come with your store receipt — but just don’t forget to use them. They give you money-off bonuses for making a purchase or deals on similar products. Some expire two weeks out, but other have no expiration dates.

App-itizing Deals

If you are a person on-the-go, think you have no time for coupons, or even time for looking at the flyers in front of the store — there’s an app for that!

If you are going … gasp … shopping without a list, download a coupon app or two to save some time and money. Coupon Sherpa also has an app, but you can click here to find other apps to save you money while shopping and read this article by Cheapism to see app reviews.

Extreme Couponers Got Their First

Nothing is worse than seeing a good deal in the paper and going to the store only to find the shelves cleared. That’s a signs that an extreme couponer got to the store first, but don’t hesitate to ask for a rain check. Nearly all stores will offer them and sometimes you can actually save more by waiting to use your rain check once the item goes on sale again.

They’re Not Just For Groceries

We may see the majority of coupons in line at the grocery store, but there are many other items besides food that you can use coupons for — just check out this list of the “7 Expensive Things You Should Buy With Coupons.”

Happy clipping!

Know of any other deals, share them with other ‘Good Lifers’ in the comment section. You can also read more money-saving blog posts here and text WCCODEALS to 84816 for a ‘deals of the week’ reminder.

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