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Couponing techniques for the practical shopper

By Sean R Parker

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 19 2012 11:28 a.m. MDT

You don’t have to be an excessive couponer to save a lot of money.

John Bazemore, AP

Enlarge photo»

While some go to great lengths to be the best at couponing, you don’t have to be excessive to save a lot of money, according to an article by U.S. News.

"Stockpiling your garage with hundreds of boxes of mac and cheese isn't practical," Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert, told U.S. News.

Only 20 minutes of collecting and organizing coupons each week could save $1,000 each year, the Promotion Marketing Association told U.S. News.

In spite of improving perceptions on couponing, "A lot of people just don't realize that coupons are a type of currency," Kathy Spencer, coauthor of "How to Shop for Free" and founder of the couponing website HowToShopForFree.net, told U.S. News.

Some good resources for finding coupons include the local newspaper and credible websites like Coupons.com, SmartSource.com, WebPhone.com and CouponNetwork.com.

Shoppers can verify the validity of a coupon by checking with the Coupon Information Center, a nonprofit association that keeps track of fake coupons.

To maximize savings, couponers can also use mobile apps to replace lost coupons in addition to cashing in their coupons once items go on sale.

When going to the store, shoppers using coupons should make sure to budget not to spend too much. Spending money on items you don’t use is still a waste of money.

Couponers looking to save money should also avoid spending requirements to use them, Woroch told U.S. News.

Often a coupon becomes worthless because its bearer forgets about the expiration date. Setting up alerts on a computer or cellphone to go off ahead of time can prevent this.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

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