Online coupons, deals save consumer lots of cash

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With the unemployment rate up and money tight these days, everyone is looking for ways to save. One Lowcountry woman knows a thing or two about cutting costs at the grocery store, which can be a great place to save a few bucks.

"It's not only just helped my bank account. It's really been a blessing too in my marriage," Caity Crow said.

Couponing has become the it thing for Crowe.

"I started couponing in hopes that it would help me to be able to stay home, not because I wanted stay home, but because I wanted to be able to have time with my husband."

After some growing pains Crowe's hope became reality.

"For me, I was like, 'Okay, this my new job and I don't know how it works,' but as I've learned all the ins and outs of it now it's normal to me to go to the grocery store and hardly pay anything."

"It's saved enough money where it really does add up to be a part time job," Crowe said.

So, how did she get started?

"An easy thing to do is utilize the internet," Crowe said. "A lot of people sink time into it for you. They'll go through the sale ads and they'll figure out what's on sale, what's cheapest."

Crowe's go to website is southernsavers.com. Simply click on the store of your choice and find weekly sale items. You can also find printable coupons on the site next to the listed sale items, saving your hands from snipping away and turning certain purchases into a steal when you hit the store. Another new site, Live5Deals.com, offers weekly deals on local restaurants, bars, stores and more.

"When they have a great sale on something and you combine it with coupons it can work out to be free a lot of the times," Crowe said.

In some instances the deal gets even sweeter, for instance if an item is buy one get one free at most stores you typically can choose to buy one of the items for half price. You don't have to get two. Tack on a $1 off coupon and not only have you gotten the item free, you've earned 25 cents to put toward the rest of your grocery bill. That is how super couponers like Crowe think.

"It takes a little while to learn it, but once you do it becomes easy," Crowe said.

This website has become Crowe's one stop shop, arming her with coupons and a list of sale items before her weekly trip to the store.

"It took a lot of time at the beginning, but now I spend maybe ten or fifteen minutes getting ready before I go to the grocery store," Crowe said.

Once her wheels are turning inside the store, Crowe keeps her guard up.

"It's important to read the rules on coupons because this is for cereal but it's not for every cereal here," Crowe said.

You won't find coupons just in your Sunday paper or on the Internet, keep an eye out for them when you're shopping. Putting forth the effort pays off.

"It's worth over $100 and I paid about 5 bucks for it all," Crowe said.

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