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  • © Holly Craw and Home-School-Community, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Craw and Home-School-Community with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bemoaning the cost of groceries? How about FREE stuff?

I love a great bargain, and every once in awhile, I come across something that really makes me crow!  I used to be a couponer–back in the days before the internet, before Walmart price matching, and when I thought I had more time than money.

Somewhere along the way, we gave up the daily newspaper, and coupon clipping went by the wayside as the duties of homeschooling became more time consuming.  Now, I am about to come full circle.

My daughters are both married, and realizing all those things I tried to teach them are really true–you can save a lot by saving a little on many every day items, instead of going for a certain name brand or buying produce in the off-season.

My eldest took a class with a CouponSense instructor and reported a grocery purchase of $150+ for which she only paid $33.  She was most excited about the doubled coupons and the items she got for FREE.  Not bad, even when you figure in the the $18 a month she spends on newspapers and the $15 a month dues for Coupon Sense.

Now, I can do pretty well with admatch at Wal-Mart, but I haven’t usually come home with that great of a deal.  Couponing seems like a lot of work, especially when we don’t currently get the paper.  If I counted the time I might spend plus the costs of the papers and the CouponSense membership, I usually feel it isn’t worth it.

I have found that there are some free sites on the internet that provide access to coupons you can print yourself without getting a newspaper.  I have ventured into that realm a little and have come up with some nice deductions on the grocery bill.

One part of CouponSense that is very appealing is the database of all the local stores and their ads, correlated to the active coupons that you can get online or in the paper.  You also can type in your shopping list, and get back a detail of all the stores with your item on sale, plus the coupons that can be used.  That is starting to sound a bit better.

I just saw an email with a blog site that may be the happy medium that gets me back into couponing: http://theholthouse.blogspot.com/.  Becca Holt is in Arizona, and she lists the weekly coupons and sales at the stores that can be combined to get fabulous deals–lots of free items.  She has links to the online coupons and location and date references to the publications that have hard copy coupons.  Best of all, the information on her blog is free.

Now that sounds like a deal that I will really want to crow about!

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