Crazy for coupons? Well, bring on the madness

Most people include "Save more money" in their list of New Year's resolutions. Clipping coupons is a simple way to achieve success with that goal. Include the kids in clipping coupons and teach them smart money management tips at the same time.

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  • You're probably one of the millions of people who wrote down "save more money" on your 2014 New Year's resolution list. How do you stretch your budget and teach your children wise money management skills at the same time? Clip coupons!

  • Studies reveal that 72 percent of shoppers use coupons and teach their kids to do the same. Today’s troubled economy has more consumers thinking twice to pay full price. And, you shouldn’t! More parents are teaching their children that those little squares of paper equal money. The first coupon was handwritten in 1886 by Coca-Cola, who quickly learned that offering a deal increased sales. Smart company.

  • According to Nationalcouponmonth.com, 20 minutes a week of clipping and clicking online for coupons could save you over $1,000 annually. Sometimes a lot more. Coupons aren't just for groceries, either.

  • Budgetsaresexy.com has listed some of the reasons why coupons are awesome:

  • You save money. (My mantra is “Never pay full price." And “Free is better.”)

    1. You save money.

    2. Instant fun family activity.

    3. You can feel accomplished and proactive about reducing your grocery bill.

    4. Potential to find a good product that you might not otherwise have used since you are more likely to buy it with a good coupon.

  • Food always tastes yummier when you get it with a discount. Movies are better with a discount. Excursions are more fun with a discount. You just feel smarter and more in control of your money when you can pay less for something than the average consumer.

  • Bulk coupon buying is now all the rage with websites like Groupon and Living Social. Sprunk.com lets consumers sell their unwanted daily-deal offers online. CityPockets.com charges $1 plus 8 percent of proceeds; DealsGoRound.com takes 10 percent of proceeds. Both sites feature a digital wallet to help you organize daily-deal coupons.

  • Couprecoup.com is a listing service where you can find local steals and deals online for free. Free is even better than a coupon.

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  • Everything is going mobile now, and the new QR codes allow us to scan digital coupons while we’re standing in the checkout aisle. Show your kids how to install a QR code reader app on their cell phones.

  • Every penny counts these days. Remember the big ticket items, too. Some people are great at clipping coupons to save 50 cents on a can of fruit in the grocery store, but then they expect to pay full price on furniture or a computer. When searching for big ticket items, check out these websites which allow you to compare prices:

  • Would you believe they actually have an entire website dedicated to National Coupon Month, which is in September? You’ll find some helpful tips, great resources and even consumer statistics that prove couponing is making a comeback. Hey, maybe that means we’ll see more people carrying those cute fabric coupon holders in the grocery store, now.

  • GrocerySmarts is a website you and your kids can use together to plan out shopping trips that analyzes the grocery deals closest to your home. Great news about those expired coupons — send them overseas to military bases where they can be used for up to six more months. Most military bases have a “Commissary,” which is a grocery store. Other areas have a PX or BX, which is more like a Wal-Mart that carries pretty much everything else. Our wonderful soldiers and their families need coupons for both food and non-food items. Your family can bundle your coupons into those two categories into baggies and mail them to:

  • KCL Overseas Coupon Program

  • Amanda Brumbaugh

  • 10960 W Bridgetower Drive, Boise, ID 83709

  • Some other fun couponing sites your family can explore are:

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  • Remember, using your time and money wisely empowers you to take control of your finances and reach your goals. Here are some more tips for using coupons.

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Trina Boice is an author of 17 books, mother of 4 awesome sons, a twin, faculty at two colleges, Ham radio geek, and money-saving expert.

Website: http://www.TrinaBoice.com

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