Internet makes using coupons easier

By Mark Bullock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The price of food is on the rise in the U.S. And grocery bills are following suit.

"You don't notice it right off, then you think, I've never spent this much before," one shopper told us.

Fortunately, there are ways to cut your costs. And the Internet can help. That's the focus of this week's Money Saving Mondays report.

"My family kids me a lot because they call me the coupon lady," said Jenny Bortolazzo, who advocates coupon usage.

"I try to shop on Wednesdays when the flyers come out in the paper," she explained, "so I can see what the sales are. Today, I bought a lot of buy-one get-one-free."

If you don't want to check the paper, nowadays the Internet is even more effective. It allows consumers to search for coupons specific to their shopping lists.

"Most of the time you can just Google what you want and find a coupon or find a web site that offers coupons for free," said the Alabama Cooperative Extension System's Matera Austin.

You can find on-line coupons at WSFA's coupon site, Coupon Bug.

But grocery shopping is just the tip of the iceberg. You can find Internet bargains on all sorts of merchandise.

Take, for example. It scours the web for you to find the best sales out there.

Before you buy a product on line, check for coupon codes. Those are phrases you type in during the check-out process, which give you a discount.

For a more personalized experience, sends you an email whenever your favorite store is offering a deal.

And Austin recommends signing up at your favorite store's web site as well.

"They'll send you free coupons, let you know when they're having sales," she said.

WSFA 12 News signed up at Belk's web site and Hobby Lobby's web site. Now we're always getting coupons in our in-box.

Here are some other coupon tips -- remember to try and use them on "double" coupon day and combine them with those club cards many stores offer to ensure that you get the absolute lowest price.