Updated: Friday, 13 Nov 2009, 7:25 AM EST
Published : Friday, 13 Nov 2009, 6:49 AM EST
Derby (WTNH) - Coupons may not be new, but they're worth more than ever, and if
you plan ahead you can find a lot more of them using the internet.
"I get the Sunday paper and I clip them out of there and save them," said Annamae Pretoso of Ansonia.
"And how much money did you save today?"
"Wow. Just using those coupons?"
Pretoso knows that coupons are nothing new, but they're not for 10 or 25 cents off anymore. Getting one, two, even three dollars off is not unusual, but getting the most out of them does take effort and discipline.
"I got loads of coupons," said Frances Zak of Shelton.
More and more of the coupons used at grocery stores don't come from the paper, but from the Internet. Sites like smartsource.com and couponmom.com let you search for bargains online. It's not something everybody knows about, though.
We found a lot of people at the Adams Supermarket in Derby had never used internet coupons, so we decided to see what coupons we could find for things on their shopping lists.
Pretoso had vegetables, rice, potatoes, mustard, Wesson oil, rye bread and vinegar on her shopping list. For the vegetables, we found 50 cents off several kinds of green giant veggies. Also, a dollar off Goya rice and 75 cents off of vinegar.
John Boez of Seymour was shopping for chicken, plantains, salad and pizzas. If he had looked online for coupons, he might have found one for a dollar off salad mix on smartsource.com. The same site offered a dollar off Tony's frozen pizza. Couponmom.com had a dollar off Newman's Own pizza.
Prestoso knows if you have a list, look for sales and use coupons, the savings add up fast. "I've been doing it for years," she said.
She's done that by looking for sales and clipping coupons and buying what's cheap. The advantage of the Internet is first you can figure out what you need, then look for coupons to get it cheaper.
The coupons are very easy to find. After you've picked the coupons you want, the web site will prompt you to download an application for printing the coupons. It doesn't take long, it just keeps track of how many coupons get printed. After that, just hit the print now button.
The coupons print out nicely with the bar code they need to scan at the supermarket, and you use them just like any other coupons. But the Better Business Bureau does have some things to keep in mind.
Some sites will make you sign up for additional services to get the coupon, and some of those services might not be free. Other sites might ask for personal information that you shouldn't give out. And be very cautious of sites that require you to call the company first. They also might be after your personal information. [ Link to BBB story]
Also, some stores may not accept coupons you print yourself. Ask ahead of time about their policy.