Tricks to tallying super savings with coupons

LOS ANGELES Georgine Kaczmarek saves thousands of dollars a year with /*coupons*/. She started her own Web site, Georginesaves.com, to help others do the same.

"Every little bit helps, and even if it's not the volume that I do, you can save at least $100," she said.

The key is knowing how to super-size your savings.

"I purchased all these groceries, and the total was $111.35," said Georgine. But after coupons, Georgine only paid $9.69!

"To maximize savings, you really want to layer those coupons. You want to take the manufacturer coupons, typically found in those Sunday newspaper inserts, along with retailers' coupons in their store circular. And doubling up on those coupons can really knock down your costs," said money adviser Tod Marks of Consumer Reports.

Marks says it's also worth looking for coupons at Web sites, such as Coolsavings.com, Grocerysmarts.com, and Coupons.com.

"You really want to be aware that when you sign up for a coupon site, you open yourself up to spam that goes along with getting coupons. So you want to open up a separate e-mail account, devoted solely to coupons," Marks said.

And look to sign up for your favorite brands on Facebook, or join a couponing forum like Momsview.com - again using a separate coupons-only e-mail account.

Last, get organized, like Georgine, who always takes her coupon files with her. She pulls coupons as she shops so she's ready to cash in when she checks out.

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