EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

August 30, 2013

New couponing rules don't have to affect savings

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Several major supermarkets in my area offer fuel rewards - spend a certain dollar amount in store and receive five, ten, twenty cents or more off each gallon of gas on your next fill-up. I love promotions like this - the gas savings is a nice bonus on top of what I’m already spending on groceries. But recently, one of my stores announced that they were getting rid of the fuel reward program. Why? Those gas rewards weren’t free - the store was paying for them, of course. The store decided to end the fuel rewards program less than a year after it began, and instead lowered the prices on staples like milk, bread, eggs and cheeses. To the store’s credit, it did exactly that - prices on the items most people buy each week came down. While I may not gain gas savings each time I shop, I’m saving money in other areas when I buy items with lowered prices. Having no fuel rewards is the ‘new normal’ at this store, but I’m still shopping there. And the savings game goes on.

Smart Living Tip: Couponing has evolved significantly over the past few years, and it will continue to. As shoppers and retailers adapt to an ever-changing marketplace, offering new and different sale structures and store promotions, we’ll adapt too. At the end of the day, coupons aren’t going away, and any money saved is better than paying full price.

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Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website,www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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