Frugal mom finds secret savings online

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 4:32am

For Shelby Barone, the search for a deal started with produce. When the vegetables in her backyard garden ran out, her grocery bill tripled. "I believe that there are some great deals, if you know the right resources on how to find them," she says.

She began blogging about the high cost of living and found Frugal Girls: a Facebook page that linked to discounts and freebies, from magazines to shampoo. Frugal Girl's fan page posted a one time deal from an eyeglass company for 10,000 free pairs of glasses, so Shelby's son, Tyler got his prescription glasses at no cost, a savings of $400.

Experts say competition for the consumer dollar is relentless and that deals can be found for almost everything on line. "The regular price at these stores, no one in their right mind's going to pay them," according to Mary Hunt, author and financial expert.

Online discounts are everywhere. Sometimes all you have to do is Google and click, according to Hunt. As an example, when Hunt ordered some Jelly Belly's her initial order was $35.96.

Then she searched for Jelly Belly codes in another window, and found several sites with coupon codes. Hunt picked one, put in the code and got 10% off.

She says there are hidden deals tied to those club cards used at grocery stories and pharmacies. She recommends checking the stores website for digital coupons.

"If you give us your card number, we'll deliver it right to the card. It goes right onto the barcode, so when you buy that item, and checkout, that will come right off of your total," Hunt says. So the days of clipping coupons from the Sunday paper with scissors may become a by gone era. Now, when it comes to cost savings, most are just a key stroke away.

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