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I hear it. I see it. Those glares and whispers when I walk into a store with my binder in one hand and my calculator in the other. There are still a lot of people out there who have never used a coupon in their life, or just simply don't know how to use one. And there are others who are just too embarrassed. The fact of the matter: coupons really can save you money.

In the beginning, my husband hated, and I mean hated, when I used coupons. He fit into the “too embarrassed” category, mortified every time we would hold up the line at our local grocery store. He kept saying that it was a waste of time, and he thought it was pointless for the couple of dollars that we were saving.

So that's when I came up with the idea of opening up an online checking account with ING DIRECT. They were offering a $50 bonus for new Electric Orange Checking Account customers (who make 3 signature based debit transactions in 45 days). Simple, right? I could do that. I then decided that every time I would grocery shop, I would transfer the amount I saved into my online checking account when I got home.

After a matter of weeks I already had a little over $500.00 in my account. Finally, something I could rub in my hubby's face. I introduced this idea to my mother-in-law, and she loved it. She had never used a coupon before, but she knew she had to try something because of her rising debt. After only a month, she had $800 in her account–all money from her coupon savings. She never knew she was wasting so much.

If you’ve forgotten how much coupons can do in your life, or if you’re a skeptic from the get-go, put this method into practice.  Simply transfer your coupon savings into a separate account like I did. I know there are a lot of people who save around $500 plus every shopping trip. You don't necessarily have to transfer all your savings from that trip. You can use a percentage system if you want.

Just remember: every little bit adds up in the end.  You’ll have money to pay off debt, take a vacation, or a cushion for a rainy day. The choice is yours. But if you have never used a coupon before or feel that a couple of dollars is worthless, just ask my mother-in -law. She was able to pay off all her credit cards in a little over a year with the help of coupons.

The glares and the whispers don't seem to bother my husband anymore. He has accompanied me on EVERY shopping trip since then. I have even caught him red handed, checking our online statements.

This has been a guest post by Mary Lou from Grand Prairie, TX
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