smart spending

Sweet deals just a click away

These days, coupons seem to be all the rage. Maybe that's because sweet deals are just a few mouse clicks away. This month's Frugal $ense contest winner quickly finds coupons, discounts or just better prices with a simple Web search. You don't have to devote 20 hours per week to couponing like the families featured on "Extreme Couponing."

June Frugal $ense winner: Vicky Rovito
Vicky RovitoVicky Rovito won $100 for submitting the following tip:

Online shopping
"Whenever I am ready to purchase an item online, before I actually buy it, I scour the Internet to find any coupon codes or discounts to use. I can usually find some discount or free shipping codes. It's just that simple and easy." -- Vicky Rovito, of Albany, N.Y.

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Bankrate.com: How did you figure this out?

Vicky Rovito: I guess it was when Google came around. I started Googling for coupons and things would pop up. So then I could print those out. All of the sudden you're able to get things like free shipping. There are places all over the Internet where you can get those kinds of bargains.

Bankrate.com: What kinds of items have you found coupon codes for?

Vicky Rovito: I have kids in college and they got free shipping on their books. We found a code for that before ordering. I just recently got a facial cleaner for my daughter. At the store it was $150. But I went online and found a coupon that brought me to another website and I got $25 off.

Bankrate.com: How long have you been doing this?

Vicky Rovito: A very long time. I'm cheap.

Bankrate.com: How much time do you spend searching?

Vicky Rovito: I'm definitely not an extreme couponer. In just a few clicks, usually you can get something for free or usually find a better price than the website that you were on.

Bankrate.com: Is there anything else that you do to save money or be frugal?

Vicky Rovito: I use my credit card to take advantage of the rewards every month. Around here, our supermarket offers loyalty gas cards, so if you spend so much you get money off your gas. And at the supermarket, especially lately, I watch the scanners. A lot of times the price is wrong. A lot of times, if they make a mistake then the item is free. Online I can usually find free samples of items. I teach financial management to high school kids, so I try to practice what I preach.

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