Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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May 5, 2009

Bargain Briana offers advice to save big

Briana Carter wheels her grocery cart, full to overflowing, to the check out at Meijer.

She warns the people behind her this could take a few minutes.

“I have lots of coupons,” she says.

Those lined up behind her watch as her groceries are scanned and bagged, and she’s given her total of $98.

Then the fun part begins.

The numbers begin to go down as the cashier scans her coupons, one at a time, emitting a beep as each one crosses the scanner. When the last one has been scanned, he announces Carter’s new total – $55.38.

With a little advance planning and coupon clipping, Carter has knocked $43 off her bill, and she says anyone can do it.

In fact, she’ll teach you to do it, on her Web site, www.bargainbriana.com.

What began as a hobby and a way to knock a bit off her grocery bill has grown into Carter’s second job. In the evenings, after working all day, this Tipton mother of four works on her Web site, helping her readers find the best deals and coupons in central Indiana, for free.

She wants people to know they do not have to be what she calls “professional couponers” to save substantial money on food, cleaning or hygiene items and many other daily necessities.

Carter started couponing three years ago, and stumbled upon a site called grocerygame.com, which, for $5 per week, helps users find and use the best coupons. Soon, she was confident in her ability to find those deals without the Web site — though she said she saved more than the subscription fee. She enjoyed sharing with friends about her new hobby, but thought she was boring them with her stories.

“It’s kind of become my obsession. It’s hard to pay full price after you get great deals.”

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