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How to rack up coupon savings

The so-called Coupon Queen, Susan Samtur, and Lenka Keston, of promotionalcodes.com and couponwinner.com, offer these tips for using coupons.

Start simply, Samtur said. If you make saving money a chore or feel overwhelmed, you won't keep up with it. Cut out coupons while you're watching television so you don't have to take special time out of your day.

Read all the sales fliers. Combining coupons with sale-priced items makes using them the most worthwhile, Samtur said.

Be brand flexible. If there's a great coupon for a brand of paper towels you don't typically use, buy that brand, Keston said.

Look for coupons alongside products in grocery stores. If you're going to buy the item anyway, why not use the coupon, Samtur said.

Some items should never be purchased without coupons because there's always some for one brand or another, Samtur said. They are laundry detergent, health and beauty aides, paper products, pet food and breakfast cereal.

There are coupons for things you'd never expect, Keston said, especiallynow, with retailers desperate for buyers. More are offering free shipping -- and reducing the amount of the purchase to get it. Websites offer discount codes for other online companies, such as Travelocity.com and Orbitz.com.

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