News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

March 7, 2009

'Good Cents': ‘Couponing’ making a comeback

TERRE HAUTE — Listening to friends with husbands out of work, it dawned upon Beth Montgomery that the lost art of “couponing” needed a resurrection.

“If you know how to use coupons, you can get almost everything really cheap,” the former pharmaceutical marketing researcher and current housewife in Fishers said. “I have not paid for toothpaste in over a year.”

And thus, Montgomery and her mother, Susan Royer of Terre Haute, launched IN Good “Cents,” which started out as a blog for chatters scoping out the freebies, samples and other deals at area stores.

But within two weeks of the launch, she had 110 friends on Facebook and more than 250 daily visitors.

“I’m kind of shocked,” she said Saturday afternoon. “I just started this a couple months ago and now I have about 600 who visit it.”

Casey Baesler understands.

“Oh, definitely,” he said amidst the busy checkout aisles of Baesler’s Market on Poplar Street.

With unemployment up and money on the mind, Baesler said the economy is driving bargain hunters to the coupon sections of newspapers.

Of the 10,000 circulars recently distributed by the store, Baesler guessed about 75 percent had already come back through the lines with their 20,000 weekly customers.

And even Baesler himself, whose dad owns the store, said he’s using coupons these days.

But it’s no surprise to Montgomery, who said she’s cut her family of four’s monthly grocery bill from $800 to $160 by combining manufacturer’s coupons with store coupons and “stacking” them with other deals offered.

“I get almost all of my toiletries free,” the 30-year-old mother of two with one due in July said, noting her 4-year old daughter has picked up on the game and scouts coupons for cookies in the newspaper.

And from the blog to the home, Montgomery is now teaching classes, similar to Tupperware parties, for friends and family.

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