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Feature | Sept. 25, 2007

Online coupons save time, money

By Lynda Valentine Defense Commissary Agency

September is National Coupon Month, and the Defense Commissary Agency would like to remind patrons that commissaries gladly accept manufacturer coupons for products they sell.

When it comes to using coupons to save money on grocery bills, quit clipping and start clicking by downloading coupons off the Web! Coupon Web sites save shoppers both time and money, and open shoppers up to more products than just those coupons offered locally. 

"Coupon use is a great way for commissary patrons to stretch their military paychecks even further, on top of the more than 30 percent savings they already enjoy compared to commercial grocery stores," says Patrick Nixon, Defense Commissary Agency director and chief executive officer. 

People who worry that the overwhelming number of e-mails sent by coupon sites will outweigh any cost savings they might gain, follow this advice suggested by numerous coupon Web sites: 

· Most sites offer the same coupon "packs" each week. That is, manufacturers make available the same coupons to all these sites, so it isn't really necessary to sign up for every coupon site on the Web. 

· Before signing up to a coupon distribution Web site, check the privacy statement to see if your information is going to be sold or forwarded to other companies. If personal information will be shared, consider creating a separate e-mail account just for free coupon sites. People who choose to use their personal or work e-mail accounts should be prepared for a deluge of additional offers. 

· Many local newspapers offer the same coupons online that are found in their Sunday edition, so people can get the savings offered through coupons without having to clip the coupons from the paper. 

For more information about using coupons at your commissary, or to find coupons online, go to DeCA's Web site at: http://www.commissaries.com, and click on "Links." 

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing facilities. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices - savings worth about $3,000 annually for a family of four. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.