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Allison Linn answers online coupon questions in live chat

May 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM ET

TODAY Money expert and Life Inc. blogger Allison Linn chatted live with TODAY.com readers Thursday afternoon about coupon tips for beginners.

Check out her original article about how a crowded coupon industry competes for users. Then read two questions from the live chat session and the complete archive below.

Question:

Is there a website that provides info on getting started with coupons? 

Allison's answer:

That's a great question. I think there are definitely way too many coupon sites out there, and it can be tough to figure out which ones are legit.

Hip2Save helps break down the crazy world with their "Coupon Newbie" site

Also, The Consumerist - a site we love - recently posted a great list of printable coupon sites.

Whenever I'm going to buy something that's a bit expensive, I just do a regular web search to see if I can find a coupon code. You'd be surprised how often you can find a discount code out there, if you just take a few minutes.

Elizabeth's question:

My kids ages 6 and 8 know not to ask for something unless it's on sale and I have a coupon! However, I wonder if I'm sometimes buying things just because it's a great deal. My pantry is filled to the brim and so is my freezer.

Allison's answer:

It sounds like you are teaching your kids some great lessons in frugality, but I do think you may consider if you're going overboard!

My rule of thumb is generally to try to use coupons for things I would normally buy. There are exceptions, of course, but you may want to put yourself on a coupon shopping diet until you can work through some of the foods you already have!

That will be another good financial lesson for your kids.

Complete archive:

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