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The library can help you save money

September is National Couponing Month


For most of us, the days of college dorm meals featuring ramen noodles and canned soup have, thankfully, passed. In these tough economic times, though, it may be wise to take a step back and look at ways to save a little money.

September is National Couponing Month, and the West Linn Public Library has a great selection of materials to get you started, help you stay organized and get creative when it comes to spending and saving. Why wait for January to begin anew?

Get organized

It’s always a good idea to take stock of your finances, adjust spending and make a financial plan. “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Personal Finance in Your 20s and 30s” is great for explaining technical words and illustrating great worksheets and graphs. The book “10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget” has tips and tricks to maximize every dollar including how to host frugal parties, get cellphone discounts and choose money-saving kitchen gadgets.

The library subscribes to an online resource called Learning Express Library (available at lincc.org on the Online Resources tab), which has a step-by-step personal finance guide called “Goof-Proof Personal Finance.” It also has videos and articles on budgeting, couponing and personal finance available through the Gale Power Search.

Couponing

Couponing ... yeah, it’s a verb now. People are always looking for ways to cut back on their grocery bills. Couponing has become very popular in recent years, especially with the introduction of helpful websites such as CouponQueen.com and coupon.com. Whether found online, in-store or in the Sunday paper, families can save hundreds of dollars a year by couponing.

Does the whole couponing thing seem a little overwhelming? Check out “Supershop Like the Coupon Queen: How to Save 50 Percent or More Every Time You Shop” to learn more about it first. Or if you want something a little sassy, try “Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey: Save Big Money and Make the Grocery Aisle Your Catwalk.” It demonstrates great promise from the beginning by stating, “Throw everything you thought you knew about couponing out the window.”

Shop smart

Before making any big purchase, consider doing a little research first to compare popular brands, models and prices. The library subscribes to Consumer Reports magazine and always has the current issue and back issues available for in-library use. The library also subscribes to the Consumer Reports website, which has ratings, articles and advice for hundreds of consumer products. (Tip: Access the site through the Online Resources tab at lincc.org rather than by going directly to the website.)

From lincc.org you can also access the Consumer Product Reviews database, which searches hundreds of up-to-date and industry-specific periodicals.

Need to print your new budget or some of those online coupons? The library has a computer lab with a printer available to anyone with a Clackamas County library card. Printing is just 10 cents a page.




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