Frugal Heart Teaches How to Boost Your Budget

North Texas woman launches Web site packed with deals and discounts

A North Texas woman has learned how to use coupons to save thousands -- and now she's sharing her tricks on the Web.

Rachel Holland is one of those women who brings a big binder of coupons to the store. But don't laugh or get mad if you happen to stand in the line behind her -- be shocked at what she saves.

"I know it's thousands of dollars," she said. "Our grocery budget was the max every month and now, we've cut our grocery budget in half."

About a year ago, the stay-at-home mother of three noticed a big shift in the money coming in and going out.

"I realized, 'Oh, my goodness, we're paying as much for gas as groceries,' and something had to give," Holland said.

That's when Holland got serious about clipping coupons.

"I had always thought couponing was something where you save a couple of bucks at the end of the trip and (was) not worth my time," she said. "I thought I was saving more by buying store brands. And I started researching and realized I could get stuff for free -- completely free."

A blog to keep her accountable turned into Surviving the Stores, a Web site she launched in September 2008 to help others.

"There's a huge need for other people to be helped, to have someone step them through it (and) show them how to do it," Holland said. 

Holland takes subscribers through shopping scenarios, showing them how to use coupons and where to get the deals. The Web site also includes freebies such as Mars chocolate on Fridays and printable coupons.  

She earns a little when people print those coupons, but her big budget boosters come from what she herself saves.

"We were able to get out of debt," she said. "It's such a burden off our shoulders, really. I'm not scared to look at my bank account anymore."

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