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As much as I love the word, I have to admit it makes me suspicious. Just this week I won a “free” vacation, but the fine print says I need to send in a cashier's check to claim my prize. Sadly, “free” is usually a sneaky way to clean out my wallet. But every now and then an exception comes along that's truly free-no strings attached, no hidden agendas. Here are my favorites, and all you really need is an Internet connection to go online.
( PriceGrabber )
In September, The New York Times gave a primer on the brief history of coupon use in America and highlighted a noticeable increase in the use of coupons since the decline of the economy. “Coupon redemption in America peaked in 1992, at the end of a recession, when 7.9 billion coupons were redeemed, according to Inmar, a coupon-processing company. By 2006, that number fell to 2.6 billion and stagnated there through 2008. (if this and the paragraph below are all one quote, they need to be together…)As the economy worsened and consumer sentiment plunged, coupon redemption ticked up 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the period a year ago — the first jump in coupon redemption since the early 1990s. In the first half of this year, coupon redemption climbed 23 percent.