As economy tightens, more consumers are clipping coupons

Gwen Martinez is buying more groceries and health and beauty-care products than ever before — but spending less.

Like a growing number of Americans in this economic downturn, the 29-year-old Martinez is a relatively recent convert to clipping coupons from newspapers and in-store circulars and finding them online.

"I am saving about 69 percent overall," said the Arlington medical secretary, who began in August after a fellow customer at a Walgreen checkout spontaneously handed over a handful of coupons, immediately saving her $10.

Martinez was hooked, and she's far from alone.

"Coupon clipping is definitely up," said Mark Adamcik, 45, an Albertsons store manager with more than two decades with the chain and its predecessor, Skaggs.

"As the economy tightens up, it makes coupons more appealing."

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