Isn’t it great when something free just falls into your lap?

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Isn’t it great when something free just falls into your lap?
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We’re a good bit past the peak of the extreme couponing craze that emerged last decade during the recession.

Who could ever forget the sight of people with binders full of page after page of clipped coupons holding up the lines at checkout?

And while extreme couponers are still out there, there’s no doubt their ranks are thinning. After all, it takes a lot of dedication and time to master the art of finding, clipping and collating all those coupons — and not everybody has that time.

For the rest of us, sometimes we’re rewarded with amazing savings just by being lucky!

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Get your free Arla cream cheese at the grocery store

You probably know some retailers will let you stack manufacturer’s and store coupons so you can get items for free or nearly free.

But how cool is it when you make no effort at all and just obliviously stumble into a freebie?

That’s what happened this weekend at my local grocery store.

You know those automated coupon machines that attach to grocery store aisles and spit coupons out when they sense someone is near? They can yield a bevy of savings, and I frequently take a look at them to consider if the coupon they’re offering makes the name brand cheaper than the store brand.

Well, I saw something I’d never seen before this weekend — a SmartSource coupon machine offering coupons for free Arla cream cheese (maximum value $2.99).

Arla cream cheese free coupon

Just by reaching out my hand to grab this coupon, I lowered my grocery bill by $3 and scored a nearly free cream cheese.

(I say “nearly free” because Arla was priced at $3.29 for an eight-ounce package. That made the price 29 cents after the coupon. Comparable store brands, meanwhile, ranged from $1.89 to $2.39. )

Not one to let a great deal go to waste, I grabbed two coupons and two cream cheeses (don’t worry, there were still plenty on the shelf for other customers!), so that doubled my savings to $6!

I don’t know about you, but I typically use digital coupons and sometimes supplement them with a handful of clipped coupons that come free in bulk mail circulars. But life’s been so hectic lately that I’ve neglected to check for new digital coupons. So to just stumble like an oblivious texting teenager into a wall and come out on the other side with $6 of savings was pretty sweet. Even sweeter was the fact that it took almost no effort on my part.

By the way, this free Arla cream cheese offer doesn’t look like its available on the SmartSource website. So be sure to check the refrigerated aisle at your grocery store to see if you can spot this coupon.

The offer has an expiration date of April 15, so there’s still time left.

What kind of grocery savings have you happened into without any pre-planning? Let us know below or on Facebook!

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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