By: Rick Dayton

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Money is tight. The financial markets have been uncertain. How can you make ends meet in these shaky times? Check out a website called CoupRecoup.

“As a struggling college student and now as a young professional, I like to eat out more than I can afford to eat out,” says Emily Skopic. “To be able to do it for half price – lets you eat out more often.”

Skopic lives in Mount Washington, but she is not from Pittsburgh. She came here to attend graduate school at Point Park University six years ago, and like so many others, she decided to stay. She is now an online marketing director for a South Hills hospital.

She uses CoupRecoup to help stretch her dollars as far as possible. It also has introduced her to restaurants in parts of the city that she had never visited.

Aren Sandersen is the co-founder of

“We love deals, especially in this economy,” said Sandersen. “Fifty percent something goes a long way.”

But Sandersen says there’s something more to it.

“We love to try new things, and when that new experience or new restaurant is 50 percent off, all the better,” he said. “This is why I think we have seen Groupon have run-away success.”

Groupon is a very popular group-buying website offering deep discounts for countless companies around the country.

Living Social also sells money-saving coupons to big groups of people.

But what if you can’t use the coupon before it expires? That’s where CoupRecoup comes in. It has been called a Craigslist for Groupons and social network deals.

Often, you find bargains on CoupRecoup better than the original Groupon or Living Social deal. Sellers simply want to get a portion of their money back. Many of the on-line listings are negotiable, allowing you to save even more money.

Skopic is very proud of a recent bargain. She bought $35 worth of appetizers and drinks at The Common Plea Restaurant for just $8.

“There are no fees for you,” Skopic said. “It’s just like Craigslist where there’s no cost to upload a deal and there’s no cost to buying a deal. It’s just strictly a marketplace idea.”

Sandersen showed us that using CoupRecoup is as simple as picking your city, selecting how big you want the discount to be and what you want to buy. The website does the rest.

“There are other sites where you can buy and sell daily deals. No one takes the approach that we do to keep it free for the buyer and the seller. The other sites charge the seller about a 10 percent commission and we think that is a lot,” he said. “We hope not to have to do that.”

Amazingly, Sandersen says CoupRecoup makes no money from bringing buyers and sellers together.

Neither party pays to use the site, and so far, CoupRecoup has decided not to sell ads on the site. Users have noticed.

Web traffic to CoupRecoup has tripled in each of the last three months, and is on target to do it again. The number of listings on the site is also growing by leaps and bounds every month.

Skopic says after trying CoupRecoup a couple months ago, she is sold.

“It lets you go places, find things to do,” she said. “We bought sky-diving at half price something we weren’t able to afford as a luxury kind of item. It allows more people be able to go so more people can experience it and make it a big group event.”

More than 50 cities in the United States, as well as international locations in Canada, Great Britain and Australia, already have CoupRecoup sites.

Sandersen says that’s why it is a great place to look for things to do when you travel.

“If you are visiting a city, and you want to see all the things you can do, it’s hard to pick up those deals from a daily deal site, but with us they are all listed right out and you buy whichever one you like.”

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