247Moms Frugal Living Editor
National Coupon Month is an annual campaign by the Promotion Marketing Association to highlight how much money consumers can save by using coupons.
Coca-Cola was the first product for which a coupon was printed, in 1886. Coupons came to the local grocer in 1894, with C.W. Post’s coupon for his new health cereal, “Grape Nuts”. During the Depression era, coupon use was a must for families. Fast forward to 1975 and 2008 when coupon use rose at remarkable rates as consumers experienced significant cost of living increases.
Even if the economy improves, 93-percent of consumers say they will continue to look for money-saving options. Store-brand products have become the preference of more shoppers. Forty-two percent of shoppers are choosing price over brand – and stocking up on essential items is a strategy for nearly seventy-five percent of shoppers surveyed.
I was “raised on coupons” and now I am a “coupon mentor”. It’s fascinating to me to see how coupon use, via new technology, has “hipped” coupon use. In the twenty-first century, you can simply flash a phone or store loyalty card – and you’re saving some very cool cash – no clipping necessary! Online, you can print coupons, send coupons to your phone or load them onto your store loyalty card. Money-saving “Apps” for mobile phones are available to help you find the best deal. Coupons are available instantly – wherever you are. Clipped coupons are still used however, an inspiring 88-percent of shoppers use coupons to plan their grocery list, a 10% increase from 2007. Whether you “clip” or you “click”, if you spend a little time before you buy, you can save money.
If you’re not currently experiencing a whole lot of coupon savings, find a friend who is. Get together and include others – you’ll be creating a whole new, valuable community. Read more about coupons at nationalcouponmonth.com. Stay tuned to 247Moms.com for future coupon-wise posts. 247Moms.com also offers “FrugalMom” and “Coupons, Deals and Freebies” groups where moms and exchange ideas and “Good Deal Alerts” – join us at http://247moms.ning.com/groups.
Here are of my favorite “outside the Sunday coupon insert” places to find coupons:
Community Phone Books/Yellow Pages – Grab your local phone book! In the back pages, you might find a deal for dinner or dry-cleaning.
Val-Pak: Monthly blue envelopes mailed to homes contain coupons. Val-Pak also has online coupons for when you’re traveling outside of your community – or to print more of your favorite Val-Pak coupon. Mobile coupons from Val-Pak can be sent to your phone.
Grocery Receipts: Local retailers advertise with coupon specials on the back of grocery receipts. Read and save them, file them to save money when you are out and about.