Around 25% of the U.S. population, or about 55 million people, use coupons to save money on dining out, entertainment, beauty, household products, and more. Coupons are popular these days and it seems they are easy to find everywhere you look. Using coupons can cut 25% or more off your monthly expense and may even help you score a few freebies in the process. If couponing isn’t currently one of your top money-saving techniques, it’s time to find out firsthand what so many others know already, and that’s how much money coupons can help you save.
What is a Coupon?
A coupon is a paper voucher or series of numbers (for online e-coupons) provided from a company to a customer that entitles them to a discount when redeemed for a specific product or service indicated on the coupon. Businesses in every industry use coupons because they entice more customers to come through the doors. And of course, saving money is fun so a coupon does the trick when you want an increased customer base and profit. Paper and online coupons make saving money easy, whether you’re shopping in person or via the web.
A Brief Couponing History
Ever wondered how coupons came about? It is an interesting history. It was in 1886 when John Pemberton created a recipe for a syrup we’d later know as Coca-Cola. Pemberton and his bookkeeper handed out free drink cards to people on the street to entice them to try out the new beverage. However, things didn’t go as planned and people didn’t take a big interest in the cards. When Asa Carter bought the company in 1888, he gave the drink cards another go and this time, it was a huge success. It was so successful that Carter began placing inserts for the drink inside magazines. In 1909, the Post brand began using coupons and in the 1930s during the Great Depression, many people survived with the help of coupons. It was during this time that coupon offering and usage exploded. And, as they say, the rest is history. Coca-Cola and Post are both now best-selling brands and coupons are used everywhere!
Just the Couponing Facts
Using coupons can considerably reduce the monthly expenses you incur so it’s easier to save money for a rainy day, plan for that much-needed vacation, or get out and about and experience the best things in life. A few interesting coupon facts:
– More than 311 billion coupons were distributed in 2009
– More than 5.3 billion coupons are redeemed each year
– The average face value of a coupon is $1.14
– E-Coupons, or coupons redeemed online, are now more popular than traditional paper coupons
Where to Find Coupons
Coupons are found in newspapers, online, inside magazines, and maybe even in your mailbox, among other locations. Once you decide to coupon, use multiple sources to find the best coupons. And, of course, keep your eyes open for special coupons and deals, since you never really know where a new offer will turn up. The most population sources for coupons include:
– Sunday Newspaper: The Sunday newspaper usually includes coupon inserts, with the exception of the Sunday prior to a major holiday such as Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas.
– Social Media: Check out your favorite companies social media pages where you can find out more about their products and services, meet other fans, and of course, get those awesome deals!
– Coupon Websites: Dozens of coupon websites and apps are available to bow to find the best coupons for your family’s needs. Use these sites and watch as your savings substantially increase in no time.
– Manufacturer Websites: The best source of coupons is the manufacturer website. Visit the website to get more product information and to find the best coupons, promotions, and deals.
– Magazines: Check the pages of your favorite magazines carefully. Many manufactures tuck secret coupons (and samples) inside.
– In-Store: In-store and product generated coupons aren’t found as commonly as with other sources, but are nonetheless available from time to time.
How to Maximize Your Coupon Savings
Perhaps you remember the hit television show ‘Extreme Couponing.’ If not, the show highlights shoppers who take couponing to the next level, sometimes getting goods at no cost. These shoppers saved hundreds of dollars using their learned techniques. Although extreme couponing may not be what you had in mind, learning the couponing secrets to success is an excellent way to superseded your savings. Saving the most money possible is simple when a few simple tips are used. A few tips to keep in mind to maximize you coupon savings:
- Spend a few minutes organizing coupons so they’re easily found when you head out to shop. Coupon organizers make organizing coupons easier.
- Combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons to maximize your savings.
- Search for supermarkets that offer double and/or triple coupon days. Combined with sales and special offers, you can really rack up the savings when using coupons!
- Learn the coupon policy at each store, since it likely varies from one location to the next.
- Bear in mind that coupons expire. After the expiry date printed on the coupon, the offer is no longer valid and will not be accepted for your purchase.
- New coupons come out every single day. Search the new offers before you make any purchases!
These tips are just the start of the many that can help you use coupons correctly and keep your costs low. With a bit of time and practice, you’ll develop your own ways to save money using coupons and will then exceed even your own savings expectations. One thing is true and that’s how easy it is to save money when using coupons to shop.
Time to Save Money With Coupons
Coupons are like free money. It’s important to take advantage of this ‘free money’ and use coupons every chance that you get. Spending a few minutes each week sorting, browsing for, and cutting coupons is a short amount of time to devote to a hobby that saves such a nice amount of money. Be sure to join the crowd and save more of your money by using coupons!