Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Coupons Catch On In Down Economy
Now that the economy is in a downturn and food prices have skyrocketed, coupons are more popular than ever. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, almost 94% of Americans redeem at least one coupon a year now, and 16% of coupons redeemed for groceries are printed at home via the internet. That’s up significantly from 2003, when only about 80% of shoppers clipped coupons, with just 1% of coupons redeemed off the internet.
People tend to think the average coupon user is low-income, but it’s typically a woman with kids in a household with an annual income of $50,000 to $75,000. And curiously enough, the five most popular types of coupons redeemed are (in order) breakfast foods, oral hygiene products, pet food, household cleaners and vitamins/supplements.
Some Americans are clipping so crazily that TV channel TLC has debuted a reality show called “Extreme Couponing.” In one recent episode, a hard-core couponer packed more than $5,000 worth of groceries into multiple carts, but after redeeming his coupons, he paid only $250.
Target offers a ton of coupons on their site, which you can print yourself and redeem in-store. And if you're a Target RedCard holder (as I am) you'll get "coupon books" sent to your home about 4-5 times a year. Target also offers "mobile coupons" for smartphone users, where you can get exclusive offers up to five times a month via text message on your web-enabled phone.