Economic Troubles Encourage Coupon Savings Habit

Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council Reports an Increase in Coupon Activity in 2009, Anticipates Long-term Savings Trend

NEW YORK, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the financial crisis deepened a year ago, coupon use has been on the rise. Marketers made substantially more coupons available to encourage consumer purchases, and shoppers responded by increasing their coupon use by approximately 20 percent during the first half of 2009.
That double digit growth in coupon use started during the fourth quarter of 2008 and coupon redemption has continued to rise ever since.
"Coupons are even more influential in consumer purchasing decisions today due to the economic downturn as shoppers realize it's the smart thing to do," says Charles Brown, Co-Chair of the PMA Coupon Council. "Both manufacturers and retailers are promoting at a greater pace to appeal to consumers who are seeking deals to stretch their budget and changing their spending habits in ways that are expected to continue permanently, even when the economy recovers."
PMA Coupon Council Co-Chair Matthew Tilley adds, "Given the new frugality of American households brought on by the current economic hardship, the interest in finding new and additional ways to save is expected to continue. Coupons are a perfect fit as a convenient way to save a good deal of money without a lot of effort. That's something everyone likes to do, in good times and bad."
Coupon Statistics
* $3 billion of savings were achieved by consumers using packaged goods coupons last year.
* More than $400 billion of packaged goods coupons are offered annually.
* The average value offered per coupon is approximately $1.35.
* 94 percent of the overall population report that they have used coupons when shopping (for grocery, household and healthcare items), an increase of 5 share points. 
* 89 percent of the overall population report that they have prepared a shopping list using coupons, up from 78 percent who said they did so a year ago. 
September is National Coupon Month, which is sponsored by the PMA Coupon Council. That makes September a great time for shoppers to refine their coupon saving skills by better organizing the coupons they receive, clip, or download to maximize their share of the $400 billion dollars of discounts available annually in the U.S.
"Once someone creates a coupon habit, they can achieve a lifetime of savings," said Brown. "The typical family can easily save $1,000 annually by spending just 20 minutes a week seeking, clipping and organizing their coupons. If you do that every year for the next 30 or 40 years, that's $30,000 or $40,000 at today's value of money. Imagine how you can stretch your budget over time by routinely using coupons when shopping."
"Organization is key," said Tilley. "Many shoppers sort coupons by category and keep their coupons in a file or envelope. But no matter how you organize your coupons the point is to be sure you take them with you to the store. When it becomes part of your shopping routine, the savings can be enormous."
For more information about coupon usage, coupon clipping tips and more, please visit http://www.nationalcouponmonth.org.
About the PMA Coupon Council
Founded in 1994, the PMA Coupon Council is an advocacy group for coupons within the Promotion Marketing Association. The group focuses on providing education on, and promoting the use of, couponing among manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Coupon research is conducted by Coupon Council member companies, Inmar and NCH Marketing Services.
About the PMA
Established in 1911, the Promotion Marketing Association, Inc (PMA) is the premier not for profit organization and resource for research, education and collaboration for marketing professionals. Representing the over $1 trillion integrated marketing industry, the organization is comprised of Fortune 500 companies, top marketing agencies, law firms, retailers, service suppliers and academia, representing thousands of brands worldwide. Championing the highest standards of excellence and recognition in the promotion and integrated marketing industry globally, PMA's objective is to foster a better understanding of promotion and integrated marketing and its role in the overall marketing process. The PMA is headquartered in New York City with its affiliate, the PMA Educational Foundation, Inc.
SOURCE Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council

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