Study: Sunday Newspapers Still Best Source for Coupons

By: Jennifer Saba

A new study from Scarborough Research finds that the thrifty still turn to Sunday newspapers as their top source for coupons. While many search for deals on the Internet, 53% of households got their coupons from the Sunday paper in 2007. Only 11% of households did so online.

“With the prices for consumer goods rising, we can only expect that a ‘good deal’ is of increasing importance for shoppers,” Alisa Joseph, vice president, advertiser, marketing services for Scarborough Research, said in a statement.

Direct mail and in-store are other popular means of finding coupons. Thirty-five percent of households got their coupons through direct mail while 33% got them at the store.

Seventeen percent of households turned to the weekday paper. Other methods include: customer loyalty cards (22%); in-store circulars (22%); product packages (17%); and magazines (15%).

The Internet though is growing the fastest of all the methods that Scarborough studied with an 83% increase from 2005 to 2007.

Scarborough also looked at the top designated market areas (DMA) and ranked them according to those households that used grocery coupons once a week or more. The leading DMAs for that activity are Milwaukee, Wis., and Rochester, N.Y., with 40% of households and 38% respectively. Twenty-seven percent of households clip coupons once a week or more nationally.

Albuquerque, N.M., El Paso, Texas, and Fresno, Calif., are the markets least likely to have households clip coupons.

Scarborough also found a correlation between markets with high coupon usage and Sunday readership. Nationally, Sunday newspaper readers were 15% more likely than all adults to use grocery coupons. In Rochester, 32% of adults were “more likely to read the Sunday newspaper” and in Milwaukee, it was 24% of adults.

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