Consumers Turning to Coupons for Grocery Savings

by MarketingCharts staff

Coupons Prevalent Among More Affluent

Interestingly, coupon use is more frequent among higher-than lower-income households, with 49% of those with annual household income of $75,000 or more reporting use of coupons on every, or nearly every, shopping trip, compared to 38% of those with annual household incomes of less than $25,000. Coupon use isn’t just frequent among the higher-earning, it’s also widespread, with 98% of this group saying they make use of coupons to save money on grocery bills.

Paper Coupons More Commonly Used

markettools-grocery-coupon-sources-april2012.jpgCoupons appear to be more commonly gleaned from old-fashioned paper sources than digital ones. More than 7 in 10 shoppers said they get their coupons from newspapers or newspaper coupon inserts, while 3 in 5 get them in the mail and slightly more than half get them from store circulars.

By contrast, less than 2 in 5 get them from email (37%) or coupons websites (36%), while only about 1 in 5 source them from manufacturer’s websites and just 1 in 10 from Facebook. These digital coupon users seem to be big spenders, though: according to an April 2012 report from, digital coupon users shop more frequently and spend more heavily, at almost 50% more annually, than the average shopper.

Other Findings:

  • Data from the MarketTools study indicates that women are slightly more likely than men to report using coupons for at least half of their shopping trips (71% vs. 67%). Results from a Valpak survey released in March 2012 corroborate the finding of high coupon usage among women: 70% of women responding to that survey reported using coupons, with 58% saying they have increased their use of coupons over the past few years.
  • 49% of the respondents to the MarketTools survey said that a coupon would not influence them to buy an item they don’t typically buy.
  • Slightly more than one-third of respondents said they subscribe to a daily deal site, with 70% of those saying they had made at least one purchase in the past 6 months. Grocery items accounted for just 13% of the purchases, behind other categories such as dining out (20%), services (18%), and activities and entertainment (18%).

About the Data: The MarketTools results are based on a survey conducted in February 2012 among American adults age 21 and older who report shopping for at least half of their household’s groceries. Completed surveys numbered 893 nationally representative responses.