For many shoppers, the idea of using coupons to save money has become a way of life. But where did this savvy shopping technique come from? Let’s take a look back at the history of couponing.
The practice of using coupons for discounts and promotions can be traced back as early as the late 1800s. At the time, businesses would offer handwritten tickets for free items or discounts to customers who presented them at the store. However, this method was largely unregulated and led to counterfeit coupons, causing retailers to become more cautious in their coupon offerings.
It wasn’t until the 1900s that coupons became a more common practice. In the 1930s, supermarkets began offering coupons as a way to encourage customers to purchase more items. These coupons would come in the form of newspaper inserts, and offered discounts on everything from food to household items.
Couponing really took off in the 1960s, as new technology allowed for mass printing of coupons. Companies started sending out large amounts of coupons through the mail, and consumers became more interested in getting their hands on as many coupons as possible to save money.
The 1980s saw a resurgence in couponing, as the economy became more uncertain and shoppers sought out ways to save money. These years witnessed the rise of extreme couponing, and a community of savvy shoppers who shared their couponing strategies and tips.
Today, couponing has evolved in many ways. Instead of relying on newspaper inserts and mailings, shoppers can find coupons online, on social media platforms, and through mobile apps. Consumers are also looking for more personalized offers and rewards, and companies are responding by tailoring coupons to specific user data.
While the methods of coupon distribution have changed, the goal of using coupons remains the same – to save money on necessary purchases. Whether you clip paper coupons or use a digital app, couponing has become a part of everyday life for many shoppers, and its history shows that it’s a trend that’s here to stay.