The bad news is, the USDA projects the cost of food in restaurants and food-at-home costs will increase this year by 2.8% . The good news is, this rate of inflation is in line with the increases reported over the past decade. Still, the cost of groceries is not the only increase that will stretch your household budget this year, but it is one where families can make the most of what is available to spend.
Couponing, fast becoming a growing trend, is one way of cutting the monthly food budget. Popularized by the Discovery Channel’s show, “Extreme Couponing”, this technique of cost savings is experiencing a rebirth.
A decade ago, coupon use was greatly reduced; the conventional wisdom advised that the clipable discounts weren’t always the least costly alternative, as manufacturers’ prices are generally higher than store brands (Giant and Wegman’s brands are lowest in the area) resulting in a net increase additionally, generic store brand products were felt to be just as good.
According to Nielsen Reports, coupon use, on the whole is rising as our economy suffers decline, but more of a turnaround, Nielsen statistics seem to indicate that affluent, suburban consumers ($70k+) are the ones most likely to take advantage of this trend. Least likely to clip ‘n save are customers on the low end of the economic spectrum, one-member and male-only households, rural and urban dwellers .
For extreme couponers and the regular garden-variety coupon users, manufacturers’ coupons are just the beginning. First, there are the grocery store membership cards to swipe for store discounts, then the coupons are matched with stores that offer deals such as double and triple-off on coupons, as well as, rebate offers and other available discounts.
More consumers are looking for value and savings so retailers and manufacturers are collaborating to make coupon access easier. It all adds-up, coupons are back in vogue.