What Happened to Couponing? Is It Still a Good Way To Save Money?

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Once upon a time, great savers would clip coupons from the inserts in the Sunday newspaper. You’d see people pulling out the rectangle and square papers in line at the grocery store as the cashier scanned the barcodes.

Print media started vanishing long ago. For some people, couponing vanished along with it. But do coupons still exist in 2024?

Is Couponing Still a Good Way To Save Money in 2024?

Is couponing still thriving? And does it still help people save money?

That’s what a recent Clark Howard listener recently asked.

Asked Scott in Georgia: “Whatever happened to couponing? It was all anyone could talk about 10 years ago, but I haven’t heard a word about it in a long time. Is this still a good way to save money and if so, what is the best way to go about it?”

Just like media shifted from print to digital, so did coupons. Unlike most things, though, digital probably is less convenient in the case of coupons.

“It’s much different than it was 10 years ago because it’s now all digitized,” Clark says.

“Couponing does happen now. It’s actually more complicated than it was when you used to have to take the glossy coupon things and cut them out with scissors and turn them in at the register. It’s more work now than it was before.”

How Kroger Illustrates the Modern Coupon Game

Where do you look for coupons now? Go directly to the website of the manufacturers of your favorite items, Clark says. And also visit the supermarket website itself.

Kroger and all its subsidiaries, the nation’s second-largest supermarket company, illustrates the modern couponing game well, Clark says.

“They have an incredibly complex app and website where you have to click on digital coupons when you’re at the register, sign in to your account and then in theory, the register will pick up that you clipped the electronic coupon,” Clark says.

“But you don’t know until you’ve finished your purchase. And the end of the receipt will show the digital coupons.”

Kroger is a “high-low” retailer. Smart shoppers can find good prices on discounted items. But to take full advantage, Clark says you need to be open about what you’re going to eat rather than visiting high-low supermarkets with a specific list.


“And this is where the coupons really matter is high-low retailers that the regular prices on things are very expensive,” Clark says. “But when something’s on discount, and in addition to the coupon, the prices are extremely low on those items.”

Final Thoughts

You can still save money with coupons. But you’ll often need to hunt for digital coupons online at a variety of websites. And you may need an app at a retailer like a grocery store — and to remember to go through the process at checkout.

To get started with digital couponing, check out our list of recommended apps for saving money on groceries

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