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Most Frugal US Cities: Atlanta, Orlando, and Tampa

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Saving money has become second nature for many Americans, but the South and Midwest still have a leg up on the rest of the country, according to the 2012 Savings Index by, which ranked US cities by their use of digital coupons in 2012.

The top 5 most frugal cities of 2012 were in the South.

Atlanta took top prize (holding on to its title for the fourth consecutive year). Orlando was second, followed by Tampa, Nashville, and Charlotte:

Other key findings, issued by

  • Though the South held the top 5 spots on the list, the Midwest ranked as the most frugal region with 11 cities in the Heartland ranking in the top 25.
  • Ohio remained the country's most frugal state with three Buckeye state cities ranked among the top 25: Cleveland (No. 8), Columbus (No. 12), and Cincinnati (No. 13).
  • Sacramento made the biggest jump on the list overall, moving to No. 9 in 2012 after not making the top 25 in 2011.
  • Boston jumped 19 spots on the top 25, from No. 26 in 2011, to No. 7 in 2012.

Some 305 billion digital coupons were distributed in the US in 2012, giving consumers more than $450 billion in potential savings, according to the report.

Mobile Coupons

Mobile coupons are also a favorite among people living in Southern states.

Consumers in Orlando were most likely to cash in on coupons via mobile devices in 2012, with that city moving to the top of the "most on-the-go frugal cities" list. Nashville ranked second, followed by Atlanta (No. 3), Tampa (No. 4), and Dallas (No. 5).

Rounding out the top 25 for mobile coupon consumption were Kansas City (No. 6), Cleveland (No. 7), St. Louis (No. 8), Columbus (No. 9), Charlotte (No. 10), Washington DC (No. 11), Boston (No. 12), Virginia Beach (No. 13), Pittsburgh (No. 14), Philadelphia (No. 15), Denver (No. 16), Cincinnati (No. 17), Austin (No. 18), Phoenix (No. 19), San Francisco (No. 20), Milwaukee (No. 21), Las Vegas (No. 22), Houston (No. 23), Chicago (No. 24), and Detroit (No. 25).

Mobile Coupon Forecast

The number of discount coupons redeemed via mobile devices is forecast to reach 10 billion in 2013, up more than 50% from 2012, according to separate research from Juniper Research.

About the data: Findings for the Savings Index are based on use of's Grocery iQ and mobile apps, collected in 2012.

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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