Americans still love couponing—now a 125-year-old tradition in the US: Fully 70% of surveyed women say saving money with coupons is as American as apple pie, according to a survey conducted by Valpak.

Moreover, 49% of women say if they don't have a coupon in hand, they would not buy dinner out; also, 33% wouldn't have their carpets cleaned, and 32% wouldn't buy a gallon of milk, the study found.

Below, other findings from Valpak's 125th Birthday of the Coupons Survey of female consumers in the US.

Results were also broken out by political party affiliation: Republicans were slightly more likely than Democrats to view couponing as American as apple pie (78.2% vs. 70.7%):

Regardless of party lines, nearly 70% of women reported they "love saving money and getting great discounts," with many saying the coupon craze is trendy and more socially acceptable among their peers.

Americans Use Both Paper and Digital

More than eight in ten women (84%) say they use coupons received via mail, such as Valpak, and those found in newspapers.

However, digital couponing is gaining momentum; among surveyed women: 

  • 65% use online coupons from retailer websites. 
  • 55% use coupon websites.
  • 34% use coupons from social networks such as Facebook. 
  • 25% use deal-site coupons.
  • 19% use mobile/SMS coupons.

Couponing Gaining Even More Popularity

Nearly six in ten women (58%) say they have increased their coupon habits over the past few years.

Democrats were slightly more likely than Republican to say they had increased couponing over the past several years (63% vs. 57%).

Asked why they are couponing more, both Republicans and Democrats cite saving money (75.9% and 76.7%, respectively). However, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to cite a bad economy as a reason for couponing more (65.5% vs. 54.4%), whereas Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they just wanted a deal (63.1% vs. 51.7%).

Social Acceptance

Asked how they feel about a man's using a coupon on a date or special occasion, 60% of women said "That’s my kind of man."

Republicans were more likely than Democrats to adore a savvy couponing man (72.3% vs. 61.4%).

Only 9% of Republicans and Democrats were opposed to a man's using coupons on a date.

Moreover, that sentiment spoke to all generations: 70% of women age 41-50 said "yes" to their partner paying for a special date with a coupon, as did 58% of women age 21-30.

Some key findings among surveyed women:

  • 85% would give coupons or deals as gifts.
  • 50% of women agreed with the statement "I love using coupons with friends and family to save money on the things we like to do."  
  • 30% agree they would likely spend an extra $1,000 or more a year if the coupon had never been introduced.

The nation's first coupon was issued in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1887 by a businessman offering discounts on his new product—samples of cola—according to Valpak.

About the data: The 125th Birthday of the Coupon Poll is based on a survey of 500 US women conducted via social networks, January 23-27, 2012.

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Couponing: 125 Years Old, American as Apple Pie

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