It’s not always easy to select material for a newspaper column, especially after writing close to 800 of them since The Gazette began publishing in 1999. From time to time, I know I repeat a few things I’ve mentioned previously. But I always try never to actually duplicate what I’ve written earlier.
In developing the columns, I try to read lots of source material. I follow no specific regimen, but try to vary what I read. Often, I’ll find gold in unsuspecting places.
Many of us use coupons when we shop. I found an article explaining that companies distribute 836 million coupons every day of the year. In both 2011 and 2012, consumers could have taken advantage of 305 billion coupons.
How many did they redeem? Maybe not as many as you might think. People used just 2.9 billion coupons last year – that’s less than 1 percent of all coupons companies distribute. Most arrive at consumers’ houses via printed publications, but now, about 6 percent of all coupons people redeem are print-at-home versions from the Internet.
It turn out that just about 80 percent of us use coupons at the checkout register to save a few pennies or maybe dollars. More than half of us apply coupon use to things we need rather than want, confirming what the article explains is a strong value-oriented mindset in a majority of shoppers.