It seems that every month is something month these days, but according to the Promotional Marketing Association Educational Foundation, September is National Coupon Month. To help celebrate, I thought a little coupon history would be appropriate. It all started with Coca-Cola, perhaps we will have some good Coke coupons this month in honor of the money saving trend the company started.
UPDATE: Look what I found! A good Coca-Cola coupon! Don't forget that you can print it twice!
History of Coupons
1887: Coupons are born! John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, creates the recipe for the syrup used to make Coca-Cola and distributes free drink cards to people on the street encouraging them to try the new drink at a specific pharmacy.
1891: Asa Candler, the druggist who bought the formula for Coca-Cola for $2,300, arranges with pharmacies to direct mail account-specific coupons to customers for a free glass at the soda fountain.
1894: Coca-Cola converts their free coupon to the format most typical today — good anywhere the product is sold. Retailers send the redeemed coupons to Atlanta with proof-of-purchase of the syrup for reimbursement.
1895: Next stop, the local grocer! C.W. Post distributes the first cents-off coupon worth 1 penny toward his new health cereal, Grape Nuts.
1930s: Coupons are a staple in American households because of the Depression. Everyone needs to save money wherever possible and clipping coupons clips weekly grocery bills.
1940s: Supermarkets sprout across the country and continue the coupon tradition that had begun in neighborhood groceries.
1957: The Nielsen Coupon Clearing House becomes the first clearing house devoted to coupon redemption. Coupons have created a new industry.
1965: One-half of Americans are now coupon users.
1975: Coupon popularity continues to grow. Over 35 billion coupons are distributed and 65% of American households clip!
1998: America celebrates the first National Coupon Month. Children create art designs of their favorite coupons in the First Coupon Month Contest.
1999: Online coupons begin to gain momentum.
2000: Parents learn how to involve children in saving with coupons for National Coupon Month.
2008: 89% of consumers use coupons while shopping at supermarkets as a way to economize during a period of rising prices.
2009: A total of 311 billion coupons were distributed — the largest single-year distribution quantity ever recorded. Shoppers saved nearly $3.5 billion with coupons.
2010: Consumer packaged goods coupon distribution and redemption (as of first half) continue to build on record-breaking growth trends of 2009. Consumer purchase behavior points to a permanent shift toward value and saving as the United States recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
2011: First-half 2011 coupon redemption volume reached 1.75 billion, a moderate 2.9% increase compared to the first half of last year. In total, consumers saved $2 billion in the first six months of 2011.