With coupon use at almost 80%, people seek numerous ways to save on everything from weekly groceries to big budget items and the avenues available prove endless. Gone are the days of retirees waiting until senior citizens day to get double coupons. The financial crisis sparked people to search for discounts and it still occurs today. Three main options include traditional coupons, digital discounts and in store incentives permitting more than incremental savings for a shopper.

Paper Savings

The most common area where people use clipped coupons remain the grocery store followed closely by discount home good stores. Approximately 45% of coupons are for food items and 29% for non food items. These coupons expire in about nine weeks and require the purchase of multiple packages of the same item. Shoppers advise lack of a discount as a reason to postpone buying a particular product. 

Paperless Discounts

The advent of the smart phone with digital coupon apps brought a sharp increase in the number of discounts used by shoppers. Customers scan bar codes to determine if the applications have coupons for those items. In addition to digital versions of traditional coupons, savvy shoppers utilize programs like Groupon and Smoopa giving the customer discounts, deals or directions to stores with the best price on a particular item. 

Right in Store

Through the power of computer managed email lists combined with incentive programs, stores provide discounts to customers carrying loyalty cards. This permits customers to try store brand products at a deeper discount than the name brand alternative without carrying a coupon. Programs like this extend beyond grocery stories. Several restaurants and businesses offer birthday clubs with meal deals or special discounts. Customers only needs to sign up at the company's website.

Shoppers using a variety of tools save more money and time. 80% of consumers who benefit from coupons say the "feel smarter" when they shop. The deals they receive benefit themselves, their family and friend and their fiances. It only takes a little planning.