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Did you find a favorite coupon blogger to follow when you first started couponing? Is that blogger still in business?

With fewer coupons and deals available than there were during couponing’s heyday a few years ago, there are now fewer websites to help you keep track of them all. The owners of some high-profile coupon-focused websites are moving on from couponing, reflecting both their audience’s changing interests – and their own.

One of the latest to make the move is Carrie Rocha, who founded “Pocket Your Dollars” back in 2009. That was right on the cusp of the “extreme couponing” craze that led to a surge in interest in all things coupons.

But Rocha recently decided it was time for a change. So she sold her website effective earlier this month, and announced she was moving on.

“I really like starting stuff – the startup phase is what interests me,” she told Coupons in the News. After more than eight years writing about coupons and deals and savings tips, “I thought, maybe I just need to move on and try a different thing.”

While a declining interest in couponing was not the main motivating factor in her decision, she allowed that readers in general are not as into coupons as they once were – Rocha herself included. “I certainly have shifted how I have shopped for groceries. I’m not using as many coupons as I once was,” she said.

Pocket Your Dollars had already started including more content about online shopping and other ways to save without using coupons. It’s a shift that the new owner has continued – the site has since stopped posting grocery deals and coupon matchups altogether.

Other coupon bloggers have also found their enthusiasm for couponing has waned, but not all of them are ready to give up what they’ve built. Some are opting to change their focus, hoping that their audience follows along.

“While we still see the occasional great deal, these are fewer and further between – and they’re not, by and large, deals I’m picking up myself any longer,” “Mashup Mom” Rachel Singer Gordon told her readers late last year. “Moving to talking about how to shop and live frugally as an overall lifestyle is much more interesting to me.”

So with that, she quit posting hot deals and coupon matchups, and started offering more frugal living tips, recipes and meal planning ideas.

“My site is still evolving, but now focuses on ALDI meal planning and healthier eating on a budget,” Gordon told Coupons in the News. “This reflects my own changing shopping and eating patterns, as well as those of many of my readers.” As for coupon blogging, “I think couponing has changed to the point where we’re just whittling down to a few of the largest coupon-focused blogs,” she said. “The more hard core couponers or those who prefer to push boundaries have moved to Instagram and Facebook groups, rather than blogs.”

It’s not just coupon bloggers who are shifting their priorities. A major subscription-based coupon matchup website has just done the same.

Since 2007, SavingsAngel has provided grocery coupon deals to paying members. For much of that time, it competed with the subscription site The Grocery Game. But in a sign of the changing landscape, and the declining interest in paying for access to coupon matchups, The Grocery Game abruptly folded last year.

SavingsAngel, meanwhile, chose not to fold – but to adapt. So last month, the site announced it would no longer be listing grocery and coupon deals, instead focusing on different ways to save.

“Couponing, in general, has waned quite a bit in the past 5 or so years,” founder Josh Elledge told members. “The general population has shifted their interest from grocery couponing to all types of couponing – from restaurants to hair cuts. So we’ve decided to follow that trend a bit closer. We’ve always strived to deliver what people are asking for – and more people want broader savings. By shifting our focus, we can deliver that.”

As part of its changes, SavingsAngel also disbanded its “Coupon Integrity” initiative. Launched in 2011, it aimed to “elevate the standards for couponing” by allowing bloggers to apply for a “Coupon Integrity” badge, signifying that they play by the rules and adhere to a voluntary couponing code of ethics.

“Certainly since ‘Extreme Couponing’, we’ve seen a pretty steady downward trend in interest for grocery store couponing,” Elledge told Coupons in the News. “For us, the traffic and engagement just was not there. We even offered our coupon database and matchups free for a couple of months – and just didn’t see the interest to support the work.”

But Elledge is fine with the changes, and hopes SavingsAngel members are too. “A man or woman can only talk about coupons for so long before they need to expand outward, in my opinion,” he said. “My passion truly lies in empowering consumers with tips and strategies for getting great deals and upgrades – which goes way beyond coupons.”

Other coupon bloggers remain interested in couponing, but are broadening their scope anyway. And there’s a behind-the-scenes business reason for that. Many of the sponsors who support them financially have been shifting their interest and their dollars from coupons-and-deals blogs to lifestyle, food, family and fashion blogs. So some bloggers are simply doing what makes sense for them financially, and going where the money is.

But what about the readers who are still committed to couponing, and still looking for someone to help guide them? There’s still hope. If any of your favorite couponing websites have shifted their focus, and you’ve been disappointed in the changes, give them some time – they might just come around.

Last year, “I am THAT Lady” blogger Lauren Greutman made major changes to her coupon-focused website. She renamed it LaurenGreutman.com and refashioned it as a frugal-living, personal finance site.

And then a couple of weeks ago, she announced some “big changes” – again.

“I don’t like writing boring personal finance content,” she confessed. Going forward, she said readers will get “a lot more personal content, and I may even add some couponing back into the mix.”

Couponing tends to spike during periods of economic hardship, and taper off when things improve. It’s been nearly a decade since the start of the last recession, and some pundits are predicting we’re due for another sooner than later.

That’s not great news. But look on the bright side. If hard times hit and more people start looking for ways to save money, then couponing – and coupon blogging – just might become cool again.

Photo by rose3694

3 Comments

  1. I used some of the coupon websites from quite a long and follow their blogs i am a regular reader.

    1) Krazy Coupon Lady
    2) Southern Savers
    3) I Heart Publix
    4) I Heart Kroger
    5) Hip2Save
    6) Coupon Mom
    7) Coupon Pro

    If anyone want to go threw it you guys can.

  2. We have seen a big shift from many bloggers getting away from coupon “matchups” and deals.

    For me- I am personally a long time coupon user and my blog has a heavy focus on coupons and deals- but I’ve always had content that wasn’t just here’s a coupon- here’s a deal.

    Because couponing is really more than just that- it’s learning the tricks the stores use to get us to buy more, to learning how to read a receipt to how to turn those deals into dinner… I can’t ever see myself NOT couponing and then blogging about that too.

    But to all those whose favorite sites stopped doing coupon deals- there are still plenty of us left who do!

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