Box o' coupons


Now, before you find fault with the premise of the headline, note that it doesn’t claim it’s the 40th anniversary of the coupon. Far from it. But, in honor of the first anniversary of Coupons in the News this week, we’ll be taking a weeklong look at another anniversary – “couponing”, as we know it, is turning 40.

For real!

Do a bit of research online, and you’ll quickly learn that Coca-Cola is widely credited with issuing the first coupon more than 125 years ago. About a decade later, coupons came to the grocery store, as C.W. Post enticed customers with a generous coupon that offered one cent off a box of Grape Nuts cereal.

But then the chronology gets a little murky. A few online timelines and infographics that purport to tell the history of coupons proceed to list such vague milestones as “1930: Coupon usage booms” and “1975: Coupon popularity continues to grow.” Then, suddenly, the internet was invented – and, hey, here we are today!

How exactly did we go from a penny off Grape Nuts, to internet printable coupons, with nothing of real substance in between?


Needless to say, that skips over a lot of interesting history. And the more you delve into that history, the more it becomes apparent that 1973 – exactly four decades ago – was something of a watershed year for coupons. It’s arguably when the act of using coupons became more like “couponing” – a verb in and of itself.

Every day this week, drop by Coupons in the News for the latest in a series of articles examining one aspect of couponing today, that had its origins in 1973. Or, bookmark this article, and links to each new story will appear below as they’re published.

Unless you’ve been couponing for decades and have seen it all yourself, a lot of it may surprise you. Here’s what to watch for:

Monday: Grocers Invent the Game – you can thank Richard Nixon for the invention of one of couponers’ favorite gimmicks.
Tuesday: Newspapers Go Cuckoo for Coupons – how the Sunday paper became a coupon bonanza.
Wednesday: Coupons Go High-Tech – redeeming stacks of coupons was a struggle, before you could just scan them.
Thursday: Double the Coupons, Double the Fun – how doubles helped turn couponing into a craze.
Friday: Couponing Becomes Cool – couponers come out of the shadows, to show that being a savvy shopper is simply smart.

Whether you’re a new reader, or have been here since the beginning, think of this 40th anniversary retrospective as a first anniversary gift from Coupons in the News, to you! There wouldn’t be much point in doing any of this, after all, if there was no one reading it. To the loyal readers – and hopefully you know who you are – thanks as always for all of your support.

And if you like anything you read here (shameless plea), do feel free to comment on the site, share stories on Facebook, link to or repost articles if you have your own site, or otherwise help spread the word. It goes a long way toward keeping one motivated to keep at this for another year.

Here’s to another successful year ahead for us all – and see you tomorrow with part one of “Couponing at 40”.

One Comment

  1. Hi; aquien can interest a few weeks ago, I’m trying to find the p and g incert smart grid and other plum sauce but I have not had any success because they are not English. using google translator sending this message as I could purchase the insert q in Puerto Rico and the cars are selling so I would like more information if I can help is the agradesere

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