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Is There a Stigma to Using Coupons?

Last week, we took a look at the demographics of a typical coupon user. Did you know that the heaviest users of coupons make more than $70,000 per year? According to studies by Nielsen Co., those who use coupons the least earn less than $20,000 per year.

Why don't lower-income people use coupons? Is there a stigma to using coupons that prevents some people from using them?

Actually, there is. There's a widespread belief among the noncoupon set that "only poor people use coupons." Of course, according to Nielsen studies, the opposite is true. Some people, though, are genuinely afraid of appearing "poor" in the checkout lane. They don't want someone to think they must be enduring financial hardship.

In Super-Couponing workshops, I often hear stories from readers who say they have been "shamed" in the checkout lane of a grocery store. One woman was watching the cashier scan her large pile of coupons and the couple standing behind her turned to each other and said, "Remember when we had ...

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