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As for the 17 percent year-over-year dropoff in coupon use in 2012, NCH’s Brown attributes it to a change in the type of coupons offered by manufacturers. Instead of issuing 75-cents-off on pantry essentials, such as pasta or breakfast cereals, more companies last year were busily issuing nonfood coupons for health- and personal-care products, such as razors, deodorants and cough/cold remedies.
Plus, coming out of the recession there was pent-up eagerness among manufacturers to tout new products via coupons.
But consumers weren’t buying. In NCH’s annual survey, most of the 14.5 percent who reported using fewer coupons in 2012 said it was because they couldn’t find coupons for the products they wanted or weren’t tempted by unfamiliar new ones.
Nevertheless, bloggers such as Ng and Thompson contend the save-a-dollar mind-set honed in the recession isn’t going away.
"There’s a new generation of people who have trained themselves to be more frugal," said Ng, who likened it to the lasting impact the Great Depression had on his grandparents’ generation.
"There’ve been a lot of 20-somethings who had a hard time getting a job out of college or saw their parents losing a job. If history repeats itself, they’ll better understand the value of a dollar and realize it’s important to save."
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