Shaving a little bit of money off your shopping bill is always satisfying, so it's perhaps unsurprising that more and more shoppers are starting to turn to vouchers and coupons to make their money go just a little bit further.
Indeed, coupon-happy UK shoppers saved £3.3 billion over the last year, according to research carried out by coupon and voucher services provider Valassis Limited, with the average monthly coupon saving standing at £6.83, up from £6.59 previously.
Supermarket shoppers were found to be the most inclined to maximise their use of vouchers, with 86% of those questioned saying that they took advantage of coupons to shrink their bill, while another 40% stated that they had increased their usage of them from last year. However, internet shoppers are also getting in on the action, with internet coupon usage rising by 9% since last year - a move championed by those aged between 25 and 34.
But keen-eyed shoppers aren't just making the most of coupon discounts; they're also on the hunt for other promotional offers. The survey revealed that 45% of respondents said that they had increased their vigilance for special offers, up 8% year-on-year, with 25-34 year-olds once again being in the vanguard. In addition, 34% of those questioned also admitted that they are shopping more regularly in discount shops, which shows that UK shoppers really are getting into the money-saving spirit.
"Consumers increasingly seek out value and from a number of sources, thus continuing a long-standing shopping skill, honed further by the recent global economic crisis," commented Charles D'Oyly, managing director of Valassis.
Unfortunately, this determination to cut bills down may be at least partially fuelled by a worsening perception of personal finances - 33% of those asked said that they felt that their financial situation had deteriorated from last year, up from 28% of consumers a year ago. Worryingly, it appears that even full-time workers aren't immune to pressure on their budgets, which may explain why 50% of full-time respondents said that they had increased their coupon usage, a rise of 12% from last year.
If the size of your shopping bills causes you to sigh, then maybe it is time to join your fellow shoppers in the coupon revolution! You can search online or take a look at our vouchers and coupons page to find deals, or look out in your favourite shops for any vouchers or discounts. Signing up to shops' email lists may also entitle you to coupons or exclusive promotions. When shopping, it's a good idea to check out any special offers - but remember to look closely as not all of these offers will be a bargain.
So, can you become the next coupon king or queen?
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.