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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Students Print Coupons to Cut Cost

Coupon clipping is no longer just a pastime of the elderly. During these cost-conscious times, Stony Brook University students are getting hip to coupon clipping too, but they’re finding coupons mostly online.

According to an annual consumer report by the Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council, U.S. shoppers redeemed a total of $2.6 billion worth of coupons in 2007, the same as in 2006, both online and traditional. In the 15 years before 2006, coupon redemption in the U.S. had declined. But Internet coupon usage increased 83 percent from 2005.

‘Right now, everyone should be looking for ways to stretch their dollar,’ said Marisa Fascini, a Stony Brook senior. ‘Coupons are so easy to find online nowadays, students don’t have an excuse.’

Web sites like,, and have sprung up, and digitally revolutionized coupon clipping. These Web sites aggregate some of the best money-saving online promotional codes and printable coupons from almost every retailer. Finding coupons has never been more quicker, easier, or addicting.

According to Brian Weisfield, chief operations officer at, consumers printed more than $300 million worth of coupons in 2008. That represented a 140 percent increase over the previous year.

The gasoline crisis of last summer prompted Richard Vu, a junior, to begin clipping coupons for the first time. From coupons alone, he saves an average of about $20 on a $50 grocery bill each month, he said.

‘I just realized how much I could save if I actually tried,’ Vu said. ‘With those savings, I can put gas in my car and visit my family back home in Staten Island.’

Platform-A’s Business Intelligence Organization, and Information Resources’ study on coupon clipping by age groups, found the use of newspaper coupons rose with age, while the use of online coupons declined with age. Online coupons usage was highest among 18 to 24 year olds at 51 percent, gradually decreasing to 30 percent among consumers 65 and older.

Fascini, a self-declared ‘Coupon Queen,’ spends one hour each week compiling coupons from the Internet. She mostly uses coupons for retail purchases, such as clothing, cosmetics and entertainment. She said she saves about 10 to 20 percent on all of her purchases.

‘Just last week I needed a new lamp for my room,’ said Facini. ‘Not only did I find Home Depot was having a huge sale on lighting, I also found a printable coupon for an additional 10 percent off my purchase.’ The lamp’s price tag said $40; Fascini snagged it for $23 ‘- nearly half off.

Warren Sanderon, co-chairman of Stony Brook’s economic department, said the trend of students coupon clipping was bound to happen. ‘Young people demanded coupons for a long time, but weren’t being supplied adequately,’ said Sanderson. He pointed out that young adults are not reading Sunday newspapers. Therefore they’re not seeing the traditional form of coupons.

‘Coupon clipping is just one piece of a larger trend of responsible consumer spending,’ said Sanderson. ‘Even the people who aren’t desperate for money to survive, like students, are now being sensible about spending and using coupons.’

Online couponing benefits consumers and retailers, said Camille Abbruscato, a marketing professor at Stony Brook.

‘By using electronic media, the cost of implementing promotions has fallen through the floor, and marketing is jumping on this,’ said Abbruscato. ‘Companies are building brand loyalty, and gaining new customers. Online coupons are just the beginning, as companies continually get creative.’

One example of this creativity is mobile coupons. Web sites like deliver coupons to mobile devices for services, shopping, and entertainment. Consumers find local deals by zip code. At checkout, the consumer shows the mobile coupon to the cashier for their discount — no clipping, printing, or storing involved. The service is free of charge to all users.

Dennis Chigrinski, a junior, admits to being an avid user of Cellfire, because it is also a downloadable application for such phones as the iPhone and iTouch.

‘In the past I would just buy things when I needed it, without considering if I was overpaying, or if I could use coupons,’ said Chirinski. ‘But now, I can’t check out without checking my iPhone first. It’s like having a little personal coupon assistant.’

Holly Hok, a senior, said she cuts 10 to 15 percent off her purchases on groceries and house essentials. In fact, coupon clipping has changed her entire buying experience.
‘I actually don’t feel that bad when I buy things, as long as I use coupons,’ said Hok. ‘I don’t know what it is about saving money with coupons. I think it’s just the fact that I’m saving money on things I need, and that makes my purchase such a better experience. It’s actually become fun to look for bargains and savings.’

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