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Who Shops With Coupons?

Surprise: People who least need discounts are most likely to take advantage of them

If you don't regularly use coupons, it may be due to popular belief — and your misinformed ego.

See also: Website discounts with free app.

Many opinion surveys show that Americans tend to think that people who use coupons are the cash-strapped folks who have to. But new academic research finds otherwise: The more often you use coupons, the more likely you are to have money.

In a nationwide study of 250 shoppers, University of Arizona researchers found that 24 percent of "high users" — people who redeem between six or more coupons per shopping trip — had household incomes of at least $75,000 per year. But 61 percent of people who didn't use coupons came from households earning $35,000 or less.

The explanation seems in part to be that for people with drained bank accounts, pulling out coupons at the check out counter can seem like announcing to the world that they're broke. But maybe this can soothe a coupon-avoiding ego: On average, spending 20 minutes a week gathering them can "clip" about $1,000 a year from a grocery bill. But who really needs scissors? Try these high-tech ways to get coupon savings.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.

You may also like: How to get great money advice.

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