Understanding Her Habits: The Coupon Encounter

By Hailey LaGuarta

As researchers, we at On Your Mark are constantly striving to understand women’s behavior. We are fascinated with women as consumers, and we are always seeking new ways to identify with them and their buying patterns. We even go as far as trying out these behaviors in our own lives to see how they can impact us. The women we talk to in our focus groups can be an inspiration, because they love to find great deals and share this knowledge. As such, I was recently motivated by these women to try something new.

The other night I was flipping through the television channels when I saw an interesting commercial for a new show that is about to premier – “Extreme Couponing.” This TLC reality show is about women who try to save money on every purchase they make by using coupons. I stopped flipping because I was intrigued by their devotion to saving money. As I sat there watching the women in the commercial clipping coupons, I started thinking about the female shoppers we talk to and how we try to understand their buying strategies. I don’t clip coupons myself, but I started to consider my own shopping habits and wonder how much money I could save if I changed them. I wanted to experience couponing as a way to relate to bargain hunting women out there, and also to see if I could integrate this into my everyday lifestyle. My curiosity got the best of me, and the next day I set out on my own coupon adventure.

I began by gathering all the coupons I could around my house. I found a pile of coupons that I received in the mail and decided to do some research online about the good deals at my local grocery store. With a stack of coupons in my purse, I headed to my local grocery store. I discovered great deals that I would otherwise pass by because I’m not paying attention or don’t want to take the time. It took me a while to get the hang of things, but I quickly learned which signs to look for when shopping for items associated with my coupons. After I checked out I looked down at my receipt to find that I had saved $14.00. While this may not impress some of the women featured on the show, I felt proud and pleased. It’s understandable that women would be motivated to go to the extreme with couponing!

I am thankful that my coupon experience led to a deeper understanding of couponing shoppers. Even thought I am not like the “Extreme Couponing” women, I have become much more cognizant of my shopping and am learning to seek out great deals online and through magazines. Knowing how this experience has impacted my shopping patterns allows me to form a better grasp on why women coupon. I look forward to putting myself in another pair of the female consumer’s shoes to further relate to her.


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