In some ways we have the Coca-Cola Company to thank for the madness that is extreme couponing. In 1888, the cola giant began offering the first modern-day coupon. This unique marketing strategy seems to have worked well for Coke, helping it expand into millions of homes, becoming the international mega-brand we all know today. Fast-forward to 2012 and the once-novel advertising device, the coupon, is more popular than ever (view printable coupons here).
Coupons are a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone. In 2011, Americans saved approximately $4.6 billion by redeeming coupons (NCH Marketing Services). This is not surprising considering several of the largest coupon websites can reach millions of people each day via their sites and affiliate programs. Additionally, group coupon deal websites (like Groupon and Living Social) have expanded from fewer than a million members in select cities, to near-complete market saturation in many of the largest U.S. regions, with Groupon offering local deals in over 48 countries.