EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

November 2, 2012

The e-coupon debate revisited

75 percent of coupons still come with a newspaper

Recently, I shared an email from a reader who believes there is a conspiracy going on with electronic coupons. My reader feels that companies offering coupons online and via phone apps are deliberately excluding discounts from the people who need them the most. I offered some budget-friendly tips for ways to access coupons online, including visiting a public library and using a free computer terminal to load e-coupons to a store’s loyalty card or print coupons.

The column generated lots of feedback. Many readers chimed in to support the idea of using free Internet access at the library. Others offered criticism. Here’s a sampling:

If people can’t afford Internet and don’t have a computer they probably also don’t have time or gas to go to the library all the time. These big companies need to figure out how to get these people their e-coupons! – Lauren S.

I do not understand how you can state that companies are not intentionally leaving behind a certain segment of the population using this delivery method. Upper income levels have equipment to access and print coupons. And this segment of the population has the least need for coupon savings. Companies ought to be providing coupon access in all formats to accommodate all levels of society. What has happened for your concern for the population that needs to stretch their budgets by using coupons? – Pattsi P.

I continue to be devoted helping people stretch their budgets. Long before I began writing this column, coupons were instrumental in helping us afford to live on one income. My husband worked outside the home and I was home with our children. Like many parents, a big part of my at-home role was managing our finances. The amount of money I saved each year with coupons was wonderful, but it was also necessary to our bottom line.

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