Posted on Monday, January 24, 2011
Known for Coca-Cola, peach trees and Gone With the Wind, Atlanta now holds yet another honor: It is home to some of the most frugal shoppers in the country.
According to data collected by Coupons.com, residents of Atlanta used the site's online coupons more than any other city in the country, printing an average of more than $1,000 in coupons in 2010, almost doubling the average of $531 they printed in 2009. It was the second year in a row that Atlanta ranked at the top of the site's Most Frugal U.S. Cities list. (Ranking is based relative to a city's population).
Tampa maintained its position as the city with the second most savings. On average, regular users of Coupons.com in Tampa printed $863 in savings over the course of the year. Following on the savings heels of Atlanta and Tampa were Cincinnati, Saint Louis and Minneapolis, according to the site.
With more people feeling the sting of the recession, a growing number of Americans are using online coupons, including more people with college educations and incomes above $100,000. Atlanta resident Amy Bergin estimates she saves $15 to $30 a week by using 20 to 50 coupons each week from websites, newspapers and other sources.
"Coupons are everywhere these days," says Bergin, who runs an online business selling coupon organizers. It still requires multitasking, Bergin said, but it really only takes her about an hour a week to get the coupons she needs together.
The Coupons.com index of frugal cities found that the Southerners are among the best savers in the country, with more than one-third of the top 20 frugal cities. In addition to Atlanta and Tampa, other Southern cities on the list include Charlotte (#6), Nashville (#7), Raleigh (#10), Oklahoma City (#13), Miami (#13) and Dallas (#14).
Ohio is the country's most frugal state. The Buckeye state is represented three times on the list – Cincinnati (#3), Cleveland (#8) and Columbus (#19). North Carolina is Ohio's biggest challenger, climbing the penny-pinching ladder with two cities in the top 10: Charlotte and Raleigh.
Seattle (#18) joined the list this year, making it the only city on the West Coast to make the cut.
Here's Coupons.com's list of the top 20 Most Frugal Cities:
4. St. Louis
11. Kansas City
12. Washington, D.C.
15. Oklahoma City
19. Columbus, Ohio
20. Wichita, Kansas
By Aaron Crowe, WALLET POP