COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Sure, we've all seen them.
You open the mailbox and there's a stack of coupons waiting for you.
It's your monthly reminder for a cheaper haircut or a free scoop of ice cream.
It may be the fastest growing way to save.
Among other discounts, it's typical to see incentives like $20 off, 50%, even free dessert at your favorite restaurant.
Who doesn't like free dessert?
It's good for customers, it's also good for business, like The Blue Door Boutique in Bradley Park.
They advertise in the monthly Money Mailer.
One month, nearly 100 customers used the coupon.
"A lot of those people in that number were new customers that would have ordinarily not come in," said Blue Door Boutique's Caroline Watts
David Carson owns the Upper Krust restaurant and advertises through the Towne Shopper, which is a quarterly coupon publication.
He's thrilled at the return on his investment...which means savings for his customers.
"Everyone kept telling me, you've got to get into coupons. You've got to get your name out there and let them see who you are, and bring them in," Carson said.
Both businesses say coupon-based advertising is one way to entice customers who might need an incentive to spend money at their establishments.
"There's a definite impact in using the coupons, you see it," Carson said.
The businesses we visited say they are very aware of exactly how many people use the coupons...they receive reports with the numbers.
They are constantly making the coupons worth more.