Charles William Post, (1854-1914) founder of The Post Cereal Company, was the first person to introduce the idea of coupons. In 1895, hoping that it might lead to an increase in sales of his new cereal, Post's Grape-Nuts, he gave out slips of paper offering "one penny off" the original price to his customers. Needless to say, it sparked what would soon become a wide spread practice.