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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Alannah I.

We live in a world where the cost of goods has increased drastically in the last fifteen years because of inflation. Coupons have become a crucial part of my life in terms of shopping. Being a college student, it is very important for me to save as much money as possible to help my household survive in this capitalist economy. There have been times where I had to survive on Ramen Noodles – I’m sure most college students can agree with that – because money was so tight. As I got older, coupon clipping and finding the best deals became more pertinent in my shopping adventures. I would rather sacrifice having a brand name product if it means I can save money.

Coupons greatly influence my purchasing decisions. If I can save a few dollars on a product, I feel it is a very successful shopping mission. I have a little anecdote: I was in my final semester of undergraduate studies and I had to do some food shopping for my house and my local grocery store. When I entered the supermarket, I picked up the complimentary coupon book, along with the coupons I had printed out online. On top of the competitor coupons the store accepts, I would up saving $99 in one shopping session! I normally would have spent almost $200 on everything I purchased, but thanks to the coupons I was able to keep the price at my goal, to spend under $100. Not only did I have enough food for my household, but I had enough money to survive until my next paycheck.

Now that I have a better paying job, I am able to shop more effectively. I still have the same mindset, however. I use coupons every time I shop in order to find the best deals. Money is very limited in my family, so we need to spare every cent we have. My mom pays for rent and car insurance, but I cover my own bills. By the end of the pay period, I usually have anywhere from $100-250 left over, which is better than the $15 I used to have with my old job. That type of money, though, is not a lot to work with on such a tight budget. The use of coupons and bargain shopping allows me to maximize my budget. I am able to eat out less and save money by eating food from home when I go to work. I don’t have to spend money on every meal anymore. Coupons can be found online, through websites, and even within the grocery stores I shop in. Having access to coupons everywhere is another big reason why I choose to use them.

A note from us at I’m In: Coupons can even be found on your smart phone!  Download our app to have digital savings delivered to you instantly.  

I can definitely say that coupons are very important to me. They are a crucial part of survival, not only as a college student, but for a lower income household. I do not let any barriers affect my coupon use. I go to a grocery store that will accept competitor coupons, which makes it much easier to shop. I share a household with my mom, and I have my own bills to pay (gas, car payment, loans, etc.).  My main goal is to also do the food shopping for the household. I am currently working full time, but sometimes I find it difficult to balance the funds I make because of all my bills. Food is so expensive nowadays, and that is why it is a very important factor in my life to clip coupons. Grocery stores make it very easy to use coupons along with in store deals such as “buy one, get one.” I know many students have the same philosophy as I do. A lot of people are extreme coupon clippers to the point where the grocery store actually pays them for shopping there. However, most college students such as me do not have time for that. I think, though, we all can agree that coupons are essential to surviving college life; that is why coupon clipping influences my shopping decisions.

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