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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Alea S.

Coupons have no influence on my purchasing decisions because my purchasing decisions are based upon the values of environmental and social integrity of the company I am purchasing from.  I choose to shop at local farmer’s markets and small stores rather than big box stores, although I do shop at Costco from time to time.

Money is something that influences the way we all purchase.  Coupons are incentives to purchase a certain brand/product which may or may not be healthy, safe or responsible from certain standpoints.  I understand that I vote with my dollar.   If I want to be making a difference in this world in the ways I believe are powerful and important, I will use my money to make the statements I believe in.  I choose to buy products which have a lower carbon footprint, which are healthier for my body and my son’s, which I can feel proud to be supporting because the the ethics by which the companies who produce them stand by.

I don’t want to discourage others from using coupons, but instead to think about what they are saying with their money.  What kind of legacy are we leaving our children and our children’s children? Do we want to simply survive and get the “most” for dollar, or do we want to create value, real values we can be proud of and know where everything we are paying for is coming from and going to?

I downloaded a program called Checkout51 which gives out “coupons” of a sort for purchasing certain items and certain brands and then scanning the receipt and uploading it.  I have yet to use this program, but have thought about it as a way to lower my monthly grocery bill.  At least with this program, I can purchase organic apples or bananas, not just a certain brand or item which I wouldn’t otherwise have purchased.  After $20 worth of “coupons” have been redeemed, supposedly this program sends you a check.  I currently use SNAP, or food stamps as many know it as, and have not checked in to see whether this program accepts the use of the subsidized nutritional assistance program to purchase food as a part of their “coupon” system.

A note from us at I’m In:  The I’m In Coupon App makes it easy for you to access coupons for in store savings. The power is in the palm of your hand!

I would personally like to be in a place where I no longer rely upon government assistance to meet my own and my son’s nutritional needs.  I choose to eat local, healthy and organic as much as possible and hope to influence those around me to do the same.  I try to grow as much as possible of my own food and trade or barter with other farmers as well.

I use something called e-rewards which enables me to do online surveys and exchange the points for things like gift certificates for restaurants or online retail shops.  I don’t really feel like this is a coupon per se, and recently I have been too busy to really utilize it.

Hopefully this gives some insight into my personal purchasing choices and coupon use, which I cannot say is of much  importance to me, aside from the fact that the reason I live in Hawai’i is due to coupons.  How? You might ask.  This is because my Grandparents owned a grocery store in Minnesota and my Grandmother asked everyone to bring in any coupons they could.  After 2 years, she was able to save up enough money by redeeming  these coupons to fly to and stay in Hawaii. She did this for many years and eventually brought my mother out with her as a pre-graduation gift.  My mom loved it here so much that she moved to Hawai’i 3 days out of high school.  She has been here 42 years now and has blessed me with being born and raised in paradise.  So thank you Mom, Grandma, and coupons!

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