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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Amanda B.

One a week families load up into a specific model of transportation, and prepare themselves for the weekly duty no one is very thrilled about—grocery shopping. There are plenty of places to grocery shop in this day and age, including Wal-Mart, Sams, K-Mart, and some smaller town stores. There is never much of a difference between stores, and prices are generally the same. We’ve all seen the mothers who pack their armies of children into their Honda Odyssey and enlist them to help carry groceries back out from the store, and presumably back into the house when they arrive home. Out of many similarities, the most common is the book full of coupons the mothers always pull out at the register, meanwhile her children lick the floor and throw punches at one another.

A note from us at I’m In:  We offer lots of ways for you to save on groceries at I’m In!

Do coupons truly influence my purchasing decisions? Well sure, if this coupon is offering savings on something I wish to purchase. The very reason mothers always have their billfold of coupons on hand are the specific products the coupons offer savings on. A Swiffer wet-jet is quite impractical to me, a late teenager; but, when in the hands of a mother of three, a five dollar off Swiffer wet-jet coupon is like gold. However, if there is a coupon on a new movie, or a coupon for bountiful amounts of Coca Cola and Cheez-Its, the scenario is flipped and that coupon is gold to me—a struggling high school senior.

Coupons have the power to make or break someone’s purchase of something they have had an eye out for. The previously mentioned Swiffer wet-jet coupon—being purposeless to me—is greatly coveted by the soccer mom in sweatpants a few aisles over, eyeing the wet-jet with such enthusiasm. In contrast, the coupon for the latest movie is much more of a draw for myself. Regardless of something’s price, even a one dollar off coupon seems to make the item more affordable. An item could start out at one hundred thousand dollars, but with a hundred dollar off coupon, it suddenly becomes much more reasonable for purchase.

This small glossy square of paper is arguably quite remarkable. This small square has no monetary value, yet saves anyone who presents it to their cashier a few dollars. Not only does this coupon impact someone’s choice of whether or not to purchase something, it actually saves them money on their desired purchase! What can possibly be better, than finding a coupon for something necessary for everyday living? Without the coupon, you’d be paying full price—but why pay full price when there could be coupons available to assist with your purchase?

The only downside to a coupon is the absolute invincibility one feels after using one to purchase something for less than its original price. Coupons have this mentioned effect on anyone, including our soccer mom clad in sweatpants with the four children. After purchasing her Swiffer wet-jet for five dollars less than the original price, she and the army load the new purchases into the mini-van. She announces to her children, still elated by her steal of a purchase, that they will all be receiving vanilla soft serve cones from McDonalds for their donated time. Her children cheer, and the two are finally hugging instead of throwing punches at one another.

This army would never have received their ninety-nine cent vanilla cones without a coupon, and I would have never had the luxury of eating Cheez-Its and drinking Coca Cola while viewing my newest movie purchase without my own coupons. As mentioned before, coupons have a sort of progressive effect on people that paying full price on a product just can’t seem to deliver. Due to the feelings of delight coupons cause, they do indeed influence my purchasing decisions. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re on top of the world after shopping for groceries?

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