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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Arpine G.

I used to never consider using coupons, until I watched the show “Extreme Couponing” on Netflix. This show revealed people who usually went through a time of financial need and decided to use coupons to save hundreds of dollars while grocery shopping. At first when I would watch this show I just thought that these people were being very greedy to buy so many groceries and to simply store it at home for months. As I continued watching, I saw the register go from $2000 to only $100. It blew my mind that they could fill up four shopping carts full of food and only spend a small fraction of the retail price. I became very intrigued at their passion for couponing so I continued to watch several episodes. During every episode I thought, “Wow, these people are very smart!” Using coupons to save money is just like working overtime or getting a raise. People need groceries and other goods, and instead of working longer hours to buy more of these things, using coupons to save money is a great idea. Now that I am moving out on my own for the first time, using coupons is going to be very important. There were some things that would prevent me from using coupons before watching this show, and the biggest issue for me was that it was time-consuming. We live in a world where time is everything, sometimes more than money. We are willing to pay full price for an item if it means getting in and out of the grocery store faster, and not having to look for a coupon prior to shopping. Also, many coupons require you to print the coupon and present it to the cashier, and since I don’t have a printer, it is very inconvenient for me to find a printer and print the coupons. Another thing preventing me from using coupons is that when I go shopping, most of the time I do not have a list of items that I want to buy, I simply choose the items as I am shopping. I am subscribed to various coupon sites including Living Social and Groupon, and when I receive their emails, I simply delete them so they don’t crowd my inbox. Sometimes I get so many emails that I unsubscribe to these emails even if it means saving money in the future. But when I am looking to buy goods online and book an activity or hotel, I go on their site and search for deals. I tend to use coupons more when I am shopping online rather than at a physical store, although I shop at stores more often than shopping online. That has to do with the fact that I am already using my computer, and all I need to do to save money is open up a different tab and search for a coupon before clicking “Buy.” This again comes down to convenience. If using coupons at stores were made more convenient and less time-consuming, people would use coupons way more often. One way to reach this goal is to create a coupon app where you can type the store name, and a list of items that have coupons will show up. Many people want to enjoy their shopping experience and not have to spend too much time deciding what they want to buy even before they reach the store. The best way to have customers use coupons is to make it fast, convenient, and something they can do right at the register. Most people have Smart Phones, so having a coupon app that they can use at the register while the cashier is ringing up their items, is a very convenient and time-saving method. Again, since I am moving out and need to be financially independent soon, I need to come up with ways of making and saving as much money as I can, and using coupons is definitely going to be a way of saving a lot of money. I just hope it can be made as convenient and paperless as possible!

A special note from us at imin.com: Arpine talks about how e-mail savings can crowd your inbox.  Not at I’m In!  You select your personlized deal alerts, so that you only get alerts on the coupons you want.

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