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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Ashley H.

Coupons influence my purchasing decisions regularly; since I am a college sophomore the tedious trip to the grocery store can be very stressful. The aisles I walk through while shopping feel as if they are squishing me, and impact my bank account greatly that is where coupons come in.

My father was always a big coupon believer and cutting out the coupons on Saturdays at my house was a family bonding experience. After cutting out the coupons we would head to the store. My father always explained to us children that we were only buying items that we have coupons for, it was always exciting searching for the products on the coupons; and if the store had double coupon day that for my family was a game. Racing around the store picking up the items and seeing how much money we could save at the check out.

Today, as an adult I never go shopping without my trusty coupon binder. I only buy the items I really need and have a coupon for. There is occasionally the siltation when there is such a good deal on something miscellaneous and I cannot pass it up! Like a discount on a nail or lip color. I enjoy getting to the checkout and watching the cashier ring up all my items and then see the total lower with every coupon I give to her, to me there is no greater thrill. Then seeing all the money I saved on items I would of needed anyway. Coupons are a way of life, they are the reason I save so much money monthly and enable me to do the fun things I want to do and wouldn’t be able to do without my coupons. Coupons are my way of life, sounds so cheesy but it most certainly is true!

I am amazed by the people on the television show called “ Extreme Coupons” I just cannot believe that those people to a store with only forty dollars in hand and are able to buy hundreds of groceries, sometimes these people even have to fill the register with candy bars to get there total bill to zero so that the store doesn’t have to owe them any money! How crazy!  I would love to someday be that amazing at couponing to be able to do that, to be able to buy so much that I have to have a whole room dedicated to my coupon finds would be a dream come true! I would love to have a lifetime supply of toothpaste like some of the people on the show! That would help me out so much especially when I am graduated from college and have to start paying back the dreaded student loans that will basically control my bank account from that point on.

Coupons most certainly influence my purchasing decisions when I go to the store, since I only fill my shopping cart with items that I have coupons for. I one bad side to coupons would be strolling around the store picking up the things that I do not really need but I had a coupon for, so I just plopped in my shopping cart without even thinking if I really did need it. So is that really saving money or spending more money then I would of in the long run? I think it is some of both, yeah I am getting a great deal since the item is featured on a coupon but the item is not free, it does cost some money so technically if I did not pick up an item I did not need my total at the check out would be cheaper. That is the one problem I tend to have with coupons I am so addicted to having such a huge stack of them that I do not think if I need to really use everyone of them or not. And in most cases I should only use some and not all.

Coupons are a way of life, and without coupons I might not even have the money to pay for my rent, that being said coupons greatly influence my purchasing decisions!

A comment from the imin.com Scholarship Committee:  Ashley describes how she uses printed coupons for her shopping savings.   We can also help you save while shopping online by using coupon codes!

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