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

Couponista

Whether it is a click, tap or a snip, coupons most certainly influence my purchasing decisions. I can’t explain it, but I get a certain sense of satisfaction when I use a coupon. I think it makes me feel like I almost got something I should not have. I come from a long line of professional couponers, so I guess you could say it is in my blood. I am pretty sure my mom had me couponing when I was four or five years old. Honestly, couponing has taught me more skills than some might imagine. For instance, there is the preparation stage. I rarely even consider making a purchase without taking a moment to long into my phone or computer to check what is available in the way of a coupon before I go shopping.  I don’t just stop at one coupon, I always want more. The thrill of “stacking” two or three coupons and watching the clerk’s eyes as she stares at the register in disbelief is so fun. I have learned math skills by calculating percentages and tax and learned to weigh options between online couponing and in-store couponing as sometimes it makes more sense to do one or the other.

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Couponing equals buying satisfaction is what I believe. I always feel so much better about any purchase if I use a coupon. I do not come from money and have had to work hard to earn what I have. Like anybody, I enjoy nice things and shopping, but I don’t always have the funds to buy what I want. I save, research and coupon. There is a real sense of satisfaction knowing that I feel like I got the best deal I could have possibly received. I love not having buyer’s remorse when I have used coupons and really worked to get the best deal I thought I could receive.  My parents have raised me to understand the value of a dollar and taught me to save more than I spend and invest when at all possible and I have followed this philosophy and done really well so far. This summer I even opened my very own mutual fund to take my savings and investing to the next level. I don’t consider myself cheap, but I do consider myself to be a smart and informed shopper. Couponing sometimes allows me to get much more value than I originally set out to receive. For instance, it allows me to upgrade to a better product or brand because of the discount.

Coupons come in all types – ranging from basic percent off – to set dollar amounts off a purchase and couponing also now involves setting up multiple “rewards-type” of accounts with multiple vendors because those rewards clubs offer additional savings and discount coupons for loyalty members. You have to do everything to get the full value. Free shipping is a must for the online shopper. There are so many online coupon sites to seek out a deal – it is unreal.  They all don’t always work, but that is where persistence always pays off. I once set out to buy a pair of $100 cowboy boots for my sister for Christmas and knew I had about $40 to spend. I waited until peak couponing season, (black Friday), and after using a coupon code, free shipping and another percentage off, I actually got the boots for $37.50!

People are constantly amazed at the number of free gifts I also receive because there are coupons for those too. It is not rare for five free items to show up in the mailbox, ranging from free perfume to lipstick to toothpaste. I love saving money. I know that I will never be a hoarder or extreme coupon type person buying more than I need, but I do know that I am smart enough to rarely pay full-price for anything. It is never too late to begin couponing and it never goes out of style.

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