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

As a young girl I learned how valuable coupons could be. Each and every Sunday morning my grandmother would head to our house before the sun had risen to wake my mother and myself up. With my mother’s help, I would be loaded in the car half asleep with my jammies still on in a matter of minutes. After the car was loaded and my mother checked to make sure she had multiple rolls of quarters in her purse we would make our way to each and every newspaper stand in town. We would leave with more newspapers than we could ever read and a ton of coupons that would be scanned later that evening.

After returning home we would pile our newspapers in the living room so we could watch my favorite cartoons while cutting out all of the coupons. My mom would then begin cooking my favorite meal of the day, breakfast, which included chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. While my mom prepared breakfast my grandma and myself would begin taking the newspapers apart and organizing the coupons. By the time all of the coupons were organized it was time to eat breakfast. By this time I was wide awake and couldn’t wait to spend the day with two of my favorite role models. After we ate until we couldn’t eat anymore we cleaned the table off and filled the dishwasher and then headed back to the living room. We all knew it was time to get to business so we could get the best deals in a matter of a couple of hours. With this in mind we picked up our scissors and cut all of the coupons that we needed that day.

After all the coupons were cut my mother would compose two lists. One list would include all the places we would be going that day and the second list would include all the items we would need to retrieve at each place. The list seemed endless, but with determination we headed out to get all of the best deals. Typically, we would make our way to Meijer first and this was because they would double and sometimes even triple a coupon. We would spend hours upon hours in each store filling our carts with infinite amounts of food. As I got older I was assigned a very vital role during our couponing shopping sprees. My job was to hold the list and to check off each and every item that was put in our cart. After making our way from aisle one to eighteen we would then head to the register to check out. After the employee scanned each item it was time to see if our coupons would pay off. The employee would then scan each coupon that we had just previously cut out. It was truly amazing to see how excited my mother and grandmother would get as the number on the screen reached closer and closer to zero. Sometimes our final price would go in the negatives and then I was allowed to buy endless amounts of candy! As we made our way out of the grocery store doors smiling from ear to ear we would load the car and make our way home. Each and every Sunday we would get beyond excited to show off our deals to my father and sisters. Looking back, I couldn’t be more proud to admit that we were extreme couponers.

A note from us at I’m In: We can help you save with our grocery coupons!

To this day I remember how exciting couponing was, but I have recently realized that we needed to coupon to make ends meet. My father has worked two jobs for most of his life and at that time my mother was going back to school to get a higher education. Coupons allowed us to get endless amounts of food so my parents never had to worry about spending large sums of money to feed our family. Now that my grandmother lives in Big Clifty Kentucky we rarely get to go on shopping sprees together. Although, to this day, I use my grandmother and mother’s couponing techniques so I am able to put money away for college. Currently I work countless hours at my part-time job, but to this day I refuse to buy the items I need unless they are on sale or I have a coupon. It doesn’t matter if I am at our neighborhood Kroger or at the outlet malls I am not afraid to pull out my coupons. I guess it is safe to say that I was raised to be the ultimate bargain shopper by two of the people that mean the most to me.

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