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

If you’ve ever watched the TV show Extreme Couponing and seen a customer who received $300 worth of groceries for next to nothing, then you can understand the rush that customer gets from their hard work of searching, clipping, organizing and clipping some more. However, that is nothing close to how I use my coupons. Although I would love to be able to have that savings, I can’t imagine where I would get all that time for practically a fulltime job of searching and clipping. But I can say as an average shopper that the most often coupon I use would be in-store promotions that require me to buy something and get a coupon, and again to buy something else and use the coupon. For example, a recent Kroger’s grocery store promotion allowed a coupon for $10 off my next visit after purchasing $25 in qualifying products.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on groceries at I’m In!

More over, when it comes to complete influence of my actual behavior due to coupons, I must use the example of small shopping at the convenience store. With my gym located next to a Walgreens and across the street from a CVS, when I need headache medication, more shampoo, or a pair of scissors, I always plan my trips to the pharmacy after a sweat session. Which pharmacy do you think I go to? You might think that I’d go right next door, as Walgreens sometimes has lower prices and it’s a more convenient location. But, every single time I need to buy something at a pharmacy, I wait patiently for the “walk” signal and cross the street to go to CVS. It’s become a routine.

Why? Thanks to the CVS ExtraCare Rewards program, I might have a few 20% off coupons or “Extra Bucks” that get credited toward my total. These coupons make me feel good, like I’m saving money — and I’ve happily become loyal to CVS over the years because of them.

That being said, it’s quite possible I’m not saving money at all. In fact, I might even be spending more — but, mostly because of the ExtraCare Rewards, I cross the street every time. That’s how powerful coupons can be for customer retention — just one of their many uses. They can also promote new products, help get feedback from your target market, and attract new customers. And online couponing is only going up

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