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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Cathy N.

I am a firm believer in saving money especially in this day and age when gas prices are at an all-time high.  I look to save anyway I can when I am paying both a mortgage, car payment, and a graduate tuition bill.  When you run a household one looks for little ways to save because let’s face it; it does add up in the long run.  So it’s Sunday morning and I dig through the paper the dog brought up to me so I can go through the tedious task of cutting out coupons even if it is just to save a quarter or two.  Nowadays, grocery stores will double your coupons under one dollar.  Even pharmacies and other stores will accept manufacturer’s coupons.  So I begin my monotonous task of cutting and sorting.  As much as I dislike doing this assignment I feel it is my duty to save my family money any way I can.  My purchasing is greatly influenced by coupons especially when I look to buy the name brand items.  I go through the Sunday paper and clip the coupons and get excited when there are duplicate coupons that the paper carrier improperly placed inside.  I keep the duplicates and pitch the coupons that make you buy three products to get one dollar off.  I feel these coupons are a scam.

When I am at the grocery store I will take both coupons and buy the extra product I do not need because in a week’s time that price of that product may have gone back up to $3.50.  I feel as if I got the best deal because I will not have to buy that product for a couple of weeks and I can wait again until I get that same coupon or when the store has a sale again, if ever.  I feel like I got a good quality product at a discount price.    I also look and see if the store brand name is cheaper than the actual brand name item even with the coupon.  Sometimes I will buy the store brand name because it is cheaper. I will sacrifice the brand name for the greater good and try the store brand name which sometimes actually turns out better than I ever expected.

In department stores I will look at a piece of clothing and if it is above my price range I will keep an eye on it till it goes on sale.  I frequently check the advertisements both in the regular paper and the Sunday paper to see if there may be a fifteen or twenty percent off coupon for that store.  I will then wait until that specific day and go to purchase this item at a discounted price.  I will also compare clothing with discount and bargain clothing stores because sometimes the discounted stores have the same item or something similar which will be cheaper than using the coupon at a specific store.  Sometimes I get e-mailed coupons that you can use online and it is cheaper to actually buy it online and use that discount rather than driving to the store wasting gas, waiting in line, and dealing with impatient people.

A note from us at I’m In: Set a deal alert for your favorite store next time you’re waiting for a particular item to go on sale and we’ll let you know!

I will get coupons from specific store sent in the mail such as “spend $30 and get $10 off the next purchase” or “$15 off a bra”.  I always make it a habit to swing by those specific stores to not only see if there is anything new but also if I want something I have my coupon with me to get something at a discount.  I frequently compare and contrast prices in advertisements that often mention “$1 off with Sunday coupon” to see which is the best deal.

I go through my coupon book which I have had for a couple of years and pitch the coupons I cut out and did not use to make room for the new ones I get.  I love looking at the cash register receipt and see that I saved eleven dollars which is an all-time high for me.  Every little bit helps.

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