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

TO COUPON OR NOT TO COUPON? THAT IS THE QUESTION

I am in no way an extreme couponer, I have never bought $300 worth of food for $16. However, I will say I am a frugal shopper and who doesn’t love good deal? As a mother of four children in rural Oklahoma I have always looked for ways to pinch pennies and coupons have always been one way of saving money for me and my family. I began using coupons when my first son was born. Back then the cloth-like disposable diapers of today were a fairly new product and they were much more expensive than the plastic covered disposable ones. I much preferred the better diaper but I was a young single mother and could only afford them when I was lucky enough to find a coupon. Then my little guy started eating baby food, Gerber coupons were a lifesaver. That was the only brand available in my area at that time so the only choices I had were either to buy baby food or make it myself. So I really looked forward to those coupons in the mail every single month!

I love to try new products but new things are often quite pricey, so if there is something I have been wanting to try I will wait until I can find a coupon for it. I really don’t like to be wasteful so if it is something we don’t like I don’t feel like I have wasted as much money that way. I also enjoy being able to treat my family to special items that they might ask for, they know if I can find a coupon for it then they can have that certain brand of ice cream or that box of White Castle cheeseburgers (those are my husband’s favorite treat). They will help me got through the coupons and I let everyone pick out a special treat when I do my grocery shopping.

A note from us at I’m In: Don’t limit your savings to one thing, we can help you save on every day-to-day goods!

We all know that store brand items are supposed to be just as good as name brand items but there are just some things that are not quite as good. Since I am always on the lookout for ways to save money I don’t often let brands be a determining factor in my purchases, unless I have a coupon for it! If I have that coupon I will definitely purchase the better quality product if the price is right.

I really love it when I can find an item on sale and use a coupon too! For example, at my local grocery store I recently found bagged salad mix on sale for .99, I had coupons for .75 off making each bag of salad only .24! I would normally purchase heads of lettuce and make my own but I was able to save time and money because of coupons.  On an average shopping trip I typically save anywhere from $30 to $50 using coupons.

When it is time to purchase specific items such as cat food, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc. I will search the internet coupon sites to find the best deals. I have tried many different household products solely because of the savings that I got by buying them with a coupon. I have even found many coupons for toys, school supplies and clothes for my family.

So in my life I would definitely have to say that coupons have had a very large impact on my purchasing decisions over the years. I have been able to try many new products that I otherwise would not have tried. I am able to treat my family with special things that they would otherwise not get. I am able to save a little bit of money every single month. Coupons have been a huge benefit to me for over 21 years and I will continue to use them every chance that I get.

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