For my family, large-scale grocery shopping trips are almost like major holidays. My parents will spend weeks preparing, scouting for sales and collecting coupons like presents for Christmas, or bags of candy for Halloween. The house will be a mess, but instead of wrapping paper or bows, there is newspaper clippings everywhere. Then the day of is almost like Easter morning; we arrive at the store early and split up like children hunting for painted eggs. We repeat this hunt over and over again until we get everything on the list, and we end the day like most holidays: collapsed from exhaustion on the couch because we literally shopped till we dropped.
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When my parents make the shopping list, it is grossly dependent on precedent; we buy foods we have bought in the past that we have run out of. However, sometimes my parents will buy new foods if they have a coupon. They see it as a “no harm, no foul” situation if we do not like it since they did not have to pay full price. For this reason, it could be said that coupons directly influence what products are bought.
Like previously stated, my parents, much like many Americans, see coupons as a “taste-test” before they will commit to regularly buying a product. It might only be for a small discount, but it is just enough to convince the consumer to try a practice run. Companies will often do this with new products to promote shoppers to try their product and hopefully become a repeat buyer. By using coupons as a way to advertise, companies increase their revenue by offering consumers discounts for their products.
Another aspect of coupons that influence purchases is the “I have a coupon and therefore must use it” way of shopping. Many consumers see that they can save some money with a coupon, and they feel compelled to purchase the product. It is this ideology that convinces consumers to buy products they might not necessarily have bought without coupons. That is why some companies will offer coupons for low selling products.
In my family, coupons have a huge impact on what we buy. In today’s economy, my parents do their best to save money where they can, and coupons help them to accomplish this. Just like Black Friday shopping for Christmas gifts, clipping coupons allow my parents to get everything on their list without breaking the bank. They save the coupons they know they’ll use, and sometimes they’ll save coupons for products they would like to try. Other times though, they use a coupon just because they have it and do not want to let it go to waste. My parents use coupons whenever they shop, and this influences the type of products they buy now and will buy in the future.