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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Courtney J.

Coupons influence our family’s purchasing decisions because they provide great deals for our family of five, plus our friends. They help us save money on products we already buy and have easy availability. Coupons are essentially free money, and shows like Extreme Couponing reveal just how much coupons can save.

In today’s economy, it is challenging to find a bargain with prices rising. Just for a gallon of milk, it is approximately $4.00 whereas in 2004, it was around $2.90 – $3.10. Our family usually goes through two gallons of milk, which is already $8. Basic foods are costing more and more with no break. Coupons provide great deals, because they can help lower those staggering costs and help save on multiple items. Once you have more than one product, it will last longer and there will not have to be any additional trips to the store, saving money on gas, too. Likewise, there is also “double and triple couponing” which is when the store will take your coupon and double the amount on the coupon (up to a certain amount). For instance, if we brought in one of our favorite soap coupons that was valued at $1.50, the store would give us $3.00 off our purchase. With deals like this, money starts to pile up.

Coupons save money which, in turn, can be used for items such as gas, bills or other necessities. Several coupon users have reported slashing more than 50% of their grocery bill, which leaves extra money. By my family using coupons, we have been able to save an extra $250 a month or $3,000 a year and put this towards our savings. My family does not have to spend hours searching for coupons in order to save money, because coupons can be found in several places. However, the more time spent looking for more coupons does equal more savings. In addition, access to coupons ranges from newspaper clippings to any smartphone.

A note from us at I’m In:  We offer lots of ways for you to save on groceries at I’m In!

Coupons have easy availability. The public can now print a good deal of coupons from their home or smart phone for free from many websites such as smartsource.com and coupons.com. In 2012, 29.5 million consumers used coupons on their smart phones. There are several apps dedicated to providing the most accurate coupons like Favado, which has been reported to help save customers up to 70% on their groceries or about $400. Everything on the app is already on sale, so even if no coupons are used, money is still being saved by shopping the sale items. Personally, the girls in my family use the Kohl’s app, where the sales associate is able to scan the coupon straight off the phone. This feature that Kohl’s offers has so far saved us more than $2,000 on home supplies and school clothes, not to mention everything from that store is genuine quality. In addition, several companies use social media as an avenue to offer coupons to customers. There is usually a limit that people can print, but Target.com offers their store coupons on their website and also offers their own cartwheel coupon app. Coupon blogs are also huge online, especially on Facebook. Many also feature deals for major grocery and other chain stores, making it easier for people to shop such as Hip2Save.com, Pocketyourdollars.com and couponproblog.com to name a few. By coupons being on social media, my family saves even more because my family loves social media.

Furthermore, coupons are beneficial to anyone and everyone; and the best part is income or social status is not taken into account. You can save from your laundry soap to clothes to pizza! They help our family save money and provide great deals, all while being at the touch of our fingertips. Even if you do not own a smart phone, coupons can still be found in the daily and Sunday newspaper and the web. We highly recommend them for anyone who wants to save some extra money and get great bargains.

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