I was really riveted to apply for this scholarship and expound on something that I really enjoy doing, which is using coupons.  I use coupons so often that I have been deemed Coupon Cutie by my family members.

The purchases that I make are definitely influenced by coupons.  Although they weren’t in previous years; however, as a college student being frugal and watching EVERY dime I spend has become not only a way of life but a way to breathe.

Please allow me to give you a peek into the coupon ritual that is held every Sunday when the newspaper is delivered to my home.  I actually have the Sunday paper delivered for the coupons, I honestly don’t read the paper at all!

My living room table is cleared of everything, magazines, candles and other decorative paraphernalia that will hinder my success.  I have to use this table because the lighting from the window works best.  I arm myself with the necessities for my task, the most vibrant highlighter, binder clips, envelope with coupons from the previous week, trash can for the expired coupons, black coffee and water, this could take a while.  I then remove any and all flyers that are included in the newspaper.  I peruse each and every page as if hunting for prey, circling all coupons for various stores and highlighting the best deals on certain items I intend to purchase at the stores that I will visit the upcoming week.  I gingerly remove the store coupons from the weekly flyers and place them alphabetically in my coupon holder; according to the layout of the grocery store of course, no need to waste precious time.  Now, I empty the envelope with coupons from newspapers of the previous weeks and check the expiration dates, disposing of those who never got the opportunity to save me money.  I binder clip each coupon to the store’s flyer with the best deal for the items I intend to purchase and place the pile by the front door to assure that these jewels of savings aren’t forgotten.

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Although I have utilized coupons in the past, the necessity to use them has become a reality.  I have actually challenged myself to save a certain amount of money each month by using the coupons.  How great it to receive something that is relatively free i.e., the cost of a newspaper, yet, be able to save so much in return. They are actually like have “free” money!

It has also become a practice of mine to search the Internet for coupons and/or deals prior to making purchases such as televisions, washing machines etc.  The convenience of smartphones has added another dimension to the ability to utilize coupons for shopping and saving money.

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My coupon savvy has saved me money in every facet of spending.  I use them for everything from large appliances to small trinkets for my home and office.  In September, we purchased a stainless steel refrigerator and saved $100 dollars on the appliance.  Last week, I purchased groceries and saved $30.00 on the total.  I even use coupons when I purchase gasoline!

It takes a little time but once a system is in place, it becomes so beneficial for those who expedite this practice.  I have started a “club” just with family members.  They come over bi-weekly and I brag on all the money I was able to save because I used coupons.  I also show them the ropes on how to use coupons when there is a buy one get one free deal.  I wanted to make a purchase a week ago but didn’t have a coupon, I waited for the sales flyer and sure enough a coupon for $1.50 off 2 was in the paper.  The item also went on sale, 2 for $5.00; I swooped in and made my purchase getting four items for $5.00 because I used two coupons, in-store and the coupon from the flyer.  I LOVE COUPONS!!!!!