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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Denise S.

To clip or not to clip? Couponing is not a new art form. Plenty of people have used and will continue to use coupons. Coupons are not beneath me or anyone else. If you think this, read on.  It is a way to save now for the future. Yes, I as well as others’ rely on coupons to make decisions. We are making wise decisions when we use coupons. This is my coupon story…

Couponing is not new to my family or for most families. My mother clipped coupons and made me organize them as a little child. We would spend many a Sunday afternoon clipping coupons from the paper. She knew the value of a dollar and knew how to stretch that dollar – even when I did not know the value. I hated the process of finding the coupons, clipping them out of the newspaper, filing the coupons, removing the expired coupons, putting the coupon purse in the car,  pulling the coupons out while we shopped, grabbing more coupons from the aisles, and finally presenting them to the cashier. “Don’t we have a coupon for that?” my mother would ask me while we were shopping or at the register. If I said “no” then she would grab the coupon purse from me and search for herself. I was embarrassed when she used coupons because I thought it showed other people that we did not have enough money to pay full price for items.

Little did I know that it was not a status symbol of the lower class, but of the educated. My mother was smart enough to realize that the money we saved shopping resulted in more money we had for things that mattered. I thought it was beneath us because we had the money. We never struggled to pay our bills or get anything we needed. Never did we have to worry if we had the money for gas, lights, water, new shoes or clothes. We always had money when we needed it. I failed to realize that we always had money when we needed it.

Why did we always have money when we needed it? We saved money shopping with coupons. We used coupons for food, clothes, amusement parks – you name it. If a coupon existed that we could use, we used it! The money we saved shopping went towards things we did not have coupons for: bills, a savings accounts, retirement, and college for me. Coupons paved the way for my parents to have a “rainy day fund” when something went wrong with the house, the car, our health. It helped them retire comfortably knowing that they had extra money when they needed it. Clipping coupons saved money, which helped me continue my studies through college.

As an adult, wife, and mother now, I make sure that I make wise decisions when I use coupons. I teach my daughter that using coupons can be fun. She knows why we use coupons and she helps find them. It is a game of hid and seek to her. She knows that having coupons allows us to do more. Clipping coupons does not mean that we have less. The money we save secures the future for our family. It helps us not worry if we have enough to pay the bills. We are able to proudly clip and use coupons knowing that saving now will allow us to spend in the future. We do not use coupons because we have not, but because we have more.

To clip or not to clip… Yes, we do use coupons. It is not new. Our family and others have been clipping for years. Never is it beneath our social/economic status. It shows how wise we are when it comes to money. It is a smart way to save. We save now so that our future is easier. When you decide to use coupons, you decide to do more!

A note from us at I’m In: We exist so that you can Be Smart – Shop Smart!  You can also shop beyond the coupon and search the sales that we feature from our partner merchants and save big!

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