I’m not much of a coupon person because I don’t do a lot of shopping. So, coupons do not directly influence my purchasing decisions. As a college athlete, I find it hard enough to find time to study, practice, and play football, let alone have the time to search for coupons, whether it is online or off. For those reasons, I do not aggressively look for coupons in newspapers or search for them online. I do not clip, organize, categorize, and shop with coupons. But, I do use coupons in an indirect way. When I shop, I do look for all store sales available, and if there are in store coupons, I will use them. As a college student, I have to stretch what little money I have and make everything last. I do understand the concept of coupon clipping and the benefits of it. I know the money that can be saved, but I just don’t have the time. I know because I grew up with a mom who was a coupon aficionado. There were a number of reasons for her use of coupons, with the obvious being, saving money.
Like most families, with a lot of kids and not a lot of money, food had to stretch and last the entire month. My mom used coupons to help make that happen. The more coupons my mom was able to find and use, the more she saved and as a result, the more she was able to buy. I remember many a night watching my mom sifting through the Sunday newspaper, clipping coupons and making her grocery list. She had an envelope for each category of coupons, dairy, meats, frozen, etc. At the grocery store, she painstakingly made sure she matched each grocery item with its respective coupon.
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She also looked for specials and in store coupons when it came time to go school clothes shopping, and for school supplies. She would try to find a coupon for anything and everything she had to purchase. Sometimes she was able to, and at other times she was not. Whether she did or not, my mom always tried. It was always about saving as much money as she could. The more money she saved, the more sense of pride I saw etched in her face. But saving money was not the only reason why she clipped coupons. My mom also clipped coupons because it was relaxing for her.
I remember asking my mom why she did it. It seemed time consuming to me, and a lot of work. Her response to me was that it was relaxing. It helped to take her mind off of things. She also enjoyed the fact that she was helping our family out by saving money. I suppose clipping coupons was a sort of empowerment for her. My mom didn’t mind the time it took to clip coupons because she always felt it was time well spent. Especially when she went shopping and saved more money then she spent! And the money saved?
My mom liked to use the money she saved as a source of special treats, outings, etc. for her family. We didn’t eat out a lot, so an ice cream cone at McDonald’s or Rite Aid was an adventure, a special treat. We felt like kids in a candy store when we could eat at a restaurant or two. My mom worked very hard at clipping coupons to support her family. As a result, I did learn from that and have taken some of that knowledge with me to college. I may never be a avid coupon clipper like my mom is, but I will not pass up the opportunity to use them when available. I still enjoy an occasional ice cream cone from McDonalds and a nice meal from a good restaurant.
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