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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Emily M.

Frantically checking the newspaper for store coupons or anxiously surfing the web for electronic savings is becoming more common in many households. Saving money with coupons is beneficial to many middle-class families, especially my own. As a result, coupons can heavily influence the decisions that people make with both big, and small, purchases. Even though it takes time to search for both paper and electronic coupons, my purchasing decisions are greatly influenced by coupons because, as a thrifty college student, I am always searching to save money in any possible way.

My couponing habits were most likely passed down to me from my mother and grandmother. For the past few years, I have often sat with my mother and grandmother going through store advertisements as well as newspaper coupons; we have spent this time searching for coupons with products that we were likely to purchase. My grandma has also taught me her system for organizing coupons; she utilizes an organized binder that divides all of her coupons into different categories including retail, restaurant, grocery, etc. so that she knows where to find them when she is making a purchase. My mom uses a similar system for her coupons. She keeps an organized basket in her car so that the coupons are always with her while shopping. When I am at home, I spend time checking the newspaper ads from local stores to see if there are coupons or great discounts; I seem to spend quite a bit of time cutting out store coupons with my mom at the kitchen table. While on campus at Murray State University, I take advantage of opportunities and events that give restaurant or retail coupons to any college student in order to lessen the amount of money I spend.

I routinely cut and save coupons whenever I come across something I might need, or want, to buy. I am always looking for coupons in order to save money. With a tight budget, I am limited to the amount of money I can spend on entertainment and other expenses. Especially during the holiday season, our lives are filled with busy schedules and tight budgets.  Recently, I purchased many Christmas gifts for my relatives; these purchases were heavily influenced by coupons in order to save money. As a college student with many necessary expenses, I constantly search for ways to save money; the most common way to save money, for me, is through coupons. When coupons are easily accessible in the newspaper or sent through email, using coupons during a store transaction is simple. Online printable coupons sent via email or text message are even more common in today’s technology-driven society. When coupons are readily available to consumers, people are more likely to use them with their purchases.

If I forget to bring my coupons on a spontaneous shopping trip or do not find enough time to search for store coupons, there are many smartphone apps that provide electronic coupons. For example, Coupon Sherpa, an app found on my phone, lists multiple stores and restaurants along with their respective coupons and expiration dates. As a result, many of my purchases hinge on my possession of a coupon for that product. If I want a more expensive item, I will always search for a coupon before going to the store; if I cannot find a coupon, I will usually wait for the price of the product to go down rather than buying something that I do not need at its full retail price.

Simply, coupons influence my purchasing decisions as a consumer. Saving money is a great feeling. Cost-conscious spending habits make me feel like a responsible shopper due to the amount of money I am able to save. Holiday sales, “buy one get one free” offers, and “free product with any purchase” deals attract consumers, like me, while helping us save money. Being a savvy shopper has taught me how to carefully manage my own money and spending habits.

A note from us at I’m In: We can help you get all kinds of discounts directly at your fingertips with our free Mobile Coupon App!

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