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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Emily T.

When I think of coupons, I immediately flash back to the memories of my childhood. A few days before my sister and I would venture to the store with our mother, my mom would sit in her rocking chair indulging in soap operas and cut away at the newspaper clippings which bestowed the coupons. My mother was enlightened when Sunday would come because she knew it was going to be the day for a big savings. Sunday newspapers tend to incorporate a higher volume of coupons than any other day of the week. After an hour or two of extensively searching within the newspaper, we would eventually be on our way to the grocery store. As a child, I saw coupons as pieces of paper that would come out of coupon dispensers strategically placed throughout the store to help me advance in my paper airplane making skills.

Now that I am older, I appreciate to the fullest what the meanings of coupons truly entail. As a child, we had a tendency to not have a care in the world regarding money or savings because generally the parents would handle it. As we grow older and more responsible though, we tend to grasp a quick developmental concept of money, the expenses, and how to save. When I am usually at a store, the first places I go to are the clearance section or buy one get one area. I will end up doing a quick math problem in my head comparing the original price to the now cheaper marketed alternative and decide what the better deal is. Coupons are resourceful in that aspect.

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

I feel distraught when I see other individuals toss out their newspapers containing a hefty distribution of coupons that were meant to be utilized because there is such an extensive frequency of savings it is almost nauseating. To me seeing a coupon book or newspaper full of coupons tossed is about the equivalent of witnessing large portions of perfectly good food tossed into dumpsters. It is a waste! Coupons are very helpful to those that need assistance to saving money. Coupons are an excellent resource of saving money because they cut down the costs of the items purchased. Every coupon deal is different because some specify that that you have to purchase a certain quantity of that item by the date advertised or you have to buy a specific brand or an item to obtain another item discounted or for free.

There are definitely catches to coupons. For that many people not using coupons at all, there are just as many others counteracting that by taking advantage of couponing. Because there is a high amount of individuals abusing the coupons, stores now are forced to have a cut-off limit with how many coupons per item it that is specialized can be used. There are people out there who literally invest a good portion of their lives dedicated to scoping out coupons and get their family members to go to the stores with them to use the coupons they have duplicates of to find a loophole with the cut-off mark in the stores. Couponing is great, but when you go the extremes of scamming stores by exposing the loopholes to get a savings when you already possess a lot of the items you are purchasing, enough becomes enough.

There is something special about seeing shoppers in stores who are literally pinching pennies to get by, but with the assistance of a little piece of paper with a barcode and scan printed on them, it makes life that much easier for them. One of my best friends comes from a family of lower middle class where his mother works to provide for five of his sister’s children and she devotes sixty hours a week to working where she still has to scramble to pay the bills. When I went shopping with his family a few weeks back, I was inspired and felt compelled to even write a letter to those that actually distribute the coupons because his mother did not have to worry as much when it came to food because of the tons of savings in which she was granted.

The idea of using coupons actually does greatly influence my purchasing decisions because if I see that the cost has not changed too drastically with the coupon or deal that is advertised, I will not purchase the item. There are scams with advertised savings when it features buy one get one free deals because they will bump up the price of the item that is featured so when you are buying one and getting one free, it will average out the price on the original item where you ended not saving anything at all. You have to be careful when going by deals or using coupons because they can be misleading. Not all coupons and deals are wonderful. Overall though, if you pay attention to what the featured deals contain and the fine print within the lines, you will walk away with ample savings when utilizing them. I am almost at the point with buying food that unless if it is a deal or I have a coupon, I will not purchase the item I sought out or I will go back the following week to check then. Without the exceptional assistance of coupons, the amount of money you pay out for food ends up being a lot higher.

Coupons are a great tool to save and it is always a rewarding feeling to see when the amount of the total cost had been reduced by an enormous percentage because of coupons. Not everyone can utilize every coupon in the newspaper or online because there are some items featured we do not need to obtain or are stores that we do not need to visit. The great thing is that because most coupons are primarily created by paper, you can always recycle it if the coupon is expired or if you do not end up using it. Between my mom trying to teach me at a young age the importance of coupons and now understanding the concept of money a lot clearer, my appreciation for coupons has changed exponentially and now I see they are a lot more important than just for assisting me with improving my paper airplane creativity.

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