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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Emmanuel B.

A coupon is a voucher entitling the holder to a discount for a particular product. It is usually a ticket or document that can be exchanged for financial discount or rebate when purchasing a product. Customarily, coupons are issued by manufacturers of consumer-packaged goods or by retailers, to be used in retail stores as a part of sales promotions. They are often widely distributed through mail, coupon envelopes, magazines, newspapers, the Internet such as social media and email newsletter, directly from the retailer, and mobile devices such as cell phones. Advertisements are good exposure for a company, but when coupons are involved, I am more likely to go out and actually spend my money.

Among retail promotional offers, coupons have the most influence over my purchase decision. In fact coupons positively impact my loyalty to particular brands of products and as a result of this, I share the promotion with my friends and family. Despite the rise of shopping and coupon applications, the greatest sources for finding my coupons are through email and mail from retailers. As a student I find it very hard to manage rent bills and still manage to have money for books, clothes and food. I usually look for coupons prior to shopping because, using coupons is a serious way to save money and there is not a good reason that I have found for shoppers not to use them. It is not about just saving a dollar at the grocery store or a shop. The couponing mindset goes much further than that and they incorporate savings in almost everything they buy. As a result of this, couponing has become a hobby for me in these tough times. I usually devote two hours a week in downloading, cutting and gathering coupons before going to the grocery store at the end of the month. Using coupons does not necessarily help me to save money during one shopping trip but rather helps me to save money over a period of time usually two to three months. I use the money I save from grocery and online shopping to buy my books, clothes, pay my bills and other personal items.

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

The availability of coupons affect my actual purchase. Usually, I don’t make up my mind to buy something if I don’t have a coupon. Most of the time, seeing coupons make me think about buying things I might not have otherwise thought about. As a result of this, I find myself willing to spend a small amount of in a short time just to save a huge amount in the long run.

On the other hand, many people are afraid to use coupons. One main reason is that they find it embarrassing. They are afraid it will make them look cheap or people will think they are poor. But why should I care about what the stranger in line behind me or the cashier think?

Furthermore, most people refuse to use coupons because they feel they just don’t have the time to go through the hustle of cutting and gathering them for future use. Yes, it does take a little time each week to clip the coupons and take them to the store, but just like earning money takes time, so does saving money. I feel not using coupons on an item that you are going to purchase is just like throwing money away.

Individuals who are frugal and dislike wasting money will benefit by getting involved in some level of coupon usage. Devoting two hours a week into gathering coupons before shopping is financially beneficial and statistically pays off to the tune of hundreds of dollars over a period of time. That is a pretty good way to use two hours if you ask me. Anyone who wants to save more money on products they usually buy such as groceries can make good use of coupons. It is just a matter of doing it. Try to think of coupons as money and you will be motivated to use them on a regular basis. Do this over and over again and you will be saving hundreds of dollars each year. When you purchase an item that you regularly buy and could have used a coupon for, but did not, it really is just like throwing money away. As soon as you start looking at coupons as money it should be a lot easier to make more time for them.

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