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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Freddy J.

Coming from a lower class family, coupons are something that have always been a staple. Under my household, I learned that every possible way to save should be taken advantage of, no matter how miniscule the savings were. The cents add up over time and it builds up a sense of morality to know that you are spending your money wisely. However, coupons were always a double edged sword; they could be saving you money one day and then tempting to spend more the next.

Most people do not search for coupons. They rather look for the item they need and then smile when it happens to serendipitously be on sale. It is not that they think they are too rich for the coupons, but it is the fact that coupons often come with so many restrictions on how they can be redeemed. Combine that with the fact that many online retailers, including Amazon, have made us feel spoiled with seemingly endless discounts, coupons just appear to be hassles.

Coupons also come with a well warranted risk. You could, in essence, believe you are saving money but the reality is that many consumers purchase things they do not need simply because they are acquiring it at a bargain. People will walk past isles and isles of clothings but months later they come across the same clothing in the clearance section and somehow the ugly old dress and overpriced shoes become a must have outfit. All that changed was the price and somehow it translated to a shift in the consumers taste.

One could argue that all of this is just due the law of demand. Demand increases as price decreases. The clothing now has a broader consumer base because most people have the purchasing power to buy them. I saw it happen all the time in my household. We would purchase off brand cereals and store brand snacks just to save a minute amount of money. But if my mother ever came across a coupon for Fruit Loops, we were sure to be eating that for breakfast the next morning. This was not because tastes shifted, but rather our prefered item became more attainable. If it was up to me, I would have always had Fruit Loop for breakfast. But it was not up to me. It was up to my parents’ salaries. And my parents’ salaries dictated that we would eat Fruit Rings instead.

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

Now as a broke college students who already comes from a poor background, I understand the importance of being economically savvy. There will always be those students who pay full tuition out of their pocket and it does not mean anything to them because they are simply that wealthy. This does not discourage me, but rather motivates me to make sure that my children never have to worry about their finances, especially not while they are in college. I am not saying that college is not fun when you are broke. There are a lot of limitations to what you can and cannot do but not limitations on how much fun you can have. Sacrifices will have to made, obviously, but one can cut around that by cutting coupons. It takes minimal effort and while the savings may be small it does eventually add up. A couple of dollars saved here and there add up to meals on those nights out with friends.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on food and restaurants at I’m In!

With today’s technology, savings are always just a couple of clicks away. It takes a simple Google search to untap a plethora of coupon sites, with each containing an extensive catalog for nearly every website one can think of. There is no excuse to not utilize this feature. Still, many become discouraged when it becomes evident that for every good coupon code you find, there are another three that do not work. It is all a matter of being an intelligent consumer and knowing the credibility behind the website you are using. Being informed, savvy, and resilient can equate to hundreds of saved a year. And while money does not buy happiness, there is a good feeling that comes along with saving money.

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