A special note from the imin.com Scholarship Committee:  Halee explains how coupons save her money… check out our recommended picks for ways to save!

Coupons are a major part of my everyday shopping. I have a very large family with a broad range in ages. We have to have food to feed ages 1-30. Coupons are what make the difference in having a small or large meal for us. We use them as often as possible in our home. We save quite a bit of money in the long run when using coupons.

We use bathroom item coupons all the time. Sometimes we use them to get a free toothbrush or an extra thing of toothpaste. Most of the time we use them for discounts on good deodorant. Other times we use them to stock up on shampoo and conditioner so that when funds get low we don’t have to worry about the little things. Coupons allow us to also buy an occasional treat for everyone that normally would be too much.

My family usually stock piles coupons so that when we go grocery shopping or make a quick stop for an item needed for the nights meal we can save money for more important things later on. Coupons help families who may have decent jobs but still struggle to keep all the bills and rent paid while also keeping food on the table and in the pantry.

Every Friday my sister in law uses a coupon at our local Dollar General to get things needed for the house. She spends $25 and gets $5 off. That extra $5 can be picked up to go towards a greater need down the road. Coupons also influence which products and brands we purchase. For instance, If Crest has a 2 for 1 coupon then we are more likely to purchase that rather than say Colgate at full price. It also influences movies we might buy as some come with $5 off coupons.

When you live in a large family with low income coupons make all the difference. They allow a little relief on one’s wallet and a little more of a relaxed environment for those that try to make every dollar count. Thanks to coupons I am able to have a real home cooked meal instead of just a bag of Ramen Noodles. I am able to take a shower without worrying about using all the shampoo. My brother is able to come home to a dinner with family instead of deciding what can of soup or bag of noodles to eat. There is less fighting over whose turn it is to use the microwave or oven and more talking about what movie we’re going to watch together.

Coupons make the difference in spending $100. Normal people purchase about 12 items or so for close to $100 in today’s economy. When you use coupons, you usually increase the number of items purchased by double. I know my family appreciates every coupon we receive and are able to use. Today’s economy is causing prices on most products and items to increase but paychecks to decrease or stay the same. It’s hard to get buy on a working man’s salary when you have a family but even harder when you have a large family, utilities, and house notes to pay each month, a baby who needs more diapers and milk each week, a sister who’s going to college and needs help with school supplies, fees, books, ect, and a son who is going back to school and needs all new school supplies along with uniforms, backpack, lunchbox, and winter clothes. It’s even harder when you are someone like my brother who works on a Tugboat and constantly needs to work boots and jumpsuits and has to drive a long way back and forth from home to work and back again and the company pays for nothing.

I know the struggle of living in today’s world and I appreciate every coupon that comes in my house and helps provide for my family.