Before I lived on my own, or knew what extreme couponing was, coupons were almost extinct to me. I looked at coupons as something that only old people used at grocery stores, and thought they were all just a mere waste of time until about two years ago. After completing two years of community college, I transferred to Eastern Illinois University where I lived on my own for the first time ever in my very own apartment. For the first couple of weeks everything seemed fine and dandy, until my money I had saved for college began to dwindle down and my bank account began to get smaller and smaller. It was at this point I realized I needed to do some severe cutting back, and needed to reevaluate how I was going to survive as I did not want to be your typical “broke college student.”
I started researching ways to save money while in college and one of the most common ways I had come up with was using coupons. At first I laughed, but then I started realizing that the things that I use and buy the most of always had a coupon for a certain amount off or for a free item. At first I used a few coupons that saved me around $10 and honestly I was happy with that as it saved me $10 a week, and about $40 a month. Then as I started doing more research I found websites with coupons, other than just in the paper, where I began to start to save even more. Before you knew it I was using coupons every where I went, or at least places that accepted them. What I once found as something that only old people do was becoming almost a hobby to me. I loved the feeling of saving money!
So now, looking back at where I was two years ago to today I can say that coupons definitely do influence my decision making process when I go to purchase things. Although I love my brand name items, I love them even more when I am getting a discount on them. I have become a “bargain shopper” as my younger sister calls it. Being a college student trying to pay for school, saving any dime can help. Before I go shopping, if there is anything that I am particularly going shopping for I make sure to first look to see if I can find a coupon, which 99% of the time you can find one.
The one thing that I will admit about using coupons is that it is time consuming, but in the long run it is worth it. I figured out while in college that it only takes a few extra minutes a day to search for your coupons so that when you do go shopping that you have what you need. I think the best way to go about using coupons is being as organized as possible, and keeping all your coupons together in one place. I feel as if you do not use coupons that you are throwing away free money, and like I have stated before, living the life of a college student and trying to get by is no joke, most students can use any extra dollar they can find. In my opinion I think that colleges should take it upon themselves to introduce using coupons to the students through orientation and opening weekend because if I would of known how much money I could be saving from day one of college by using coupons I would have been using them all along.
Overall, I believe that using coupons has a slight affect on my decision making process because if I truly do need something that I do not have a coupon for I will buy the item, but I would much rather buy the item when I do have a coupon for it. I think that people are unaware of all the money that they could be saving by using coupons and that each and every individual should take a few minutes out of their day so that they too can find coupons and save money.