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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Jenny S.

I was raised in a home where coupons are used very often. Growing up, due to my mom working as a cashier in a grocery store two blocks away from us, I have learned that coupons could be useful in some ways. But are they really that useful? Although my mother can save a few dollars from using coupons, she also spends more than the usual for using coupons. I observed how she uses coupons and I found out that coupons could be very useful and can save you money, but if not used the right way, it could end up having to pay for more than you wish.

Coupons are quite a tease. Mailboxes can get full of ads from different stores and you will always find a coupon. From the BOGO(Buy One Get One), 50% off purchase, $50 off, and plenty more strategic ways to attract customers. These are some ways of advertisements of brand stores and grocery stores that we get.  From your email addresses, advertisers could also bombard you with plenty of offers and most of them would go to your spam folder. There are also TV shows that encourage consumers to use coupons, such as the Extreme Couponing show. But are they really helping us save money?

In some ways, coupons could be very nice to have. Like for example, when I want to buy a 12 pack of coke in can, my mom would give me a $1 off. It could somehow make you feel good about yourself that you are able to save a few amounts by taking your time to look at the ads. I believe that by using coupons wisely, couponing could turn out to be a good thing. The benefit of couponing is if you have something specific to buy and you actually have the exact coupon for that. If you have a certain product that you use very often and you find a coupon for it, then you could buy it in bulk, so then you don’t need to pay more the next time. For a college student who is living off the edge and will need a little bit of discount on groceries, it would be useful to look at the ads and save some coupons too. I must say, coupons could be very helpful to the wise and careful individual.

Although my mother is a very smart woman, coupons have a way to confuse her and lure her to using it even when she doesn’t need to. I am a firm believer of the “needs vs wants” theory. I always prioritize buying what I need over what I want, with or without coupons. My mom believes that if she sees 50% off of $50.00 purchase coupons, she thinks she has to spend $50.00 to get that discount even if she doesn’t really need anything. I feel like it’s a waste of money, if you just buy something for the sake of getting a discount. I would think that many other people, not just my mom have the same way of thinking. It only goes to show that not all coupons are there to help consumers, but to confuse them into thinking that they could actually get something off of it and this is the bad side of using coupons.

In conclusion, if you ever use coupons, be sure to stop and think for a second if this is really helping you or fooling you. Coupons, if used wisely, can save you a lot of money. Don’t be tricked by coupon offers that will want you to spend on something unnecessary and will lead you to spend more. I would suggest everyone to stick to the needs vs wants theory and this will help your decision making when using coupons in the future.

A note from us at I’m In: Reduce the amount of impulse spending and get only coupons from retailers YOU want in your inbox!  Sign up for our deal alerts and have relevant coupons sent directly to you via e-mail.

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