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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Joan I.

Nowadays, I receive newspapers, pamphlets, magazines and emails from many different sources. I ignore most of them because they’re what I call “junk mail”–things that clutter my inbox or my mailbox. But I keep some of them, the ones that could be useful to me or my children. Such documents include information on jobs, internships, scholarships and–coupons.

In my spare time, I scope out coupons that could be useful for my family. The type of coupons I find to use are mostly limited to food coupons. With four children, (most of them teenagers) it gets a little challenging to keep the fridge stocked. As the cost of living becomes more and more expensive, it becomes increasingly difficult to support my family. My husband and I have to support ourselves, two kids in high school, two in college, and pay a whole host of bills.

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My husband and I are keen on raising our children on a healthy diet. And as you know, healthy food is generally expensive food. The prices of lean meat and fresh vegetables have skyrocketed recently, and from time to time, we just don’t have the money to buy the type of food we’d like to. Many times this has forced my husband and I to choose alternatives in lower-quality food. But we hate to prioritize anything above the health and the well-being of our children, not even frugality. So coupons are a good medium because this way, we can frequently still get the high-quality food our children deserve without having to “burn holes” in our wallets. I tend not to look for coupons right before shopping. I tend to leave them in my purse, that way I’ll to have them when I go to the store, whenever that happens to be.

So in closing, I would say yes. Coupons do influence my purchasing decisions. But rather than coupons affecting my decisions as far as outcomes are concerned, they affect my decision more so than my method. At least ninety-five percent of the time, I would still opt to buy healthier, more organic foods whether or not I have a coupon. The coupon, at best, would just help to determine if I was going to buy the healthy food sooner or later.

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