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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Julia W.

Penny pinching, budgetting and couponing? Couponing can be a girls best friend or sometimes their worse enemy. Not every coupon is a great deal and saving, but I do agree that some do! As a college student working part time and putting gas in the car each week, trust me I know how to save in the best ways possible. Some call me frugal ,others cheap, but honestly I consider it smart. Why should I even spend more than I need to on an item, and if the item is one I never used why should I use the coupon on some useless device.

The only reason I made the last claim is because of my dear mother. Oh how I love her, and yes she does save a lot while shopping with coupons, but sometimes I wanted to ask her if she would ever really use the item. “Oh look I have a coupon for this fancy normally expensive soap despenser. What a great deal!” Wrongo! Don’t get sucked into the promotional deals with new expensive products. Typically the coupon is a one time deal and the refills or follow up products are tremendously steep in price. These coupons aren’t to your benefit so avoid these in your local paper.

Not all coupons are bad though. You just need to check out the regular prices and know how much the product may cost at other stores. I recommend if you are searching for a higher ticket item to do your homeworks and look into online venues to find the best deal. After the deal is located whether it be through a local store or an online shopping site, check out Retail Me Not. They offer several coupons and coupon codes to bring your low ticket item down to that perfect price. Can you tell I do this on a regular basis?

Okay now I’m sure your wondering what happens when your in the store and forget coupons and want to ensure your getting the best deal. Well, it’s easy! Most Americans carry smart phones with internet capabilities. On certain products and stores, coupons can be puled up on your phone and used in stores. I know at my local Hobby Lobby and Michael’s I never leave until I check for a coupon on my phone. Don’t have a smart phone, and still in this situation? Check out the handout flyers in the front of the stores. They do have coupons hidden in them sometimes, even for the items you may be purchasing. It doesn’t hurt to check.

A note from us at I’m In:  The I’m In Coupon App makes it easy for you to access coupons for in store savings. The power is in the palm of your hand!

Now where to go for the best coupons around? Check local papers and online printouts. Sunday papers are full of valuable coupons, and all you need is a pair of scissors and some time to pick out your coupons you need. Flip through the coupons with the intentions of the products in your mind. After clipping your coupons, check out the ads for the week. Check for those 10 for 10 deals and buy one get one free’s, but be weary. If you know it is a brand name product that is more expensive than yours, maybe you need to reconsider. Is your product cheaper even with the deal? If so than stick to the usual, but if the usual is on sale by all means enjoy the sale. Finally, do a little last minute internet coupon clipping based on the stores you plan to attend. You may only save five dollars, but hey five dollars extra can go towards your gas tank or maybe go into a little nest egg for a night out.

Just because I am in college, doesn’t mean I need to live like a poor person. I just coupon and make smart choices with my money. It’s not always easy, trust me I know those Scentsy coupons are temping, but the wax is far more expensive than my cheap Glade knock off deodorizer. I love a good deal like the rest of us, but just be a smart couponer, and may the odds of the money game be in your favor!

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