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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Julie R.

No, coupons do not usually influence my purchasing decisions.  The reason they do not influence my purchasing decisions is because I usually buy off brand products that do not normally have coupons.  Usually, when I shop I’m paying less with an off brand than I would if I bought the name brand with a coupon.  A lot of times the coupons I do see and would use would be for something I don’t normally buy.  If I were to buy it and use a coupon, I’d be spending money on something I don’t usually buy but did because I had a coupon.  In these cases I do not use coupons.  Again I’d be spending money on something I normally wouldn’t be buying anyway.

There are other times when using a coupon can save you big money.  Sometimes there are buy one get one free or buy one get one half off coupons.  And sometimes there are coupons for items that have been sent to the clearance aisle in a store.  Under these circumstances these coupons are worth buying the product even if you were not planning on buying the item unless of course it is for something you absolutely do not need or use.

Another issue with coupons that can cost you more money is where can you use the coupon?  Is it an in store coupon you can only use at a particular store?  If so, would you be going to the store anyway?  Or are you only going to the store that has the coupon because you have a coupon?

Where is the item on clearance you have a coupon for?  How much gasoline are you going to be using to get to the store that has the item?  Is it worth the drive and time and cost of gasoline to get it?  Are there other things at the store you need?  If there are other items at the store you need, how much of a difference in price is there between the store that has this coupon and the store that you normally buy your items at?  Is it still worth it?

There are many different things I consider when it comes to using a coupon.  If the item is at the store I normally shop in, I don’t have to make a bunch of unnecessary stops when maybe I could go to one store, and save in time and aggravation, save on gasoline and still come home with everything I need then I’ll use the coupon.

If I have to drive to the other side of town, stop at a lot of places I normally wouldn’t stop at just to use the coupon to get a deal, I’ll pass.  To me the $.25 I could save isn’t worth it.

I have a $10 off coupon right now for a store I normally do not shop that is on the other side of town I don’t normally travel to, there is a lot of congestion, traffic and, right now, road construction.  You must make a minimum $10 purchase to use the coupon.  So, in the end I’d be getting the product for free if I used it.  But is it really free?  What am I going to see at the store and buy that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t gone in the first place?  Is the use of gasoline, dealing with traffic, construction and the time I spend driving there worth it?  Probably not, but I understand that is why the stores do this.  They want to give you the coupon in hopes you will make that drive and you will buy something on impulse because you are there.  That’s called marketing.

There is one item that gets couponed a lot that we use and that is fast food.  We eat out a lot.  These are definitely worth it.  But, only because I’m going to be going through a drive thru somewhere anyway, what I have a coupon for will help make the decision on where we’re going.  But if I can get it cheaper somewhere else without a coupon, that is what I’m going to go regardless of how much of a deal it is at that store with the coupon.

A note from us at I’m In: We offer lots of coupons for YOU to use when you eat out.  Find restaurant coupons today!

Remember I said in the beginning that coupons do not usually influence my purchasing decisions?  I really do consider a lot of factors when deciding if I’m going to use the coupon or not.  My biggest thing is how I will spend the least amount of money with or without that coupon.

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