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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Justin H.

Are there people who aren’t enticed by the idea that they could save some money? Money on the items that they need? Want? Getting more items while spending the same amount of money? Coupons give me an opportunity to achieve my goals of saving as much money as I can on the stuff that I want/ need. I can also get more items while spending the same amount of money with the use of coupons.

When contemplating a purchase, initially I do not think of using a coupon, however, once I have decided to make a purchase, my first thought is saving money and getting the best bargain for the item – then my mind turns to the use of coupons.  I am part of the 96% of the consumers in the United States, who, according to RetailMeNot, uses coupons.  I use coupons not only to save money on the purchase but the fact that the coupon exists encourages me to research further into pricing and simultaneously challenges me to define my selection while crystallizing what I “want” and what I “need” from a product.  The coupon refines my product selection by via its ability to shift my “brand loyalty” by making me aware of other products that can satisfy my product demands.  Coupons make me a better-informed consumer but that is the residual effect of using coupons and it is not the primary reason I use coupons.  I am particularly influenced by the promotional printed circulars, which are readily available when entering stores.  The tactile nature of the circular, make the “money saving” experience more “real” juxtaposed the use of a “digital coupon” or the use of a promotional code for online shopping.  The printed circular also “reminds” me to purchase other products, for example.

The second reason why coupons influence my purchasing decisions is because coupons allow me to get more ’bang for my buck’.  Retailers like Walgreens have a newspaper that they put out weekly in every store across the nation dedicated to letting consumers know what items they can save some money on while they’re shopping in their stores. These coupons range from selling Arizona Iced Teas for 50 cents when they are usually sold for 1 dollar to saving 30 percent or more on items such as: Toilet paper, mouthwash, and numerous candy bars. When I am in stores and I see that they have coupons for household necessities or snacks/food that I really want; I am enticed to buy these items because I feel like I’m getting a deal on the stuff that I want/need.

Another reason why coupons influence my purchasing decisions is because coupons help manage my food costs. According to USA Today, the average cost of feeding a family of four can range from 146 to 289 dollars per week. With those weekly costs, food can cost the average over eleven hundred dollars a month. Because of the average American having to spend up to over eleven hundred dollars a month for food, American citizens are (like myself) are looking for deals that would end up cutting my food costs per month .Just last year while living on campus at Xavier University of Louisiana  I realized that I was paying 532$/ month for food. When I was contemplating moving off campus one of the main things I thought about was the cost of food. While calculating my costs in the first few months of me living off campus, food costs me about 100$/ month (it could be cheaper if I would search for more coupons).Coupons are the only guaranteed thing that can help me cut food costs.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on food and restaurants at I’m In!

Another reason why coupons influence my purchasing decisions is because coupons influence other people’s purchasing decisions and people are influenced by other people. The online blog site TADA conducted a survey to see if coupons really influence consumers purchasing decisions. TADA polled over eight thousand eight hundred shoppers that shopped at over thirteen hundred retailers. Out of the 8,800 shoppers that were polled, only twenty four percent of them used a coupon when they were shopping. Fifty four percent of that 24 percent of people that used coupons told TADA that they wouldn’t have purchased the item if they didn’t have a coupon at their disposal. Fifty five percent of that 24 percent were “inspired” to make a purchasing decision because they had a coupon at their disposal. Seventy six percent of the polled shoppers did not use a coupon while they were shopping. 81 percent of the seventy six percent that did not use coupons stated that they would’ve liked to use coupons. 76 percent of the original seventy six percent didn’t use coupons because they didn’t take the time to look for coupons while they were shopping. Sixty seven percent of the original 76 percent stated that they would’ve spent more money in the store if they had coupons at their disposal. I am a part of the original twenty four percent of people that use coupons while shopping.

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