The best way I could answer the question on whether or not coupons influence my purchasing decisions would be yes and no but mostly yes. Typically, I don’t hunt for coupons when it comes to food but for material items, yes, I’m looking for that 10% off total purchases or 50% off one regular-priced item. I walk into a clothing store and make a bee-line for the price racks marked as, “Clearance” or a certain percentage off thanks to my mom’s influence. Why would I pay $15 for one blouse when I can get three other things for the same price at this particular clothing rack?

In fact, at times, I even wait for items I’d like to buy to be at a cheaper price before I actually buy them whether that is a month or a year out. I am that person who will keep track of the things I’d like to buy and wait a few months out before I actually do anything about it. So why do I do all these things? I’m a college student, sure but one who had chosen the option of staying at their parent’s house and working a part-time job just for some extra cash while in school. I don’t have much to pay monthly if anything at all and yet I’m still frugal about the way I spend my money (or try to be, the siren call of unnecessary purchases is strong).

I think, maybe, it may have been the way I was raised as I mentioned before with my mom’s influence and zoning in on red-tagged items. I grew up with her telling me certain things were “too expensive” and I should “look at this section”. She has cards for Macy’s, Kohl’s, and other various retail stores. She once told me that shopping is her stress reliever as I watch her take out a stack of coupons and reduce a $125 purchase to $60 or something ridiculous like that. She receives coupons in the mail from the same stores with things like Kohl Cash and birthday coupons from her favorite places. She would come home to bring me a new dress or a new shirt, asking me to ask her how much she had paid for it, which would be something like 4 for $10. Honestly, my mom could be a professional shopper and I’m sure some of it rubbed off on me although I wish more of it had rubbed off on me. I have a tendency to spend more than I actually would have liked.

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Most importantly, I spend the way I spend because of the hobbies I keep, paired with the way I had grown up. I’m the weird nerd who enjoys making costumes replicating fictional characters from movies, cartoons, book series, etc. and wearing them to conventions themed on comic books or Japanese animations called anime. This hobby allows myself to be as creative as I’d like to be since I major in Social Work and there isn’t much room to be artistic. Creating costumes demands supplies, which could range from cans of expanding foam used for weapon prop making to fabric for the costume. I, myself, have a range of student discount cards or discount memberships at craft stores like Michaels, Joanns, or Hancock Fabrics. Costumes are demanding as well, and need a varying amount of supplies in any kind of number depending on the complexity of it. In order to keep up, I, of course, take advantage of Black Fridays, holiday sales, and as much coupons as I am able to get my hands on. Costuming isn’t very gentle with the wallet, obviously.

Conclusively, I think I can say my use of coupons is extensive due to my mom’s influence and the hobbies I keep. Although, I’d have to say minimum wage jobs don’t really allow a girl the wardrobe of her dreams either.