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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Katy G.

Coupons can influence a person’s purchasing decisions in many ways no matter if you live paycheck to paycheck or have money for a luxurious lifestyle.  With inflation raising the price of food, one of the basic necessities of life, coupons reduce the price of some items to help lower the output of monies just to survive.  Coupons also help boost the economy by people buying more, putting more money into the businesses that sell and supply, even at a lower cost.  Coupons also give the opportunity to save some money and put it away for a rainy day.

Coupons do influence my purchasing decisions.  As an adult, I am very aware of the cost of things, the inflation rate that changes over time, and the struggle to make ends meet because of it. Some grocery stores have lower prices than others, but sometimes that just is not enough.  Other grocery stores offer “double coupons” or “triple coupons”, where the store takes off double, or triple, of the face amount of the coupon up to a specific amount.  Wal-Mart generally has lower prices than Schnucks and Target, plus it has the “ad match guarantee”.  The ad match guarantee means that I can take in an ad from a local competitor and it matches the price of the item in the ad.  The only down fall to this guarantee is that I cannot use a coupon on the item I am doing a match on.  Schnucks offers double coupons everyday, but its prices are higher than Wal-Mart.  A fifty cent ($0.50) coupon will double to a dollar off an item.  A couple times during the year, it offers triple coupons where face value of the coupon triples, up to a specific amount.  If I would use a seventy five cent ($0.75) coupon would triple to $2.25 off.($0.75 x 3 = $2.25).  When I go shopping at Schnucks, with its double coupon advertising, I can easily save between seven and ten dollars on the bill.  Combine that with items that are on sale that week in addition to the coupon being used, that savings could be $15 or more.

A note from us at I’m In:  We offer lots of ways for you to save on groceries at I’m In!

As an adult college student, I am aware of the debt I am acquiring for an education.  I look for ways to reduce my outgoing expenditures as much as possible.  I live by myself so the grocery bill is not high to begin with, but any kind of savings I can find to reduce the bill, I take.  I do believe that coupons are only worth taking the money to buy the paper they come in and the time to clip them if they are items I would buy and use.  For example, I don’t clip coupons for cheese because even with a coupon, store brand cheese is almost always cheaper.  Therefore to clip a coupon for an item I would never use would be a waste of my time.  Coupons that require the purchase of two items I also skip over, unless it is something I have an idea the original price is not too expensive.  Since I live alone, I do not need much.  Buying two of something I normally do not buy, with the price that is more expensive than my normal brand; even using a coupon I would end up spending more than normal.

Coupons have the ability to help the economy.  The more of an item is bought, the more reordering the grocery store has to do to replenish that item.  The more orders the suppliers receive, the more work the company has for its employees, giving the employees a regular paycheck.  If customers use enough of those companies’ coupons, the company may have to hire more employees to fill the orders its customers (the grocery stores).

Coupon clipping has also contributed to increasing my savings account.  Whenever I have the ability to do so, whatever money I have saved using coupons, I put into my savings account.  This gives me enough money at the end of the year for a good start on Christmas shopping, almost like my own Christmas Club Account.

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