It is a warm sunny Sunday in the middle of September. You wake up to the beautiful sound of the birds chirping, the coffee maker making your black coffee, the morning news, and the sound of the newspaper being tossed on your driveway. Casually walking outside you bend down to grab the paper and come back inside to sit back, relax, and read the paper. Flipping through the black and white to finally make your way to the end, you approach the most exciting part about the paper: the comics and the coupons. Now is where the work begins. You grab your scissors from your office, sit at the kitchen table with a myriad of Ziploc baggies awaiting impatiently to be filled with thin pieces of paper that simply say “buy one get one 50% off”. You grab your black coffee and raise it up to your mouth and take a sip and say to yourself “I’m ready” and immediately get to work. Your eyes widen as you flip through the vibrant coupon book sniping and cutting through the amazing deals at the nearest Kroger or other grocery store. Once all of the Ziploc baggies are filled with coupons you make a grocery list based off of the coupons you have instead of basing it on what you actually need in your home. Coupons do influence your purchasing decisions and most people don’t even realize it. As Americans we jump with joy at any opportunity we have to gain something with little cost. Why else would black Friday be such a big deal to us? People wait impatiently outside at 3am ready to pounce on anyone who takes the last IPhone that is 30% off. When we go through coupons our mind set changes to “save money mode” and we don’t consider what products we actually need. Our eyes are blinded with the “buy one get one free” and the “40% off on mozzarella sticks” that our minds don’t have time to really think and process all the information. Many of us get so into the coupons that we end up buying materials we don’t normally buy or need and it ends up being a waste of money. For example let’s say you need milk and you go through the coupon book to find that this store brand organic milk is on sale, that magical word “sale” taunts you and bribes you until you finally give in and end up buying the organic milk you have never tasted instead of the milk that you normally drink. Next thing you know that store brand organic milk ends up rotting in your refrigerator growing sour as no one in your family dares to drink the foreign drink. Money is wasted yet again due to the fact that you let the colorful coupons draw you into their trap. Coupons are smart however; they could deter you from buying one product over another because one is discounted. Everyone loves to save money any way they can especially with this economy, the need to send the kids to college, insurance, debt, and more. If Pepsi was having a sale on their drinks while Coca-Cola, even though a well-known and established company, wasn’t, most people would subconsciously go for the cheaper drink. Not only can coupons conquer famous products like Coca-Cola, they also narrow your search to specific items. If you look at coupons before creating your grocery list or going to the store, the only thing going through your head are the discount prices you saw on the coupons. My family is personally guilty of this. My father goes through the coupons and gets excited and thrilled knowing all of the money he can save if he buys certain items over others. Next thing I know, our shopping cart is filled with not one but 5 boxes of corndogs, 3 packs of Pepsi drinks, 2 bags of Ruffle Potato chips, and none of the groceries we actually need to sustain life and have a well-balanced meal for the week. In conclusion, coupons do influence your purchasing decisions because they lure you in with their color, and discount signs and persuade you to only want the products that will give you “a bang for your buck”.
A note from us at I’m In: We offer lots of ways for you to save on groceries at I’m In!