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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Kiana B.

Coupons most definitely influence my purchasing decisions because I am always looking for ways to manage my money in better ways. I work in the education field, so I do not make a large amount of money. With the use of coupons, I have learned to make my small paychecks stretch a long way. I mostly use coupons for buying groceries because the price of food, especially healthy food, has continuously increased over the last couple of years. It still baffles me that a bottle of water or health drink can cost more than a soda or sugary juice. Had I not been laid off 2 years ago while attending college, I don’t think I ever would have thought about using coupons. It is unfortunate that I had to experience much adversity in order to see the usefulness of coupons, but I am thankful for that experience and knowing now that there are options for making food and other necessities affordable. I couldn’t imagine shopping now without any type of coupons because I know that I could not afford everything that I need. Even if I could, coupons would still help me in saving money to spend on other meaningful things, such as helping my family out, and being able to afford books for school without looking for outside help.

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

I have recently begun using coupons to afford more materials for the classroom I work in. It saddened me that my students had to go without because their parents could not afford simple things like new shirts, snacks, and personal hygiene products. I used coupons to buy these materials for them, so that they would not have to go without. I strongly believe that each student deserves to have at least the basic necessities and I have worked to provide these for them. I understand that this is not my job, however, I am more than willing to do this because I know that I can with the coupons that are made available to the public. I honestly never thought that I would be able to afford extra things for the classroom based upon my paycheck because my mindset was always “I can only get these things with my check…” Now my mindset focuses on how far I can extend my paycheck to be able to help as many as possible and still provide for my basic needs. Without coupons, I am not sure that I would be able to even think about providing extra for my students because I am not sure that I would not want to face that reality of not being able to afford it and provide the materials to them.

I think it’s great that more and more stores are making apps and adding exclusive coupons for those who download it! It makes accessing and utilizing coupons much easier than the old way of sifting through newspapers and cutting out the coupons. However, for those who enjoy that method, I hope that method stays around for them. I know for my own personal experience that it is easier to load a store card (Safeway club card, Fred Meyer rewards, etc.) and be able to see my extra savings along with the regular savings. I do wish that more places of business offered coupons to their customers. Like more clothing or shoe stores. It seems as though this is what people struggle with buying the most. I, myself, have struggled in the past with being able to afford clothes and shoes, especially when the winter time comes. I currently live in Seattle, so the rain and snow get pretty serious here. More coupons would allow more people to afford these items on their own and not have to go without during the cold season. If there was one thing that I could change about the way coupons work, it would certainly be that. If coupons extended to a couple more basic need items, we all might be living a little better.

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