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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-LaToursha E.

As a weekly shopper and college student, I still believe using coupons are a very influential. I have always had a greater saving percentage using coupons. Majority of my shopping is done online because I do not have my own car and the public transit I use only operates Monday –Friday from 6:30 am until 6:30 pm.  Before the end of the month, I have already completed part of my shopping happens online. In one of my marketing classes a few years ago we had to show a diagram on how coupons impact shoppers and their purchasing decisions. Some people have stated that “coupons really do matter”. Many of my colleagues have stated that for most people they encounter, grocery shopping is a pretty routine event.  I often catch a lot of items on sale if I have only a few coupons. I may purchase alternate meals and ingredients from week to week. This is an opportunity to weigh out my chances to get good offers on certain brands and items that are usually available in the stores I shop only once or twice each and every month.  One more point I will address about coupons is the reward. Yes, indeed. Majority of the times I enter my favorite stores or shop with friends and family at theirs, there are opportunities for that” next purchase only”. Rewards programs for me have been terrific. I recently experienced student rewards. I presented my student identification card with my coupon to get 15% off the next five to ten purchases.  From my experiences when you have a coupon for one of or more of the regularly purchased items, they can help reduce the cost of a more expensive brand than you’d normally buy.  Being rewarded due to true loyalty not just one time purchases.

On average my coupons are on canned goods, toothpaste, feminine items, veggie burgers, seafood, and other perishable items that I need more often than others. My shopping experience has been better with coupons. A few years ago before I lost my job, I was spending over $150 dollars a month for groceries just for me and a few friends that come by often. After I lost my job in 2012, my grocery shopping has decreased from over $150 to about $75-$90 a month. This is awesome. I have money left over to pay an extra phone bill and to pamper myself.  On the other hand be very caution how you use the coupons. Sometimes the item  of intent to purchase may be the same brand, but the coupon my require you to purchase more quantities or sizes that you actually need. Also an individual must take into consideration that some manufacturers don’t offer coupons because they want to be generous. Some stores do not accept or encourage customers to present coupons. A few Walmarts in particular do ad matches but they also remind you to think of purchasing the items that are “as advertised”. Most manufacturers are attracting new consumers to buy their products as well as keeping the regular prices at a low cost for regular clients to continuing with their business. I use coupons to save money, but we all know that businesses have a goal not to help you save money, but to encourage you to spend on items you might not normally consider buying. As a consumer, student, and consumer shopper, I advise anyone to try coupons at least once or twice a month. Research all stores and make sure that you are actaully getting your money worth with the product or products of choice. My mom, grandparents, friends, and mentors have always taught me that if a coupon encourages you to purchase a product that you don’t need, then it’s doing more harm than good to your budget. Another word of advice I will also state is, what works for some does not work for others; but coupons work perfectly for me.

A note from the Scholarship Committee at I’m In:  We think you should try coupons. too!  Start with our recommended coupons to check out the hottest deals.  

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