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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Leia N.

Today’s economy has made times tough for many families. With jobs being scarce, wages remaining low and prices continually increasing, many people have had to change the way they spend on a daily basis. More families have trouble paying necessary expenses such as groceries and even the fuel to get to the store. Despite these conditions, there are still ways to save money and shop smart. One of the ways to save big bucks on necessary expenses is through the use of coupons. This is why coupons do influence my purchasing decisions.

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When I was young, my mother would often hand me grocery store fliers and have me clip all of the coupons out. After we had clipped all the coupons from the fliers we would sort them by category. She then filed them in a small couponing box by type of product and in order of expiration date. Before heading out to shop for daily essentials we would grab the coupon box and our shopping list and pull out any coupons that we could use toward our purchases. Once at the store, it was always a relief and almost a bit exciting for my mother to see the total of our purchases at checkout drop as the cashier scanned coupon after coupon. My mom would always smile and say, “See how much we saved with the coupons?” As a young child I always thought of coupon clipping as more of a fun game to play and did not fully understand the significance of couponing. Now, years later as a young adult having lived on my own I understand the importance of coupons and have come to appreciate them. Coupons do influence my purchasing decisions because they allow me to save money every time I make a purchase. Even when finances are not tight, the money saved through the use of coupons can be applied to other expenses or even fun activities.

Coupons influence my purchasing decisions because I live paycheck to paycheck and must save money wherever I can. The couponing I did with my mother as a child has helped me financially today as it is still a part of my shopping routine. I collect coupons as my mother taught me through clipping from fliers in the mail and pulling from coupon dispensers at the store.  Thankfully, now I can even search for coupons on the internet before I head out to go shopping. As I am on a budget, I must only purchase necessities when I shop and still utilize coupons for these few items. Before heading out to the store I go through the coupons I have previously clipped, sorted and filed and pull any that apply to my shopping list. Often there are still many items on the list that I do not have coupons for. At this point, I turn on my computer and start scouring the internet for coupons for the remaining items on my list. Most often, the internet allows me to find the majority of the remaining coupons I need, however it is a lengthy process to find well organized couponing sites with readily available printable coupons. If I cannot find a coupon for an item on my list, I often do not purchase it on that particular day, but wait until I can find a coupon for that item. Now when I stand at checkout, it is always exciting for me to watch as my total drops as the cashier scans my coupons and to see the look of surprise on the cashier’s face as even they are impressed with how much money I have saved.

Coupons always have an influence on my purchasing decisions. With today’s economy, money is tight and I am always looking for ways to save money. The use of coupons has helped me financially and allowed me to live more comfortably. This is why I pick up coupons whenever I see them and spend time on the internet gathering coupons for my daily essentials. I can appreciate spending the time to gather coupons every time I glance at a receipt and see how much money I saved through the use of coupons.

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