Do Coupons Influence Your Purchasing Decision… why, or why not? Scholarship Essay

I am a first generation student in my family attending college. I am pursuing a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Marketing at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi, TX. My expected graduation date is December 2015. Currently, I am a part-time student working part-time at the school library. The reason for obtaining my bachelor’s degree is because I want to gain a job where I can grow and learn from because in order to help any business I need to know how to guide it towards growth. I also believe the business would benefit from the higher education I am pursuing because I will prove to them I am a hard working employee who has the skills they need.  I think that pursuing higher education helps me because I am more knowledgeable on how to handle situations in a professional manner.

Coupons are a good source of saving money when your funds are limited while in school, and also with the income you are receiving from a part-time job. As a college student I look for ways to save money. I can buy what is on sale or buy something that may be cheaper if I have a coupon for that particular item. Coupons, for the most part do not influence my purchasing decisions because I like to buy mostly items that are on sale and of course items that I need and actually use. This could be anything from deodorant, toothpaste, detergent, cleaning supplies and food. I will look through the newspaper and circulars for coupons and from there, what I buy will just depend on which kinds of coupons are out for that week. There are times when coupons alone influence my purchasing decisions because the stores will offer a “buy one get one free deal” or a “buy one get a few things” type deal. For example, coupons have helped me when I would go to the store, and they would offer a meal deal where you can buy one big item, such as brisket and get the other items for free, which were rice, beans, and salad. At that point, the store has helped me not only save money, but also plan the meal for the day when in most cases I do not have a plan.

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Coupons do not always influence purchasing decisions because as a frugal customer I know which items in a store are usually marked down. Coupons also come in handy because they are good for three months, which means if I cut out a coupon for one week, and I do not need the coupon then I can use it for another month. I also know that the particular name brands of items I buy are normally marked down so coupons are not always part of my purchasing routine. Knowing this also helps me because I would buy more of a particular item when it is marked down lower and that is comforting since it typically lasts me for about two weeks. Another reason why coupons are not a part of my purchasing routine is because the coupons I am looking for are not always available. The coupons that are usually hardest for me to find are those for razors and for the particular body wash that I use.

I would recommend that stores use a frequent buyer’s smart app or some kind of method to track what they tend to buy or what they want for when it comes to shopping and saving. This will save shoppers time because they won’t have to sift through bulks of mail and paper to find what they want. This will save paper and stores from marking items down, changing the price and needing to do price matches. In order to continue to offer customers more products and or different options, the stores can send suggestions to customers. An example of suggestions would be, if you like this product then maybe you would like this one as well. Or the stores can direct customers to trial basis or sample products. I would also recommend that stores give customers a daily print out in the mail of what items they buy the most, and send coupons to customers for those particular items. I think when customers want to save they will do whatever it takes, and these methods will be convenient for a customer. It does take time looking for coupons but having a method for looking for them will keep a customer at ease. I believe every coupon has purpose and that purpose is to save us from over spending.

So all in all, I do not think that coupons influence what I buy now but it does at times and if I get the right coupons when I need them then it will definitely be a little more influential.

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