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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Mark M.

Growing up coupons was not something that was visible in my household, I grew up in the Philippines till I was ten and then I moved here in the state with my parents. Since moving to the states coupons was something that was very foreign to my household, my parents didn’t even give care or value the little magnets companies give out in the mail. After a couple of months of living here my parents learned the meaning of coupons and power it carries, it carry the power and the value of money. My parents immediately bought newspapers and check the mail day to day for coupons, I can see the excitement through the way they cut the coupons every time they arrive in the mail. I remember my mom cutting it off and keeping it safe in her purse while busting out singing to Madonna. When we first used the coupons she accumulated for the first time we went to grocery store, we were very excited to shop for groceries because we have these little paper things that carry authority and power to save us money; I remember like it was yesterday. We were able to buy Little Debbie Oat Meal Cream Pie for buy one get one. It was the most exciting day for me and my sister because that was one of our favorite snack to eat at school.  When we went to the checkout line my mom took out her stacks of coupons and I can tell from her face that she can feel the vibe changing from the people behind us and the girl clerk at the register. There were looks given to us, look of disapprovals and looks of disgust. I can tell my mom was not amused and proud of what is going around us. The annoyance on the clerk’s face was apparent when my mom handed the coupons. I can see that little by little, while the cashier scanned the coupon that she was getting ashamed and mortified. On the car ride home, I noticed that my mom didn’t have a joyous feeling that a person should have when they save money. I can tell that my mom was humiliated by all the looks and that parts of her pride were stripped away when the coupons were scanned.  After that incident, the bliss of cutting coupons while busting out to Madonna slowly died out. In order to save up money for the family, my mom swallowed her pride and continues to use coupons to this date. Thinking back now, the feelings that my mom had when she first used coupons transferred to me growing up. Being in college is very expensive, that’s why coupons has become one of my best friends. It helps me save money and gave me power to survive the daily struggle college kids goes through; from working minimum wage to cramming for a test or even to turning up on a Friday.  Whenever I use coupons at the grocery I can tell that it annoys the cashier and the other people around me; the looks I get from other college kids are unforgettable and haunting. Similar to my mom I can feel my pride being stripped away when they scanned the coupons at the store. It’s interesting how coupons can have to power to save money and at the same time have power to striped away parts of your pride. In my opinion, in order to use coupons you have to be ready for the looks people will give you because some people will associates coupons with bad connotations and makes you feel vulnerable. Coupons had great influence in the way my family and I make purchasing decisions mainly because it saves us money.  However, I learned from my mom that having a thick skin and learning to swallow your pride are characteristics that should packed in your purse or wallet when using coupons.

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

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