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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Mary D.

I am proud to say that I am an avid couponer.  In fact, theres not a trip to the store that I don’t have coupons with me.  The reason is not to be a hoarder or gain more canned goods than anyone else in my neighborhood.  I’m not stocking for the apocalypse.  In fact, those type of couponers make it worse on me by taking everything off the shelves. 

My typical routine is to buy either 2 or 4 newspapers because I need the coupons.  I never cut them and instead, I write the date on the front of the inserts and keep them in order.  Then when I need to go shopping, I go to a particular website.  The woman who manages it is a stay at home mom who finds every deal in every store, whether it is grocery stores, or drugstores.  She posts each stores sales with each and every item in their particular circular with the coupon next to it and which insert and date you may find it in, along with printables.  There are boxes next to each item so that when you get done, you have made your own shopping list and you can even type in more items if need be.  I then print my list out and bring my phone with me to the store, as there is an app for this coupon website.

I normally go to one store in particular because they accept competitor coupons, they have their own inserts you may pick up either in the store or in the local newspaper.  They also let you stack coupons.  This means that you may use a manufacturer and their coupon on one item, saving you even more!  This really comes in handy when they have the buy one get one free (BOGO) sales.  The BOGOs are the main reason I buy double newspapers.  For example, if a certain cereal is in the BOGO sale for $5.00 and I have a manufacturer coupon for a dollar off, plus a dollar off for that store, that’s actually $4.00 off because you can use 2 coupons for each item.  This means I’m paying $1.00 for 2 boxes of cereal!

There are others who abuse coupons, as aforementioned the extreme couponers.  For me, if I only need 2 boxes of that same cereal that is all I will buy, especially if I don’t have a big family and know no one will eat it.  An extreme couponer will buy much more than they actually need, just because they see a sale.  They are the ones in the store bringing home 10-20 newspapers per week either from the store or from a website.  Extreme couponers usually have a stock pile in their home with things they won’t use all of (i.e. 30 boxes of hamburger helper, which has an expiration date on it).  Of course there are those couponers who will buy for a homeless shelter or daycare, for which will need diapers, soap, or detergent.  This is completely understandable.  However, for someone like me that will only need 2 of anything, I need to go to the store the day of the sale or the extreme couponers will have wiped out all the shelves, just for a ‘collection’ in their stockpile.

The reason I love using coupons is because I am on a budget and need to save money on anything and everything.  I’m constantly cutting corners on many things.  As a matter of fact, each time I do go to the store, I will end up saving between $15-$40, and never going above $80.  Before I leave my house with my list, I add everything up and make a point to not go over the budget and if so, by only $5.  After all, I’m in college and I have to make every dollar count.

A note from us at I’m In:  Before you head out to shop, check with our Store Directory to see if we can help pile on the savings!

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