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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Mason B.

Do coupons influence my purchasing decisions?  Absolutely!  Often times, I will buy items just because I have a coupon.  I do this mostly when it’s a new product that I’d like to try.

My personal rule is I will not purchase certain items unless I have a coupon.  For example, clothes shopping.  If I don’t have a coupon, I will wait to make the purchase until I have one.  Additionally, the coupon needs to make the purchase worth my while.   If a store provides 15%, 20% or 30% off the total purchases, I will only make purchases, if I have the highest coupon amount (ie; 30%).

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on mens clothing and save on womens clothing at I’m In!

Many retailers nowadays do something called ad match.  This gives me even more incentive to use coupons.  By using other stores coupons, I can get the same lower price at my favorite store, which alleviates having to go to other stores that could be out of my way.

For ad match coupons, the merchant that does the match doesn’t keep the coupons.  This means I can go to my favorite store multiple times and reuse the coupons to get items at a lower price.

The nice thing about coupons is they have a bar code on them.  This makes the merchant’s job easier since they don’t have to manually key the coupon amount into their computer system.

Another form of coupons is a plastic card the merchant provides you.  Once your card is scanned, the consumer is eligible to receive sale prices within the store.  The downside of the card is you always need to have it with you, in order to receive the in-store sale prices.

There are also rebate type coupons.  You have to mail a paper form, the UPC (bar code) from the products, and your original receipt.  You receive a rebate in the mail, in the form of store credit to use on a future purchase.

You can also sign up for coupons to be emailed to you.   The nice way this helps consumers, is if you have a Smart Phone, you can simply access your email while at the store and show the email coupon to the cashier.  They are able to scan the coupon directly from your phone.

A note from us at I’m In:  The I’m In Coupon App makes it easy for you to access coupons for in store savings. The power is in the palm of your hand!

Often times, merchants will offer coupons when you enter the store.  The coupons will pertain to a variety of products.

You can always get coupons in the local newspaper.  Sunday is a popular day for “coupon clipping”.

Merchants will often send coupons in the mail.  Grocery stores are known for this.  They have 6 weeks of coupons, where you must use them during a specific date range.  The coupons are for specific products.  The downside of these coupons is, once cut from the mailer they are small and easy to lose.

Magazines will offer coupons.  I don’t buy magazines, so this option isn’t very popular for me.  I typically only read magazines when I’m at an appointment, such as the Doctors’ office.  They don’t appreciate if you cut coupons from their magazines!

Where did coupons begin?  Back in 1888, Coca-Cola provided paper tickets/coupons for a free glass of Coke, to help promote their new product.  Obviously, the coupon was a big hit then, since Coca-Cola is still profitably being produced.

There is also another form of a coupon on specially marked products, called “Box Tops for Education”.  Many products have this ‘coupon’ on the packaging.  Each ‘coupon’ is worth 10 cents.  When I was in elementary school, our PTO (parent-teacher organization) collected these ‘coupons’ to purchase items for the classrooms such as smart boards or library books, when there wasn’t enough money in the school budget.

Coupon usage grew in the 1930’s during the great depression.  In the 1990’s the invention of the internet lead to downloadable printable coupons.

Coupons aren’t for everyone.  If you like to save money, it’s worth a try!

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