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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Mia H.

Do coupons influence your purchasing decisions…why or why not?

Up until last fall, I thought that coupons were pointless. On the rare occasion that I would have a coupon I would just have it in my wallet and forget about it till it expires. I have a friend that is coupon crazy and only wants to go to places, especially food, that she had a coupon for.

This past fall my friend’s attitude towards coupons wore off onto me.  This was my first year living on my own in college not to mention I was living in a different state.  Attending the University of Kansas is great for a person who loves coupons.  At the book store every purchase that a person makes they receive a huge booklet of coupons.  People are passing out different coupons on Wescoe Beach, not to mention there are coupons on every page of the school paper.

The coupon books contain mostly buy one get one free item at different restaurants located downtown Lawrence including loads of pizza restaurants.   The coupons I have been most attracted to are the percentage off your purchase coupons at the bookstores and the half price on hot drinks special between the hours of two and four p.m.  Growing up in Illinois most people either have no clue were the University of Kansas is located and mistakenly thinks you are talking about Kansas State. Mostly people mistake the initials KU for UK and think you are talking about the University of Kentucky.  So when I finally got to KU, I had found limited apparel.  My roommates called me the poster child for transfer students.  I made the most of my book store coupons by buying anything Kansas and using the coupons to save the most money.

The restaurant that I go to the most to use coupons for is PepperJax Grill.  The coupon I use the most is buy one Philly cheese steak get one free.  Being a student a one ends up studying for hours working up an appetite.  I myself though am also involved in the Running Club which meets for runs every day around dinner time.  By the time we get done running and after studying for a few hours afterwards, my stomach is craving food.  The great thing about PepperJax is their business hours really beneficial for students especially Thursday through Saturday.  Around nine or ten at night, my boyfriend and I would decide that we have spent enough time on homework for the night and head over to PepperJax.  We of course would use our coupon buy one Philly cheese steak get one free.  By the end of the spring semester would probably went to there at least 15 to 20 times, using the coupon each time.  When we ran low on the coupon from the book, we would get more books just for that coupon.

The pizza coupons came in handy when my family would either come visit me for the weekend or to take me home for break.  After driving over six hours the last thing my family wants to do is to attempt to stay awake eating at a restaurant.  Instead, I use my coupons to buy pizzas for them so when they arrive in Lawrence supper is already for them.  They greatly appreciate food being ready to eat when they arrive, making the travel and visit less stressful when it comes to money.  The pizza coupons also came in handy when my classmates and I would pull all night study sessions.  Instead of walking back to someone’s apartment or dorm, we would just split the cost of the pizza and use a coupon.  Thankfully, the coupon was good for delivery so we never had to take too long of a break to pick up the pizza.

My favorite coupons though are the ones from the paper and the ones people would pass out at Wescoe Beach.  In Bloomington IL there is a smoothie place called Smoothie King.  The prices were good for the amount of smoothie that you received plus the smoothie would also fill you up.  In Lawrence such a place did not exist.  Yes Lawrence does have smoothie places but either the quantity or quality of smoothie did no match Smoothie King’s.  One day, I saw in the paper a coupon for the smoothie show in downtown Lawrence called Juice Stop.  With the coupon I was able to get a smoothie for the same quality but now the cost of the same quantity was cheaper.  A similar situation happened when some kids were passing out free cookie cards for Lawrence’s local cookie shop called Hot Box Cookie.  One of the students decided that they were too tired to pass out the cookie cards and left the whole stack on the stairs of Wescoe Beach.  My boyfriend who is in love with these cookies saw this happen and decided to take the whole stack for his advantage.  When he told me about this, I myself have never been to Hot Box yet because I am a Mrs. Fields cookie fan and Lawrence had a Mrs. Fields downtown.  Once he took me for my free cookie at Hot Box my eyes were open.  I will admit that I still prefer a Mrs. Fields cookie, but a Hot Box cookie came pretty close.  Now when I go downtown Lawrence, instead of immediately saying I want to get a Mrs. Fields cookie, I have to think on which place I rather go to.

A comment from the imin.com Scholarship Committee: Mia likes Smoothing King – so give it a try!  We regularly feature their coupons so that you can save big.

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