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

Whether or not we have realized it as a individuals, a society or a country, coupons and deals really do affect when, where, or how we buy our products. If or if not this includes purchasing the bare minimum of what we need, or buying in bulk everything we almost don’t have a need for, couponing is a business that may be a little crazy at times and has definitely strayed away from its original intentions.

So what is the coupon? Where did it begin, and why? The coupon is a type of document used for financial rebate or discount. It’s issued by manufactures from a certain product they are trying to sell via newspapers, social media, what have you. The first coupon is dated back to 1887, by Asa Candler, a founder of the ever popular Coca Cola Company. Back then, it was located in Atlanta, Georgia. What Candler had done was have sales representatives and employees distribute coupons.  This marketing technique made Coca-Cola what it is today, a multi million dollar corporation.

In today’s society, where excessive couponing exists, we forget what it was originally made for;  For struggling families trying to put food and substances on the table for the night. Now, the goal of couponing seems to have taken a toll, where everyone tries to buy as much stuff for as a little as possible. And while some of this make take patience and nerves of steel, the end result is just the fact that they are greedy. They buy whatever they can, because hey, who doesn’t love free stuff?

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

Let’s talk about the fact of what is ACTUALLY on sale or price reduced when you go to the grocery store, for example: Nothing good. It’s all over processed, high in calorie, bad-for-the-body foods. Never in my eighteen years of being alive have I seen a coupon for anything organic or pesticide free. And the reason why? Because it’s GOOD for you, but BAD for the wallet. So would you rather spend your money on good food, or use coupons to get free bad food? Well hey, everyone loves free food…

But to elaborate, there is a large difference between using coupons and the extreme couponing we see in the media and on TLC Network today.  When my mother was younger, clipping coupons out of the paper was a natural thing, because well, they were broke. Coupons were used as a way to help struggling families get end’s meat, not only as a source of money, but a literal piece of meat on the table for dinner. But now, as times have progressed and people have become more and more greedy, extreme couponing has become a popular idea and almost a sick way of life. People will buy a surplus of unnecessary objects that quite frankly; they don’t need, unless, of course, the end of the world comes. Then their stockpiling would begin to make sense, but this actually isn’t the case.

Take the show Extreme Couponing for example. In any given episode, a buyer will purchase 50+ of some item just to get a deal on it to have the lowest check out price at the counter. On hubpages.com, it explains a woman buying 340 cups of yogurt of free. How does this work? There was not only a sale, but all her coupons got doubled. So you tell me, as a reader, as a fellow shopper, who eats 340 cups of yogurt, even with a family? The store’s entire shelved product and product from the backroom were all taken out by this family. If coupons weren’t doubled, and the item wasn’t marked as on sale, then it’s easy to understand that couponing is influential to the buying.

So when does taking couponing to the extreme turn into hoarding? Well, it’s a very thin line, to say the least. Though couponing is a very tech-savvy, frugal, and intelligent marketing technique, it too often influences the decisions of what is purchased.

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