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

Hey, look those boots you want are on sale! All you have to do is spend one hundred dollars and you will get fifty free dollars back on your purchase. All you have to do is buy this five hundred dollar laptop and we will give you a one hundred dollar coupon to use in-store. All you have to do is buy the name brand cereal and we will give you a dollar back. “All you have to do” is a simple strategy that makes buying anything feel simple. In reality coupons can be a complete scam. Does anyone really need those boots, laptop, or expensive name brand cereal? Most of the time, no. Don’t get me wrong, coupons can save you a bundle, but if you are not careful and do not compare prices from every store, you can end up spending money on things that are unnecessary.

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

I have found that coupons have persuaded me to buy things that were completely unnecessary. For example, I received a paper that had coupons in it (also surrounded by ads to make you buy things.) When I looked inside there were a variety of manufacturer coupons for a healthy granola bar that I thought was nasty. When I went to the store the shelf price was $4.99. The coupon was for 50 cents off. I bought the product because I felt that the coupon was saving me money. When I got home and ate one of the bars I thought to myself, “Wow, that was a stupid buy. I could have saved myself so much” I could have saved myself three dollars just on those healthy bars by buying the off brand and not using the coupons. Another example, I love my Lucky Charms made by General Mills; however, I can get double the cereal for half the price. As a college student, every dollar does make a difference. Items such as toiletries and soaps have tons of coupons online and in the paper, but if I go to a Dollar Store or a Family Dollar I can find some cheap products that can save me tons of money.

For people that love the name brand foods, soaps, shavers, makeup and various other products, coupons are excellent. If your lifestyle is consisted of name brand products and you can afford them, then the coupons are just extra savings. I completely see the necessity for coupons then. Another instance that be beneficial for the wallet is when a store is having a sale and you use a coupon on top of the sale. Coupons can seem extremely handy in these instances.

But life as a college student requires for sacrifices and cut backs to save money. I rarely use coupons because I do not have the space for extra things I do not need and I do not buy anything name brand that has a coupon. Most products that have coupons are name brand so therefore I stopped trying. The very few times I have used coupons in the past, I have found them to be beneficial, but to find any coupon worth my time took digging. The digging for online coupons most of the time required me to sign up for something or give my email so that I could be spammed with an outrageous amount of spam.

For those that use coupons on a daily basis and find the products you want; I give you props. And for those that find coupons for things they need I give you all my props. And if you are using coupons you probably are trying to save money so the difference to remember is, “do I need it?” Or “do I want it?”  Next time you find a coupon, think to yourself, do I need those boots, that next expensive laptop, or that expensive, name brand cereal.

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