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

Ever since I can remember my parents, especially my mother, have been using coupons while shopping. This isn’t some absurd notion, but to a little girl in middle school, having a mother who used coupons was just about the most embarrassing thing she could have done. My mother used to drive my friends and I to the movies or the mall, and right before we got out of the car, she would hand me a coupon to JCPenny or Macys. I would get so angry with her for embarrassing me in front of my friends. To me, coupons had a stigma attached to them. Coupons screamed, poor, loser, humiliating.

Now, I attend the University of Delaware, a distinguished institution that I am proud to call my school. Although, college has its downfalls too, it’s ridiculously overpriced and of course that awful cafeteria food that we keep eating and somehow gain fifteen pounds from. Just thinking about all the debt I’m going to be in, is enough to give me a panic attack. Even with scholarships and grants the cost is astronomical. I’ve looked into about a dozen scholarships so far to help ease the financial burden. The money I have earned helps out with textbooks and my anxiety levels, but I will not be stress free or debt free anytime soon. Needless to say, I wish college had coupons.

Nowadays, I think of myself as a very frugal person. I try to find coupons or the best bargains wherever I shop. I look online, subscribe to the emails, and often wait for in-store sales before I buy anything. I will still purchase some items without coupons, but I definitely feel better and am more confident when using coupons. I try my best, but between tuition and going to social events, it’s hard to save money. That extra five dollars I save on a purchase is another five dollars I can put away for college.

I have had a part-time job since my sophomore year of high school. I have saved a few thousand dollars over the years and although I would have liked to have more money in the bank, it’s the best I could have done. Even now, I have a work-study job in college, which helps a bit. My friends often enjoy going to the mall at school because there isn’t much else to do. I usually don’t buy anything because some of the items are expensive and if I don’t have a coupon I know I shouldn’t spend the money. Sometimes, my mom sends me coupons online and it actually puts a smile on my face. My mother knows I love Forever 21 and American Eagle so she is constantly sending me coupons for those stores. Although, their clothing is not overly expensive, coupons definitely influence my decision to purchase their products.

Now, when my mother hands me a coupon in front of my friends I’m actually pleased because that means, I will have more money in my pocket. My friends and I are especially pleased if the coupon is to a restaurant we are eating at. We can all save money, which I know everyone can appreciate since we are all in college and have amassed a sizeable amount of debt. For example, my friends and I enjoy going to Applebee’s because it is cheap and they have a wide variety of food. My mother always has coupons for Applebee’s and this particular time she had a ten percent off coupon. I had gone to the restaurant with my entire flag football team after we had just won the PSAL championship. We were all so elated. Then, the bill came and the twenty or so of us had racked up a considerable expense. We weren’t too thrilled anymore. Although, everyone saved a few dollars that they wouldn’t have had without the coupon.

A note from us at I’m In: We can help you save while dining in your choice of restaurants, too!

Money is always a sore subject with people. Nobody wants to admit they need more of it. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit we can’t afford something that someone else can. That is why coupons are great tools for people who need to purchase an item, but can’t afford to spend too much. Coupons aren’t going to save you the whole cost, but each coupon one uses, it just means they will have that much more for anything else they need. Coupons are a great aid for many people. Personally, the more I save with coupons, the less stress I have, predominantly when it comes to my student loans.

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