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

The past couple of years my family has been ‘couponing’, at least that is what we call it. Sometimes we buy a product, for example a new kind of chips, simply because we had a coupon. My mother is more of the critic against coupons, she once said we spend more money than we save. My dad and I have a coupon book that is full of coupons for items we do not use or have ever used. They are simply good deals. One example was a lunch/deli package that looked good in the pictures. We cut out the coupon and bought it when we never would have bought it usually. There are a lot of items that we look to buy and the first question is “do we have a coupon for it?” Almost as many items as we buy for the coupon we do not buy others because we do not have a coupon.

I first started the coupon book in my family. We had couponed before but not on a major scale. Then my family and I started watching extreme couponing and became hooked! We realized the untapped potential that coupons could be. So we started keeping the coupons that my grandma would recycle. We began to have so many that it was an obnoxious mess every time we tried to take them to the store. So I thought that we should put them in a binder with specialized pockets. Then we decided to organize the different coupons based on what they are. Thus the family coupon binder was born!

To be honest though, even as we became more interested in couponing my family and I would laugh at some of the more extreme couponers. I remember one episode where this seventeen or eighteen year old boy was an extreme couponer and he had a couple hundred packages of various feminine products that he does not use or will ever use. He even admitted that he had no idea what they were even for but he had a coupon that made them free so he just bought them. As much as we love couponing my family and I had a problem with the extreme couponers. One we could not figure out where they were getting these amazing coupons because in our area the coupons were for a lot less. Second we saw these families, with a few exceptions, have this hoards that were unbelievably large. However they continued to buy more and more. They did not share the food, they did not give the food to the homeless or hungry they simply hoarded it. This was a major difficulty that we had with the couponing idea.

My family and I are by no means extreme couponers, we did try to be though. We heard, a couple years ago, about being able to print coupons off the internet. We were very excited about this possibility because we do not subscribe to any paper which makes it difficult to obtain the coupons. So we ran out and bought a printer to print some coupons. We tried to print the coupons off of every site imaginable and none of them worked. We were very disappointed because we wanted to extreme coupon but we could not.

A note from us at I’m In: Get the best discounts on your phone with our free Mobile Coupon App!

In the end coupons are a wonderful and useful thing. My family is able to broaden our horizons through the use of coupons, as well as being able to afford items that we usually buy. We like to use coupons whenever we shop and some of our now favorite foods came from trying buying it because we had a coupon. One of the best things about coupons is that you can use them as much or as little as you want. They are free to everyone.

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