Coupons do influence my purchasing decisions heavily. Most everyone has to live on a budget now due to many factors like the economy, higher taxes, low wages, and a rise in unemployment. I use coupons whenever it is possible and it’s something that I usually buy but sometimes I have to cut back due to funds. I don’t take coupons to extreme like some and I am not obsessed with it, however, being a single person and on unemployment I have had to get government assistance with food for the first time in my life. It has been very depressing because I am a very independent person and have always taken care of things without help even as a single mom. The way I look at it is coupons allow me to save money and sometimes a bunch of money at grocery time or for much needed items or even for that new pair of shoes I have been needing but been short on money at the time. A $5 off coupon at a shoe store is a blessing in my eyes! Even with getting food stamps and it being tax free, by using coupons on purchases it gives you that little extra money for other items that you may have had to put back because you went over your budget amount. I know that they still have the coupons in the Sunday editions of papers all over the country but I don’t go and spend $2 each week to buy the newspaper just for the coupons. I wish they would send them out every week with the store circulars that usually everyone gets every week.  I love to be able to save money at the grocery store, Walmart,Target, and even to get to go out to eat once in a while. Hey everyone needs a break out to eat here and there. It’s too bad that in a lot of cities the cost of living wages is not comparable and so many people (like me) are struggling to make ends meet in every way possible. I’m sure that there are people that agree and maybe disagree with this essay but I for one use coupons all the time. I know it may seem like a pain to go through them, cut them out, take them with you, go through them again to see what you have vs what you get, and then stand in the checkout counter and hand them all over that you are using that day. I have this to say, just making that little bit of effort every trip to the store, even if it’s just for a quick run in grab what you need and run out type of trip, it can add up and save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year. Shoot that could be new outfits for the family, new shoes for the family, an extra few nights out to eat or even to save up for a vacation somewhere! Life takes work and sometimes more than other times. Even if it’s only $.50 off it can add up. Think about even saving your change you get when you actually buy something with cash. I have saved like that and when I have really been down on my luck and needed extra money I turned it in and paid a bill or two. Coupons kind of work the same way the only difference is you don’t have it readily accessible. These days people have to be financially tight with their money and I am willing to do what I can to do that for myself.

A special note from the Scholarship Committee at I’m In:  Rebecca loves to save on shoes and we’ve got plenty of ways to help her.  Sort our coupons by categories to find instant savings on tons of great categories!