Two words. Free. Money. Every one knows the feeling of stretching their last dollar as far it can possibly go. Money seems to be spread so thin. One paycheck must cover bills, food, gas, tuition, and anything else that heaven forbid requires every last cent you made, sucking your bank account dry until next payday. When I was a child along for the thrilling ride that is grocery shopping, my mother carried all her coupons in her purse, perfectly organized and planned out. I remember running down the aisles and grabbing the coupons from the dispensers and shoving them all into her purse, proud of myself for contributing to the ever growing stockpile of coupons. I knew that if I wanted something bad enough, I had to find a coupon for it because my mom always said “If there’s no coupon I am not buying it.” Although frustrating at the time when all little kid me wanted was the box of Fruit Roll Up’s, I understand coupons now. When my mother told me once that because she had a coupon, the store paid her ten cents to take the item, I was enthralled. I demanded to know how coupons worked and how I could get paid to take things from stores! After a brief explanation that it usually does not work like that, I lost interest. Until recently I had no purpose for coupons, my parents went grocery shopping and I had no bills to pay and nothing to fund except bowling with my friends. Now that I have entered the thrilling world of adulthood I am forced to rethink my spending habits. Working part time while attending school obviously does not bring home the most satisfying paycheck. Although I am only a senior in high school and still live at home, meaning my parents still pay a majority of my bills, I still have a great deal that my meager paycheck must fulfill. Car payments and insurance, deposits into a savings account, money for mission trips, and graduation expenses (a cap and gown is 70 dollars! I could make my own for less than that!), are what most of my money goes to. Little money is ever left over for things that I still need to find money to buy. When one hears the word “coupon,” it is generally associated with groceries. Although there are grocery coupons of all sorts, there are also copious amount of other coupons that come in handy. Why pay full price for any activity when you can find a Groupon? Need a new pair of jeans, not to worry; there is a coupon for that! Being forced to buy mass quantities of potato salad for a company picnic? No problem! There is definitely a coupon to make it cheaper for you. There have been times when I refuse to buy a product until I have a coupon for it because it seems to pointless to pay full price for something when it is possible to save a fraction of that hard earned money. I can see no reason why someone would not use coupons, what possible excuse could there be for turning down free money? Coupons are easily accessible as well. They come printed on boxes, in newspapers, online, in stores, or on an app. No matter who you are or what you have or do not have access to, there is a way for you to get your hands on coupons and start saving money. I have saved countless amounts on items that normally would be too expensive for me to afford. When it gets down to it, there is no better way to save money than using coupons. It is fast, efficient, affordable, and easy. When I see an item that I have a coupon for, I am more likely to purchase it than if I did not have a coupon. When I can save money on something it is far more plausible for me to allocate a portion of my pay towards purchasing that item. The bottom line is, if there were two identical items on a shelf, and one had a coupon for 50 percent off stapled to the box while the other did not, is there any reason to choose the item without the coupon at all?

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