This essay must start as this…My mother is a big campaigner for couponing. She is not considered television special senseless but, yes, she does love her coupons. I have personally seen just why she loves them, and how she turned my world into a quick clip away from saving a buck.

Quick trips to the store usually require leaving the coupons at home, deviously hiding under a notebook or hanging symmetrically attached to a cute magnet on the fridge. The long trips, the ones that require taking Excedrin beforehand, is when I instantaneously gather my golden tickets for the long journey ahead. Toiletry items on sale? Use a coupon to save extra. Oh look! My favorite pretzel’s just so happen to have caught my eye, AND I have a coupon?! This was meant to be.

The realism is when I get home. Did I really save any money? Is the balance between time spent clipping my little money savers and what I saved, actually worth it? Did I only buy these items because I knew I had a coupon?

The answer to my questions is, it depends on what mood I was in. At the end of my shopping trip, did it make me feel that I was saving money? Between all of the newspaper clippings, internet printing (which also costs money, I might add) and value mailings, was I really making a difference in my budget?

Coupons influence my decision to buy items. There, I said it. My entire shopping trip will revolve around finding the item on my coupon and remembering to give the coupon to the cashier at check out. Items I have never heard of before, I will try. Ultimately, there may be little difference in how much I saved but, that does not matter to me. The point is, I saved, and I win.

Where else do I win in this scenario? By supporting the economy in purchasing things I don’t need. Marketing is set forth to influence your decisions to buy items, and when items aren’t selling as well or they need a boost in sales, a coupon is born. It may not go exactly like that, but that is how I imagine it.

Why are coupons underappreciated? Most could agree a dollar off of an item is pretty much the same as someone handing you a dollar bill. Except it is not a dollar bill. This is a thin piece of marketing designed for your apprehension of knowing no matter what, your shopping total will be overwhelming.

So I tell myself it could have been worse but I saved a dollar. Coupons do influence my decision to buy items. Between my interest to save money, and my concern to not burden myself with the extra time it takes to keep track of them, I am honestly not quite certain of why it does.

Perhaps I should take a class in Marketing instead of Paralegal studies to figure this out.  I could create a list of positives and negative and compare the two. Most likely I will not do complete these tasks, and instead continue to throw out the coupons that I know will serve me no purpose, and remain forgetting the ones I need at home, under the notebooks.

My mother instigated my coupon expedition. With two teenagers still living at home, she would arrive home with a car full of groceries, haul out her receipt and announce grinning ear to ear how much she had saved on her trip. She would then lecture me on what was on sale, and how I could save so much by using a coupon myself. I would walk away rolling my eyes, knowing how much time she spent clipping coupons. Then I would look over, and see that $1.00 off of two boxes of pretzels, and I’d reassuringly give my mother something else to smile about.

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