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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Samantha Wh.

Ever since I was a little girl, saving money has been a value that was instilled in me by members of my family. My parents and grandma taught me to always find the best quality item for the cheapest price, as well as to use as many discounts as possible when buying anything. I have often heard my grandmother say, “I use coupons and take every discount that is offered.  I have nothing against saving money.” Every time we went to the store, my dad would look for the best prices or products that were on sale and buy those items if they would fill the need. Before we went to the grocery store we would access the store’s website, log into our account and click the on-line coupons for the items we needed to purchase.  When we finished clicking those coupons, we printed the list so we were sure to pick up the items we needed.  Due to these values instilled upon me, coupons significantly influence my purchasing decisions regardless of what I am buying.

I receive coupons from many different sources. By purchasing certain items online, such as clothes or books for school, I often receive e-mails from those companies that include coupons for their products. Some stores have texting programs set up that provide alerts to their deals and coupons via text messages. I have definitely subscribed to these programs, because, as a teen, texting is a major part of my life. I even receive coupons via e-mail from franchised chains, such as Starbucks or Subway, by subscribing to their program. Also, my parents will provide me with coupons and special deals they have received from certain stores if they know I will be shopping there or they provided discounts for items I might be interested in acquiring.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you get great deals on school supplies at I’m In!

My main motivation for using coupons or looking for deals is that it leads to saving money which increases my buying power. Saving money is a big priority in my family, because the recession hit us hard and we had to find a way to ensure our reduced buying power would still allows us to acquire our basic needs. Saving money is such a core value of mine that I begin looking for the best deals from different stores before I leave my house. I start by compiling a list of those items I absolutely need to buy so I can stay within my budget. Also, I am more conscious of what I buy, especially when grocery shopping. I will compare the different types of, for example, cheese or milk and see which one provides me with the best value (i.e. the greater quantity for the lower price.) For my school clothes, I do the majority of my shopping one day of the year, Black Friday. Why? Because I have found that it is the best day to find the clothes I need at the most attractive prices. At times, the amount that I save is significant. For instance, I purchased a coat on Black Friday for $70.00 that was selling for $140 just one day prior.  If I hadn’t used the coupon, I would have paid $70 more, and double the amount I ended up paying!

Another motivation for saving money is because I have expensive taste. My parents often say, “It is a good thing that you want to be a doctor, because you love to spend money.” I enjoy the finer things in life, but, since I am only a teen who is committed to strong academic performance, playing fastpitch softball year round and volunteering, I am only able to work part time during the summer months.  As such, I need to save the limited money I receive from working and as gifts on my birthday or at Christmas.

As you can see, coupons and discounts have a major influence of my spending decisions. They influence the types of products I buy as well as the quantity of products I buy. I am by no means as excited about coupons as say the participants of the show “Extreme Couponing”, but coupons heavily influence my purchase decisions and they have a major impact on when and where I shop and how much I buy.

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