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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Sarah R.

Coupons definitely influence my purchasing decisions. I’m slightly frugal (these days, who isn’t?) so I actively search out coupons: I sign up for email and text alerts for exclusive coupons from all of my favorite stores, and join rewards programs to receive coupons after spending a certain amount of money at some stores.

If I want something, such as a new pair of jeans or a new shirt for school or work, I’ll look for coupons first. If I don’t have one, I’ll wait a bit because I know I’ll eventually get a coupon sent to me when the store’s having a sale. With the economic hardships that have been occurring for the past few years, I’ve learned the importance of coupons. I mean, why buy a $40 pair of jeans when you can get them for $30 with a coupon? And if I don’t have a coupon, it comes down to the simple want versus need. Do I want a new pair of jeans or do I need them? If I don’t need them, I won’t buy them without a coupon because why spend the extra $10? I could use that to buy a shirt that’s on sale or I could put it towards gas money (speaking of, how come gas stations don’t give out coupons? Now that’d be fantastic.). Alternatively, if I have a coupon but didn’t plan on buying something, I might rethink my decision. For instance, if I found a 20% off coupon to my favorite clothing or beauty store but hadn’t been thinking about purchasing anything from said store, I might decide to buy something that I’d been eyeing previously or something brand new that I think might be a good addition to my items I already have. Thus, I might end up purchasing something I hadn’t been planning on purchasing right this moment simply because I can get a good deal on it now.

Honestly, I think coupons are a win-win situation. The consumer wins by getting a good deal and spending less, but coupons motivate people to buy things, meaning that stores might make more sales when they give out coupons. For example, someone might have had the intention to buy just one item, but with a coupon for buy one get on 50% off, why not buy two? Further, people who have been reluctant to try a new store may be more motivated to go and buy something if they have a good coupon and are able to find something they want. This may lead them to finding a new favorite store, thereby increasing the store’s profits in the long-run by gaining a new customer.

As stated previously, I think that everyone’s looking for more bang for the buck these days. Yes, that statement is a cliché and is overused, but there’s a reason for that. I mean, who can afford to buy everything they need for work, school, or leisure without coupons? And if you have a coupon and can get a deal on something you’ve been eyeing, why not buy it? I’m not saying I go out of my way and buy something crazy like a camping tent and hiking boots when I rarely go camping simply because I have a coupon. But if there’s a coupon for something I truly want or need and I’ll get good use out of the item, then I’m more likely to buy it because I’ll be saving money on something I need or want. Now, I’m also not extremely crazy about couponing (I’ll never be on Extreme Couponing). I mean, who has the time to actively hunt down coupons?  We live in a busy world that’s always on the go, so it’s not like I have time to find every single coupon possible. But I do think that social media and the internet have made couponing easier. As stated earlier, I subscribe to email and text alerts. By doing so, I find deals and coupons for items I like that I never would’ve found if I did not do this, and as a result, I’ve saved lots of money in the past few years on the things I need. And that’s the beauty of coupons; they are there to help the average consumer like me who doesn’t want to spend $40 on a pair of new jeans.

A special note from us at the I’m In Scholarship Committee:  Sarah has saved a bundle using e-mail and text alerts to receive coupons.  Join her in the savings by downloading our mobile app to get instant savings on the go!

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