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Audrey W.

No matter what store I go to or what I am buying, I check my email for a coupon just in case I could save a couple bucks. If I am compared to every other American, I’m sure they’re not too different. Some people don’t care about saving that extra couple dollars but most people do. Media and advertisements are always based around what is saving you the most money so if you get a coupon it feels like you are cheating the system, but in reality you’re not.

I have worked in retail for over a year and a half and multiple people hand me multiple coupons during every shift I work. Half the time, the coupon is expired or does not work. These are moments when some customers get super annoyed with the worker but hey, it’s not our fault! Now, when the coupon does work, we look like the hero. What I have learned in my working experience is to always act like the coupon might not work. Then when it doesn’t work, the customer isn’t too upset. When it does work, the customer hearing how they should get that other sweater too, doesn’t sound like that bad of an idea. Another thing I have learned is that most of these coupons aren’t saving you that much money. “Spend $40 and you get $10 off your purchase.” Businesses put these out and it looks like a great deal because you get 10 whole dollars off of your purchase! Businesses also price the items in the store. Unless you are an extremely savvy shopper, you are going to grab a $39.95 pair of jeans and fall in love with them. When the cashier tells you that you need to spend just a little bit more to get the coupon, more people are going to grab an item for $5 then forget about the coupon. In this example you’re supposed to save $10 but now you’re pretty much saving $5 on an item you barely wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, I have fallen into the coupon traps before, I am not that savvy. I’ll switch to my shopper brain. If I go to a store just to shop, I’ll casually pull out my phone and search my email for whatever store I am in. If I find a coupon then it’s safe to shop, I will look at price tags and think about what the price will be post-coupon. If the price isn’t that bad (it usually isn’t) then I will probably purchase that item and more. If I go to a store without a coupon, I am cautious. I will only buy something if and only if I love it and can imagine using/wearing it all the time. To get into specifics, if I am at a grocery store I am not too worried about the prices of the food or whatever I am buying. If I am at the mall for some retail therapy, coupons make me feel better about spending money. Even though I mostly use coupons when I am spending money on things I don’t necessarily need, coupons come in really handy on everyday items. If I go to Target for my foundation I tragically ran out of that morning, I look in all of my magazines to see if there are some make-up coupons. If there is a coupon for a foundation I don’t usually use, I am influenced to buy that one instead. I have actually done this before, with face wash, foundation, eyeliner, and many other beauty items.

Why do we change our minds so quickly when it comes to spending money? I am not too sure but I came to the conclusion that it is directly related to spur of the moment decisions. If you compare the price of an off-brand item and the item you bought with a coupon, the off-brand item was probably still less expensive. This I know because my dad used to be a savvy couponer. It’s time consuming but he would write out a grocery list and see what coupons he could find. One thing that he did differently than most people is that he did not let those coupons influence him into buying unneeded items or brands he would never usually buy. This is how I think people should try to shop because being swayed by a coupon can lead you to buying things you realize you didn’t want or spending even more money because you saved a few dollars.

No matter what people will try to save money, including me. Coupons will keep printing by the thousand and customers will keep receiving and redeeming. Maybe people will become more strict with their money and decisions and maybe they won’t. Over all, coupons will keep affecting how people spend money rather than save.

Kellianne S.

Coupons and money go hand and hand. Coupons will affect people who do not have a lot of money because they will tend to use coupons more. People who have a lot more money tend not to use them. Money, however, makes people greedy, which it should not. I do not agree with the use of coupons because they are a way to cheat the economy and are used by people who care about money too much.

Why is it that you must attend college to have a job to pay for things like college? It’s kind of a weird cycle. Why does the world revolved around money? I don’t want to live in a world that revolves around a green little piece of paper. I want to explore the world. I want to walk the world by foot and discover things that are amazing. I do not want my whole world to revolve around what my job is going to be and how much money is going to made.  What am I going to do with that money? It’s almost like a prison, it holds so many people back. People are so obsessed with their future they can’t even stop to look at what is right in front of them. They can’t even think about anything but what’s going to happen if they run out of money, what’s going to happen if they don’t go to school, and what’s going to happen if for some awful reason they don’t go to college because they couldn’t get in. This is not how I want to live my life. I do not like how the government’s money and taxes work.

Why don’t we worry about actual important things? Why don’t we care about the environment as much as we care about the money we cut down trees to make it with. Why don’t we care about all the other starving people in the world?  I don’t need a job to make my life complete, but apparently I need a job to not be homeless. Why does the world work like this?  Why is money the most important factor leading to a person’s wellbeing? How come if you don’t have money you can’t have education or health benefits? How come you need identities and social security’s and life insurance and retirement plans? Why can’t we just live? We need all this complicated money and fake protection. We have things like life insurance because if we die then someone has to take money from our death? Money is so important that even when you’re dead it is still a problem.

I’m so tired of being brought up in a world where important things that shouldn’t be important are.  Why instead of teaching kids how to be smarter so they can get a job, don’t we teach them how to WANT to learn just to expand their growth? Why don’t we teach them how to treat each other nicely and how to be there for each other? Why are we thrown into schooling systems that force us into cliques and force us to get good grades on tests or else we fail. We can’t we even learn right. People don’t learn to learn anymore, they learn to memorize things so they get good grades on tests so they can go to college and get money so they’re not homeless.  The reason I take Spanish is because I want to learn other languages so I can connect with other people around the world, but I have a C so apparently I shouldn’t have taken it because the letter grade is the only thing that matters about it, not the fact that I want to someday use it to connect with other people who speak a different language. This whole idea of being afraid to live a life you want to because you might end up homeless due to no money is so awful.

Frida A.

Coupons did not always influence my purchasing decisions, I know they did influence my mother’s but not mine. I was a carefree teenager with no care in the world, especially not for coupons but that changed this year when I went off to college. I now have to worry about money in a way I hadn’t ever before. My limited budget does not allow me to go out with friends often or to buy things as I probably would have in the past. My tight budget has led me to save as much as I can and using coupons is an essential part of that yet I am sometimes not aware of existing coupons which hinders my ability to use coupons.

There was once an event at the Irvine Spectrum, the mall close to campus. I went with friends on a Saturday since weekends on campus are very boring. We were aimlessly walking around, window shopping, when we saw a stand by a popular auto maker, they were giving away a twenty-five dollar gift card to those eighteen or older to ride in their vehicles. My friends and I decided we would take advantage of the opportunity and made our way to the stand, in the end we received our twenty-five dollar gift cards valid at any store in the mall. Instead of using these gift cards on clothes, we went directly to Target and bought snacks like chips, cookies, microwavable macaroni and cheese to keep in our rooms. Such is the life of the broke college student we thought. The twenty-five dollars helped us. It meant more money for other things, more money for books next quarter, more money for anything. That experience has led me to take advantage of sales and to use coupons whenever possible.

At the beginning of the school year, many people were handing out booklets with coupons to college students on campus. I did not pay the slightest attention to it and stuffed it in my backpack. I did not go back to it until after the mall experience. I went through the booklet and found coupons for things such as laptop cases and earphones, which I needed. I then went online and—shocker—saved money. I should also add that workers from a nearby restaurant were handing out coupons as well which came in handy considering my meal plan is only valid weekdays and I have to eat out on weekends. My newfound independence along with college life was not at all like what popular culture depicted.

Now that I have to manage money and keep track of my expenses, I try to refrain from buying clothes or shoes. Yet my newfound awareness of coupons has helped me take advantage of any sales there are or coupons I might find. I bought an eleven dollar shirt that was originally priced at around thirty dollars with a coupon! I should also add that this particular shirt was something I would not have bought had I not had a coupon or a promo code. Its original price was far too expensive, enough to make me run the other way. My purchasing habits have changed, I now mostly shop when there are sales or when I have coupons to save as much money. So although I may lack the skills of those on Extreme Couponing, our reasons for using coupons are mostly similar in that they are financial.

To be honest, I was not aware until recently of existing websites dedicated to offering coupons. I just thought coupons were available through the booklets mailed to homes. Yet it turns out I can sign up for emails on offers. So what I think I will do is sign up for those emails from stores I frequent, or find a way to get emails for coupons on products I need. Perhaps downloading the app is more convenient since the notifications are an alternative to evading a flood of emails. I can then check what coupons are available when I walk into a store.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can also get coupons to you right on your phone when you download our free Mobile Coupon App!

Cindy T.

 I’m frugal. I’m stingy. I’m a freeloader. Maybe all of these reasons contribute to why coupons are my major decision makers to purchasing items.

Coupons determine my dinner for the night. In other words, coupons determine what I am going to purchase for the day. Depending on which fruit or vegetable is inexpensive, I purchase that particular item to cook my meal and pack my lunch for the next day.

It also determines the makeup I would apply on my face for that month and which shampoo I would use for the following year. Coupons provide free products or free samples to try. I can try these new products and invest in them in the future.

Coupons determine what gifts my friends will receive on their birthday and what kind of snacks I will bring to their birthday gatherings. The list simply continues.

Due to the current devastating economy crisis and increasing prices of university tuition, I decided not to buy unnecessary items unless there are coupons to decrease the overall cost. The costs of items are rising significantly as time passes, so coupons that help deduct my total budget influence my purchasing decision.

The first reason is because I need to learn how to budget myself by shopping smart, which means buying more for less money. Using coupons for purchases make me feel smarter than most of the other shoppers who purchase with the regular price. As a desperate and cheap college student, I must spend my money wisely in order to survive in the real world. In other words, coupons have a major influence rate for poor college students like me. Every penny and every coupon makes a difference in my financial situation. After investing and utilizing coupons for my shopping trips, I realized coupons are the same as money.

Before I go shopping, I tend to go on krazycouponlady.com to see what I can add on my shopping list. Krazy Coupon Lady is a famous blog website that taught me to shop smarter and better by using printable, Sunday newspaper, or in-storeadvertisement coupons. The website has also taught me to look out for clearances and how the store label their clearances. For example, there are clearances after every major holiday like Christmas and there are also additional coupons for those particular items.

I would rather wait for an available coupon before purchasing an item especially if I do not need it immediately. For example, I might want a bag of chips but without a coupon, I would not purchase it because first, it is fattening and second, I don’t need it. However, if there were a coupon, I would purchase it and shout hello to YOLO (“You Only Live Once”) life. If I still consider it fattening, then I would wait for a potluck or a college party to utilize those chips. Considering the atmosphere of a college campus, there exists many opportunities to bring chips and junk food to events.

These coupons are considered money savings so why not take advantage of them? Coupons are similar to extra change in your pocket. Most of them are not worth more than two dollars but it can contribute to fifty dollars of my shopping expenses.

Last of all, coupons keep my lifestyle organized because of the necessity to keep track of expiration dates of the coupons. I would have to arrange what coupons are most popular and keep them in a secure area. This method ensures that I keep every coupon organized in a specific area and utilize it when needed or when a store has a special clearance. Likewise, it also keeps track of my daily college lifestyle. I ensure I finish my homework daily and do not overspend my monthly budget on useless activities such as clubbing or smoking when other items are deemed for important.

A note from us at I’m In: We can help you keep all of our coupons all in one place with our free Mobile Coupon App!

 

Chelsea Mi.

Often my family receives coupons in the mail from various places: Victoria Secret, Bath and Body, even grocery stores. Sometimes, depending on what the coupon is, I will take them and put them in my wallet. Couponing is something I want to do in the future with my own family but how they affect me today is very different than how they will probably affect me in the future. I don’t have to provide for my family nor am I living on my own yet so I am not struggling to get deals on groceries but in providing for my own luxury items I do make sure to take advantage of coupons as well as sales in order to make the purchase less painful. I would say having a coupon definitely influences my purchasing but not to any extreme. I make minimum wage at my very part time job while attending school but if I don’t have a coupon or a sale to take advantage of it won’t necessarily prevent me from shopping but it will have a heavy influence on how much I am able to buy.

When I have a coupon it often gives me incentive to shop in order to benefit on the deal when I normally would not go out and frivolously spend, especially if the deal involves getting anything for free. For example, we subscribe to Victoria Secret and there are two coupons that I make sure to grab for myself: the free pair of underwear and the 30% discount off the entire purchase after paying a certain amount of money (there is always a catch). My thought process is that I am already guaranteed a free pair of underwear so might as well go to Victoria Secret. When I get there, then my goal is so spend enough money to qualify for the other discount. I am the most grateful for this coupon because you get more for what you are paying for. I am not unreasonable with my purchases, I won’t gamble with my money in order to strive for a better deal. At Victoria Secret, for example, they had a deal in which a 75 dollar purchase would give you a free tote bag. I am not going to spend money that I shouldn’t to try to obtain something for free that I don’t actually need.

I see the benefit in coupons and I am always grateful to have one handy when applicable.

I think the show Extreme Couponing shed a new light on how far some people will take the art of coupon clipping. There seems to be such a rush in being able to obtain a good deal. Some people would rack up a bill that is over 1000 dollars and then the store ends up owing them money. It can no doubt become a type if gambling addition in this extremity. In some ways I admire how these people found a loop hole in the system but also there are so many people in the world who are in need that I think that it is almost disgustingly excessive to buy things with out a need with the sole purpose of saving money. Some people will buy and hoard these unnecessary items in mass quantity that the particular family has no use for. I saw an episode where a women bought over 20 packages of diapers because she has a coupon that allowed for it when she was not even close to wanting to have a child. If these people were more generous then that is an entirely different story.

This show coming out on the air actually did give me more enthusiasm regarding the art of clipping coupons, but I think that there is a big difference between getting a good deal and being cheap. Being stingy with money when there is no financial worry nor any reason to necessarily save for anything is ridiculous. People should not use coupons as a crutch to buy something that they need when they can actually afford it. Money is a tool and I wish more people looked at it like that instead people tend to lust for it and that is when I think it becomes sad.

A note from us at I’m In: We can give you another tool to help you save with our free Mobile Coupon App!

In a lot of ways coupons benefit many people. The cost of living is so expensive especially in major cities. Homelessness is also becoming a much bigger problem then it has been in the past and the fact that couponing does in fact help ease a financial burden I would say that it is doing more good for the world than it is contributing to the greed of humanity.

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