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

When looking at today’s economy, it’s hard not to think about the impact that couponing can have on a family. When a gallon of milk starts to cost more than a gallon of gas, people usually start turning to their weekly newspaper ads and money mailers for coupons that will help alleviate the price burden of something as simple as grocery shopping. My family is no different, for we use coupons on a weekly, if not daily basis. Sunday afternoon right after church, my sister, my mother, and I all sit at the kitchen table with a pile of newspaper and scissors, ready to see what deals are in store for us this week.

Now when we do this weekly paper cutting, we do try and find specific things in our search. Sometimes it would be a specific brand of toothpaste, or a certain kind of cereal that we were hoping to find. So yes, coupons do, most weeks, influence my family’s purchasing decisions. We, as most other families in the world, are not made of money, and so if we can find a bargain out there, we will use it. Something we have recently begun doing, thanks to my dad’s keen eye when he eats his cereal,  is using the Kellogg’s coupon codes that come in the cereal boxes, and so now we only buy Kellogg’s brand cereal. Things like this really start to add up, where we can save maybe $50 to $60 a year on cereal alone. This may not seem like much, but this is JUST on cereal, not to mention all the other coupons we use in a week. So yes, at this point in how we shop, coupons are affecting our purchasing decisions.

So far I’ve only mentioned the grocery shopping aspect of couponing. But there is a whole other world out there when it comes to dining, family activities, and even clothes shopping. Every year, in the weeks before school starts up at the end of the summer, my family goes back to school shopping. When the price of just a pair of jeans now can be $50, $60, even $70, it’s hard NOT to look around all over the place for a coupon to use. And whether it is to Dillard’s, JC Penny’s, or Shepler’s, we know that we’ll get a great deal if we use our couponing right. We use this strategy a lot because sometimes, we can be very tight on money, as we are now since I’m going off to college soon, so when we can get a really great deal by using a small slip of paper that was just handed out for free in the newspaper, we’ll definitely be finding that product instead of another one on the shelves. This is just one other way that my family’s purchasing is influenced through the use of coupons.

One of the other ways we use coupons is when we like to dine out for the evening. There are some days when either my mom or I are just too tired to cook, and so we like to go out to dinner. Well, some places are getting rather expensive, and so we will always look to see if any restaurant has sent out a coupon in the mail. If they have, then that’s where we go for dinner. We usually don’t have a ton of money to eat out with, so when we do, we try and find out if the place we are going has a rewards program where we can get even more coupons just by eating there. These programs really help us to save money, and we usually end up eating there more if we liked it because we know that we can save money by going there instead of another restaurant. So, dining out is just one of the few other ways couponing helped to save money, and it definitely influences our decisions on where to go.

Overall, with my family being tight on money right now, trying to save up for college and all, couponing is a very good way to help us save money and still buy the things we want to. Whether it is our weekly grocery shopping, back to school shopping, or just something as simple as going to a restaurant for food, coupons are always a prevalent part of how my family makes monetary decisions.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on just about everything – just browse our coupon categories!

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