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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Teresa M.

“There’s a coupon in the paper!!” Coupons have always influenced my decisions. With three other siblings, I have bought a majority of what I need or want. My phone, school supplies, stuffed animals… anything. My parents do buy me stuff, do not get me wrong. But there is also the added excitement when you can buy what you want without any help. Independence. Freedom. But running short on cash is something that everyone experiences no matter how hard they try to avoid it. On Sundays, the first thing I do when I get up is open the newspaper (either the Suntimes, Southtown Star, or the Chicago Tribune) and open to the advertisements. Most stores now a day have their coupons on the first page because it is all about the competition or even offer their products at the competitor’s price. But that’s beside the point. The point being is everyone is trying to find the best deal out there.

A couple of months ago, all my friends and I were graduating from high school. Now, I am the person that will give someone a gift card as a gift as a last option only. I do not like how gift cards are not personable, or as personable as homemade gifts are. So for my friends, I wanted to give them something that when they looked at, they would think of me, especially since we were all going to different colleges. So where do people gain inspiration? Michaels, also known as the craft store. After I bought everything I needed, spent many hours in the store, and went back multiple times, I finally had the materials I needed for everybody’s gifts. The one occurring factor though? That I had plenty of coupons on my every time I visited the store. If you have ever been in Michaels, you know you can find good buys. But some of their products can get a little pricey. Creativity does not come cheap.

I also find that I am a less-impulsive buyer; I am less likely to buy something if I do not have a coupon for it. One of my favorite clothing stores to shop at is Hot Topic (they have teenager and adult Disney clothes!) They recently went through a sale/ coupon campaign called ‘Hot Topic Cash’. A couple months leading into September, whenever you bought something, you also left the store with $15 of Hot Cash. This could be used in the month of September for anything over $30. So when September rolled around, I was able to buy a sweater that was originally over $30 for around $17 because of the coupon. I probably would not have bought it without my Hot Topic Cash though. Whenever I am shopping, I usually think, “Do I need this? Or will someone else be happier with it?” In this case, I had about 50% off with my coupon, so I bought it. And I was happy!

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on womens clothing at I’m In!

A con many people would say towards couponing is that it takes up a lot of time. But how much time do you waste doing anything you really care about? And if you really do care about saving money, what does a little bit of time matter? If looking through newspapers, or even online, for coupons takes a couple hours but saves me $20, I will take it. As I have already stated, I usually have an idea of what I need to buy and where I need to look. So in the end, as long as you have a goal or idea in your head, the whole process can go quite efficiently. But that is all up to the customer.

A note from us at I’m In:  The I’m In Coupon App makes it easy for you to access coupons for in store savings. The power is in the palm of your hand!

Ever since I have taken the time to look for coupons, I feel that the whole process has served me well; especially as a college student. Many people mention the poor state of college students. Through paying for school, books, train tickets, and anything else I need, by the end of the week… I have an empty wallet. Being able to save a dollar here, another there, has really saved me money and stress. You do not want to come across the situation when you really do need something and you have no money to buy it. I’m in with coupons.

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