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

Growing up in a household of six people who loved to eat, but struggled throughout the years financially, we became a coupon clipping family. Every Sunday morning, my mom would receive the Sunday newspaper, and we would go through the weekly ads for coupons. Although the savings were $0.50 here and a $1.00 there, we needed these savings for food and necessities. Today, many people clip coupons for a living because coupons can influence the purchasing decisions people have when it comes to the income they bring into their homes. For example, one day, I stood behind a mother in the grocery line, and she had a grocery cart loaded with food. She gave all of her coupons to the cashier, and the mother only ended up paying $3.00 for a grocery cart full of food. What a great discount! Having all of those coupons influenced the mother’s purchasing decision to load up her grocery cart and maximize her savings. I stood there in amazement and watched this mother leave the store with a big smile on her face. Everyone around, including myself, applauded her for the savings she received. Now, that is what you call extreme couponing.

A note from us at I’m In: Now save on your next trip for groceries, too!

Extreme couponing is the practice of utilizing set skills in clipping coupons that will lead to enormous discounts and savings for large amounts of goods. In 2011, there was an extreme couponing reality television series that I used to watch all the time. This show featured families in their effort to save money by using coupons. Some families saved hundreds, while others saved thousands. Families on this show had garages, storage bins, cabinets, and hand-made shelves full of food and household products because of the discounts they received from using coupons. I remember watching one episode where a couple had two grocery carts full of goods, and all the customers were in the store, gathered around the couple, watching the savings. This process made me more motivated to search online for coupons and discounts. Because of today’s advanced technology, we now have the ability to print online coupons, utilize discount codes when shopping online, and search various discount saving websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial for great deals and savings not only for goods, but also for restaurants, travel, services, electronics, gifts, and more. The more coupons and discounts that are available for consumers to utilize, especially for major purchases, the more prompt consumers will be at making the decision to purchase products.

Unfortunately, many people today are extremely busy and may not want to take the time out to clip coupons for the additional savings. Some people attempt to spend as little as possible while others overspend, not taking into account all of the savings they could have received by using coupons. In addition, many people look towards Black Friday because of all the sales and discounts they will receive, instead of making an effort to get coupons throughout the year. It does take more time to save money then it takes to spend it. However, people will have to realize that the Black Friday savings could occur every day if they put in the work to search for coupons and online discounts. People who are frugal and who are unwilling to spend over a certain amount of money can take advantage of coupons in order to receive a price cut for various products. The savings received will prove how thrifty people can be.

Coupons do influence my purchasing decisions every day. With all of the discounts I receive from coupons, I am able to purchase all of the things I need for my family. With the little money I do save from coupons and online discounts, I am able to put the savings towards the completion of my doctoral program. Clipping coupons from newspapers was a practice in my past, but searching for online coupons and discounts is my practice now and for the future.

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