The Actual Cost of Coupons

“But it’s only 1 dollar off.”

I hear that phrase from my friends every time I have to leave the checkout line to run back to my car and grab my coupon. For me, that one dollar is worth the tired cashier’s glare and frustration as they impatiently wait for my return.

I never wanted to feel like money guided my life but when you’re just starting out, dollars are everything. So you might as well get the most for your buck, right? Evidently, living in this world is going to cost something. Yet in the epic fight between Olivia and “the cost of life,” I’m still hoping that the underdog wins.

In my quest to live life cheaper, I check my email account solely dedicated to coupons regularly; I’m loyal to my rewards card and use it every time I’m at that particular store; I make social plans ahead of time because it allows for time to hunt for a coupon.When I am sent a new coupon, I print it and put it in my car, ultimately preventing me from ever forgetting it at home.

When I’m ever in a bind and need to eat out, I can search through my text messages and normally find a free promotion for a burger just because I’m signed up for a business’ text club. If that fails, I’ll revert back to that binder in my car that’s organized by month and see what hidden treasures lay in there. I don’t have time to run to Target to buy Ramen with my  50 cent off coupon, I’ll just use this free pizza from Pizza Hut coupon instead!

I live my life as any other person would, I just tend to do it on the cheaper side.On girl’s night, my friends and I go out to eat and the already great night gets even better knowing it cost me a little less with my coupon. Maybe my smart clipping will treat everyone to a free dessert or appetizer, on me. The best part? It was basically free.

I peruse my coupon stack and realize they are my ticket to trying new products for a cheap cost. Forget about the Crest toothpaste! When I used my coupon for Aim mint toothpaste, I realized I loved the taste way more than the expensive stuff I was already buying. With a plethora of deals and promotions advertised in the mail, newspapers, and on the bottom of receipts, trying  different brands of the essential things you need is easier than ever. In my case, you might just find a cheaper alternative that you enjoy even more.

People might say I go through a lot of trouble just to save a few cents here and there or get a free item. In a way they are partially right. Couponing does cost.

  • It makes me aware of my spending and constantly reminds me of how much consumers overpay.
  • It causes me to think about buying items as a long term investment.
  • It compels me to buy that item I know I will need in about two months now before my coupon expires.
  • It costs me a little of my free time.

So yes, there is a slight catch when it comes to using a coupon. However, I believe in this case the ends do justify the means.  At 18 years old,  I work  three jobs just to support myself and I know the value of a dollar. Everything adds up and for a young adult like me, saving money in certain places allows me to budget more for my long term goals. If coupons can save me money on everyday needs, maybe writing about coupons for the Dealspotr scholarship contest can earn me some much needed money too.

Couponing empowers me to take charge of my financial future. I want to make sure that when I do spend my hard earned money, I put it towards something I know I can’t be frugal with: my education. Now that is something worth every penny.









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