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Couponing In College
by Lativa Sanchez
Save Big in College
Students are no longer just students, but may very easily be stay at home moms, working dads, independent young adults, or recent high school grads attending college while living at home. Regardless of the criteria, there is a harsh reality about higher education, which no student can deny; it’s really expensive. Increases in the cost of higher education heavily impact student life, and lead to the need for sacrifice in other areas just to make ends meet. The financial balance game can be quite challenging and stressful for students, but this does not have to be the case. There are resources, strategies, and methods that can ease the burden of cost. While many of you may have your doubts, as you have likely been raised to be leaders and not followers, you are now encouraged to set those ambitions aside for just a moment and follow a fellow student into the wonderful world of couponing.
Not only can couponing help college students save money and eliminate a consistent diet of ramen noodles, but it can be a lot of fun too. There are a few ways to add some spice to couponing. Studies show that music increases productivity and make repetitive tasks more enjoyable. Creating a few playlist comprised of fun fast paced songs for couponing sessions is a great way to increase focus and stimulate pleasure hormones in the brain. To add to this, couponing with others does the same thing. Groups can achieve much more than one individual. This strategy can cut coupon-clipping time dramatically. To take it a step further, the group members can take turns doing the shopping. This will help avoid burnout and keep things fun.
Whether a student lives at home or on campus there are plenty of resources for coupons. The first place to look is in the Sunday paper. Sunday papers are available through subscription, the local stores, or possibly friend and neighbors. More coupons mean more savings, but the number of newspaper copies needed depends on the amount of storage space available to the student. If they live off campus then two to three copies are ideal. Students who stay on campus have less space and should stick with one to two copies. This is unless they are couponing along with others, which allows for more storage space.
The next place to find coupons is on the Internet. Printable coupons are becoming increasingly popular and can be printed from home or in dorm rooms. Another avenue would be a social media site. Facebook, Instagram, and Pintrest are among the few. On these sites you will find couponing communities that share deals, couponing tips and strategies. Dealspotr is one of these communities, and a wealth of information regarding couponing can be found on their website as well as reward offers for helping others save. Dealspotr not only provides couponers an open forum, but they also give back by offering scholarships to college students. One scholarship in particular is an essay contest. Dealspotr ask students to write an essay demonstrating their knowledge in couponing and saving money. The winner of this scholarship will be awarded $2,500. Information about this wonderful opportunity for students can be found at (https://dealspotr.com/scholarship-giveaway).
Once a student knows where to find coupons they will need to know how to best use those coupons. Patience is key in getting items for the lowest price possible. This can be achieved by what is known as stacking. Stacking means taking a maufacturer coupon and pairing it with a stores sales and promotion. When a coupon is clipped it’s best to wait until that item goes on sale at the store before redeeming that coupon. The level of stacking increases when you pair an in store coupon with a manufacturer coupon, and then stack both coupons on top of the stores sale price. Strategic stacking can lead to free items at times. There are a couple of simple strategies students should use before they go shopping. One would be to organize their coupons and plan exactly what they are going to buy before they head out to the store. Shopping early in the morning or after the evening rush is optimal. The less noise there is the more one is able to concentrate and shop more efficiently.
Students can rack up on even more savings once they leave the store. Mobile apps are putting couponing and rebates right on their phones. Students can come home after a shopping trip and scan their receipt and receive money back on their purchase. Some of the more common apps are Ibotta, Checkout51, and Mobisave. One sneaky place to find extra saving after shopping is the items that were just purchased. For example, if a student purchased cereal or snacks, then a lot of the time there are printed coupons inside those boxes that can be put towards their next shopping trip. Fast food restaurants also offer coupons. Student should always carry these with them in case they just have to pick up a meal from a fast food restaurant. Places like Jack-in the Box offer two free tacos if you do a quick survey within 72 hours of your visit. So they can use a coupon to buy the meal and then get free food on their next trip.
Couponing can be a lifesaver for any student. Those who stay on campus don’t have to wait to until the holiday to go home and have a good meal, and those who live on their own or with parents can cut their living expenses as well. Using coupons is a viable way to decrease a variety of expenses that often overwhelm college students. Getting others involved in ones own couponing efforts can help teach others to save and make the couponing experience more efficient and less time consuming. Couponing is a great way for college students to save big and leave their mark on the coupon world.