Work a little to save a little

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For college students, keeping track of money spending transactions aren't always a top priority. There are alternative ways to lower the costly bill for groceries by using coupons daily. (Photo Illustration by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

For college students, having to buy something as necessary as groceries can be expensive. That is why many students turn to inexpensive options such as ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese for meals. Instead of buying cheap, some students choose to use coupons as a way to cut down on the bill.

The classic way to find coupons is looking through the weekly circulars in the newspaper. These ads contain coupons for everything a person can imagine. Nowadays, coupons can be found online as well as in the newspaper.

One perception is that coupons are for items you wouldn’t actually need, or an excess of something you do actually need. Another issue also arises with the value of the coupons. Is going out of your way to save 55 cents really going to make that much of an impact? Convenience plays an important role in deciding to search for a coupon or not. Jordan Green, sophomore in environmental design, said that he uses coupons if they are easy to obtain.

“I’ll almost always use the ones that are next to or stuck onto the products,” Green said. “But I don’t spend my time searching for coupons to save just a little bit of money.”

There is also the problem of having to cut out all these coupons or print them. It’s not unusual for “extreme couponers” to use couponing binders as a way to store and organize their coupons. However, apps like Groupon, Coupons.com and Target Cartwheel make it easier to find deals and organize them directly on your phone. This easy accessibility is what draws many to use them. Katherine Finn, senior in sociology, said she likes to use Groupon as a way to save money.

“I like to get on and see if they have deals for things I need, like haircuts,” Finn said. “Why pay full price if I don’t have to?”

Still, some students chose not to use coupons for various reasons. Time, effort and just not caring are all reasons. Jessica Bruning, junior in fine arts, said that she chooses not to use coupons for all of these reasons.

“If they are online I’m not going to spend time searching for them,” Bruning said. “If I cut them out I either forget them or lose them. It’s too much effort to save 20 cents.”

Ultimately it comes down to whether you want to work a little bit to save a little bit. As college students, we all wouldn’t mind saving a few dollars every now and then, but there may not be time in the day to seek out those opportunities.

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