The Art of Couponing as a College Student

Couponing is a hobby that can save a college student money on everyday items that they may need or have been wanting but may have been too much money. There are many levels to Couponing’s art in the couponing world, such as beginner, advanced, and extreme. Some like to do light Couponing, while others use the extreme route to shop for themselves and others as a side gig. “fifty-nine percent of millennials and 51% of Gen Z usually create a list before shopping. Thirty-six percent of millennials and 29% of Gen Z often use coupons, while 33% of millennials and 27% of Gen Z usually check store ads to see what’s on sale,” reported by the Chain Store Age (CSA).

As a couponer, whether a first-timer or advanced, always make a list which is recommended by numerous professional couponers who make this type of hobby as a full time job. Planning saves time and keeps shoppers on track. Shoppers end up getting frustrated and spending extra time in the store buying unnecessary things. One of the best things shoppers can do is split up the list into different sections: grocery, health and beauty, and toiletries.

Amber Ogden, a senior communications major at Southeastern Louisiana University, started Couponing as a new hobby since the beginning of COVID-19. Realizing how serious the economy was getting, businesses were shutting down, and her job was affected in that process. “Couponing was a way to start saving and have more than enough for my family and me to get through the pandemic. I think this is something that can teach any college student how to budget and control how much their spending,” she said.

The next thing that is helpful in couponing is finding those major retailers around campus where you frequently shop, such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Target, Walmart, etc. it helps to search up their coupon and store policies. Knowing the policies enables you to understand how to maximize your savings and learn how to combine a store coupon created by the retailer and a manufacturing coupon made by the manufactures of a particular brand (ex. Unilever produces Dove and Shea Moisture hair care).

“One thing I have taken away since Couponing has an organization system in place that you can separate retailers with their coupon policy and their coupons. I have learned the hard way that not being organized had me at the register longer than I should have, frustrating not only me but also the sales associate and customers behind,” Jasmine Broome said. Broome is a recent graduate of SELU and started couponing her semester.

Lastly, to maximize savings in store, use third-party apps such as Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Checkout 51. These rebate apps help earn money back by lowering out of pocket cost (OOP) or making the item completely free after completing the transaction. It is free to download and register, scan the receipts and add those savings to the in-app cart.

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