College Connect: Coupons for students go high-tech

Posted By Natalie Savarino

By Kouichi Shirayangi

On a college campus, there are a lot of coupon books with student discounts. Are they good deals? That depends. Is this an item you’d buy anyway? If it isn’t it might make you spend money and not save money.

Years ago, local coupons were most likely found in the Sunday section of the newspaper. Now there are many paper as well as digital locations to find coupons, as well as Groupon-type sites. The saavy shopper usually does a search for the item+coupon to see if any discounts are available on the product.

Many grocery stores have digital coupons that you can load on your loyalty card. For example, the Kroger family of stores allow you to load E-coupons to your card. When you make a future purchase of that item, you automatically get the discount. This also works with coupon deals tied to your credit card or bank debit card. Just sign up in advance on the bank’s site and you’ll automatically be credited the discount whn you use the card for your purchase.

Also if you follow the businesses that you frequent on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, you can sometimes find information about special deals or sales. If you notice that a local retailer that you frequent has a Groupon, you might want to just ask the store directly if they’d just give you the Groupon price without having to buy the Groupon itself.

It is important to pay close attention to prices of the items that you buy and have ideas in mind of where you can get cheaper substitute goods if prices move. The web helps tremendously in showing what the real market looks like.

Clothes are one type of item that I never buy unless there is a sale going on. Usually, used clothes have a high mark down from the original prices that you would pay in shopping malls. And again, keep that student ID handy. Many clothing retailers, like J.Crew, Banana Republic and The Limited offer 10 to 15 percent discounts for students, including on sale items.

With that in mind, note that the most popular sales times for clothing are January-February and July.


Shiranyangi is a graduate student at the University of Missouri.


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