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Lesson

# Clipping Coupons

Updated: March 6 2014,

### Concepts

In this lesson, students will calculate savings for different products when using coupons. They will also decide what factors will influence the choices they make when choosing products.

### Introduction

Have you ever gone grocery shopping? What types of food do you buy? Think about one thing you might buy. It might be cookies, cereal or ice cream. Now, think about what brand you buy. Why do you think you choose that brand over others?

Sometimes producers offer "incentives," or a special reason to buy their product. An incentive might be a discount, like a coupon, or a 'gift' like a toy in a cereal box. Incentives make consumers want to buy that product instead of another product.

### Learning Objectives

• Calculate savings for different products when using coupons.
• Identify factors that influence the choices consumers make.
• Explain how advertisers use economic incentives to encourage consumers to purchase their products.

### Resource List

• Bargaining Quest Activity: Have students complete this activity to better understand price and incentives.
Interactive Activity

### Process

[NOTE: This activity requires basic understanding of decimals. Pair students who have a strong grasp of decimals and place value with students who are still learning about decimals. Remind students that they will be working with decimals and to pay close attention to place value when completing the activity.]

When you are in a store and making a choice, what might affect your choice of brand? [Quality, taste, customer loyalty, price, marketing or package design]

Producers, or the people who make the products, know that there are certain things they can do to get you to choose their product over someone else’s. First, they can make it taste or function better. This would be called improving its quality. Next, they can make the box or packaging that the product is in look really fun. Finally, they can give you an incentive to choose that product, such as a toy in the box or a lowered price.

Today you will look at some coupons, pieces of paper a producers give you which let you pay less for their product. In some ways, it is like free money if you buy their product.

Complete the  Clipping Coupons-Bargain Quest Activity and be prepared to answer questions after completion.

[NOTE: If you are working with young students, have them work in pairs and make sure that there is a strong reader in each pair.]

This activity requires basic understanding of decimals. Pair students who have a strong grasp of decimals and place value with students who are still learning about decimals. Remind students that they will be working with decimals and to pay close attention to place value when completing the activity.

### Conclusion

View Interactive Activity

Questions from activity:

• How much money did you save with these coupons?

• What would you like to buy on the saved money?

• What might influence your choice?

### Assessment

In small groups, have the students cut out coupons from newspapers and magazines. Have them organize the coupons into three piles:

• Brands of things their families normally purchase (for example, the correct brand of ketchup)
• A different brand than they normally purchase (for example, a different brand of ketchup)
• Something their family doesn't normally purchase (for example, BBQ sauce if they don't normally buy BBQ sauce)

Then, have students focus on the second pile of coupons: "different brand than they normally purchase, "Have the students separate the coupons in that pile into two more piles. The first pile is for products they would buy even though it is the wrong brand. The second is for products they still will not buy even with the coupon. Then ask them the following:

• What other incentives might a producer offer to encourage you to buy brand?

Then, have the students look at the coupons in the third pile: "Something their family doesn't normally purchase." Have them subdivide that pile into two piles: things they will buy and things they will not buy. Then, have them answer the following: