Fabuless Coupon Tip Tuesday: Give Couponers a Good Name

August 31, 2010 20 Comments | Disclosure

coupon help, tips

Using coupons is awesome. Unfortunately it will become more difficult and not so awesome if it is abused. It is up to each of us to do our best to give couponers a good name.

Stockpile, Don’t Hoard:

  • Stockpiling is evaluating your families needs, the shelf life of the product, and the number of coupons you have. Then you get the amount of product your family will need to last until the next good sale or expiration date of your product.
  • Hoarding is clearing the shelf just because the product is cheap and you have a lot of coupons.

You can easily get a large amount of product without clearing the shelves. Just put in an order. Most managers are more than happy to do this for you.

Just a note on clearing the shelf: It is very frustrating for the next 50 people who come in after carefully planning their shopping just to find empty shelves. It is annoying for store staff who get complaints from those 50 or more shoppers. It leaves a frustrated manager who could have ordered enough for the large orders and the rest of the customers with a little pre-ordering! :) Please don’t be like the crazy diaper lady. Couponing can be like a craze sometimes, but you can’t let yourself get carried away. If you have not read my crazy diaper lady story before you should. We can all learn a lot from this story.

Coupons:

Take a few, don’t take them all

  • You can find coupons in your stores. Look for blinkies in the aisle. Some stores are providing their extra newspaper insert coupons for their customers. Take a few if you think it is a coupon you will use before it expires. Do not take a handful or stack.
  • If you find peelies on products, do not remove them from the product unless you are going to buy the product on that trip.
  • If you need lots of coupons, order on Ebay!  (Cathy has great tutorial for buying coupons on ebay. Check it out!)

Share the ones you don’t need! :)

  • A few weeks ago after teaching a class we were shopping in a Meridian store on the last night of double coupons. I found these two Baby Ray’s coupons. Baby Ray’s is my favorite. Ya I am a BBQ sauce snob! I only got one insert the previous time these were on sale and was only able to get two bottles. So I was super excited to get a few more bottles. Thanks to the mystery person who left them here. We were each able to get a couple of FREE bottles!

I try to do this. When I have good coupons that are expiring soon or I don’t need anymore of the product I leave coupons by the products so someone else can save some money too!  Of course don’t leave them if they are expired. That is litter. There is no value in that.


You can also share with co-workers, friend and neighbors

  • In our break room at work we have an envelope for coupons we will not use for others to look through and take ones that they might like.
  • I save my pet food coupons for my friends with pets.
  • Trade Coupons in our BlogFrog Community!

Be honest with your coupons

  • Carefully read your coupons, and follow what they say. If it says $1 off 2 be sure to buy 2. If it says only on sensitive toothpaste, don’t try to get regular toothpaste.

Check out:

Be Organized:

  • Be organized with coupons for each transaction before you get in line. If you are not organized it will slow things down or mess things up at check out. Help the cashier do their job in the most efficient way possible. They are not getting paid per customer, but they are grumpy if they have people mad at them for having a slow line and having to wait.

Be sweet to your cashier

  • Make them look forward to couponers coming through their line, not dread it. Sometimes the reason you get a grumpy cashier is because the couponer 20 minutes ago held up her line for 30 minutes and yelled at her for not doubling a $1.50 coupon. If we help each other out by being good couponers we will all look forward to more pleasant shopping trips.

Let other’s go in front of you

  • Have you ever been shopping and not wanted to look back to see the daggers shooting at you from the person in line behind you?
  • If you are doing multiple transactions and there is someone in line behind you with only a few items offer to let them go ahead of you or between your transactions.

Give people in line a smile and a warning:

  • Obviously you can not let every person in line in front of you every time. So give them a sweet smile and let them know that you have a coupon for every item in your cart so it may take a few extra minutes. They are then prepared to wait a few or choose another line.
  • Many people don’t realize that it is a matter of saving 50-95% not just a few pennies.

Never do more than 3 transactions in a row

  • Many stores do not allow you to more than 3 transactions in a row anymore. If you keep it to three or less it will be easier for you to keep your items and coupons separated properly, and keep you from holding up the line. Then you can go get more goodies and get back in line.
  • It is not fun to be the person in line behind someone that is majorly holding up the line, or the cashier who has to help that person.

If we each try to give couponers a good name then we will have more good experiences when shopping at the store. What goes around comes around. Let’s try to set a high standard for couponing and not abuse it, so it will be around to enjoy and save us money for many more years to come.

What do you do to give couponers a good name?


Comments

  1. One thing that I love to do is give other people coupons. For instance, if I’m standing in line behind someone and I notice that they have things in their order that I have coupons for and know I am not going to use them or I have extras, I pass them on. It makes that person really happy and it makes me feel really good to be able to share the coupon love.

  2. Did the John Frieda deal at Walgreen’s this a.m. I’m a Frieda snob. (3/$15 with a $5 RR. Had 3/$3 coupons so got 3 for essentially a buck!!!)

    Anyway, cashier oohed and aahed. I have enough Frieda for awhile, so I gave her my extrea Freida coupons. She’s going to try the deal too and was so pleased to get them!!

    I make friends with the cashiers when I share. It goes a long ways towards excellent service when I have a problem with an order.

  3. Great Post! I was at albertsons yesterday and found a Chinet Plate that had a peelie on them. I then looked to see if there was anymore and guess what? They used to have them but someone peeled them off. GRRR.

  4. Always, always, always be polite to the store employees. I know that we have all had a rude checker once or twice, but most of them are trying their best. Don’t freak out or argue with your cashier, just take your questions to the manager. Saving 50 cents just isn’t worth sacrificing your manners.

  5. I share my coupons around, too. I’ll leave them by the products or give them to a cashier or occasionally just approach someone who’s buying something I have coupons for that I won’t use (interestingly, sometimes people turn them down). I know some cashiers like it when you put the coupon with the item it’s for, but I have lost too many coupons that way (they fly off when the belt moves or sometimes get sucked under, never to be seen again!), but otherwise I try to help the cashiers by keeping them organized and tidy. I also try not to print more IPs than I can use. That just runs up the print limit faster, and then I might be taking a coupon that someone else could use but didn’t get (which means the next time Goldfish coupons come out, someone else can print the ones I usually print, because it turns out we don’t eat those as much as I thought we did, and we’re a bit overstocked).

    The hoarding issue, though, is just one that’s unresolvable, I guess. I haven’t been a “couponer” in any other state, but I have gone shopping several times in Montana since I started couponing, and the issues with cleared shelves seems to be worse in Idaho than in Montana. It’s a pleasure driving up to Montana, even though it’s farther for me than Idaho Falls is, just because I am usually pretty sure that when I get there, there will still be products left on the shelves. And what a nice relief that is.

  6. I think that I am a “lone” fabulessly frugal coupon-er in my area??? The cashiers at my Albertson’s just cringe when they see me coming. They refer to me as “her.” Which is funny because I am always smiling and organized and curtious to everyone. They look over each coupon as if it’s the first one they’ve ever seen. One cashier even commented that I’m working the system…like I’m stealing or something.

    I need to get them on my side…… Offering them an extra coupon of mine is a good idea. I’ve even thought of offering to show the cashiers how I do it, hoping they won’t be so leary of me.

    I’ve talked to the manager before and he’s totally supportive. He was the first person to show me how to separate my orders when using doubles.

    Something needs to happen. I thrive on doubles, yet I dread cashing out at the store.

  7. I just have to agree with the tip on being organized. Cashiers always thank me when I have my coupons sorted and ready to go, my store card out and ready to hand to them, etc. They are very appreciative!!

  8. I try to always leave coupons I won’t use. I recently had a huge batch of free paper towel coupons at wal mart, and I only would ever use a few each trip, since they were expiring soon, I left a big stack. I’m glad other people do this too.

  9. I really appreciate this post. I have been frustrated with hoarders in my area. I always forget about ordering with the manager. That is a fantastic idea and I need to remember it more often.

  10. Savvymama says:

    Awesome post! Had some confusion on a checker at albertsons telling me, I could only do three transactions with doubles and not able to come back in with more. After talking with manager found it was not true. Also that they have had problems with several lady’s. They were coming in 18-20 time in one evening. From the sounds of it the checker maybe thought it was me and was trying to stop the issue. So I went back this Monday, with my four transactions. I only get four papers and think its plenty without being overboard. I certainty got some dirty looks and checker was cold with me at first. I was able to make her smile and laugh a little. In the hopes that we will be more welcomed next time.

  11. Wendy Christensen says:

    I love to share my extra coupons with the cashiers. A lot of times it makes a huge difference between whether or not they want to help you and be happy about it, or help you and be upset by your multiple transactions. I love my Albertson’s cashiers and once you establish a friendship with them by sharing in your treasures, they are willing to bend over backwards for you!

  12. there is always a mention of hoarding when some one is out of something…….whos to say when you showed up to buy something that was free that when you go and they are out that it was not 20 people not one?? just because the shelf isd empty desnt mean that one person took everything or even if someone buys 50 of something you dont know if they are a household of 2 or 10…….I personally have been on the receiving end of peoples assumptions about the quantities of things I have bought. the last capri sun deal, I ordered coupons and ordered product through the manager 200 for a huge church jamboree thing we were doing with like a million kids and when I cam to pick up my things the store had run out on thier shelves so as AI pushed my cart up three times I was stopped and asked where i found the capri suns….I explained i ordered them and u could tell they were irritated….but as im checking out a group of ladies just one line over openly start a discussion about hoarding and are telling there checker how I took all the capri suns and I have a lifetime supply now and just on and on and on about how many I had bought. My checker actually turned around and told them that just so they knew I was picking them up special order for a church that they were not for me!! it shut them up about it but there was still looks and comments on the way out
    juice we are talking about juice and not everyone who buy alot is a hoarder!!!

    also i shop for my family of and 4 other families at the same time…..I take albies and the other moms split up other stores so u never know my cart of 50 bbq sauce is actually going to feed 10 adults and 16 kids doesnt seem like so much now huh??

  13. Great tips! I always make sure to let the cashier know how grateful I am when they’re kind and courteous towards me even with my bazillion coupons and multiple transactions. Actually, I’ve recently started writing in to the store to let the know when a cashier was very kind and helpful to me, because there are so many who are clearly NOT thrilled to see couponers checking out.

  14. Cassandra says:

    Hello, I would like to share a story with everyone on this wonderful website. I am no “couponer.” I do get great deals whenever it is possible and have used coupons before. I have seen clips of the TLC show and heard people talk but have never experience a couponer in real life – until today.
    I was in line at the local King Soopers, and in front of me was a woman with a very full cart, and a thick stack of coupons. I thought it was strange she would choose peak hours and peak day for her complicated transaction, but it wasn’t a big deal.
    Towards the end of her purchase, my conversation with my mother was interrupting by this woman, talking in a very shrill tone and gradually getting louder and louder. She kept repeating that “you act like the coupon show is going to ruin in for everybody” and “they just did it for her three weeks ago.” Turns out every single coupon in her stack was expired. Not just a few, but EVERY ONE. One had expired in April, and she was repeating, “4/5, really? You can’t take that? This is bull.” She berated the cashier, so the cashier called the supervisor. The cashier looked to be about 17 and kept repeating that she can’t override the computer. I have worked minimum wage retail to pay for my first two years of college, and I could feel myself in that poor cashiers shoes – being cussed at and called stupid. The woman continued to make such a stink and demanded the store manager be called. King Soopers policy says they cannot take expired coupons but the manager has the right to refuse or accept anything. I was thinking that when the manager came, he would offer to take her coupons just so she could move on with her day and quit making a scene. Well, I was right. But instead of being gracious, accepting she was wrong and moving on – she screamed about how she was DONE! And was writing to all her other coupon friends to never come to this store again. She then proceeded to order the young cashier to empty out her reusable bags for her so she could leave. The woman left two carts of merchandise and a large stack of coupons and stormed out.

    During this ordeal I had moved to the next line over. I handed the clerk my little group of about ten coupons (most of them coupons direct from the grocery store for “free” items), and smiled at her, let her know not all couponers are like that.

    I think women like that are disgraceful and easily give a bad name to someone trying to get a bargain. She was being cheap, and rude and disrespectful. I am spreading this story around because I don’t want this to be something that happens often. I enjoy your website and the tips you offer and coupon etiquette and I thank you. Please don’t be this crazy coupon woman. I am 20 years old and think that this 40something year old woman really embarrassed herself by acting like a child.

    God Bless, Have a great weekend everyone.

    • Bethany says:

      Being a cashier at Target I can totally relate to this story. I’ve had multiple guest get upset about improper coupon use and that I was following the coupon policy so they literally left halfway through the transaction, leaving 3 carts full of stuff in the aisles and half of it in bags. It’s really bad when people can’t be honest and follow the rules.

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