Coupon Tip Tuesday: Ettiquette of Collecting Coupons

coupon help, tips

Last time we talked about the different places that you can find coupons!
A FabFruGAL always uses the best coupon ethics when couponing!

Part of the class that Cathy and I teach covers collecting coupons in the store. We always cover the ethics and ettiquette of collecting coupons, but I realized the other day that this is not something we have covered on the blog. So today you get the FAB FruGAL opinion!

Internet Printables: NEVER COPY THESE! Study your coupon anatomy so you know how to tell if a coupon had been copied! Here is what happens when people copy coupons.

Tear Pads: Vendors put tear pad coupons out by products they are trying to sell. Feel free to take a few of these, but please do not take the whole pad or an excessive amount that is just RUDE!

Peeliespeel off coupons found on products stuck on like stickers. These coupons are put on certain products in order to sell them faster. Do not remove them and save them for later. Buy the product and use the coupon at checkout or buy the product and save the coupon for doubles!

Blinkiesfound in the aisle at the store spitting out of the blinking black box. The box usually has a red blinking light on it. Thus the name blinkies! We recommend taking a few of these and saving them for a sale if you are pretty sure you will buy the product. Otherwise leave them for the next shopper.

In-Ad Coupons-These coupons can be found in your stores ad and can be combined with manufacturers coupons, for even more savings. Please do not take a stack of ads from a store in order to hoard the coupons for yourself. You are not the only person trying to save money!

EBAY!!!!! You can stock-up on coupons on ebay. Find out how to find coupons on ebay. We recommend that you avoid buying peelies and tear pads on ebay because there is a good chance that the person selling the coupons stole them and we do not want to support that kind of behavior.

Leave coupons behind! One thing I love is when a fab fruGAL tries to share the coupon love by leaving coupons by a product for another shopper to discover! This is awesome. Please be sure that you do not leave expired coupons behind in the store. This is just littering.


  • Chris


    I disagree when you state “We recommend that you avoid buying peelies and tear pads on ebay because there is a good chance that the person selling the coupons stole them and we do not want to support that kind of behavior.”

    Taking coupons is not stealing; moreover, I have seen several tear pads full of expired coupons. Also, I find it ironic most couponers get upset about tear pads, blinkie machines and other coupons not beening availbale in store when on many occasions I have witnessed couponers going through giant displays of products taking every single peelie available as if it was the end of days!

    Also, the folks on eBay provide a great service and spend countless hours a week to provide this service just to make a few dollars to keep their family in clothes and with food during this economic hurricane we all face. The fees ebayers pay including paypal on average 25% of the selling price. No one, you or me should judge people for providing a legal service that helps all of us save so much money!

    That is my rant and forgive my spelling
    Many Thanks!

    • monica

      Wow Chris!

      I am sorry that you were offended by my comments. I am also sorry that you judged me. I only suggest that people think about where the peelies and tearpad come from before puying them on ebay. I love the service provided by ebay as well, but personally in most cases I do not buy peelies or tear pad coupons.

      • Chris

        Thanks for not editing my post. I just get a little upset when I see the word “stole’ in a post when it concerns something I do. I am sorry if you think I judged you that was not my intent.

        On a lighter note, I find this site to be one of the best in the Western conus! I use it all the time.

        Many thanks for your service and candor.

  • Jennifer

    thank you for suggesting that people don’t take peelies off of products they aren’t going to buy. I’m fine with people taking several tearpad or blinkie coupons but the ones that are actually stuck to a product in my opinion are only meant for those who purchase the item.

    • Neva

      I agree … the peelie is meant for the person actually buying the product, not for someone else to take and use another time. i hate going to buy a product and seeing the glossy area where my peelie would have been if someone hadn’t taken it off. Annoying!

  • Lauren

    Ok I see this debate come up all the time about if it is stealing. It isn’t. I’ve talked to the people whose job it is to place peelies on packages, and guess what they often are just told to place them on products. That’s why sometimes you peel off a peelie and it says “$1 off any Ritz Crackers” but yet it was on crackerfuls because it was completely up to the peelie guy to place it on whichever ritz crackers he wanted to. Sometimes a store is given them to place on products and so they may just put them on the ones they placed on the end caps. When a peelie is meant for a specific product it says something like “valid only if removed by cashier.” The manufacturer does not care who uses them as long as someone buys the product.

    So that means people are annoyed because they didn’t get the peelie on their product. There are plenty of times I have peeled a peelie intending to use it and it is several months expired, so sometimes it has been peeled *gasp* not because someone stole it but because it was expired and so someone removed all of them.

    In my book, take a couple (not the whole shelf!) especially if it is something you will use in the future and you know will go on sale. Peelies are no different than booklets, tearpads, and blinkies, sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t.

  • Alexis

    I know this is a really old post but I was wondering, do you think it’s ethical to take a tearpad coupon set out by one store and use it another?

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