Day 10 – How to Be a Courteous Couponer

In the post yesterday about Rolling Store Rewards, I mentioned the term “couponer’s courtesy”. Today we’ll expand on that so you can learn how to become a courteous couponer. We will give you tips to help you stay on the good side of fellow couponers, other customers and store personnel. 

Centsable Couponing's Tips on How to Become a Courteous Couponer

“Using Common Sense to Shop Smart for Extreme Savings” is the motto at Centsable Couponing. It is pretty straightforward and is something we try to do on a daily basis around here. Being a courteous couponer is always the goal.

Along that line, we should all strive to be considerate of others in our quest for massive savings. This can help stop rude remarks, dirty looks and poor service you get just because you use coupons. Unfortunately, “extreme couponing” has given sensible couponers and savvy savers a bad name. The behavior of most of the people on those TV shows and YouTube videos is deplorable and greedy. These shows depict unreasonable and unusual situations, usually staged for the show.

We should all do our part to change that poor stereotype by practicing good couponing practices. In your quest for ultimate savings, keep these simple tips in mind. Present yourself as a courteous couponer and remember to smile – it doesn’t cost you anything.

Cash Register at Centsable Couponing

  • Be Prepared. Yes, this is the Boy Scout motto, but it is well-suited for most aspects of our lives. Couponing is no different.
    • Have your coupons out, sorted and ready to present to the cashier. Don’t waste everyone’s time by fumbling around at the register digging for coupons.
    • Have your payment method ready to check out. It helps to keep a running total in your mind or on paper as you shop so there are no surprises at the register. If you’re unsure of what you’ll be spending, have a backup payment method prepared.
  • Read the Fine Print
    • Make sure your coupons match exactly what you’re purchasing. Don’t try to switch brands or sizes.
    • Check the expiration dates.
    • Follow the rules. If it states “4 like coupons per day per customer”, don’t try to use 6.

Graphic of documents at Centsable Couponing

  • NO Photocopied Coupons
    • Don’t try to redeem a photocopied coupon as an original.
      • This can be a legal issue as well as cause for the store to not get reimbursed from the manufacturer.
      • Misuse can have a longer-reaching impact on ALL couponers. The store that was cheated could decide to no longer accept IP coupons (internet printables). The manufacturer might even decide to quit issuing them.
  • Know the Store’s Coupon Policy
    • Bring a copy of the policy with you to the store when possible.
    • Follow their rules and you’ll be fine.
      • If they will only accept 2 like coupons per shopper, don’t try to sneak in 4.
      • If they state they don’t accept printables, don’t try to push them past the cashier.
      • When the policy specifies that there is only ONE reward card per household, don’t get one in the name of everyone living there. Fido and Fifi also don’t count and don’t need their own card. You’re just making it more difficult for other shoppers and couponers to save some money. It’s also just plain GREEDY and in poor taste.
  • Shop During Off-Hours
    • Early morning or late evening are great times to shop if you can.
    • Shop when people are at work and kids are in school.
    • Try not to hold up the lines during the rush home hours. It is frustrating to stop in to grab milk on the way home from work and get stuck behind an “extreme” couponer with two baskets full of stuff and 125 coupons.

Shopping Cart graphic at Centsable Couponing

  • Encourage Someone to Cut in Line
    • If you have a cart full of groceries and/or a fist full of coupons, go ahead and let that person with the lonely gallon of milk cut in front of you.
    • When the store is sufficiently staffed, don’t be afraid to ask for another cashier if you know your transaction(s) will take up time and manpower.
  • Be Polite – to Everyone. Be a Courteous Couponer.
    • It is in your best interest to befriend cashiers and store managers. They can make or break your couponing deals so it’s a good idea to be on good terms.
    • Fellow couponers can be your allies. Couponers can be a friendly bunch with trading coupons, giving advice and sharing deals.
    • Other shoppers also deserve a smile as you shop. I enjoy answering couponing questions while waiting in line. It can make the wait a lot of fun.

Greedy pig graphic at Centsable Couponing

    • Just because you have 29 Dawn Dish Soap coupons does NOT mean that you need to clear the store shelves and take them all. Do you REALLY wash that many dishes?
    • Don’t take all the coupons on a tear pad or from a blinkie machine. Two is usually a good rule of thumb. It gives you a couple of items and still leaves some for other shoppers.
    • Taking coupons off of products that you’re not buying at the moment is akin to stealing.  Leave them there for the person that IS buying it.
    • Don’t steal coupons from Sunday papers that you don’t own. If you need extras, buy more papers or check out some of these other coupon sources.
  • Pay Attention at the Register
    • Don’t be playing with your kids or digging in your purse while you’re being rung up. In fact, leave the kids at home or with a sitter if at all possible. You can concentrate and possibly save money if you don’t have to buy impulse items to appease them.
    • It saves a lot of time and annoyance if you catch a mispriced item BEFORE the clerk has to go back and dig through twelve shopping bags for an item.
    • You can catch coupon issues at the register instead of later at home. Be present, in the moment and pay attention so you don’t pay more than you should.

Piggy Bank graphic at Centsable Couponing

  • Rainchecks Need Careful Attention
    • Have any rainchecks ready and paired up with relevant coupons. Ask the cashier if they want you to present them before or after the items are rung up.
    • Make sure the clerk adjusts the price to reflect the raincheck or any fill-in coupons that are connected.
31 Days to Super Savings at Centsable Couponing
Hopefully you now have the understanding that to reap extreme savings, you don’t have to exhibit extreme behavior – just be a courteous couponer. I’d love to hear what you think or if you have any questions. Come back tomorrow to learn about one of my favorite parts of couponing – the money-saving phone apps!

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