Coupon headache

Before I walk in the grocery, I –
1. pull out only the coupons that I need and
2. throw away *expired coupons.

When I arrive at the checkout –
1. I do not go to a ten and under line if I have coupons and
2. I hand the clerk my coupons before they even begin to ring the order.

I feel like I am following basic coupon etiquette.

At the checkout –
1. The cashier calls the manager over to inspect the coupons. Is there a counterfeit coupon ring that creates the need for this?
2. The cashier scowls and pounds the coupon key so hard that I expect the key to break.
3. The woman in line behind me puts her hands on her hips and glares at me in the hope that I will make eye contact and apologize for having the audacity to use a coupon. Moms have peripheral vision and will notice your body language without ever looking directly at you.
4. The third person in line complained loudly about “people slowing everyone else down over a nickel.” I saved $12 with coupons today.

A few years ago, coupons were considered smart. Cashiers looked confused if you didn’t have coupons to use. That didn’t last. We are now back to coupons being something that annoys everyone except the coupon user.

* I am aware that there are people who ignore the expiration date and fight to use that expired coupon as if it were a challenge toward achieving coupon knighthood. I don’t do need to be coupon royalty. I just want to buy groceries without stressing the cashiers or other customers.

9 thoughts on “Coupon headache

  1. fraud coupons are big, a small guide:
    http://www.southernsavers.com/2010/01/spotting-coupon-fraud/
    they have a center for fraud coupons
    http://www.couponinformationcenter.com/
    they take it serious
    Coupon Fraud is prosecuted. Meet the CIC, they prosecute coupon fraud and boast about having never lost a case since 1986.
    The penalties they have seen:
    Longest prison sentence: 17 years
    Highest financial penalty: $5 million
    Prison sentences of three to five years are not uncommon.
    Financial penalties generally vary, but have often been in excess of $200,000.

    -a former cashier, and a coupon guru
    southersavers.com also gives you LEGAL coupon help for southeast stores. (no monthly membership fees)

  2. Andy – these coupons came from the manufacturer and were double-sided glossies that could not have looked more professional, but thanks for teaching me something new.

    Busy Mom – Aspies are human encyclopedias.

  3. I say more power to ya!! The only time I cringe behind someone in line is when they use food stamps for one transaction and then ring up another cart full of junk food while wearing designer label everything and paying with (stacks of ) $100 bills…..happens all the time around here…..coupons are sooooo not a problem….

  4. @cathy manufacture mailer coupon should never be questioned. The only possible questionable ones are the prints (other than out of dates, and store policy on other store coupons). Are the illegal coupon people really going to use their own money to send out coupons like that? no they’re going to be cheap a$$’s and internet them.
    @busymom if you work grocery you end up seeing those people who come through like on tlc extreme coupon show. But they do push the limit on the show (break coupon rules and crap, one reason i hate the show, that and it gives coupon users a bad name) I actually learned southernsavers.com from a customer, and through couponing each week (bought laserjet printer with cheap ink). It actually helped me make better and quicker decisions on coupons in the line. plus the fact im aspie, well i kinda memorize each coupon on market… odd but useful.

    @lauri the sad thing is when i had food stamp (EBT is another name), i would find a 50 cent off coupon and they would refuse to use it because they had to pay tax on coupon. 50 cent coupon in savings vs 8 cents in cash, yeah common sense empty that pocket book of pennys your about to take to coinstar. I will admit I am now getting food stamp myself and I coupon. I take uscan usually or if I have a large load I will go regular lane (new cashiers are fine by me, I can shout out produce codes as they scan, while I bag (I’m picky, just always have been), I also have things in order to a point the only thing they would have to call for help is over ride for is a error that is dumb luck (3000 bell peppers anyone? i have done that myself).

    I hate the people who stand there and do nothing while your piling up on the end. I have jumped and bagged the order in front of me, after saying I’d like to get out of here today like the cashier, so feel free to hang around after and stand there. That is one thing that will make a cashiers day, when a customer is pushy to people who are rude to the cashier, then help them out. (it wouldn’t kill some of the EBT that look like they will be in an electric cart in a couple years either)

  5. I tend to treat check-out glares like unsolicited parenting advice. If it’s worth their time to give me the $12 I’m saving (or actually move into my house to help support these kids) I might care an ounce more what they think. Maybe.

    Thanks, Andy. Very cool information. My friend, Adam, memorizes promo codes from the web. If I need *anything* he can tell me where the deals are. You both rock.

  6. Just make sure you tell us you have coupons — we tend to forget! Toward the end of it all (if you haven’t placed them directly on the item(s), remind us about your coupons because once we hit that credit/debit key, it will automatically go through – and if we clear it out, it will take it anyway. 🙁

    The only time I actually get annoyed is whenever the customer(s) get upset with me because I didn’t realize they had laid a coupon on that bar thing for me to use before I hit the debit key (because they’re so quiet about it/don’t mention it/etc.). Then I feel really bad because I forgot it.

    But a lot of people have gotten really angry with me over forgetting about said coupon, and I understand why – but calling me names and/or acting as though it is the worst thing in the world isn’t all that nice, either — especially when I already suffer from depression.

    –just one cashier’s POV

  7. @liza myself being a grocery worker for 5 years… i cant agree with u more. when the store swapped paper signing for the digital version and had coupons… they hit credit and swipe the card it be waiting for a signature (the machine wouldn’t let me go back at that point) they would would pull out their coupons. never have i had so many requests for manager because i “wouldn’t” take their coupons.

    also don’t freak on the cashier when we don’t notice a coupon on that box of food. its not part of our job actually. its we notice it be grateful. a lot (if not all) are judging on speed. i believe walmart does cashier pay raises by speed (measured electronically). our job as of coupons are to use what you hand us.

    hints: rubber band your store card/payment card/wallet with the coupons you are going to use. you cant miss it.

    thing of payment also. since some are heavily judged by speed, if you are using a check (especially you old ladys) fill out what you can before. date, signed, write dollars at end of check for amount. any notes you want. it makes life so much easier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.