Saturday, April 11, 2009

Intro to Couponing Part 3


How organized you are at checkout can either make or break your couponing experience. There are many things that will help you to keep your sanity.

The first thing, is to get organized before you leave. I do this by making a list of the items I want AND the quantity. I write this list on the outside of an envelope. Then, I take all the coupons I am going to use and staple the identical ones together and put them all together in the envelope.

Once I am ready to checkout I take a mental inventory of the available checkers. (THIS IS IMPORTANT, Don't laugh at me!) I'm a profiler. I look at the checker and decide if they are going to be good.
My first choice: The younger male. They are always nice, amazed at the coupon savings, and easy to explain things to.
Second choice: Young to Middle-aged Women... (but not too old!) Like late 20's early 30's.
I have had bad experiences with Women in their early 20's, and Older Women. The young ones cop attitude and the old ones get really confused. (just my experience... and this is totally generalizing!)
Once you become a regular at a store, you will know who to go to... and they will probably know you by name!

ALSO, choose wisely what time of the day you go. I have found that early in the morning or afternoon, or late at night is best for me. You and your checker will be less stressed out if there is not a line behind you.

The way you give your checkers the coupons will also make or break you. I always ask my checker if they want all the coupons at the end, or as we go. It varies on the store and checker.
If they want them all at the end, I usually don't hand them the whole stack. I will give them one set, tell them what it is for and how many I have (this helps, because the less reading and counting they have to do, the happier they are).
Also, if you are using a store coupon and a manufacture coupon, I give them the manufacture first. Then the store ones. For some reason this makes the process smoother....

Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for a member of management to come clarify something for you. Often, you know more about the store coupon policy then the checkers, so don't be afraid to nicely ask for a manager to explain something to you (or them). Many times, I have had them call over a manager, and it ends with the checker saying "Huh, I never knew that!"
OH, and I have said this before but it's worth repeating... PRINT THE STORE COUPON POLICY AND KEEP IT WITH YOU. This has saved me so many times. I have it on the outside of my binder and if I need to, I will reference it at the check out. I always think I should make copies to give to the checkers because clearly some of them have never read it!!


Coupon Trish said...

I laughed out loud when I read this b/c it's so true - I do the same thing with checking out the checkers! Thanks for the tips!

Marne said...

Another thing that helps is if you have 'free' coupons (allowing you to get that item free) put those on top, and let your checker know right away. Otherwise they will have to go back afterwards and find the price of the item. This way as they ring up the item, they can write down the price on the coupon. They are always so grateful when I do that.

Shannon said...

Where do you get a copy of the store's coupon policy? Good tips! I am just getting into this and all the tips help.

Heather Wheeler said...

Shannon- If you go to our Blog Archive on the right side of the blog- at the very bottom there is a post with Walmart Policy and Albertsons. I just found Targets, but I haven't posted it yet. I hope this made sense...

Mitzi said...

I have not gotten into coupons too much but this website really makes me want to try it more. Thanks for all of the awesome tips.

Monica said...


You make me laugh. I know what you mean by choosing a checker. Yesterday I made the mistake of choosing an old lady thinking maybe it won't be that bad. Oh it was. She was a grump, and she missed scanning one of my $5 coupons b/c he kept having to go back and forth asking another checker questions. Good to know I am not the only cheker profiler.

jla4570 said...

OK so I am new to this and have gotten the courage to use coupons to their full value...HOWEVER when it comes to stockpileing on items with coupons that state one per you guys do several transactions? Do the cashiers get pissy? I haven't tried stockpileing yet...just curious.