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Monday, April 20, 2009


A Thrifty Mom posted this, and she makes several good points! All it takes is a few people intentionally cheating the system, to ruin it for all of us. Please read this post:

" Using coupons has become huge lately. I am thrilled that so many of you have learned tricks of the trade, and are saving your family money. We should all be proud of shopping with coupons and doing it honestly. But I have been getting a few emails that are really bothering me lately. Yesterday I got 2 emails telling me that the Sunday papers they bought, had all the coupons taken from them. Two other readers have contacted me to tell me their coupon binders were stolen from the front of their shopping carts!

My local managers are still having trouble with ladies coming in and clearing the shelf. Taking everything the first day of the sale. Or women yelling at cashiers in the store over coupons. Others are using self check out to commit coupon fraud. Some stores can no longer accept coupons at self check out because of this. I was very disturbed by all these comments. Taking coupons from the store papers and not buying the papers IS stealing, and it makes all couponers look bad. Once a negative feeling is put on couponing by the stores, it is hard to change their opinion. SO PLEASE think about what you are doing.

Now to the shelf clearing, I get just as excited as you do for a sale. When it is a good sale I admit some times I have a hard time sleeping at night. But here is a little secret, there will always, always be another sale. I choose to shop at the stores that stock well for the sales, they happily let you take a whole case of something because they are well stocked. But not all stores stock well, keep that in mind. Buy what your family needs but think of others. For example last week I wanted to buy 2 cases of the taco bell refried beans. I went to the store and they only had 12 cans left. I did not buy them that day. Instead I talked to the store manager, told him about the great deal. He said he would place an order that would come in a few days later, not only did he order my 2 cases he happily ordered 60 cases for all of you. I love this store manager, because he welcomes coupons into his store, stocks well for the sales. Don’t get me wrong we will all make a few mistakes as we go, I know I have learned a few things just since I started this blog. Couponing is fun, I love it but I am sad to see others maybe ruin something I love.  "        Click HERE to see the original post by A Thrifty Mom

She lives in Idaho. It seems like another world away from us here in Southern California. She has great coupon friendly stores and managers where coupon doubles are a regular thing, even triples!! 

Southern California is quite a bit different in my own personal experience, sadly. Perhaps it depends on the city you live in here in Southern California. In Long Beach, I've found very few coupon friendly stores. Even fewer who accept Internet Printable coupons, or double coupons. That's why it is ever so important to be completely honest and courteous with your couponing!! Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal. It's really simple. Would you do that with your Mother standing beside you? Grandmother? Children? I sure hope not!!  

There are a few things you should ALWAYS remember when being a coupon shopper:

ALWAYS be courteous to the store employees!! It's not their fault necessarily when the machine refuses to scan, or accept a coupon. Sometimes there may be a glitch in the system. Sometimes the bar code will not scan. Sometimes Catalina's don't print when they are supposed to. Most times employees have no control over these situations. 

There will be situations where an employee will refuse to accept your coupon for various reasons. Many times, in my experience, it's simply because they are not fully aware of their store's corporate coupon policy. Please CALMLY, and NICELY, ask to speak to a Manager. If the Manager also refuses the coupon, and doesn't acknowledge the store policy, just CALMLY, and NICELY ask to put the item aside, and finish your transaction. Getting angry, yelling, being argumentative, and mean is NOT GOING TO HELP THE SITUATION. The best thing to do in this scenario is to call the store's corporate office, explain the situation, using names if possible, and ask them to update you on their corporate coupon policy. Ask them to email it to you if possible, so that you can keep a copy with you on hand for your shopping trips should you need to reference it.  Arguing the rejected coupon only angers the store, and the customers you are holding up in line. Making the atmosphere even more hostile to coupon shoppers the next time around!! I mean really, is a few dollars saved worth not being allowed to use coupons again, and ruining it for all of us worth it?

ALWAYS do your best to know the store's corporate coupon policy BEFORE you head to the store, to avoid confusion, frustration, and disappointment when you are standing at the register. You can simply call your store before you go, and ask to speak to a manager. They will be happy to fill you in on the specifics to the best of their ability. Many stores do not allow their cashiers to override a coupon to make it less than it's face value. Don't ask them to do it. Also, many stores, like Target for example, have a policy where if a coupon DOESN'T SCAN, THEY WON'T ACCEPT IT. Don't try and force them to manually enter a coupon that won't scan. 

ALWAYS follow the specifications on the coupon you're trying to use! Don't try to get one over on the store just to get a freebie!! If it says $1.00 on any TWO items, than make sure you have TWO items!! 

ALWAYS be courteous to the customers behind you in line. If you have a FULL basket, and the person behind you only has a couple of items, let them go ahead of you, or at least warn them that you have coupons, and may take awhile, giving them the choice to move to another lane. When people see us pull out our coupons they cringe... why give confirmation to their opinion? If you do the above suggestions, and are courteous and polite, you just may be able to prove them wrong and change their opinion of us coupon shoppers.

ALWAYS be considerate of the people around you. If there is a really good sale where you can get a select item for FREE or ALMOST FREE don't run out the first day and buy EVERYTHING ON THE SHELF. Leave some for others. How much do you hate finding a really good deal, only to get to the store and find that the item is COMPLETELY GONE!? I do! It's frustrating. A wasted trip. Buy A FEW items, than come back another day. Almost every sale lasts 6-7 days! There is plenty of time to come back. Drive to a few different stores if you don't have the time in your week to make a second trip. That way you aren't clearing out the stores stock, as deliveries can take up to a week!!  Also, don't wait until 10pm the last day of the sale to go shopping, and then get angry when the item is low or out of stock.