Coupon Tips

In these tough times of severe, deep recession, unemployment, prices rising like a hot summers day in the desert, here are some great tips I came across on redeeming coupons.

Some great coupon tips and snappy comebacks from:

Some cashiers are wonderful.  They effortlessly handle a stack of coupons, ringing them through the register, fixing “beepers” (coupons that beep for no reason) and resolving problems.  Then, there are the other ones.  The cashiers that act as though coupons are magical tools that rip money right from their paychecks.  The ones that scrutinize every coupon, sometimes pulling items out of your bag to make absolutely sure they match.  The cashiers that read every word of a coupon, line by line, to look for some reason, any reason, not to take it.  Here are some common “lines” that these second types of cashiers uses, and some great comebacks that can help them come to their senses.

You can’t use a money off coupon unless your total after coupons is above the threshold.

Cashiers (mostly at Kmart on double coupon days with the $5/50, but also at other stores as well) are a big fan of this one.  However, unless the wording on the coupon explicitly states “BEFORE COUPONS” then you should not just let this fly. I f the wording on the coupon simply says “before discounts” or something to that affect- coupons are not a discount, they are a METHOD OF PAYMENT.  Again, here is where it is important to remind them that coupons are a method of payment.  In fact, most stores are reimbursed the face value of the coupon + .08 handling.  So, you can simply politely say “I am purchasing $50 worth of stuff, I am just using coupons as my partial method of payment.  The store will be paid the full value of the $50 in coupons that I am redeeming, plus more.”

“You can only use one coupon.”

This is a biggie if the wording on the coupon states “1 Per Purchase.”  However, a purchase is a purchase of that item.  If I am buying 5 listerines, I am entitled to use 5 coupons that say “1 Per Purchase”.  The first thing you need to do with a cashier that questions this is remind them about the difference between “Purchase, Transaction, and Customer.”  One per transaction would mean that if I wanted to buy 5 listerines with 5 listerine coupons, I would have to do 5 transactions.  One per customer would mean that if I wanted to buy 5, I would need to come back 5 separate times so that I would be a new customer each time.  It is helpful if you keep copies of coupons that say “1 per purchase/ 1 per transaction/ 1 per customer” with you so that you can actually show them the difference as a part of your explantation.  If they still won’t budge, offer to stand there in line and make 5 separate purchases 1 after the other- if there is a line, this will usually get them to change their tone.  

“You can’t use a buy 1 get 1 free manufacturer coupon if the item is on sale buy 1 get 1 free.”

First off, if you are doing this, you usually want to make sure that you have at least one or two other items in your line so you don’t freak your cashiers out when they see you walking out with 2 X without paying a cent.  If they still notice and want to quibble, then remind them that “The store is buying one for me, and the manufacturer is buying one for me.  You will be reimbursed, so I am still paying for one item I am just paying with a coupon.”  Also, you can remind them that the items aren’t truly “free” as you can’t just up and walk out of the store with one unless you have taken it through the register, and you still have to pay sales tax on them both.  

“You can’t use another coupon with a buy one get one free coupon.”

This objection occurs when you buy 2 items, you use a $1/off the first item and then a buy-one-get-one free for the same item.  Registers in pretty much every store will allow this, as long as you hand over the $ off coupon before the b1g1 coupon.  And, they should allow it.  If your cashier doesn’t want to, simply explain that “the money off coupon is paying a part of the cost for the item I am buying.  I am taking $1 off the one that I am buying, and then the manufacturer is giving me one free.”  Again, this is a good time to remind them that the store will get reimbursed and that coupons are a method of payment.

“I need to scan Walgreens coupons first.”  

Some cashiers at Walgreens really like this one- they don’t want to go on with your transaction until you have given those little instant value coupons (IVC) in their monthly rebate book first.  However, this can spell bad news for customers.  If you are buying a product that will come down in price after the IVC to below the level of the manufacturer coupon you have (like this week- Garnier is on sale for $2.99, there is a $2 IVC coupon bringing it to .99 but the manufacturer coupon is for $1) then the manufacturer coupons will beep because they can’t take $1.00 off of .99.  

The appropriate order to scan all Walgreens coupons is: 1) Register Rewards 2) Money off coupons, if you are lucky enough to get them 3) Manufacturer coupons 4) Walgreens coupons.  If your cashier tries to deviate from this order then you need to take control.  There are two options for what you can say.  The first is to nicely, but politely say “Sir/Mam I have been shopping at Walgreens for a long time and I have found that I have fewer problems if I hand over my coupons in a certain order.  Since this is my transaction, I would appreciate if you would just take the coupons in the order that I give them.”  The second option would be to explain “Sir/Mam, coupons are my method of payment and I like to make sure that I am handing them over in the way that makes the best sense to me.  Please respect that, just as you would respect my right to hand over my cash and other bills in a certain way.”

“You can only use one register reward.”

Another big Walgreens favorite- fortunately, the wording right on the RR’s states that the number of coupons and RR’s must not exceed the number of items in the order.  If you have more items than coupons (and make sure you do or Wags registers will not be happy) you should thus be entitled to use more than 1 RR.  

“You can’t use a manufacturers coupon and a store coupon.” 

Yes- you can. Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS- all of these stores have the official policy that you can use 1 store coupon and 1 manufacturer coupon per items.  Some of the cashiers don’t like this when it makes things come out too close to free.  You again remind them that the manufacturer coupon is just a method of payment that the manufacturer will be reimbursing, so you should be entitled to use both.  If you know you have had a problem cashier, sometimes the best thing to do is to call or email customer service and ask them to send you an email detailing the stores policy to accept 1 manufacturer and 1 store coupon per item.  Then, carry that with you every time you go to the store to show to errant cashiers.  It usually helps them to be quiet pretty quickly. 

JojoWazoo JojoWazoo
46-50, F
8 Responses Mar 17, 2009

Oh, I NEVER do anything like that! I dont steal or defraud the store - EVER!

Oh GM you're going to have show me some of these sites or something. Where the heck do you shop?<br />
<br />
Hey, I'm a cashier and I do what I'm suppose and when we see one per perchase we can get in really big trouble. They would know too because when we scan coupons it will show up on our scan coupon screen. I get discounts from my store but I won't if I let these customers try to "trick" us. I know of every "trick" a customer can do to me. I've got a fake $20 before and a bad check so therefore we have to be really careful and do our jobs with the rest. Or we would be out without a job. I got 2 little girls so therefore I need a job and can't be fooled. Oh and you have to love when customers "forget" food on their bottom of the carts. Oh that's so funny. I caught at least 7 today!!!! Theives I tell you!!!!

Oh, thanks! Sometimes cashiers are great other times they are all snotty. But Im all about savings. Today my grocery bill for a family of 5 was only $60.58 for the week. (I print off coupons online and use the one in the newspapers.) I got over $33 in free groceries this week. I was estatic!

That's cool. I didn't know what. Sams Club don't let you do that! We don't have a BJ's or COSCO

And their dismal outlook of remaining a checkout person at the local drug store! Just kidding. Everyone needs to work somewhere. But, if I have a coupon for something that I need, by George, I'm using it!

speaking on behalf of cashiers, we don't care about the coupon, but chances are we have just heard from the last 45 customers how expensive things are...and we get sick of hearing it because really, we make less money than the customers.<br />
<br />
Just a thought. My friend calls cashiering a mindless job with no responsibilities...yeah right.<br />
<br />
Lot's of info here-nice :-)

I think they're just jealous that they're not as smart and thrifty as us! LOL

Very good JoJo. What is with those coupon creeps? I especially get irked at the one's who who unpack half your bags to double check the items. I know who the coupon creep is at Kroger, so I'll wait in the long line before I go near her.