Monday, January 25, 2010

Basic Couponing 101: Step 3 - Considerate Couponing

This is Step 3 in a Series of Basic Couponing 101:  Being a Considerate Couponer
Did you miss out on Step 1:  Stockpiling or

Have you ever purchased a new car and then you noticed everyone else on the road had the same car?  That's sort of how I felt when I learned how to coupon.  I saw fellow couponers everywhere I went.  They would have their coupon binders and folders sprawled out in their carts, rifling through coupons to see if they had that one special coupon.

One time while looking at some razors that were on sale, I found a coupon left on the shelf.  I thought that was the nicest thing ever!  AND it was a store coupon so I was allowed to use a manufacturer's coupon on top of it to save more money.  I think I got the razor for $.50 after it was all said and done.  That random act of kindness (RAOK) made me think about how I could share the coupons I had in my possession.  I currently buy four (4) Sunday newspapers to get the coupon inserts.  When there is an item on sale, I clip all 4 coupons and take them with me to the store.  Depending on the item, I'll either buy all four items (using all four coupons) or I'll leave the coupons I didn't use on the shelf near the sale item.

I think it's very important to be, what I term, a "Considerate Couponer".  Someone who shares their deals, their knowledge and their coupons with others.  But this also entails more than that.

When you start the coupon game, you will more than likely be shopping at the same stores week in and week out.  So be friendly with your store employees.  You want to leave a good impression!  You definitely don't want them to groan every time you come in because of your bad attitude.  Why not introduce yourself?  You'll be seeing them every week anyway.  Try to remember your clerk's name.  My CVS and Walgreens employees know me when I walk in (and yes, I call all "my stores" mine).  Some ask about my kids when they aren't with me.  How nice is that?  They even miss me when I don't come in that week.

Please remember not all of your clerks are educated on their store's coupon policy.  Be considerate and polite.  If you run into a problem with a clerk, and you are positive you are in the right (double check because you sure don't want to look like the fool), kindly ask for the manager to see if they can help rectify the problem amicably.  If you still feel like your problem is not being addressed to your liking, you can always contact the corporate office and make your issue known.  I hope you don't run into a problem that requires corporate intervention, but if you do, remember to be professional.

Have you ever been excited about a fantastic deal (like free toilet paper) only to be completely disappointed when you get to the store and the shelves are wiped out?  First of all, make your way to the customer service desk and request a raincheck.  Most rainchecks are redeemable for 30 days at the point of issue.  But always check with your store.  Second of all, don't be greedy!  I already wrote about that before.  But let me share with you an experience my cousin ran into at her local drug store.  She was looking to pick up an item that was on sale and there happened to be another couponer looking at the same item.  There was one item left on the shelf and the other couponer had about 6 of that item in her cart already.  My cousin asked the other couponer if she needed that 7th one and the couponer looked at my cousin like she was crazy, "of course" she told my cousin.  And she took it off the shelf and proceeded to the check-out.  I mean really!  People, it's not necessary to be greedy.  I'm not a believer in Karma, as we are Christian in our household.  With that said, Jesus Christ said to "practice giving and people will give to you". (Luke 6:38)  And Paul quoted Jesus saying "there is more happiness in giving than in receiving." (Acts 20:35)  Don't you think it might be more kind to give a little, rather than take all the time.  Remember there are others who'd like to pick up on the deals too.

Remember to be a Considerate Couponer.  When you are at the store and you see someone on the aisle with you, fill them in on the deals that day.  If you have an extra coupon, share it with them.  It's very rewarding to be able to give to others.  Share what you know with others, share what you have with others and always be kind to others in all things. 



Amanda said...

I have wanted to leave coupons for othersas I love to share but, I often wonder if the store employees would pick them up and throw them away or if someone else used them.
I have handed them toother people and also shared sales with people too.
thank you for theis post, it is also great to be reminded to be considerate!

Olivia said...

Good post, and good ideas. I often just assume the people working are going to be in a bad mood and arm myself accordingly. Being nice anyway is something I definitely need to remember!

Amy @ Finer Things said...

I've learned that military families overseas can use expired coupons at their base. So... I'm sending my expired coupons to a friend in Germany now. :)

Frugal Friend said...

So true! I love coupon fairies and being one too. Just today I ran into a friend at Publix and we had a friendly chat while taking turns waiting for the blinkie coupons to come out of the machine.

And when I checkout at the Cosmetics counter at Walgreens, the cashier sometimes gives me coupons! Oh, I could go on and on about them.


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