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Coffee With Collin: No More Sweating at the Register

3:11 PM MST
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Today’s Coffee with Collin is dedicated to all you fellow couponers who experience an increased heart rate, profuse sweating, stuttering, and an overall lack of confidence when approaching the checkout zone with your coupons in hand. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, then this is the video for you!


**If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

“Hip” Tips for Checking Out With Coupons

(1) Know your store’s coupon policy!! For more information, check out the Hip2Save Store Guides found here. If you are not able to locate a coupon policy online for your local store, I highly recommend that you email customer service asking for a copy of the policy/guidelines and/or you can contact the store manager.

(2) Consider dabbling in cashier profiling. Personally, I look for happy and laid back looking cashiers.

(3) Make use of your time waiting in line and organize those coupons! Consider grouping together all of your free and Buy 1 Get 1 free product coupons as these typically require the cashier to manually enter the price of the item.

(4) Stack your coupons in the criss cross method demonstrated in the video as this should prevent coupons from sticking together… especially printable coupons. You may also want to consider handing over your coupons one at a time.

(5) Be respectful and patient! Kill em’ with kindness! ;)

So how about you? What are your tips for having a successful checkout experience?

Join the Discussion

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  • jennifer says:

    I usually bend the printable coupons. I will put a bend towards the end going one way and then the next coupon with a bend going the opposite way, and I keep this pattern so they are seperated a little and they don’t get stuck together :)

  • lautg7 says:

    Oh wow feels good knowing I’m not the only one nervous at the register. I’m very new at this and my first bad experience was with a cashier at Walgreens whom was accusing me of having copied coupons only because I was having some issues with my printer and the coupons came out kind of faded but only the picture part not the wording. She made me feel really bad and it happened to be the store manager. But since I had read some of Collin’s “Coupon Newbie” advice before heading to the store I was ready to fight back LOL, she eventually accepted them.

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    Thanks so much for the criss-cross idea! This will slow the scan processes down a bit and help them from sticking tgether. It’s hard to keep track of all the scanning when they want to get you out as soon as possible. Sat. was my first visit after upgrading from my coupon box to coupon binder (thanks for the tips) and the cashier gave me a great compliment. She not only opened a separate lane, helped me put my groceries up, she also said, “You have got to be the most organized couponer that comes in here.” I need to pass that on to Collin, I I know I learned from you! Your my coupon hero!

  • Suzanne says:

    I don’t criss cross my coupons b/c the cashiers don’t understand why and always end up straightening them out. I also don’t hand them 1 at a time – as much as I would like to, I just feel like that comes across as rude. I do however, try to always put a regular coupon (newspaper insert coupon) between each printable coupon that way they are different papers and sizes and that helps A LOT with the sticking together problem!

    • Stephanie says:

      Why is handing a cashier one a time rude? You took the time to get everything together and they are being paid to stand there. Their job is to service the customer. Period.

      • Kaitlyn says:

        it’s not that it’s rude, but i guess to some cashiers they might think that you think they are too dumb to do their job properally. do you hand them your groceries one at a time? i do not hand my coupons one at a time, but i do organize them beforehand and then watch their every move.

        another tip of mine is to make more than one trip to the same store per week. i know it is more work/time but then you are not handing over 100 coupons at a time.

        • Stephanie says:

          Honestly, I could care less what they think and maybe thats because where I live the cashiers don’t mind us handing 2 or 3 coupons at a time because they think its easier. The only ones who want the entire stack at once are the rude cashiers who have to read every single coupon and go through your back to find every single item and then try to come up with an excuse they can not to take the coupon so for me they will get 2 or 3 coupons at a time from me. They are MY coupons and it is MY money. Without us shopping they wouldn’t even have a job. Go to the store through the week? With gas prices? To make it easier for the cashier………I think not :) lol

    • Brianna says:

      I do the same thing with my printables!

    • Kelly M. Dowdy says:

      I ALWAYS hand my coupons one at a time to the cashiers, whether I have 2 or 60. I have left the stores and not had all my coupons scanned twice and that was all I could take so I hand them one at a time. I explain that to the cashier when they ask for all of them…..,.sorry but I am not gonna throw away money because the cashier is timed…….

    • Heather W says:

      I do the same thing with mine. I try not to have like coupons together especially printables. Everyone has their ways that work, but this is the best way for me. I also watch the cashier scan each one to make sure I see it on the :)

  • Ronda says:

    Great tips Collin especially for newbies! I follow those techniques myself. I take it a little further with the free or bogo coupons. I make sure they are the first ones in the stack and go ahead and write the price in it for them (I put the correct price according to the price advertised either sale, clearance, regular, etc)

    • Terri says:

      Me too! It saves so much time and if the cashier isn’t a grump they are more than thankful they don’t have to scan back to look for the price

      • Laury says:

        I put all my buy 1 get one free items last on the belt and the put the coupons first in the pile. That way the cashier doesn’t have to scroll all the way thru the order.

    • Eunsil says:

      I do the same too,always write down the prices ahead on coupons,so cashiers wouldn’t need to write themselves…So that means less time spending at register. Some cashiers even thanked me for doing that. I think this little action helps them more couponers-friendly! :-D When I first started couponing, I was so nervous and my heart was beating fast. The more you know about coupon policy on your stores, the less you feel nervous! Since one Target employee insisted on saying their coupon policy changed(he said they can only take either one man’ coupon or Target coupon..ha) I always bring Target coupon policy with me. By the way, I do profile cashiers too ;)

    • Adina says:

      I didnt know they have to put in the amount. I used alot of those coupons today and they didnt enter the amount and now i am wondering, did those coupons not work because of that? I am so confused! the cashier just scanned each coupon and slipped it into her drawer.

      • cynthsherm says:

        The “Free” or “BOGO” (Buy One Get One) Free Coupons, they do have to enter the price of the product on the coupon…in most cases. The reason for the entry of the price on the free coupons is for the processing agency to know how much to reimburse the vendor (i.e…grocery store) for the product.Regular ($1/1) coupons the discount is already on the coupon, so it is clear what the “worth” of the coupon is. Early couponing is very confusing. Just keep trying, with confidence!!!! You will be fine, and be a winner at the checkout!

  • Melissa says:

    I rarely have issues with the cashiers at my stores. It is the customers behind me that almost always make me feel bad. It seems like I could be the only one in the store but the minute I check out at the register people get behind me (with one transaction). They are always the impatient ones too!! What do you do when people are like this? It’s hard to ignore!

    • Sarah says:

      Any time I do more than one transaction and people get in line behind me, I go to the back of the line and let them go so they don’t have to wait on me.

    • Heidi says:

      It used to bother me, but no anymore. Most of the time, they’re too impatient to wait and move to another line, but if they stay and they look annoyed, i just ignore it and i remind myselft that i’m not paying full price for my stuff and they are….. :)

    • Mo says:

      I have the same problem LOL We must just be popular like that! If someone comes up in line that is holding like one or two items – and that’s usually while my stuff is just being rung up I’ll tell them straight up – “I have a ton of coupons and it’s gonna take a second – didn’t want you to have to stand here waiting on me when you’ve only got a couple things. Sorry!” Usually around that time they’ll either look up for another lane, or someone will open another lane, or they smile and say it’s no big deal. Shoot – half the time they’re impressed if they stay b/c they see the total before and after coupons. ;)

    • Dannie says:

      If I stood in line, I just continue on my way, and ignore the. If I’m still unsure and we’re approaching the lane at the same time I offer them to go first. :)

    • Leigh says:

      I don’t notice it as much now, but when I first started I would always say “Sorry, you got behind the coupon lady! Now I’ll be paying in pennies!” ;)
      I would try to break the ice, if they were still a bit cold, I would just ignore them. I have just as much of a right to be there as they do, I’m just paying half the price for it.

      P.S. I had a lady once ask me if I could stop using coupons and just pay for everything. She was in a hurry. I laughed at her (nicely) and told her “Sorry, I’m a strict budget and this is how I have to shop!” She eventually went to another line!

      • jenniF says:

        Lol! You should have told her you were paying for everything! Coupons are a form of payment. Whose the smarter person here, the person paying with their hard earned money or the person letting the manufacturer pay for their purchase?

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for all the comments. I never do more than one transaction with someone waiting. It’s just that Walgreens has so much beepage that it takes forever. My Wags never has a person working cosmetics, I’ve tried day, night, weekends. Its weird!

    • beetlebug68 says:

      i feel the same way it dose not matter what time i go shopping 8 am , 3 pm or even12 or 1 at night someone always comes behind me with just 1 or 2 things..some times i turn around and give them a coupon for something they are buying..and at the drug stores i always check out at the cosmetic countier..

      • cynthsherm says:

        I share with the people in line behind me that I save LOTS using these coupons. I go to the same cashiers all the time…it has become a game…The cashier will say, “Ok, total BEFORE the Loyalty/Bonus Card”…and then she will say”Total after”… Then she will say”Now, let’s have the coupons”…scan, scan, scan……………..”Total AFTER coupons!”
        NEVER have I left a store without a person stopping to ask me how I do it…Smile, Know what you are doing, Be polite to cashiers and other customers, and SAVE THAT MONEY!!!! Confidence!!!! Realize what you are donig for your family, yourself, and your friends!

  • Lysandra says:

    I add up the dollar amount on my coupons to make sure how much the cashier is supposed to deduct from the total. Then once they are done scanning all the items I make a mental note of the total & substract the coupon amount so I know approximately how much I’m supposed to end up paying, and of course I watch the monitor like a hawk every time they scan my coupons.

  • Heidi says:

    I liked the video, it was very enlightening and helpful. As a target cashier myself, (and not a newbie) i’ve seen my share of coupon stacks. And since have started couponing myself, btw, love it! I feel like i am a cashier that couponers want to come to….because as someone who coupons, i know how long it takes and all the planning involved, and the majority of the time, i’ll just accept the coupon with a mere glance if it beeps. I scan and accept all with patience and a smile. The only tip that you mentioned collin, (sorry) that i hate as a cashier, is the handing over one at a time…..I hate it!! What most customers and guests don’t know is that everything we do is scored. Everything to how many redcards we can get for the store, to surveys, to our speed. Yes, speed is a factor, and while i don’t think about it too often, it slows me down alot when i’m handed coupons. I personally can take the whole stack and scan faster and easier….if we miss one, then we are truly sorry, its never on purpose.

    Just my thoughts on this, but on a side note i love couponing now that i know how much it saves and Hip2save is the first site i check in the morning! Love you collin!!

    • Melissa S says:

      I didn’t know that Target cashiers were timed. Unfortunately, my worst experiences with handing over a stack of coupons have been at Target. That is where I learned my lesson to only hand the coupons over one at a time, otherwise I have gotten out of the store to realize that not all of my coupons were scanned.

      • Emily says:

        I don’t hand over coupons one at a time anymore, because every cashier seemed to hate it. Now I guess I know why!

      • Mary says:

        My issues with coupons not getting scanned have been at target too, so I always scan my receipt prior to leaving the store. If I notice one or more is missing, I simply go back up to the cashier and tell them. They’ve always given them back to me and I just go up to CS to get credited.

    • Dannie says:

      I too used to work for target, but I was a sales floor team member. Yes the cashiers are scored, but Heidi, you can get one R (for red) and still be G (green) for the day. I’ve had it happen…there isn’t much you can do about a customer wanting to hand you things. I had a guest who wanted separate bags for things, and wrapped a particular way and that took forever to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes there are tons of stories about people coming in. It annoys me to bag items only to have guests stand there and take everything out and then wad up the bag and leave it. Can u say rude?

    • Rebecca says:

      I too only have issues with coupons at Target and I have had some success by telling the checker before she starts ringing me up that I have a bunch of coupons with the intention that they will pay attention to the items they scan as it seems that a lot of coupons used at Target have to be manually accepted (by pushing a button after scanning) to accept.

      I also let the person directly behind me know that I have a bunch of coupons especially if they only have a few items in their cart. And when I’m done, I thank them for their patience. Usually I get admiration from them when they see that I saved $30 and requests on how I do it. I always send them here to Hip2Save!

      And I also profile cashiers when I have a bunch of coupons. I hate to admit it but I’ve had trouble with certain “types” before. I avoid older hassled looking women and almost always go for the bored teenager who doesn’t give a hoot if the coupon affects their company or not. And I have a favorite couple of cashiers at my local grocery store and will wait in line for them as they know what I’m all about and will even ask if I noticed the sale on cereals coming up next week. I reward these cashiers with an email to the company about their great performance.
      Thanks, Collin!

    • Jennifer says:

      It’s the same at Publix too. And we end up with quite a few customers lately who are being dishonest and giving us coupons for things they did not buy. It’s better to hand the stack over and most of us really do want to help you and ring up all of your coupons properly. Especially us cashiers who are couponers. =-)

      • mommytanchez says:

        I’ve had issues at Publix recently with BOGO coupons paired with a BOGO sale. If juice was on a BOGO promo, each juice would ring up at half price so when I use my BOGO coupon they only credit me half the price!!! So I end up having to pay half price for one bottle of juice instead of getting 2 for free. I argued with the cashier and she wouldn’t fix the problem. Am I doing something wrong?

        • MommySpendsLess says:

          The “BOGO sale + BOGO coupon = 2 free” only works in states where the items truly ring up BOGO (the first item rings up at full price and the second at $0), which is Florida and, I believe, some parts of Alabama and Georgia. In this case the cashier was correct for your area.

    • Tille says:

      I have a question for you. If the the item you buy at Target is on sale and your coupon value is higher than the item, what is the proper way for the cashier to handle that? Thanks in advance for your help!

  • Michelle Gibson says:

    This was super helpful – thank you! I’ve actually not used some coupons just because I felt uncomfortable or the cashier seemed unhappy…so this will definitely go a long way helping me feel more confident from now on. Thanks!

  • Courtney says:

    I almost always layer my coupons by different prices. I try not to put 2 coupons with the same amount on top of each other. (ex. if I had 2 $1.00, 2 $2.00, and 1 $.50. I would stack them like $2.00, $1.00, $.50, $2.00, $1.00) That way I can watch the screen and see a different amount come off each time. It makes it easier for me to make sure that they are all coming off.

    • Autumn H says:

      I really like that tip I cant believe I didn’t think of that myself! I’m always watch the screen when all my coupons are scanned and its really difficult to make sure they all are especially if you have 2 2.00 q’s in your pile together I will definitely be using your tip! how smart!

    • Holly says:

      That’s a great tip. Honestly, it’s so hard for me to remember all of my coupons, I just don’t have that kind of brain, this tip will help a lot, thank you!

    • Terri says:

      GReat tip!!

    • Jamie says:

      Wonderful tip! Thank you!

  • amanda says:

    I just went to Target and then watched this…ironic because the casheir at Target had a bit if an attitude about my coupons..and made a comment about all the crazy couponers and how the show on tlc just Makes it worse…i smiled and politely replied..” if saving 75% off my total bill is crazy, then sign me up!” (My total was $22 i paid $4.50)…who couldnt benefit from saving money??!! Dont be jealous if our Awesome saving abilities!….Btw Thank you Collin for the Awesome work u do!!

    • Melissa says:

      I was at Target this weekend, and I got the cashier that was NOT going to let me get away with ANYTHING, not that I was asking to do anything “wrong” she was just very willing to tell me that I wasn’t going to be able to use this or that or that this price was this, and I just patiently stood there and nicely corrected her when she was wrong…not that it’s a huge deal, but I don’t like when I’m getting looked at like I am stealing from them, or trying to be sneaky. It’s all the “bad couponers” that ruin it for everyone!

  • J-Star says:

    Im a Wags Cashier, and my tip is when you come to Wags try to check out at the cosmetics section. They never have a line and are glad to see any customer, whether it be a million coupons or not. I feel more confident going there when Im off the clock instead of the front reg where its always busy. Also, I hate to say this, but most cashiers (even the bubbly ones) will not want to deal with you if you are rude. You have to treat people the way you want to be treated.

    Speaking of which I need advice, yesterday a lady wiped out the Right Guard bodywash and left two of the other sales products on the shelf. I went and explained to her that we have to limit these items, she of course explained that she was donating to a church blah blah blah. And she went on to say that we didnt have much on the shelf to begin with. So I just let her take it so I wouldnt get a complaint from her to management. Well my “usual couponer” came in and got upset and grabbed the Gillette razor out of the ladys cart. The lady ran up to him and they argued and he called her Greedy. While Ill admit she was greedy, he had no right to take that. But it makes me wonder Collin and others, what would you do in this situation? I want to explain to people that they cant grab the shelf but they wont listen. How do you explain to these “extreme couponers” coupon etiquette?

    • Terri says:

      WoW. It is frustrating for just the “normal coupon-ers” since “extreme coupling” came out. My dollar store was wiped out of newspapers within 15 minutes of opening because 4 people cleared out 5 bundles buying 18 each. I understand that it is nice getting the paper at $1 instead of $2 but clearing shelves isn’t ok in my book. I typically get 5 at the most and will go to a different store or ask when they are getting their next shipment and come back if there are only a couple left. Walgreens is not Walmart. I cant understand a person expecting to fulfill a large order without being given a limit restriction. I bought 5 papers and NONE had the 5/1 RP but I just shrugged and said oh well. I’m not going to loose sleep over not getting the free Right Guard. These deals are a dime a dozen. I think smaller stores like walgreens and dollar stores should put a limit saying 5 per visit. That is just me, but a little common courtesy goes a long way!

      • jmartcougar says:

        its sad when I see coupon inserts laying around the store probably from greedy people who took them out to get the coupons they needed instead of buying the paper

        • DailyDealerFinder says:

          I totally agree with you here. I went to my local dunkin donuts at around 10AM or 9AM and got a newspaper, dumb of me for not checking if there were coupons in it or not. It as just the newspaper!! Nice to read, but I wanted my coupons aswell. I went back and noticed that EVERY single newspaper didn’t have the P&G Booklet or the Pepsi Coupons Booklet. Eventually I was lucky enough to go to a local store and bought 2 newspaper. 1 with a P&G Booklet and the other had an extra P&G Booklet + the Pepsi Moments to Save Booklet.

          • Kristen says:

            I didn’t get the P&G in any of my 5 papers. All the other inserts were there so I’m not sure what the problem was. I’ve heard of many people all over that didn’t get their P&G’s

      • cathy says:

        What I have noticed lately with couponers, is that it’s all about the free (or cheap) body wash, makeup, Deo, razors, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes and cleaning supplies. It doesn’t make any scents to me. Two weeks ago, people were buying 10 or more papers for the free Nivea. Now, this week it 10 or more papers for Right guard body wash.

        I have a family of six, teens and adults. I only buy 4 of these items (if I can find them) each time the sale comes around and my stockpile is still growing at that rate. (So, I don’t understand why people need to clear the shelves week after week..

        Now, I will say maybe my outlook will change next year when my son goes off to college. He and his brother (who will go after to college in two years) already joke about taking my stockpile of Axes products to college with them and running a store out of their dorm room.

        • Shanna says:

          They Dont NEED to clear the shelves, they just DO. Its greed, it gets a hold of them. I am a Cashier at one of the stores that is mentioned daily/weekly on here. As a cashier and a couponer myself it is quite frustrating, because of peoples greed. Its all gone by the second and third customers. So when everyone else wants to buy some, its gone. We try to enforce limits, but its very hard when people come in with 6 different savings cards (its my moms, my aunts, my daughters, etc) and 20 coupons of each item. Its not fair to other customers. Our store actually has customers that come in, clear our shelves get things free and then SELL them at their minimart. Or another person who DEMANDS us to order their products in bulk so she can get it for free. Who needs 25 bottles of soap or lotion or things like that. America has just gotten greedy. It isn’t right, but you just have to smile and be friendly for Customer Service. Its people like that-that ruin it for couponers who are just trying to save a little money for their family.
          Sorry about my little vent here lol. It is so frustrating. I try to help everyone save a little bit of money, I send everyone I can to this website. A dollar saved is a dollar saved! But some people just go too far, and they are going to ruin it for the rest of us.

          • cynthsherm says:

            I Agree, Shanna! It’s unfortunate that this goes on…but it does. I believe that once the frenzy of this “extreme” couponing dies down, we will see this craziness die down, also. I certainly HOPE so!

    • DailyDealerFinder says:

      This is a great tip, I remember maybe a week ago where I had coupons already in hand and one of the helpers at Walgreens actually told me to come to the Cosmetics section when I was done. I was so happy, 1st in line, no others waiting behind me, and I was able to take my time.

    • cathy says:

      There are just rude people in the world. I think the best thing to do is have the store management post limits. And then you nicely stand by it.
      Many people on the internet will say the store needs to order more for sells but that isn’t always possible. I’ll use the nestle coffee as unexample. When it was a money maker a few weeks ago my WAGS couldn’t keep it on the shelves. The manager told me, normally he sells maybe 20 a month. When he learned about the RR, he tried to order 400 each week. Most of the time he couldn’t get it from the supplier. But the few times he did get 400 in their were out in one day. He said many people came in and asked for multiple transactions to get the RRs. Many of these people said it was for churches or schools. He posted a limit and stood by it. The actions of many coupons has caused this store to only allow one transaction at a time. (The cashier will ring up one transaction but you have to get in line again to do another one.) And only four transactions in a 12 hour period.

      • J-Star says:

        Im also thinking at this rate Wags might do a card like CVS did in order to enforce limits.

        • Brianne says:

          Wags does have a card in some regions, but it doesn’t enforce limits, it just gives you points for what you by so you can use your points to get stuff. Also in those areas it doesn’t give you the sale price unless you use your card.

  • Margaret says:

    It troubles me that so many people get nervous about this…it’s just shopping, people! Like Collin said, just educate yourselves and you’ll be fine. I don’t really care if my coupons bother the cashier…their job is to process them and treat me with respect as they would any other customer. If you receive poor customer service, never hesitate to discuss the issue with corporate, who will almost always resolve the matter!

  • Emily says:

    I use the stacking of free q’s, and handing my q’s one at a time sometimes, but most of the time, this method works for me.
    Know what you’re going to buy, and use a calculator to make sure your amount is EXACT, then just write down your scenario and bring it with you to the store. Even calculate tax! Whether it is pre/post coupon based, make sure that it’s right! Then, when you end up at the register, you won’t really be worrying, and you’ll know when something isn’t right. If it’s a particularly big transaction, still, you should calculate up exactly.

    Maybe i’m a math nerd, but this really helps! xD

    • blaire says:

      i am definitely not a math nerd, and i do this. i’m relatively knew to couponing, but i’ve done this ever since i started. i wanted to know exactly how much i was spending and that i wasn’t going over budget. i think this is what really helped me to feel confident when i got up to the register–i knew exactly how much it was. what a great tip!! :)

      also, i have friends that count their coupons (i do when i remember to) and count on their receipt how many coupons were scanned. i just generally go with knowing what my total should be! :)

  • Maricela says:

    Collin I was just watching your video and noticed that your picture behind you has an extension to the wall. I love the falling leaves and the extended branch. VERY CREATIVE. Also i am very new to couponing and you have been very helpful. I watched extreme couponing and am on disability right now so not making money but THANK YOU im saving at least 30-40%. so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

  • Bonnie D. says:

    Hi Collin, when I use a coupon for a free item I go ahead and write the amount down. The only place I don’t is Wag’s they said that they r suppose to do that. ***** A question for you or anyone is today I tried to use a coupon for $2.00/2 toilet bowl cleaners and they had them in a 2pk plastic wrapped and the cashier wouldn’t take it, was he right on this? It happened at Walmart.

  • Jo-Ann says:

    I had a great cashier at Target today. He said he was glad that I was using coupons and that his wife has just started using coupons, too! :-)

  • Kathy V. says:

    I primarily only shop at 2 grocery stores and then only one RA. I don’t usually have a problem at the grocery stores when it comes to scanning and accepting my coupons, but I do pay attention that they are scanned. I only use one RA. They are all so familiar with me at RA(they use to call me the “coupon lady”), they know me by name. The manager even tells her new cashiers to listen to me and do what I tell them because I know what I’m doing!

  • dwagnfly says:

    I alternate printables with mani coupons so they don’t stick, also give a little ‘crinkle’ to the printables and they won’t stick.

    Also, if I have a big stack of coupons (I usually do, lol) I sometimes give the person behind me a coupon to use if I have extras and notice they have a match up.

  • swopoe says:

    Today I had a bunch of coupons (including free item coupons) to use at Target, and none of them were going through. The cashier kept making me show her my items, and it was taking forever. But, I just kept smiling through it all and all was well. Thanks, Collin!

  • Dannie says:

    I recently went to Target, got a great cashier, though she was a bit overzealous with the coupons (She took the cats that printed and scanned them right away before I had a chance to say uh I don’t think I had that item….) But I still handed them to her in a particular way. I handed her all the same coupons together, and in stacks, so for the milano melts I had 4 IP so I handed her those and waited until she scanned them all then handed her the next stack. I like other also put a paper Q between some of the printed Q’s, but not because I thought about them sticking, but because I was pairing them with a Target Q. So far Target has been my store of choice. I like Wags, and CVS but I don’t like the whole RR ECB thing. I just want the deal, I don’t want to have to come back to use those coupons.

  • Mandy H. says:

    My tip … give the manufacturer coupons BEFORE handing over the store coupons. They will always take their own coupon even if the register beeps, but may not take the manufacturer’s coupon for various reasons. Soooo … hand those MQs before the store (or in-store ad) Qs. Always helps me!

  • Pam says:

    Did your husband record this one for you? No worries about zooming in…ha ha.
    Thanks for the tips. I agree with them all.
    I too try to hand them one at a time. I tell the cashier that I want to make sure I have all the accurate coupons for what I have in my cart.
    I also try to befriend the cashier. I will always say after the transaction “thanks for all your help” , and if it takes a while I try to say ” thanks for being patience with me and all my coupons” BECAUSE, I will be back at that store again and will probably be in THEIR lane! :)

  • Ceri says:

    I really don’t see the problem with cashier profiling. It’s not like cashiers don’t do the same for couponers and non-couponers. (Some cashiers literally groan at the sight of me and others smile so I know this to be true. LOL) And also, it’s like, I take the time to look up coupons, clip them and wait for a sale so I’m not going to go to cashiers that can’t respect that I want to save money in order to live on my own means. If cashiers want to give ME money to pay for things full-price, then by all means, I’ll stop couponing when that happens. But that’s NOT going to happen any time soon so I don’t see why we should be made to feel guilty for doing some cashier profiling in order to not feel like sh!t at the end of the day when some cashiers act rude to us for using coupons.

    But, from most of my experience, the cause for most of my sweating at the check-out counter are due to cashiers not knowing their own store policy on coupons. If they did the simple task of just learning their store coupon policy, there wouldn’t be as much hassle at the check-out since you would know the official store coupon policy and THEY would know the official store coupon policy and everyone is happy with that simple knowledge. And also, I wish that store would at least post their corporate coupon policy by the registers so there wouldn’t be as much hassle from both parties.

    Just a side-note, here’s a mantra I repeat in my mind when cashiers give me a hard time. Everyone should have their own mantra to help center them when cashiers try to give them a hard time for using coupons. It’s really helpful and makes you confident when those awful ~moments~ occur.:
    ~I’m not a criminal. I don’t do drugs, sell drugs, nor do I abuse people or pull threats to other human beings or blackmail people. I am simply trying to use coupons to provide for my family. That’s not a crime. That’s not illegal. That’s not a sin. So suck on that and cry harder because you’re jealous that I’m saving money.~ :)

  • jmartcougar says:

    The manager at my walmart is the coupon police its kind of funny because the cashiers go around in circles trying to decipher the coupon restrictions and fine print but in the end it always works out because I come prepared with policy in hand!

  • Kristina says:

    Thanks for all the tips everyone! I’m new to couponing and all the tips are helpful. I have a question for you all. I’ve noticed that some cashiers just scan the coupons and if they go cool if not they will check. Well, some cashiers are kind of anal and will look at each coupon and go and check and see if I have it. Which happens more often for you? I understand that some of the cashiers want to check but it makes me really nervous! I try and profile cashiers but I always end up with people who check all my coupons, lol

    • Princessbooboo says:

      I have been couponing for a while, but I say it is 60:40. 60% of times, cashiers do not check all the coupons (check if it beeps). 40% of times, cashiers check coupons (10% of these are super anal). I know I used to get really nervous, but I know that I don’t misuse coupons (at least intentionally), so I feel confident. However, sometimes, I may have a bad luck and may not be able to use coupons. That is OK. I just tell cashier “thanks for trying, I would like you to void the product if I cannot use the coupon.” Also, if I have somebody next to me (especially my husband :-) he comes to all the shopping trips with me lol), I feel much more comfortable and confident because I know he will be there for me. You know everybody has some bad days (you do too, right? I do!), so try not to let that person bother you :-)

    • Ceri says:

      For me, it’s only at Target & Walgreens that the cashiers are anal to me. I love CVS and one of my local grocery store, Rainbow Foods <33. Best cashiers ever! Never once had any problems since I started couponing there at the end of last year. All of the cashiers I've gone to always let all of the coupons through and they don't nitpick at all. :)

      As for cashier profiling, it varies with each store. For me, when I first started seriously couponing last December, in order to find the "perfect" cashiers, I walked very slowly with my cart and pretend to look occupy in my purse as I walk passed all of the registers and listen in on the cashiers. It sounds silly, but I make mental notes on those cashiers that ASK for coupons from other buyers. And then, I test that cashier out with 3-5 coupons. If they asked for coupons at the beginning of the transaction, that's great. If the check-out goes smoothly with the cashier being respectful and nice, usually that means that the cashier is a keeper and goes to the top 3 cashiers that I keep in my mental notebook for that specific store. If not, I keep looking with the same tactic each time I enter a store until I find those cashiers that are keepers. It's tedious but the turnout is so worth it when you find those cashiers that are your sunshine at the end of a long shopping trip with coupons. :)

  • maryann says:

    I had a Publix Cashier forget to use my FREE coupon from Kraft . She wrote in the price of the item but at the end she “forgot” to take it off. You really REALLY must watch them closely !

  • Cynthia says:

    Love all the information, tips and the video. Question? Does Walmart NOT honor CVS ads for price matching if the item says ‘with card’. I wanted to price match a bag of Starbuck’s coffee that was 6.99 and the cashier said he couldn’t because the ad said, ‘with card’. Confusing. I know Target doesn’t do CVS, Tom Thumb or Kroger price matching because of customer reward cards.
    Anyone else get refused even though I have been told by the manager at a different Walmart that they will match items from these stores.

    Let me know you thoughts.

    • Kristen says:

      Walmart does match with card pricing. Here is the section from their website.

      We gladly match the price in the following types of ads:*

      •Preferred shopping card advertised prices for specific item
      ◦that are in a printed ad and require a competitor’s shopping card for the discount to apply

      So he should have matched it. Only the Store manager can tell you no.

  • Jennifer says:

    Become familiar with your Walmart Management… When I plan a larger coupon trip I will stop and talke to floor manager, they have several times set up a lane with a new cashier to practice. The practice and extra time make for the best check out experiences.

  • MySweetLoves says:

    I’ve been sabotaging myself lately. I had been putting all my coupons in my jeans pocket as I put the corresponding items in my cart. Well,some sneaky ones found a corner of my pocket and hid. When I got to the register ~ I paid full price for some of my items (omigosh the horror ;))!
    My solution for this is to go with an empty envelope (thanks for the tips to use unused junk mail env’s! ) and put the coupons in as I go. As mentioned, I also put the bogo and free items at the end so the cashier doesn’t have to look far down the register for the price.
    Target receipts are so confusing to read ~ part of the “deal” will be in the body and some q’s are at the end. I have been known to check out with a few items, put them in my car and then come back to do another set. Yes, I know this takes more time, but it makes me happy :o).

    • Dawn B says:

      That’s a good idea! It will help me from over spending too! Get the must have’s first wait on the nice to have’s. Easier to keep track of too!!

  • DailyDealerFinder says:

    I always bring a 2 pocket folder with

    A) My Coupons
    B) A scenario page

    I even make it in order to get the best deals. And some of you should really invest those Extra Bucks from CVS by doing seperate transactions during the same day.[RR from Walgreens and their whole method is soo confusing and less money saving in the end]
    Yess, it can be confusing sometimes when your being handed multiple receipts with the ECB’s on them, but MAKE sure to have scenario’s set up. From having labeled seperate transactions to the way you’ll have them scanned at the register. Then it will be less confusing. This has helped me in getting ALL my TP Packs and between $1-$2 and FREE toothpaste due to the ECB’s. CVS rules!!!

  • Cynthia says:

    I did the Walgreen’s RR thing today. Not as smooth as I’d hoped, but my cashier was patient. Some ot the RR did not work after I’d buy the items that got RR and once I was finished i used my RR for my other items in the cart. The register would beep not matter what I was getting and three separate times I was told I’d have to purchase another small item for the RR to work, although I was coming out of pocket about ten dollars. Walgreen’s can be confusing, but sometimes it works great. I bought Diamond nuts B1/G1 and used my RR and only paid .59 cents out of pocket. I thought this was a good deal.

    • DailyDealerFinder says:

      SAME HERE!! I was using 2 $.50 coupons for the Cottonelle on sale for $5 each. then I used the Walgreens coupon for $1/1 and it went down to $7. Then I had 2 $3 RR which would make 24 rolls for $1!!!! and then it wouldn’t beep……x( I had to buy this 99cent buttercake making it $ tax. But…..that buttercake was goooooooooood

    • Kristen says:

      It’s called a filler item. You can’t have more coupons than items, that’s probably why it beeped. My Walgreens has a container of Laffy Taffys at the register that are .10 which work great as a filler and you don’t have to pay a lot extra to use your RR.

    • Lynnzee says:

      Clearance items make great filler items!!!

      • Josh says:

        arizona drinks wwre 2 for $1 which worked great for me as a filler this week.

      • cynthsherm says:

        Good tip. When I need a “filler” item…which is most of the time…I always check out the clearance. Today, I got a set of three stemmed candle holders for $1.74… I’ll hold onto it for a gift. ALWAYS CHECK CLEARANCE!

  • Will Coupon for Shoes says:

    For big trips I usually hand the cashier coupons in groups: “here are 10 of these”. Wait for them to scan them and then hand over the next set. This way I can make sure every coupon is scanned and it helps me make sure I actually have all the coupons for the items I purchased. You don’t know how many times I have realized I forgot to pull out a coupon while doing this.

  • Jo-Ann says:

    I coupon quite a bit, and while I spend time outlining my scenarios and clipping coupons, I like to take a laid back (“laid back”, not slow) approach to shopping, esp. because you don’t know what will happen once you get to the store. I don’t like to handle too many coupons at once because with less coupons, I’ve found it’s easier and less stressful to track my coupons as they are deducted and to check my receipt. Sometimes I’ll do one transaction, go back to my car and load those items, then go back into the store for a second transaction (I also get more exercise in!). If a coupon doesn’t ring correctly, etc. I don’t worry about that coupon item and just ask for the item in question to be removed from my total–not worth getting upset over, because there will be other sales & coupons, esp. because of Collin’s excellent deal sleuthing (thanks a bunch, Collin!).

  • Niki says:

    OMG Collin! Love your videos. The music on this one is so grooving!

  • vicki says:

    I always have the hardest time at Target. Last Friday so many mistakes. Cheated me out of $7.59. Even though your coupon goes threw it does not come off. I told the cashier several times. Then trying to figure out that receipt is ridicules. I like to hand over one coupon at a time , so she can look at the product right then. All at once at the end I have to dig out everything they are questioning me on. I’ve done it all ways and writing everything down what I am buying , coupons in one envelope while the others are on a clothes pin that I still have to buy. Count the coupons I have , add up what it will be before coupons then after coupons. Even stacking, the register does it wrong. I had to go back 2 times to show more mistakes. That they owed me more money. I always check my receipt before I leave and can’t figure it out. But I know I was right. I love saving money !!! Just frustrating …

  • Lynnzee says:

    This is sooo Funny that you posted this. I have never had a bad experience until tonight. I lost out a several coupons that I had and my cashier was just an old grumpy man. It was late night at Kroger and I had to use self check out. Then I gave the guy my coupons he looked at me and rolled his eyes and I had a feeling this was going to be trouble. Through the process everything that could go wrong did and I ended up with my order $20 higher than I expected it to be and just happy to get out of the store. I still saved 70% but it is the idea. I guess I should had stayed and tried to work it out, but it is late and I just did not think I could have stayed calm speaking to the 2 people that were calling me a thief. I am just going to take a deep breath on this one and move on!!!

  • Mary says:

    I agree Target seems the least coupon friendly. We have one assistant manager lady that “looks” for cashiers dealing with coupons and she rushes over to watches the cashier. It is now a game with me to be absolutley PERFECTLY organized. I think I drive her nuts. One thing I do that they seem to like is to put my product and coupon together on the belt. This way I am showing them I have the product. I also profile checkers. I agree young men are the best. Next young girls. Lastly, especially at Target, older women.

  • Sku says:

    I wish everyone that ever used coupons could see this video.

    Being a cashier myself (for about 4 months, not very long) at CVS I have to say give us a little leeway ok? ^^ Cashiering isn’t the best job in the world. We do have problems in life (about something or other) and sometimes (even though they shouldn’t) they affect our mood at work. I hope I don’t sound like I’m lecturing. Sorry if I am. I just felt a little like how couponers feel when a cashier rolls their eyes at the pile of coupons you just handed them, except it’s the couponer rolling their eyes about how the cashier is do their job. :(

    Yes, we do have those cashier that just hate everything in the world, but there are some…resentful couponers out there. I honestly regret it every time this one lady walks in the store, I’m sorry, but I do (I think she was caught switching tags one time D:)

    For me, when the register tells me ‘no’ I try to figure out why. This may lead me to asking questions or shifting through bags or reading the coupon description. I just a) Want to know why it didn’t go through, b) Figure out what you want/are try to do, c) Figure out how I can make it go through, and d) Not get in trouble if possible please.

    Being new to the couponing world I only sort of understand how it goes. But Collin, Holy Bananas! You STAND at the counter and cross your coupons? I understand maybe cross them before you get to the counter. But stand there? D: Please don’t. Handing one at a time? I understand why, but don’t just hand me one and watch and wait for me to scan it. :(
    At CVS there is only ever suppose to be one devoted cashier to a register. Only on Thurs and Sat (truck day and tag day) is there every multiple cashiers, otherwise I end up calling the shift supervisor or manager for help up front. So understand the cashiers need/want to avoid long lines!

    Uh, so on that note, yea! Words from a newbie couponer and a young cashier. Again, sorry if I sounded like I was lecturing. I don’t mean to.

    Also some tips for checking-out at CVS (which you’ll probably know ^^):
    1. Hand the cashier your ECB last or on the bottom of the pile (Like a lot have said)
    2. It does help to clump BOGO or Free Product coupons together (Like Collin said)
    3. 25% off entire purchase coupons. It only takes 25% off your end result purchase. This means everything after your coupons. Even if I scan it first, the computer will VOID it out and recalculate the percentage. They also DO NOT work on sale items. (As well as prescriptions, cigs, alch, etc..)
    4. Our liquor license doesn’t let us sell wine/liquor on Sundays ;) (My store at least)
    5. Give rainchecks first or with related item please!
    6. Expired ECB. OK, there is some yes and no’s about this. I’ve been told we take expired ECB but then I’ve been told no we don’t. I personally only like to take them if they’re 1-2 month old or less. But not over that please. (I once had a lady give me ECB that were from March 2010!!!) But try to avoid if possible. It just makes it easier if the register accepts it. If not, then I have to go through my mental list of why it doesn’t.
    7. Other Expired CVS coupons. No. Bad. Don’t do it. (You’d think this would be a given)
    8. Saturday @ 4PM is when the new week sales take affect :) (At my store at least)
    9. Sunday @ 12AM is when last week sales stop. (I am to believe)
    10. CVS registers cannot do anything. They cannot access your personal information, your card data, your card coupons, I cannot see past transactions, I cannot edit past transactions.

    11. Oh, and another tip :) If you watch the screen and an “extracare savings” tag pops up and minus from your total. It’s because the cashier didn’t scan your card as the first first thing. The tag shows you that yes, you did get your weekly savings and everything will show up properly on your receipt. This does make it difficult for you to follow prices so have your CVS card or phone number on hand/in mind. :D

    Hope I didn’t sound like a jerk (or violated and CVS laws ._. ) and I love what you do Collin. :D

  • patti says:

    Another great video, Collin! I echo the sentiment that target (although my favorite store) has the hardest to read receipts for coupons.

  • Carly says:

    I absolutley LOVE this website and u, Colin!! Your coffee with Colin brightens my day b/c I dont really have anyone to talk to about couponing. Keep up the great work!!

  • Jackie W says:

    Since I am a cashier I really like it if I’m told about the free items up front. Must people don’t so I do make it a habit to look thru the stack for them so I know what items to look for. My method is to have the coupon stack in front of me and give each to coupon a good rub to see if they are sticking together and turn it upside down into another pile after I scan it. I rarely miss a coupon this way.

  • Vanessa says:

    As a cashier (and an avid couponer) I LOVE when people are organized and are very respectful and nice when they come through my line ready to go. In fact I had a customer today that comes in twice in the same day so that he doesn’t hold up other customers or the register. There are several stores that are to print out a catalina coupon if you spend so much on a certain product. Sometimes there are issues with the catalina coupon printer that cannot be helped. Sometimes they do break. A tip from a cashier, who has no issue with any of this going on btw, if you are supposed to get a catalina coupon and you are doing several transactions where you will need those coupons to bring down the cost of the next order, ask the cashier if their catalina coupon printer is working properly. It may sound weird/rude, but if you are supposed to get the coupons, you are entitled to them, but there are some things, like this, that cannot be helped. I shop where I work and I cashier profile. The obviously know me, but I also know who to go to and who gets frustrated with coupons. I know we get paid to stand there and we are paid to be nice to customers, but for the cashiers that don’t know much about couponing, it is very intimidating. So as Colin said, please be patient and respectful to your cashiers…it can go a very long way! Thanks for posting this Colin!

  • Bev says:

    OMGosh, I thought maybe I was the only one who did the “cashier profiling”. I am normally shopping by myself so the names I have made up for these people were never hurtful because I kept them in my head. Well, my boyfriend of 11 years went with me last time and as I am scanning the cashiers he says “what are you doing, there is nobody in that line you just passed”. I said, “ummm, and her personality doesn’t deserve me in that line either”. Up and down I go scanning and he learn of the few names I have and calls ME wicked. I decide on a line to go into and wouldn’t ya know it the girll with the “personalities”, I call her crystle (short for Crystle Meth!!!) say, “I can help you here” in her nicest voice that even shocks herself. I say “oh thank you but I’m not in a hurry”.
    On the way home, he says, “does that girl take drugs”… I almost chocked.

  • Teresa says:

    You could give any extra coupons you have to the cashiers too!!! I’m a coupon friendly cashier that doesn’t mind multiple transactions. It’s just a nice way to show your appreciation. Also, you could purchase an item that we make pm’s on too!

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