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Guest Post: TEARS at the Register

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Guest Post By Kerrie from

I cried all the way home from that shopping trip. As I sat there wiping the tears from my eyes I thought to myself “I will never go couponing again.” The deal I planned on getting for such an amazing bargain didn’t happen, and the checker was not nice about it to say the least.

I felt angry, frustrated, and embarrassed. As I sat there thinking about the whole situation it bothered me that I should have such strong feelings over using coupons at a store. Thoughts crossed my mind like, “Hmmph.. I will show that store. I will not shop there. I could easily go back to the way I shopped before. It would be so easy…no clipping, no spending time online looking for deals, and more.” I was really upset.

I walked in the door of my home empty handed and shared the tale to my husband. While I am sure he did not really understand my couponing mishap I got a nice hug out of it, which made me feel a little better.

In the morning, I was still affected emotionally by the situation so I called the store manager and explained the situation. He said I was right (like I knew I was), so he told me to come back in and he would take care of it. Even though I didn’t want to go back in, I eventually did and the store was able to get my deal to work.

From this experience and others along my couponing journey, I have learned many ways to handle these kinds of situations which in turn have helped me become a happier coupon shopper.

KNOW YOUR STORE’S COUPON POLICY – To avoid many of the problems at the register with coupons, make sure and learn that particular store’s coupon policy. You could call the store with a list of couponing questions such as do you take competitor’s coupons, double coupons, can you stack an in-ad coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon etc. Some bigger stores have a national public coupon policy that you can view and print out. A neat idea is to print out all your store’s coupon policies and put them in a binder to keep in your car or bag. That way if you run into any trouble at the register with a cashier that does not know the policy you can show them.

Ask for a store Manager when you run into problems with a cashier. The manager is the one that is supposed to know the coupon policy, so that is your best bet. If a manager is not available, then you may have to say never mind to your purchase, and wait to come back or call when the manager is in.

Be prepared to take your lumps. Many times when you are couponing a deal may not work out as you had planned. When this happens it is okay to say… “Okay, I guess I don’t want that item if I cannot use the coupon.” Have the cashier put the item back. The important to remember is to not get angry and shout at the checker. Just prepare yourself for these kinds of situations and know that there is always another deal. Know that the savings you get from sticking through the tough couponing experiences are worth it. You may lose a battle here or there but overall you will win the war.

Karrie is a chocolate-addicted busy stay at home mom of twins + 2 living in the Pacific Northwest. She has a recurring dream every night of finding something FREE while shopping. But least in her dream she is still wearing clothes!! She blogs over at where you can find amazingly cool thrifty tips, recipes and hot deal ideas!

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Comments 216

  1. april

    I am newer to using the coupons and dealing with the cashiers at the many stores I go to and some of the attitudes that I get when I am out is just Not OK, until I started using Hip2Save I barley went to Target now when I see deals I go, and the last few times I should have called a Manager over, the last time in target on New Years Eve I had coupons for lotion, shampoo and nail polish and our cashier who we have had before had major attitude she had a problem with every coupon telling me my items were all wrong -which they weren’t, another employee told her to let me use my coupons and I ended up walking out only paying .17 cents. My time before that our cashier told me “I will let you use the coupons This Time” I thought to my self sense when do the cashiers get to pick and choose whoo gets to use coupons? I didn’t know the cashier had the right to pick and choose who gets to use coupons in the store, to say the least I am not a very happy target shopper. At our CVS not only does the manager not know how to scan and use the coupons correctly some of the employees are nasty, I think most of the employees at the stores Forget Who Is Paying them at the End of the Week We the Costumers are with out us shopping using coupons or not they would not have a job where they are at now the store may not be up and running. I use to be a supervisor at a department store and no way in the world would I have ever treated anyone the way some of the cashiers are treating people I would have been fired if I treated anyone like that and it should be that way .

  2. Heather

    Be confident, fellow couponers! If you’re getting a deal and you know you’re right, stick to your guns. Be calm and confident when you explain your position to the cashier (or manager) but not argumentative or emotional. Also, in my experience, it seems to help when you don’t act uncomfortable or like you’re going to leave. I “park” myself in that cashier’s line and completely ignore the customers behind me (after warning them that I have lots of coupons). When the cashier gets the sense that I’m not going to leave because she’s harrassing me, they tend to find a miraculous way to make the coupon work.

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