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The Coupon "Rush"…

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As I walk up to the register, my hands start to tremble and my heart starts to beat. My eyes are moving around quickly… I am trying to catch at least a glimpse of each cashier. The cashiers that look the most promising get yet another glance from me. Oh who should I choose… decisions, decisions. As I walk closer to the cash registers, my breathing picks up speed and the sweating starts to ensue. Yes, I am getting near the point of what I like to call “Coupon Chaos”.

I choose the cashier, the hardest decision of all, a guy in his early 20s who looks as though he just came from the beach. He smiles and I begin to nervously chat… I am not sure what exactly I’m saying, but things are definitely coming out of my mouth. With each item I put on the belt, my talking (if that’s what you want to call it) picks up pace. Soon enough, I have to completely stop as I’m running out of breath! Oh, I am so close to the finish line.

The “surfer dude” (the young cashier who appears to have come from the beach) lets me know my total… my very high total I might add! As my hand shakes, I smile nervously and pull out my coupons. The mountain of coupons I’m pulling out don’t all make it on the counter, so I bend down to pick up the ones that have taken the plunge to the ground. As I bend over, I am so thankful that I chose to wear a long shirt as I am wearing low-rise jeans and well, bending over and low-rise jeans don’t really go together. 😉

As I hand him the coupons, one by one, yes, I am that anal… I notice the person behind me. A lady in her mid 30s with a in-a-hurry look on her face. She glances at my large pile of coupons and has a very confused look on her face. As the coupons keep getting scanned, I can feel the tension build up behind me. Finally, I hear her high heels tapping the ground with force… she wants me to know that I have inconvenienced her day in a big way. I ignore her knowing that I’m almost there… I am at the home stretch.

As the “surfer dude” scans my last coupon, I let out a large exhale. Phew… I feel like I’ve just run a marathon! The ‘Surfer dude” states, “Wow! You saved $91.50 and your grand total is just $2.39.” I smile slowly trying to contain my excitement and pull out my money. I am able to give him the exact change. He hands me the receipt as my smile grows. I stand there with pride as I look up and down that magnificently long piece of paper. Life is good!

As I leave the store, I know beyond any reasonable doubt that every part of getting to the moment of victory is so worth it in the end. And now I can head home with my head held high and brag to anyone who will listen.

Join The Discussion

Comments 501

  1. SoapboxTray

    Collin that is hilarious. Thanks for the comedy break 🙂 It is sooooo true!

  2. javin22

    LOL ! That was great! I feel like that sometimes too when I hand over a fistful of coupons. I get the same looks from the people behind me. I feel bad for the cashier to have to scan all my coupons, but when I get the total, it is worth it.

  3. Allison

    I will listen! and will share in your victory! yeah! way to go, girl, and thanks for sharing how we can do it, too! {hi-five!} 🙂

  4. Janine

    Hi Collin! I have been following you and hip2save two years now and this is my favorite post! Thank you in all that you do to help everyone save…
    This post is so so true…I have these same thoughts when I do errands….

    “why I am nervous about paying my grocery”
    “why is my heart beat racing…..”
    “I don’t want to inconvenience another shopper behind me…”
    “Why do I find myself apologizing to the lady tapping her heels while I pay my groceries?”

    I know we somehow feel bad when we make other people wait because of the pile the coupons we hand our favorite cashiers…but after all these why’sssssssss I think it’s nice to thank the person in line behind us. 🙂

  5. Olga

    By the way, Collin, you look VERY pretty in this picture! Is it the pre-checkout anxiety that does the trick? 🙂

  6. Bonnie

    I felt like this today when I went to Walmart with my 30 Purex coupons. The cashier was a little confused when the total was negative. Only $1.91, but that really threw her. Then the CSM wanted to just make sure. . . a half an hour later, and every manager in the store it seemed, I was thoroughly embarrassed, but they were all super nice and once they read the policy that I brought, gave me my $1.91. I was giddy with excitement and almost ran to my car with my $60 in clearance clothes for my girls that was freeee!!!!! I think I almost peed my pants 🙂

    By the way, they thanked me for teaching them something new! Who knew?????

    • T

      is that an exaggeration or did you Really have 30 purex coupons?? so jealous to hear everyones purex stories cause my paper didnt even get me One!!! great job shoppin’!

      • Nonnie

        Oh no. I really did have 30. At first one of the managers did comment on “being limited to a normal household limit” but when I pointed out that the were one use packs and I really do 2+ loads a day and that there were plenty left on the shelves that argument went away quickly. I ordered these from eBay, wanting the overage and knowing that I could get the purex to donate, I make up boxes for struggling families within our church and laundry detergent is always a great thing to have on hand to add to my boxes. I am excited to see that this past weeks coupon doesn’t have any limitations on it either!

        • Stephanie

          Please tell me how the clothes became free…was it from the overage of the Purex?

      • Sandra Roberts

        T
        When there are awesome coupons like that, go to a site where you can purchase the coupons. I have one listed on my site and I’m sure Colin has one too. Coupon Dede is the best! I receive my coupons from her about 2 days after I purchase them.

        Fantastic deal on the free clothing and Purex! It’s so much fun when you can get so much for free! lol

        • Bonnie

          Yep all from overage!

    • T

      thanks! i always hear about these coupon purchase sites but then i forget about them…this story is a great reminder.

    • Lynn

      It is great you share and pay it forward! Thank you for helping those in need.

      • KC

        I totally agree with you! Thanks for the story Collin!

  7. lisha

    Collin, I feel the exact same way every time I am about to use a ton of coupons somewhere, (usually ends up being at Target) and i always scan the cashiers as well

  8. jennifer

    🙂 this made me smile i am so glad to know we all seem to go through this when checking out

  9. Joy

    Love this! I did notice the BIG container of coffee in your cart, Collin! Ha! Keeping stocked for Coffee with Collin!!! We love you!!!

  10. Amy

    the only time I have had issue is with the younger men at Target because they feel they have to dig through my coupons one by one and match each one to an item, when I already have them organized the way I want. One of them told me I COULDNT use a coupon that was more than the item. Rather than argue, I just put it back. I hand over my coupons 5 at a time so I can make sure they all go through, especially at Meijer with the printable store coupons and the mperks deals. for some reason the register beeps on certain q’s and if the cashier doesn’t press the button, it doesn’t come up. So I really have to watch them. I have a couple of cashiers I likeand I tell them it’s because they are careful with my coupons. I honestly haven’t had any luck with the young men cashiers, maybe I am just not attractive enough!

  11. Kim Q

    AWESOME!!!! I want to have that feeling one day.

  12. Sandra Roberts

    Thanks for the laugh Colin!

    I use to feel that way too! I’d get everything I needed, get all the coupons out and then go to the checkout with my heart pounding and I would be shaking inside! I always wondered why I was having an anxiety attack because I had coupons! lol I was fine shopping without them, so I knew this was because of using coupons. Then I realized one day after I got behind someone who had just as many coupons as I had, that I was not the only one doing this at my store and the anxiety went away!

    Around Christmas I was in a hurry and I wish I wouldn’t have been, I was getting in a line that only had 1 person and then I realized why, the woman was price matching EVERYTHING! I had to leave that line for a faster one. lol Only because I was in a hurry, needed to get home before my family came in. I wish I had been able to wait, I would have loved to have seen that total! lol

  13. Molly

    Collin thanks so much for this post! My heart always starts to race when I am walking up to the register with a lot of coupons too! I sometimes feel as though I should apologize to the irritated person in line behind me, but choose to ignore them instead. Coupons are made to be used and saving all the money that you (yes you Collin) help me to save allows me to work part-time and be home with my kids more without having to feel the hurt financially. Thank you so much Collin. I have been following your site for about a year now and I just love it! By the way, the person who said how pretty you looked in your picture was totally right. You make me want to step it up a little!

  14. Jessica

    Well really fun story I imagine the face of the lady tappin her shoes after she saw ur grand total….lol…almost the same thing happened to me at meijer after the lady behind me saw the total she said ““i should take u with me shopping” I just gave her a smile n left…..

  15. Sarah

    I have been there before. I wonder if stores could have a coupon checkout. You know like the registers that are less then 15 items or cash only (do they have those anymore?), but one for coupons. That may sound stupid. Obviously shoppers with coupons could use any checkout lane, but maybe our trepidness wouldn’t overwhelm us if we new that there was a coupon lane and that the associate working it would be knowledgeable and not upset about our coupons.

    • Lori

      I LOVE this idea and have always said that if I owned a store, I would have a coupon lane staffed with coupon savy cashiers.

  16. Christa

    Oh girl…aint it the truth! Love the coupon shakes when it all works out.

  17. kenia

    Collin! I always feel in that way..but I always look for those kind persons, with a big smile on their faces!
    Yesterday, I pay $2.70 ON Kroger! it was just wonderfull,…and my cashier?..a nice and kind guy!

  18. Yvonne

    Collin, thank you for being REAL!!!! It’s like you read my mind! I also look for the guys when choosing cashiers, too! Ha!

  19. Jen

    It’s funny that huge RUSH you get when doing this.

    I sat down a few weeks ago and showed my neighbor how to stack coupons with the sales that was going on at our local store.

    Her husband didn’t believe that you could do this. Well I wrote out a complete scenario for them saying which coupons to use, and what to buy.

    Well her husband had an hour to kill before picking up the kids, so he took the coupons and went to the store. Later that afternoon while I was outside he pulled in. He was beaming (to say the least) and said “I now understand the rush you are talking about!!!”. He opened the trunk of the car, showed me his stash of 40 boxes of cereal that he got for less than $5.

    He’s the guy in charge of the food bank at his church and he was just SO happy that he could really make a difference doing something SO simple as cutting out a few pieces of paper. He kept a few boxes for himself, and donated the rest to his food bank.

    • Jo-Ann

      Great story! I love when people get convinced by actually couponing themselves!

  20. Christy Goettel

    This is just like my experiences so many times and made me laugh out loud! I think my family gets sick of hearing my adrenaline fueled phone calls from the parking lot of my grocery stores but I just can’t help sharing 🙂 Thanks for your blog!

  21. CJ

    I was nervous as I headed out last night to my grocery store’s $10 off $50 Thursday promotion. By the end of my order getting rung up and coupons being deducted I had rivlets of sweat rolling down my back. All went well though – I got $54 worth of groceries for $14 and will submit my receipt for a $10 beer rebate, so actually just $4 for all after all discounts! Couponing can be a little nerve wracking at times but oh so worth it!

  22. Stephanie

    I am soooo striving to accomplish a savings like that!!! You are such an inspiration to me. I had the coupon rush at CVS on Monday and all I had was 6 items!!!!

  23. Jessica

    I feel the exact samw way as well! I have also began “scanning” the cashiers. After a HORRIBLE experience with one who wanted to literally pick apart every coupon I gave her and annouce loudly so everyone could here why they don’t take certain competitors (which by the way I have used in the past….I should have had my Coupon Policy like you tell us to take but I had fogotten it in a rush. Lesson learned… Thanks for all you do!

  24. Jo-Ann

    I love this hilarious post! I sometimes will make 2 trips to a store like Target–buy a batch, go to my car to unload, then back into the store again. This lowers my anxiety of making sure I get everything and of holding up the line with too many coupons. I also find that sometimes my coupons get stuck together if I cut them from a stack and it’s easier for me to track a smaller number of coupons at the register and later on my receipt rather than a larger amount. Collin, with the coupon rush plus the caffeine rush, you must be flying after your couponing trips! 🙂

  25. cborton

    I love that! I feel almost that way,too! And I thank those male cashiers profousely for all their trouble with handling my coupons.
    Carmen

  26. Darla S

    I am having a hard time understanding how it is even possible to pay $2.30 for 91.50 worth of groceries? What store are you going to and how do you get such great deals? Please share !

  27. Jo

    LOVE IT!!! Oh Collin, you hit it straight on! LOL

  28. kimi

    I love this post ~ so true and so worth it in the end…thank you

  29. Angela

    This was great, thanks for sharing! By the way, this is a gorgeous picture 🙂

  30. Rachel

    Collin do you ALWAYS look so good when you go grocery shopping? What a lovely picture of you 🙂

  31. Aimee

    I am also having a hard time finguring how you got the price down so low.. The story was great and so true. I so rather well with the coupons however I have yet to do something like that.. What tricks am I missing?
    🙂

  32. Jennifer

    I am suprised the lady did not chase you down in the parking lot for tips because that is amazing!!! I thought I was something for saving $10-$20 on our grocery bill!

  33. carol

    I’ve definitely been there!!! In addition, I always WARN the person behind me that I have alot of Qs so if he/she is in a hurry, another register might be a good idea. If they choose to stay in line, they are always amazed when I’m done. Just kill ’em w/ kindness and there’s not much they can do!

  34. Trinity

    Nice story Collin! Thanks for all you do!
    Question: How in the world do you get your out-of-pocket so low like that? Even using coupons and price matching to the best store deals, I never get a total to drop like that. The stores around me don’t double coupons though — is that the reason or am I just doing things wrong?!

  35. Dinahmite

    I couldn’t stop laughing of this post! Thanks Collin for sharing! Awesome outcome, yeeeaaahhh what a rush!

  36. Jill

    I’m curious to know what all you got for 2.39!
    Your writing was very well until the low-rise jean comment was made. Sometimes I feel like things are unprofessional when it comes to the videos and posts. Though I’m sure I’m the only one who feels this way. Still, I’m curious to know what all you got.

  37. Lynn

    Collin- thank you so much for this sight. I am new and am trying to learn everything so I am WIP. work in progress.
    Why is it better to get thingsin teh smaller size?
    I have yet to figure out free toothpaste, deordarant or shampoo so when I see such a low price for a lot of things I know I am missing the boat. Please help. I LOVE your videos. They are really informative.
    Thank you.
    Lynn

  38. Sharon

    So true Collin, so true. I feel like I ran a marathon too! I also pick the young man when given the choice, even if it’s the longest line 🙂 Sometimes “high-heeled lady” compliments me tho and it was worth it all over again!

  39. annawlewis

    That is what I want to learn how to do!!!!

  40. Christie5264

    Hey Collin…I could definitely identify with the low rise jeans…Thanks for the great laugh! 🙂 Sounds like my CVS run today…

    1-10 pack of batteries
    6 bottles of pantene
    20 oz coke
    = FREE
    a little sweat and happiness! 🙂

  41. Elizabeth

    I love your post. It has been wonderful. Now my mom, two sisters and sister-in-law have me teaching them how to coupon. They just started last week and are loving it. Thanks for all you do.

  42. april

    we dont have stores that do double coupons. Will i still get big savings. Also i have trouble at the stores with printable coupons they wont scan and alot of times the stores wont take them. Any advise!!!!!! Please Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Heather C.

    Have been a Hipster for a while now, and never new this post was here until Collin wrote about it durning her live web chat today. Love it!

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