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Hipsters to the Rescue: Giving Thanks to Coupon Friendly Cashiers Without Being a “Weirdo”

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When you become an avid couponer (or even when you start out as a newbie), you quickly learn the value of a kind and hardworking cashier and/or store manager. When you are checking out at the store with a large number of coupons, an employee that is knowledgeable about the store’s coupon policy… and/or someone who is more than happy to take the time to ensure that each coupon is scanned correctly can make all the difference between a great shopping experience versus one that makes you never want to shop with coupons again.

So….the big question of the day is from reader, Marissa:

I have had a question for a while now and especially after seeing your thank a mailman post (thank you so much for the heads up by the way!), I was wondering if I could get your input or fellow Hip2Savers input on the situation…

I am VERY blessed to have amazing cashiers at my local Walgreens & CVS that I shop at. I’m not a crazy couponer by any means. I’m 23 and started couponing about 2 years ago but we are definitely at Walgreens & CVS every Monday morning & have gotten to know the staff. 2 girls in particular know my kids’ names (& we know theirs) and always talk to them and make them feel special when we come in. We also have a man at Sam’s Club that will ALWAYS find us in the store and give my older son a free icee slur-pee whenever we shop there!

Ok so onto my question… I am a big baker (baking is usually how I show any major emotion to others, love, gratitude, congratulations etc.)  I have always thought about baking cookies to bring in with just a little “thank you for being so kind & helpful card.” My mom thinks it’s sweet, my husband thinks it’s weird & “creepy.” LOL! So I wanted to get the opinion of some others or at least you on couponing etiquette involving giving back or at least letting those know how grateful you are for being so helpful to you week after week without crossing a “weirdo” line 🙂

So now it’s your turn… what advice can you offer Marissa?

Join The Discussion

Comments 178

  1. Belle

    Here is my Jewish Mother opinion.

    FOOD, as delicious or even award winning as it may be,, is NOT appropriate for acquaintances. You don’t know if the have sensitivities, allergies, is on a diet, etc., and they don’t know your kitchen or your cooking, so your thoughtful gift is likely to go into the garbage pail.

    A COMPLIMENTARY LETTER TO THE COMPANY HEADQUARTERS WITH COPIES TO THE STORE MANAGER AND THE EMPLOYEE(S), HOWEVER, WOULD BE APPROPRIATE, AND COULD EVEN INITIATE A RAISE OR PROMOTION! Ya never know!

    I am 60 years old, and have been a serious shopper almost all those years, as well as an employee AND an employer, so take this advice with that in mind.

    P.S. I’m certain your kitchen is clean and your food delicious, but a raise or commendation in your employment file is definitely a better bet!

    • Hopeful

      We are soooooo on the same page! I couldn’t agree with you more!

    • allicia

      I love how thoughtful everyone is, and it really does my heart good. I’ve been a cashier for 7 years now I am 22 and I currently work at walmart. I do have to say that if you all choose to do this ask first if you are allowed to give cashiers items or tokens of appreciation. As a walmart employee you can be terminated if you accept ANYTHING from a customer because it is considered a tip. Some cashiers may not know this and may unknowingly lose their job for accepting something they shouldn’t. I have turned down many thoughtful gift even just small children wanting to share with me or older women trying to give me chap stick bc it is so dry at the register area. Just please ask before you do this, even if it is just a nice note, people can still get fired. Thank you.

      • Yoko

        This is great suggestion. We don’t want coupon friendly cashiers to lose their jobs.

      • Marissa

        who do I ask? Manager? Cooperate? Employee?
        Thanks for the heads up!

    • Linda

      just what I was going to say – and letters last longer, don’t put inches on your hips and can travel w/you from job to job as reference.

  2. teresa

    i worked in retail for over 31 years. I have had a few people bring me in something for christmas etc. It was greatly appreiciated and if it was something to eat, I shared it with my fellow employees. It takes all of us working together as a team to make a shopping experience great for customers. For example, if the health/beauty person didn’t order enough of something that is in the ad, I’m going to hear about it, if the stocker doesn’t put it on the shelf, I’m going to hear about it, etc. so all of us are responsible for the end result. I had a customer bring me in a homemade loaf of bread. I am a celiac and couldn’t have it so I thanked the customer and put it in the break room. Everyone said how good it was so when the customer came in the next time, I told her how much we enjoyed it. The giver gets more than the receiver sometimes. But it is nice to be acknowleged. I once went to the mcdonald’s website and told them about 2 people at my local mcdonalds that gave excellent service . The employees got 25 cents raise and one got promoted. it’s little things we do that make a difference to people. as far as giving the cashier a coke you purchased in your order, I wouldn’t have the receipt and may be accused of not paying for it and then I wouldn’t be there to see the customer any more.

  3. Hopeful

    Without going into all of the reasons why, in my opinion, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with simply stating (OR WRITING IN A THANK YOU CARD), “You know, in case I have never mentioned it before, I am so grateful for your courtesy and helpful attitude during the frequent times that I am here shopping with my family! Your kindness and respect have certainly made coming here feel like less of a chore. THANK YOU.” Unless you are friends or aquaintences outside of a customer/associate relationship, it is sort of borderline inappropriate; and, could potentially cause undue (AND UNINTENTIONAL) negative consequences on either side.

    Additionally, following that up with positive comments, specifically naming the associate(s) in any customer surveys you may receive is A MUST!!!!

  4. Heather

    I’ve found that the hubby is usually right in these cases. He’s not reading into it like you are. He’s just flat out saying it’s weird. It is a bit too personal. And of course, accepting food (esp homemade) from a ‘stranger’ is always a dumb idea in my book, even if the ‘stranger’ is someone as sweet and thoughtful as you. I think just being friendly, having a warm smile and really truly thanking the person by telling them what it means is enough, IMO. Save the cute cookies for your hubby and sons.

  5. Ana

    I would like to have my RiteAid cashiers/managers get recognition because they have been amazing to me. Always smile, always stress free. I am not a chatty person and I really don’t know them well enough to pass them a thank you card but Iam usually a good writer and wouldn’t mind taking the time to write something to corporate.

    How do you contact corporate in the best way so they get recognition? (I sometimes do the surveys).

    • robyn

      i had two favorite cashiers at rite aid. i emailed corporate, the letter was sent to the store and they got recognition pins for it. they both said thank you to me, they knew it came from me.

  6. Tuscalooso Swaggernaut

    Great comments left and thank you Marissa for asking this question! I too have thought about how I could thank some of my most helpful cashiers and managers at a local CVS. One in particular is a young single mother, who has since started to coupon after seeing me come in and shop each week. I have thought about donating some of my purchases to her family, but calling HQ and letting them know of the great service is right on!

  7. ladydi951

    ya go 4 it…:):) i dont think ur a weirdo if u take cookies 2 ur cashiers. i agree with u, ive got some really nice cashiers at my stores & if they wasnt so pleasant & helpful it would make my couponing so much harder, we also know each other by name, cuz im in CVS if not everyday then every other day & HATS OFF 2 MY WONDERFUL CASHIERS. men just dont get it, my hubby is the same way, he is always laughing at me (but in a good & cute way) but he sure does LOVE all the stuff ive got & the fact he never has 2 tell me 2 run 2 the store cuz he ran out of something. as a matter of fact THANKX 4 the idea, i think ill have 2 bake something 4 my cashiers!!!!! :):):):)

  8. Maggie

    I totally agree re contacting the corporate with an employee compliment. Those letters get communicated to store managers, go in employee files, get read again during annual reviews, and they can help a company identify a “star” employee who deserves being promoted into management. While a small gift is a nice gesture, writing a letter like this may help make someone’s life better.

    Those kinds of positive comments are *so* rare at a company that they really do get notice. Everyone takes time to complain, but hardly anyone takes time to let a company know when they have employees that are doing a great job.

  9. Tilla R Ham

    please please please go to their comment card or websites and write them a positive review…when I worked retail for every positive review we got from a customer, we got 1/4 share of stock, 4 positives a whole share of stock and obviously any amount of positives went towards merit raises and promotions

  10. susan

    The staff at my CVS are the greatest! Two years ago, just before Christmas, I took them some home made fudge and cookies with a little note thanking them for their great customer service and Happy Holidays. It was well received. A few months later, one of the cashiers asked, did you bring us any treats today and laughed. So every few months I’ll baked them some goodies. I think they really appreciate it when a customer recognizes their hard work and great customer service. A Thank You note, a candy bar, baked goodies, or just telling them what a great job they are doing. We are all human, and it makes us feel good knowing we are appreciated.

  11. M

    Yesterday I gave the young couple in line behind me a warning that my order may take a little longer since I was using coupons and they didn’t seem to mind. We got to chatting about couponing, as we were waiting on the cashier and inadvertently I gave the girl one of my free deodorants (since I have 15 already!) and a free lotion. I thought it was my way of saying thanks for being patient and later it dawned on me I could give a free product to the cashier as well. How many free packs of gum or sticks of deodorant does a person need? 🙂

  12. Robin Weber Beck

    I gave my Wonderful Walgreens cashier some free coupons for body wash because he had such a good attitude about couponing. He really appreciated it and has become realllly reallly helpful now too. All the other cashiers are now getting the hint and are also becoming very coupon friendly. It was a great thing to do and was appreciated.

  13. Em

    As a Paramedic I go in to house all the time…literally people from all walks of life call us. I’ve been in houses where the people are just as friendly as normal looking as you can be…but their houses on the other hand are a health disaster…think hoarders gone wild.

    Long story short, we don’t ever eat homemade food at the holidays from the really nice people that bring them in…we do appreciate it all the same. A friendly smile and a thanks is enough to make our day.

    (Before anyone says something about judging it’s important that we take in our surrondings, that difficulty breathing may be caused by that big old pile of rat feces, I tip off the doc and they get diagnosed quicker, etc)

    • Em

      That was supposed to be in reply to another comment, whoops!

  14. Becka

    Im not super comfortable eating things that people make at home if I dont know them well. But, with all the couponing(and the cashier already knows you coupon)What about a small gift basket of items you have gotten. When I get extras in deal scenarios and have extra add in items I cant use I pass it on to my favorite cashier and leave receipt with her so she can prove purchase. She loves it. Its something I can do to pass on the blessing.

  15. cheapomom

    My cashiers usually end up laughing by the end of our transactions. I say kind things like “YOU TOTALLY ROCK” or Oh my goodness all these good deals are gonna make me do my happy dance! I’ve even high five some of the cashiers..they all giggle and even the people behind me in line are usually cracking up by the time I leave the line. LIghtening up the mood for the customers behind you for the cashier can help too. ITs the little things that mean so much!

  16. Teresa

    I too have given things away to my new friends at CVS. Last week, I gave 2 cashiers and the manager Mentos gum – they each got 2 packs!! The smiles on their faces made my day!! I once gave hair dye to one of them that colors her hair. She is a young girl and I thought the free hair dye would be nice – she loved it and was so appreciative!! 😀

  17. Angi

    Albertson’s have surveys at the bottom of their receipts. Doing those with compliments and positive comments may help good employees in big ways.

  18. Judith Chandler

    yeah nice idea but hubby is right. I work in the public sector and my boss gets a lot of things made for him and he takes them and says thanks but will not eat them.

  19. Jonette

    At Christmas my Couponing buddy and I made gift bags for EVERY employee at Wags (from our stockpile) with daily items, they were over the top excited!!! My Wags is Wonderful… I think baking for them is a Wonderful Idea… I just may do the same for an Easter Treat!!! (ps I work for an insurance company and the other day one of my customers brought me a Sonic drink out of the blue for helping her… it was such a nice well received jesture)

  20. Karen

    I manage a Walgreens and I can tell you the policy is not to accept gifts but I consider baked items or candy not to be a gift. It is a thoughtful gesture and the cashiers love it. If any of you have worked in a retail setting it can be very challenging at times and that little gesture for a customers just makes the cashiers day. I say go ahead and do it.

  21. Anonymous

    I agree that I would not eat anything someone gave me homemade unfortunately, sorry :-). BUT I know a lot of people who would SO whatever you think is right for your cashiers since you know them best. Just know that your cookies may be thrown in the trash :-(. I think the letter or survey idea is the best, at my job we get our raises based on surveys and kudos so that is the best gift ever!!

  22. terri

    depends on the cashier…some work for the money (so a letter/commendation/maybe bonus is best)..others work to socialize (so the cookies might be welcomed)..but overally, notifying their boss/corporate how great they are is always a nice thing.

  23. Kim

    While I think it’s a nice gesture, and certainly not weird if you’re seeing the same people on a weekly basis, I would say no. I personally would never eat something made by a stranger. No offense to them, but we live in a scary world and I’m also a ‘germaphobe’. I would contact their managers and corporate and rave about them. (If the possibility that they may just toss it doesn’t bother you, go ahead!)

  24. Norma

    It is a wonderful gesture, but again, not knowing someone’s diet restrictions can make something wonderful into a “yeah, um, thanks” situation. If you get to know your cashiers you can find out if they like a certain coffeehouse and get a gift certificate, or even give them a coupon for a free item! I know I would definitely appreciate a high value cat food/litter coupon, and it costs the giver nothing. Plus, it solidifies the reason why you value the cashier.

  25. Pat

    I think a written thank you is such a wonderful, thoughtful idea. Most of us say “Thank You” and sometimes the clerk has already gone on to the next person. This way the hear it and see it and realize that you really mean it and you are not just saying is as an automatic reply. Cudos the this idea!

  26. Wendi

    I’m so glad this subject came up. I have a wonderful cashier at our local Walgreens. Then I started seeing her at the same high school where my son goes. They are both seniors and I have kind of gotten to know her thru Wags and the school. I wanted to get her something for graduation as kind of a thank you and congratulations, but didn’t know if it was proper. What do you all think is proper? Remember I know her more as my cashier than a classmate of my son’s. thanks

  27. J

    I offered some free mints to my fave cashier and Walgreens, and was surprised that she couldn’t have them because of the artificial sweetener in them. I felt bad, so you should totally consider food allergies first.

  28. GM

    I gave my cashiers at Rite Aid like handsoaps and sanitizers from Bath and Body Works. They totally loved it.

  29. April

    My husband would think it was creepy too but I think it is a very sweet and very acceptable gesture.

  30. Amber Davis

    I work at a Rite Aid as a cashier and we have customers give us and bring us things all the time. One customer who shops there alot and gets his medications there brings us vegetables from his garden and a older couple has brought us gifts and made us food numerous times and bought it in just to let us know that they appreciate us. It really does feel good when you know that your customers appreciate you. We also like it when we get the calls and emails too. I can honestly say that I love some of my customers even the couponers!!!

  31. bob

    Being a cashier myself at a CVS, we just deeply appreciate the ability of the purchaser to be patient with us. There are many rules that the company tells its employees to follow, but when we do, then the customer gets upset and writes corporate, then we get in trouble from corporate and customer gets a free gift card. And thats cause we did the job the way the corporate people tell us to.Usally myself, i follow my own rules, and thats to be a good judge on how the customer is, and their knowledge of what they are doing. Only time i have problems is when i know they are using copies of coupons that are not accepted. These are usually on the extra bucks or $4 off $20 deals, then we have problems. Otherwise i think it’s great people are using the system to save themselves money. I do it myself when i can, and treat the cashiers the way i like to be treated, with respect, honesty and courtesy.

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