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My Epiphany at Starbucks…

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Yesterday, I ventured out to my home away from home – yep, that would be Starbucks! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I needed a caffeine boost and so Starbucks was calling my name. As I went up to the cashier to pay for my latte, I saw the large stack of coupons for a FREE tall Hazelnut or Caramel Macchiato beverage sitting behind the register but out of plain view.ย  I took my change from the cashier and wondered if she would grab a coupon from her stack and hand it to me. But lo and behold, she simply said “thank you” and turned to the next person in line.

If I had not known any differently (and if I had not been a savvy Hip2Saver!), that wonderful free beverage coupon would have simply passed me by. BUT since I’m definitely not the type to let a freebie get away from me, I said “Excuse me, could I please have one of the free beverage coupons from that stack?” She quickly nodded and thanked me for reminding her (in fact, she mentioned that she had completely forgotten to hand them out all morning).

As I was leaving Starbucks, just about to hop in my car, it dawned on me. How many freebies and discounts in life simply pass us by because we forget to ask or because we simply have no idea that the freebie or discount is even available?

Thinking about this, I turned around, walked right back into Starbucks, and paid it forward.

I put on my super hero attire, flew behind the espresso bar, and got on the loud-speaker. I announced to everyone in Starbucks that they could get a coupon for a FREE Macchiato. OK, that didn’t happen, but I did…

Show this coupon to the 3 people still waiting in line and explained how they could get one too. It literally took less than a couple of minutes for me to share the savings with them… and it was so worth it. I saw sincere appreciation in their eyes, which made me feel so good inside.

We are all in such a wonderful position as we know about the deals and freebies right in front of our eyes that so many do not. Please think about this when you are out and about this week. All it takes is a simple gesture, a minute conversation with a stranger, a coupon that you aren’t going to use…

How have you shared the savings?

Join The Discussion

Comments 169

  1. Stacy P.

    I coupon fairy often. I have found others left at my store and i feel like its a way of paying it forward even when you dont know if they get thrown away or picked up ๐Ÿ™‚

    • robin

      ive picked one up and got free makeup….keep it up

  2. shannon b.

    I went into Victorias Secret to look around because I had a $10off a bra coupon. I saw someone in line with a bra and gave her my coupon. I saved us both money because I really didn’t need to be buying anything anyway:)

    • Mandy

      This past fall I had made a few orders from Victorias Secret when they were giving away the secret gift cards. I had 3 worth $10 each, thought I could use them to get some really good deals, but couldn’t find a thing. On my way out of the store, I handed them to a woman that was busy shopping. She was estatic!

  3. Angela D.

    Once, I received a bunch of store money for a men’s clothing store. You could use all of them, but for each one you had to spend a certain amount of money. I was getting out of there with Dh’s Christmas presents for very little, and I could only use one. I gave the rest of them to the woman soldier behind me who was buying several pieces of luggage. They were on sale, but she was definitely spending more than I was, so I think she was able to use at least one to save herself anther $50 or more! She was so thrilled and thanked me profusely.
    (I also coupon fairy at the grocery store – recently BOGO shampoo coupons. I hope someone used them!)

  4. Christy

    Hey gals and guys don’t over look the freebies on the backs of reciepts. Checkers/Rallys Free Sandwich, Pollo Tropical Free Meal etc.

    The best Freebies are during the month of your birthday. Moe’s= Free Burrito, Denny’s = Free Breakfast, Krispy Kreme= Free Donut and a drink, Einstein Bagels= Free Bagel Sandwich, Panera Bread, Au Bon Pain= Free Sandwich or Salad, Arby’s=Free Shake, Corner Bakery= Free Cake, Sharebuilder = One Free Automatic Investment Plan Credit, Sephora= Free Kit (mascara and luminizer) just to name a few. Guess i’m getting a lot of freebies this month.:-)

    PS The best freebie is get all the free information from this site and all of it’s readers. Thanks!!

  5. Mary

    My grocery store had a fantastic deal on cereal this week. I had a bunch of extra coupons that were about to expire, so I handed them to another woman who was purchasing the cereal, but didn’t have any coupons. I’m going to donate the cereal to my local food pantry since my stockpile is large enough, thanks to Hip2Save! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  6. Ashley57

    I love to tell people about breakroom and dvdonme in the Redbox line! I am always surprised that most people have not heard of those codes!!

    • veronica0128

      i did this for a man it was his first time using redbox so i walked him through the whole thing with his younger daughter and then used the dvdonme code he was like WOW thanks so much! it felt awesome!

    • Anne

      Thankyou ladies! I didn’t know either, so I had to google it. Thanks for the tip!

    • Leslie

      I had never heard of them, thanks for the info ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Shayna

    I frequently coupon fairy and always pass on good deals I find to to my friends. Back around Christmas time there was a toys r us coupon for a free chuggington toy, I didn’t have much need for it but I was going to get it and put it in the gift closet. There was a kid in that section playing with the trains so I gave it to his dad instead. It made my day cause the kid was ecstatic ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tammy

      As a parent of a 3 year old Chuggington Lover, thank you so much for doing that!

  8. RinkyTink

    That is so awesome of you to do that! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Yesterday I was in Target and saw some L’Oreal make up on clearance, tons! I grabbed 4 lipsticks, as there is a limit of 4 like coupons, but I had 6 coupons, so I just laid the others down beside the clearance. I walked around and had to go back to the make up area for something I forgot and I walked past the L’Oreal section. There were two ladies standing there looking at lipstick, and I heard them say “Oh look! These are on clearance! Oh my gosh, there’s a coupon! I was about to spend $10, this is awesome!” With the clearance and coupon they only had to pay $1.38! I smiled to myself and just kept on walking. Sometimes when you place coupons around you aren’t really sure if anyone will use them so it was very awesome to know someone else got the deal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Mo

    One of my fave places to hand over a half off coupon is one of the art supply stores! I think we all know (I would think EVERYONE does! but guess not!) that they mark their items up *because* they offer those coupons. I won’t be caught dead buying something without a coupon (even if it is on sale I often find a 20% off any sales item coupon to use with it LOL). I have never had anyone say “No thanks,” and people are *so* happy to have the savings!

  10. Kate M.

    I was in Schnucks in Mid Missouri yesterday–noticed this older lady–prob in her 70’s-w/ a TON of yogurt in her cart–I got talking to her–she said she eats it everyday-as does her husband.. Of course–I pull out all my yogurt coupons and handed them to her–she had the biggest smile.. (We dont eat yogurt at our house-so the coupons would of gone to waste anyway).. Just think if everyone handed 1 coupon per day to another person how much happier the world would be..

    • Adrian

      I’m from Mid-Missouri too! ๐Ÿ™‚ I shop all three stores – HyVee, Gerbes and Schnucks each week to get the best deals. My co-workers thought I was nuts at first, but now I get texts from them on the weekends asking me where the best deals are for certain things. I have been known to stop by their house on a Saturday with coupons in hand for the items they want to purchase. I will help anyone I can save a buck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Becky H.

    I usually start my coupon gifting with “I don’t mean to be a creeper, looking in your cart, but…” and then give them any coupons I may have. Like this past Christmas at Target, there was a lady shopping in the toy section who had a Monopoly game that was on sale. She was super stoked to get it on sale. I heard her excitment and I walked over and gave her a coupon for it. She was so happy she hugged me!

  12. Jena


    You are so smart and fearless and you genuinely care about people and that’s why I like your coupon site the best! I know many others agree and thanks for this post to remind us to share the wealth with those around us, after all, many of these deals would never come to us without you giving us a heads up on your website.

    Thanks to you and your crew!

    • Tammy

      I second that!!!!

      • holly

        I third that!

  13. tracy

    the other day when i had my grocery list put together i was in the dog food aisle getting a couple things on my list. there was also a lady there looking for soft dog food to feed her old dog. i took the coupons i was going to use and gave them to her,i had a bunch and get the soft food as a treat kind of for my dogs since they don’t really need them. she was very thankful. i always kinda look at what other people are going to pick up and hand them a few coupons for their items if i have it. i know i will never use all from my binder ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Lynn Huckle

    I have many time printed extra PEETS B1G1 coupons. Standing in line I will look for a couple or a couple of people looking to purchase. I will hand it them and most, who actually read it immediately spark a smile while others look at my like I have 5 heads until I emplain it. Everyone is always grateful and smiling. Even after they have gotten there purchase and I’m still waiting… they come by a thank me agian. Love that feeling. One small jesture ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Tonya

    Collin, you are a sweetheart! We all love ya!

  16. t

    I leave my unused coupons on the shelf. I even set them to just peek out under the product so the store employees don’t trash them. I gave my free $10 Kohls bucks away when the Black Friday line stretched across the store and I didn’t have the patience to wait. With all those aggravated shoppers, I gave it to the first person who returned a smile.

    • Olivia

      Oooo, I like that!

    • holly

      Ohhh I like your style! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. healingheartbeat

    My town always has a Pancake Festival. It is run by the Lion’s club and they use the proceeds for their many projects to help others, but many times when we would go, people would have extra tickets that they had bought and it would often help us out. We would bring our two kids and my sister and her husband had four kids, so the savings were appreciated. It was just a great way of sharing.

    I appreciate the great service you do by helping me, a busy working mom, take advantage of all the savings that you find. I tell everyone I know about this site. Your advice for simply taking the time to inquire about savings and passing it along is so true. We might as well take advantage of what was intended to be offered and pass that info along. Thanks again!

  18. Friend

    Collin…..I wanted to share this with you…I have a separate bag which I use to store all the freebies which I can transport to my native place whenever I go there…those includes..toothpastes,brushes…soaps,dresses ,stationary,feminine supplies,cosmetics,health products and so on….I alomost supplied full year of supplies of these things last year…..U won’t believe these things which we get almost free or completely free here,cost a lot in our country…u can say in thousands per year… this lil help brings such a big smile on those lessfortnate kids and their mommy……JUST coz of U……..Truly making a family survive who has no steady income to survive….It means a lot to them……They thank me more than enough!!! so it is my turn to thank u from bottom of my heart!!!!!

  19. Leigh

    Nope. I keep my couponing to myself usually. When I try to tell someone about a deal or share a coupon, I find them generally unappreciative like adding a coupon will complicate their day. If a coupon doesn’t work, people get embarrassed or discouraged. Cashiers acting like coupons come directly out of their paycheck doesn’t help either. Even people I know think I’m strange for wanting to spend our hard earned money wisely. I now only offer that info if someone requests it of me (much like the Starbucks staff with their ” Yeah we have freebie coupons, but we won’t tell you about em! You have to know to ask!” attitude).

    • Nicole

      I work with the public as a cashier and I can speak from experience when I say that not all cashiers “have coupons and don’t want to tell you about them.” I’m very young for someone that coupons (20) and when my work runs promotions like that it is very hard to remember to give or tell every last person about it. On any given day I see a good 1,500 + people come through my work and it’s a lot to remember. While I’m sure there are more than enough people out there that purposely “forget” to hand out such coupons, there are a great handful that just forget because we are overwhelmed or because it’s not something we’re use to doing. I understand your frustration with telling people about deals who are just plain not interested, I’m sure it’s happened to all of us some time or another. But, instead of getting upset or discouraged about it why not just take it as their loss and move on. We as couponers need to be willing to teach those who for whatever reason aren’t aware of the right way to redeem coupons rather than get upset when someone is uninformed.

      • Leigh

        Seems you took what I was saying personally. I’m not mad at cashiers. I didn’t even give it that much thought. They asked if we share our couponing. I don’t. I’m not mad or disappointed – I just keep things to myself, unless asked, just like the cashiers at Starbucks.

  20. Rose

    My sister went to MacDonald’s last November with her 7 children. They rarely go to fast food restaurants, so this was a special treat. She had most of them sit in a booth to wait for her and they all waited perfectly, as did the 2 standing next to her in line. An older lady ahead of her struck up a conversation with the 8 year old about home schooling and dance class. After the lady got her order and was leaving, she turned to my sister and handed her a McDonald’s gift card and said “You’re doing good, Mommy. Keep it up!” and she just left. The card was for $50!!! My sister and the kids talked about that for months—and the kids are on their VERY best behavior everywhere they go now, hoping for another gift card! LOL

    • michelle

      This post made me smile so big it hurt my face a little. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience! Your sister must have been so proud.

    • Rainy

      Too funny & so sweet! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Erica

      This brought tears to my eyes. Moms don’t hear “good job” enough so I think that is SUPER sweet.

  21. sandra

    I send all the baby coupons to my sister in law and her sister and friends, share some specials. Sometimes I give my left coupons to the cashier and even the manager of CVS (I love that CVS, all the staff are very kind with me and my mom), they ask me for the specials and coupons to use (the manager told his wife about us :p).

    Other times we hand coupons to other people, their faces illuminate and thank us.

    Yesterday on Target we left a box with coupons in Guest Service for the cashier (one of the few coupon friendly cashier in that particular Target ) and shared this site (Hip2Save) to find out about deals and coupons.

    (Pardon about my bad English, not my mother language)

  22. Ketsy

    I love this post. I had withdrawals from our Coffee with Collin videos :D.
    I share couponing all the time. Im not one to leave them all over the store, as it makes the store dirty and more work for employees. ( mind the stash of expired coupons I find under, in between of merchandise). I do howver tell other momshow I am able to get things cheaper, wait on deals or simply afford the nice things I have, especially when I get the look ๐Ÿ˜‰ On that note, I also find myself putting aside my couponing “hobby\ habit\obessions” lol when it is inappropriate and I have something else more important to mind. Ex: Hubby took me out on a surprise date night and was so desperate to get out of the house, I got dressed and making myself pret was more important at looking through my deals. On the way home, hubby says ” Im proud of you for not feaking out about the bill and putting your likes before the coupons”. ๐Ÿ˜€ Good times!

  23. rebekah

    i had a $10 off $10 payless coupon, but i didnt see anything in the store i needed. so i gave it to a woman waiting in line buying shoes for her 3 kids. she was speechless! she really couldnt believe someone would give $10 away. i had to tell her there was no catch ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hazel

    I am happy to find your site thru a sweet Mom that I just met on my son’s summer class at Apple store last year . We started to save more money and find more deals by visiting your site everyday.
    Thanks for sharing all the deals and coupons !

  25. Anne

    I coupon fairy to the US military stationed at a particular overseas base. They are allowed to use expired coupons up to 6 months old. And since I know a few things they really want (and I don’t use), I clip & send the non-expired ones as well. 46 cents postage is the least I can do!

    • hillary

      That’s a great idea! Do you send it to someone in particular? I’d be happy to share my expired coupons, but didn’t know there was a way to do that.

    • Karla

      I all the coupons that are included in the coupon flyers and keep the ones I don’t use/want in a baggie. I’d love to send them out to US militaries but, like Hillary, don’t know how to do this.

      • Karla


  26. Heather C.

    Collin, you’re seriously the best! This post made me smile AND laugh out loud! It’d be awesome to meet you someday… I feel like all of us H2S’ers are long-distance family! You should have a Hip2Save convention… I’d TOTALLY be there! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I think my favorite experience I’ve had giving back was handing a lady at the checkout @ Target a $10 off $50 coupon. She had like $90 worth of stuff totalled up when I handed it to her. She was thrilled that I gave it to her, and just kept smiling and thanking me over and over. It felt wonderful to be able to help her out. I think it made my day even more than it made hers! LOVE to share the savings with others! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ashley57

      A Hip2Save convention! YES!

      • Heather C.


  27. CC

    I once gave to a man who was holding lot of woman clothes at Calvin Klein. Matter in fact, I give coupons away if I’m not going use them.

  28. Amanda

    I have given coupons to cashiers at CVS and Rite Aid. I feel more comfortable doing that because they see me frequently and know what I am about vs taking the chance that another customer at the store might give you a dirty look or say they don’t want a coupon. I also had a $10 e-gift card to JCPenney that I won in the “Merry Christmas America” promotion that I wasn’t going to use before it expired so I offered it up on the Hip2Save Facebook page, and someone asked for it and I hope was able to use it. I am constantly bringing candy that I got for cheap to work, and my coworkers love me for that!

  29. sarette

    I just explained a great rolling coupon deal on paper towel last week @ our local Meijer to 3 mom’s (strangers) in the paper aisle. They were a little surprised @ me, but very happy to know… was fun!

  30. John

    I went to pay for my purchase at a Walgreens store and the cashier asked me if I had 8 cents in change. I replied that I did not and he said that he had. A week or so later I was in the same store I reminded him of the 8 cents and gave him 10 cents. (A little different from coupon subject)

  31. Val

    Last week I printed out the Oldnavy $10 off $50 coupon. After 30 min of shopping, I didn’t find anything that I wanted. I gave it to a lady with couple young kids waiting in the line to pay. She was very happy. and that made me happy too.

  32. MissyLiz

    I leave coupons behind sometimes, but I won’t leave behind printables. I’m too paranoid that the person who finds it will make photocopies and that my computer will get cut off from printables.

  33. rebecca

    I just helped an older gentleman get his DVD rental for free at Redbox using the DVDNIGHT code the other day. I have even seen post it notes on the boxes before with free codes listed but I don’t carry any with me or remember to bring them. My hubby and I enjoyed our free movie with our free Papa John’s pizza from the super bowl coin toss all thanks to Hip to Save!

  34. Diya

    This is the main reason why I follow this blog religiously. Collin you have not just helped me save tons of money but you are such a great human being.

    It’s the way you say all these nicest things that makes people (like me) act upon them. I have had people hand me coupons (just randomly) and I do the same in return.

    I remember being in B&BW ones, when a lady just came in the store and handed me like 4 coupons for free products. She said that she was in a rush and she wasn’t going to use them. SO she gave them to me. How nice of her !!!

    I normally hand them out to my grouchy cashiers even though I don’t want to but I still do. I have also given free Redbox codes to the person waiting behind me.
    Few weeks ago, I stopped at Value City Furniture store to grab my $25 gift card (for free) but as I was walking out, I told another person to get one and she appreciated me so much. For instance, if I am in the toys dept and I have coupons that I am not using then I hand them out to the person who I feel is interested in buying the item. We just can’t use every coupon, so it’s better to share.

    I remember giving my $10 off $40 (Harris Teeter) grocery coupon to the guy who was next in line from me. I spent less than $10 and the coupon was expiring that day. BTW he was a very well dressed and a STUCK UP man ๐Ÿ˜‰ but boy was I happy to put a smile on his serious face….lolz.

    Okay long story short. It’s Karma. If I help someone today then it will most likely come back to me.

    I appreciate you so much Collin.

  35. Alyssa

    I went to target today also to get my coupon at Starbucks…. He gave the man in front of me one cuz he knew him and not me ๐Ÿ™ I like you kindly asked for a coupon ( by claiming i received an email notice lol) and he filled my dollar cup ( which I love by the way) and gave me two extra coupons ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. hdeberry26

    I’m all the time picking up coupons that people have left in the store and half the time I think they just don’t know what they’re leaving behind. This weekend I had a stack of coupons so I left several for others to find and I even gave one to an older lady who was in the isle. She then told me that her husband was sick and sent her to the store to get him some soup. I felt good when I knew she saved some money on something she was already going to buy. If she’s anything like me she’ll go home and tell her husband about the deal she got from the nice lady at the store. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Lisa Abbott (@csupink26)

    I tell people about coupons and freebies all the time, and when I’m not going to use a coupon I give it to someone or put it next to the product for someone who may buy the product.

  38. Lisa H

    I recently stopped at our local McDonalds because I had received alot of buy 1 get 1 free coupons and coupons for free sandwiches. I was only going to use one so I thought these are way to good to throw away as they were going to expire the next day. I thought surely someone could use these. I turned to the person behind me and asked would they like the coupons, they told me NO, well I didn’t give up there but asked the people waiting behind her and they also said NO. Well things were slow as usual at our McDonalds so while I was waiting on my order I just happened to over hear their orders
    and both people ordered something that they could have gotten for free with my coupons.
    To me its like throwing money in the trash to not use the coupons, I guess they don’t
    understand that…

    • Susan C.

      I think some people are just distrustful and think that there is a ‘catch’ and it’s going to cost them something. Don’t give up. If they say no then there’s always a next time.

  39. Tamika

    This is my very first post but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading and sharing the deals and freebies. I went to Starbucks today and showed them the picture from your post, the cashier said that was all she needed and handed me a coupon. I also purchased the reuseable cup for a dollar, which is a GREAT buy, by the way!! Well there was a lady who was standing next to me and she looked at the register and said what is a dollar?, I then proceeded to tell her about the free cup of coffee and the reuseable cup. She was so excited that she requested that the cashier make her one as well. The young girl behind the counter was sooo sweet she made us both a free coffee in our new cups and since the free coupon was for a tall, and the reuseable cup is a grande, she upgraded us both at no charge!!!!How is that for a happy Friday!!!! Thanks Collin your site is WONDERFUL!!!!!!!

  40. Elizabeth

    I’ve had several negative reactions to couponing. I don’t know why people find it so taboo; rich people aren’t rich because they spend money- they’re rich because they are smart wih it! I’ve had people laugh at me for it, asking, “are you really that cheap that you use a coupon to save 25 cents??” I wanted to say “Um… Yeah! I am!” Instead I just tell them that couponing saves us thousands each year. But, I found several friends who were SO thankful after I taught them. It makes me feel so validated ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. Megan

    I am so incredibly thankful for your site. I started couponing during college. Because of the “coupon mentality” (taking a few seconds to think how can I get this same thing only cheaper) I adopted, my husband and I were able to graduate undergrad with savings!! Now that he’s almost two years into medical school, our budget projects we will graduate med school almost debt free. I could never thank you enough for the opportunities you have provided my family by what you do. We are able to go on fun vacations and dates, buy nice “splurges” all because of you. I have gone on to tell several student friends about your site and they now are saving tons of money. I am so curious as to what the grand total is that you have saved people. I’m sure there are days that you don’t necessarily love this job (as with any job!) but you have to know you have kept so many families from stress. You have served so many. You have quite they legacy.

  42. cathycampo

    I shop at a grocery store across the street from a middle school. I’ll often see a student in front of me from there or nearby high school buying stuff but not using a store loyalty card. The cashiers always ask if they have their card or type their phone number. I will hand the student my card saying you can use my card, and it will usually save them some money.
    I also occasionally leave coupons behind at the store for products I don’t usually buy or will be expiring soon.

  43. Wendi

    I love sharing Redbox codes at the Redbox!!! It’s like, “Hey, let me pay for your movie tonight!!”

  44. danniebloo

    For the cashier’s defense, with all the things we have to remember and work we have to do, it’s super easy to forget things like that. My co-workers and I do that all the time. But I probably would’ve asked about the coupon too just because I love coupons and because as a cashier I actually appreciate reminders (as long as the customer is nice about it haha)

  45. Erica

    Probably about 95% of the freebies, instant wins, or coupons that I have gotten because of Hip2Save I have given away. I am a single person and am not a major couponer, but if I know someone else can use it I get it whether it would be coupons, freebies etc. I send baby/kid friendly coupons or supplies to my cousin who has four boys under the age of 7 and she will call me when she gets the packages and just gush over and over how grateful she is. She became a widower 6 months ago while 7 months pregnant. So its been hard for her and it makes me smile to know I am helping her even if its just a little bit. Thanks Collin for all your hard work! What you do changes peoples lives!

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