Coupon Tips and Etiquette

Yes, couponing comes with its own set of rules, all of which are pretty much unwritten.  Here are a few pointers on couponiquette  (not really a word, I just made it up!):


  1. Be courteous to your cashiers.  They are people too, and coupons take up more of their time.  Try to have your coupons and transactions prepared ahead of time to make the process go more smoothly.
  2. Be courteous to other shoppers.  Even I, as an avid couponer, wouldn’t want to be stuck behind myself in line.  Offer to let folks in front of you or warn them that your transaction(s) will take more time.  Some people will actually enjoy watching you do your thing and are curious about how it works, but most just want to get in and out.
  3. Don’t be a “shelf clearer”.  Some deals are so hot that everyone wants to get some.  Take what you can reasonably use for your family for a month or two, and leave some for others.  No one needs 50 single rolls of paper towels in one month (yes, I recently saw someone do just this!).
  4. Get to know the cashiers and managers at your favorite store(s).  Building relationships will only benefit you, and helps to dispel the myth that all couponers are rude.  I have had rules bent and courtesies extended to me because I had familiarity and trust built with the store!
  5. It’s ok to ask for a manager’s assistance if you disagree with a cashier’s decision about your coupons or purchase.  Just remember to do so politely!  Most of the time, coupons can be ‘forced’ through manually, but the manager may need to approve it.
  6. Use coupons only for the items they are meant for.  Most coupons picture the most expensive item in the group to try to get you to buy it, but that isn’t usually the only item the coupon is good for.  Read the wording on the coupon to see what items the coupon will work with.  Yes, sometimes a coupon will scan for an item it isn’t meant for.  But that is technically fraud, and not a good practice to get into.

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