There’s no question it is a great feeling to watch your total shrink as coupons are applied to your grocery order. Saving money can be exhilarating. But nobody deserves a discount that isn’t legitimate. Couponing etiquette combined with different store policies can make it difficult to know which rules to follow. It can be easy to make an honest mistake. By understanding a few things before you get started, couponing with a clear conscience is possible.
Each store sets its own coupon policies and they can vary greatly. Ask for a copy or look for one on their website so you know what to expect. Some examples of things to look out for:
- Do they accept competitor coupons?
- What if the value of the coupon exceeds the cost of the item?
- Is there a limit of how many like coupons you can use?
Printable coupons got a bad reputation when counterfeiters started selling sheets of forged coupons online. The best way to avoid a problem is to never purchase any coupons over the Internet. Period.
But don’t let that stop you from utilizing the many free coupons that can be printed from your computer. Most stores will accept them; check the store policy.
Respect Your Follow Shoppers
Keep it simple and take only what you need. Experienced couponers complain the most about people who:
- Grab all the coupons hanging next to a product, leaving an empty tearpad. (Some people even take the whole tearpad to sell online.)
- Buy the store’s entire stock of one item because they have so many coupons.
- Pull off peelie coupons on items even when they aren’t purchasing them.
Read the Fine Print
- Read the coupon. If it’s valid for one item only, don’t try to get credit for more.
- Don’t try to redeem a coupon when you are purchasing a brand that is different from the one listed.
- Check the expiration dates on your coupons before handing them over to the cashier.
Remember, the store has to submit the coupons to the manufacturer to be reimbursed. The store won’t get paid for coupons that weren’t valid at the time of use. Understanding the store policies and shopping in a courteous manner eliminates any misunderstandings at the register.
Keep these points in mind when shopping and you’ll be sure to avoid any of those “awkward moments” at the register. Happy saving!
Nancy Philips is the head contributor at www.APCodes.com. APCodes researches and publishes the latest Amazon promotional codes, coupons and deals as they are released, saving you both time and money.