Golden Rule Couponing: 5 Ways to Use Coupon Courtesy

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So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:12

You may have heard this verse or some variation before.  Just like everything else in The Good Book It certainly applies to every aspect of our lives, including couponing.  Here are a few things we as couponers can do to be more courteous to others around us – and also avoid the eye rolling from them when they see us pull out our stack of coupons.

1.  Take what you need without shelf clearing.

One of the most frustrating things when grocery shopping(coupons or not) is to have something on your list that is sold out.  Keep in mind that I’m not talking about grabbing the last 4 items on the shelf.  I’m referring to someone who would take the last 62 bottles of mustard on the shelf — just because.  Not only is it not very nice, it’s just not practical to have too much of something.  Even something with a long life like mustard can go bad after the 4-5 years or more it would take to use up 60 plus bottles!

But it’s something I use often and it’s a rock bottom deal????

Just take what you need…the item will go on sale again. My general rule is to purchase 4-6 weeks worth of something if it is free or less than $1.  This will vary a lot per item.  For example, My family will go through a lot of ketchup in 6 weeks so I would buy more of it than say..Mustard which we don’t go through that often.

Building a good stockpile is a learning process, and it may take a little while to determine what your family’s needs are.  Worst case….you have to spend an extra couple of bucks this week & next until your item’s on sale again.

2. Be nice to the cashier and store employees(and other customers too)

Now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all this because you guys are some of the nicest folks I know:)  However, just for discussion’s sake I will mention it.  I could not even count the number of times that a cashier has not allowed me to use a coupon I wanted to use or called the manager for a deal I was trying to get.  It can be very frustrating especially if you are certain you are following the rules and they are merely unaware of the coupon policy.  Other times some folks are just plain rude. Two wrongs don’t make it right!  Just be nice no matter the situation.  Even if you know you’re in the right remember that while saving money is important it is just that…Money.

People are more important! Jesus died to save the people…not the dollars:)

3.  Don’t assume your time is more valuable than others’ time

It’s just a fact, people using coupons are typically going to take longer to check out at the store than customers without coupons.  There are a few things you can do to help speed things up a bit. It also helps if you don’t go coupon shopping when you’re in a hurry.

  • Allow a customer or 2 with a few items go ahead of you in line.
  • Take a moment BEFORE you get in line to get your coupons in order and remove any you won’t be able to use.
  • If you have coupons for FREE items or which the cashier will have to input an amount put them last.  You don’t want to have to wait for someone to go through every bag to find that one item.
  • Watch each coupon as it scans so you’ll know everything was entered correctly.  You can catch any mistakes as they happen rather than backtracking at the end of the transaction.  I know..easier said than done if you’re shopping with small children:)

4.  Share with others

I have people who I call the Coupon Fairies who shop at my store.  They will leave coupons for certain products right next to the product, and it is SUCH a blessing to find one for an item that you need.  So..be a blessing to someone else.  If you have extra coupons for an item leave them on the shelves for others to find.

5.  Don’t Be a Hoarder

This kind of falls in with number 1. Obviously if someone is clearing shelves on a regular basis then they likely have a huge stockpile to deal with.  There are so many things that are free and super cheap every week that you don’t have to hoard year’s worth of these things.  Set aside a specific spot or 2 for your personal stockpile, maybe a closet or 2, under the bed tubs, shelves, or anywhere else you have room.  However, don’t let it take over the beauty of your home. My family enjoys having a nice home to live in, and would prefer that it’s not a replica of our local grocery store:)

Couponing should fit your lifestyle and living arrangements not the other way around. If you are finding yourself crowded out with the stockpile items, why not donate some of the extra to others who need it.

Those are the 5 ways I could think of that will help me be a more courteous couponer. Can you think of any more?

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Comments

  1. JamieAnne says:

    Great post. Great ideas. I follow them myself.

  2. Patty M says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I would add, Don’t try to bypass the coupon rules, expiration dates, etc. It is stealing.

  3. I’d love to have this displayed by every sale item in my grocery store! LOL!!!

  4. melody h says:

    What a wonderful post! Thank you! I am teaching some people to coupon and this is what my approach has been! I also encourage them not to clear the shelves because if they are honest and use courtesy when couponing God will surely bless them with a sale when items are needed!

  5. Sharry says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m afraid that shows like “Extreme Couponing” are creating a bunch of hoarders and might end up hurting those of us who just use coupons to buy what we need.

  6. Kathy says:

    Well said! I, too, leave coupons on store shelves for others to use! I was in Walmart a few months ago and was comparison shopping with a coupon for a specific item. Found out it was cheaper to purchase the store brand … but noticed a young family near me and asked if they would like my coupon … they were puzzled that I would give it to them but also grateful. Sad that random acts of kindness are not the “norm” …