I also thought I would add to this post some of my thoughts of what I personally consider as some do’s and Don’ts in the Canadian coupon world.
When you see a tear pad of coupons displayed near a product on a store shelf, do not take the whole pad of coupons. Take as many coupons as you think you will legitimately use. You can take a few to save for upcoming sales or if you are an avid trader.
Please do not take coupons for the simple sake of taking them. If you are never going to use them then please leave them for people who will.
If you have extra coupons while shopping and you see someone struggling or discussing the prices of one item vs. another and you just so happen to have an extra coupon for one of those items, then why not offer it to them?
I know it can be a little awkward offering someone a coupon but only one of two things will happen. Either they will say “no thank you” or a huge “thanks, that is so nice of you”. If you have never done this before it gives you a really good feeling inside knowing you are helping someone else.
Another random act of kindness you can do with coupons is if you have a couple coupons that are about to expire you can always leave them on the store shelf right beside or even on top of the item. The next person that comes along to purchase that item gets a little treat of finding a cent off coupon right there in front of them. I have done this and have found them too. It always makes me smile. I will however caution you that if you go around Shopper’s Drug Mart or somewhere else littering their entire store with your coupons they may ask you to stop.
Always be informed. Before you try to use printable coupons, for example, make sure that a particular store accepts them. It is not proper etiquette to wait in line with your groceries just to discover they won’t accept your coupons. This can cause you and the cashier to become frustrated. Don’t do this.
If a coupon specifically says one per purchase per transaction, politely ask them if they could ring in your items separately. Most cashiers will oblige you, however, some will protest. I simply explain that I will be using all these coupons one way or the other and I really don’t want to come back into their store every single day this week and repeat the process. They usually get it and either rings them all in at once or do multiple transactions.
Do not stand at the checkout and start sorting through your coupons looking for them. Have all your coupons out and ready before you head to the checkout. I personally tell the cashier before we even start that I will be using coupons. All of the items I intend to use coupons on I leave to the last to be rung in. This is especially useful when you are using self-checkouts. That way you just hit the coupon button, give the clerk your coupons and she can easily see all the coupon related items in one bunch at the bottom of her screen. This really makes it much easier when using FPC.
My final thoughts for today’s post is please just be polite when shopping with coupons. If a cashier questions a coupon you are trying to use, it is usually because they don’t truly understand it.
Sometimes just pointing out the fine print or specifications laid out on the coupon will clear things up.
When you run into a problem just ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. Sometimes they will simply ask me, “Where did you get this?”. Many times when I tell them Rouge magazine or from smart source or red plum than they stop questioning me and just put it through.
I think when they see anything a little different they are instructed to question it in more detail. If there is anyone out there that works in a grocery/department store, maybe they can shed some more light on this subject by leaving a comment.
In general, if you look like you know what you are doing then the whole process goes a lot smoother. Remember, if you have a mitt full of coupons to cash in, you might not want to pick the busiest day and time of the week to shop. No one likes to be caught behind the crazy coupon lady when they are in a hurry. (Self-checkout is where I like to go).
Well, that is all for today’s Canadian Coupon post.
Please stay tuned in to Canadian Free Stuff, because I am not done quite yet. There is still one more blog posts yet to come in this series.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your comments below.
THIS IS JUST ONE ARTICLE IN A SERIES OF EIGHT I HAVE WRITTEN ON COUPONING