Be Good

Companies first created coupons for free samples and cents off a purchase to entice consumers to try their product. Their goal was that the consumer would like it so much that they would continue to purchase the product.  This form of marketing was so successful that is companies still use it today.  However coupons were never created in order for the consumer to make money!  

Since the broadcast premier of EXTREME COUPONING on TLC, I have noticed crazy things happening at grocery stores across Toronto. People are getting very greedy and inconsiderate to other consumers that shop at the same stores.  One great example is the printable coupon deal B2 Ziploc products save $4.00 and the recent sale at Walmart on $1.48 boxes. People were buying these and using their coupons and getting cash back!  It has been near impossible to find Ziploc sandwich bags at any Walmart right across the country (I read a lot of other blogs so I have heard).  Yes we all need Ziploc bags but how many are too much?

There is a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to using coupons.  A sort of list from Miss Manners or Miss Savings Girl :) 

Do the prep work before you head out shopping
Make your list and organize your coupons, so when you get to the checkout, you are not searching for your coupons and holding up the line. What I have recently done is purchased a photo album with sleeves. I keep it handy in the front of my cart while I shop. When I pick up the item that I want to buy, I quickly find the corresponding coupon and place it in the back of the album. That way when I get to the checkout, I have all my coupons I am using available right away.  

Use your coupons correctly
Read your coupon careful, and use it correctly. Pay attention to the terms listed such as "excludes trial sizes" or "one coupon per transaction." One coupon per purchase means that you can use more than one of the same coupons as long as you have one item to match with each coupon (1 coupon for 1 product).  One coupon per transaction means that you can only use one like coupon during that transaction.

Use legitimate coupons
Do not scan or copy coupons. Some coupons can be printed multiple times, but each time you print, there is usually a unique access or security code. You do not get this if you scan or copy the coupons. When it’s time to use your coupons make sure that they are still good and have not expired. I have heard people say that they have given stores expired coupons and have not had any problems. If it is the store’s policy then it is okay to use expired coupons in the store.

How many coupons should I take from a tear pad?
Take what you need. I usually take enough for me based on the For example, if I found a coupon today for razors and the expiry date was December, I would take what I would need for till then and some to share with my friends and family.

Don't be a shelf clearer
Everyone likes a good bargain. There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at a store and seeing a person who emptied the shelves of a "hot" bargain item (i.e. the Walmart/Ziploc incident).  Purchase what you will need. Remember there are so many others out there that would like to get in on the sale!

Make big trips during off hours
If you are going to be making a big shopping trip and plan to use a lot of coupons, try and do it during off hours. Trust me when I say other people get frustrated and so do the cashiers.

Be a coupon fairy
Have you ever been out shopping and seen a coupon for an item you plan on buying just sitting there in front of it like it was meant to be? If you have coupons that are close to their expiration date, be a "coupon fairy" and leave them for someone else to use.  It’s all about karma!

At the end of the day, it’s really up to you and how you want to use coupons, but remember everyone has the right to save, so be courtesy when your out shopping and getting those deals!

Happy Savings!
Miss Savings Girl!