For most of our readers (and for us!) couponing is a way of life, whether you are just starting out, or have been a pro for many years – you have learned that saving money can be very easy when couponing. As Wendy has shared over the past couple months, the show on TLC called Extreme Couponing is not one that we like to promote. In fact, we have TWO great posts that talk about how it is almost impossible to get the results shown on that so-called reality show HEREand Wendy will be adding more posts to this series.
Since this show has come about, there have been so many drastic changes to store coupon policy’s all over the nation…simply, because the men and women (who are shown on that show) go way beyond the EXTREMEs of couponing. It is incredibly important to educate yourself and stay up to date on the changing policies as well as keeping informed on what is the proper way to use coupons.
A recent article on The Consumerist found the TLC show, Extreme Couponing, has sparked a trend of out-of-control couponers who ramsack stores with little regard for fellow shoppers. Merchants have taken notice and many major retailers are starting to change their policies. Here are some of the big ones recently.
Rite Aid has taken the same steps as Target to crack down on shoppers in regards to stacking BOGO coupons with a BOGO sale to score 2 free items. The drug store chain has also made other changes including limiting the number of coupons per item to four. If inventory is running low, managers may limit the numbers further.
To view this week’s Rite Aid matchups, click here.
The biggest change at Target comes to their buy one, get one (BOGO) policy. They now only allow one BOGO coupon per purchase. Previously, customers could “stack” Target printable coupons, combining store and manufacturer BOGO coupons to get both items for free.
To view this week’s Target matchups, click here.
Many high tech shoppers have even started to crack coupon barcodes, allowing them to use coupons on products they’re not intended for. Walgreens is working to combat this fraud by adopting a new type of barcode. New barcodes will be able to hold more data and can better make sure Walgreens coupons are used for the right product.
To view this week’s Walgreens matchups, click here.
At Publix stores throughout the country they’re also limiting the number of coupons that can be used on one product. Their new policy limits couponers to one manufacturers coupon and one store coupon per item.
We do not currently run matchups for this store.
Shopping with coupons is certainly a smart way to save, but there are right and wrong ways to do it. Here are some basic do’s and dont’s to help you coupon with class…
DO play by the rules. Couponing isn’t too complicated and common sense should get you by in most cases. Rules vary store to store, so if you’re planning to use a large amount of coupons, you definately need to print & know your stores coupon policies before you shop. This includes making sure you’re buying the item the coupon is intended for .
DON’T clear the shelf. In the eyes of casual shoppers, clearing entire shelves of popular sale items crosses the line between couponing and hoarding. If you really want to stock up on certain products, try making multiple trips or call ahead and ask a manager if they’ll set aside an order for you.
DO be organized before you check out. It’s a nightmare for cashiers and people waiting in line when you hand over a haphazard pile of miscellaneous coupons. It’ll be much appreciated if you clip them before hand and make sure they’re all facing the same direction. Also, remember to remove coupons for products you didn’t end up buying. If you are using mobile coupons, have them ready on your smartphone for the cashier to scan.
DON’T shop during the busiest times. The stress level of those waiting in line during peak times is high enough. Using dozens of coupons takes time and will only irritate other shoppers. Instead, go shopping when business is slow. It takes the pressure off to complete the transaction as quickly as possible for both you and the cashier.
DO be polite to the cashier and fellow customers. Sure, you might have some knowledge other customers and even clerks don’t, but it’s no excuse to treat others like they’re beneath you. If a cashier isn’t familiar with coupon policies, stay calm and ask to speak with a supervisor. They’re much more helpful if you don’t lose your cool. When your cart is overflowing, give those behind you a heads up that you’ll be using coupons. If someone is waiting with just a loaf of bread and gallon of milk, let them cut ahead.
DON’T steal coupons! A growing trend turning the tide against couponers is theft. Newspapers and newspaper subscribers are increasingly finding coupon inserts stolen. This is a big no-no and can get you into some serious trouble. Many people will willingly part with their unused inserts if you ask nicely.
Thank you to Consumer Savings Expert, Andrea Woroch. She is available to share “Extreme Coupon Show Backlash as Stores Change Policies: Learn Coupon Do’s & Don’ts” with your audience for an in-studio, satellite or skype interview. Andrea has been featured as a media expert source on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, FOX & Friends, ABC News NOW, MSNBC, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Smart Money and many more. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com.
Post published by Melissa Roach, our Product Review & Giveaway Specialist.
Melissa is a Full Time Mom & Blogger HERE (please check out her blog!)