Whether you are brand new to couponing or you’ve been at it for years, there will inevitably be times for potential discouragement.
Just this past week my husband volunteered to watch the kids while I went shopping one evening. Since I didn’t have the kids, I was able to spend some extra time organizing all of the products into different transactions and separating all of my coupons so that the check out process would go smoothly.
Well, it didn’t go smoothly like I had planned out and I left very discouraged. After over an hour in the checkout lane, who wouldn’t? (Note: I had done this same deal before and it worked smoothly each time.)
So whether it’s a rude cashier, a mistake on our part, or a catalina (coupon that prints out in the check out lane) that doesn’t print out, here are a few tips to help you through:
Know That You’re Not Alone
Difficulties in couponing just come with the job. And yes, couponing is a job. Anyone that uses coupons regularly will face some kind of couponing problem at one time or another. Know that you aren’t the only one and you can always come share and get encouragement in the Surviving The Stores Facebook Group!
Don’t Give Up
It’s tempting. So so incredibly tempting, especially when we have 4 kids in tow and end up crying in the checkout lane because a manager has no clue what their own store coupon policy is (not that I would, um, know from experience or anything). It’s easy to want to throw in the towel. But don’t. Don’t give in to the temptation. Take some time to breathe, and maybe try shopping at a different store for a little while.
Remember The Good Times
Instead of dwelling on the one discouraging trip, think about another shopping trip where you saved 85% or how you don’t have to pay for any of your toiletries anymore… and then smile. 🙂
Think of how the money that you would normally be spending on groceries is going to save for college, or a down-payment for a house, or to get out of debt! Don’t let this one trip make you forget all of the times that you’ve had positive experiences while couponing.
Don’t Be Afraid To Go Up The Chain
If a rude cashier or manager is the reason you are discouraged, think to yourself, “If I owned this company, would I want to know that a customer was treated this way?” If you answer yes, then I would recommend calling corporate customer service and letting them know. If you do decide to call corporate, remember that the representative who answers the phone wasn’t the person who treated you badly.
You also might want to read 10 Tips For Surviving The Store Clerks & Cashiers before you head back to the store again. 🙂
Have you ever been discouraged by a couponing experience? Do you have any tips for how to deal with the discouragement? Please leave a comment below and share them!
this was exactly what i went through last week being the first time i was doing it, when i goofed up with my Coupons and the store not having enough items for me to go through it smoothly as i had planned… eeer… but then i again have started this week and it went through smooothly.. so am back on track… 🙂
The times I have been discouraged have all been due to cashiers who don’t know what they’re doing. Poor training I guess. Just finish the rest of the transactions and try with another cashier later.
[email protected] Beauty and Bedlam says
Last week there was a new manager – yes, manager. My cashier needed the typical over ride and when he saw my internet coupons, he said that I could only use two (total). I kindly went on to explain the coupon policy…2 of given product and he doubted me. He called over the other manager who quickly informed him that I know the coupon policy better than anyone who works there. LOL….tip…go in with confidence. 🙂 Yes, it was discouraging and I didn’t want to get on the wrong foot with the new manager. 🙂
I am very new at this and trying hard not to get discourged. Last week I tried to use internet coupon at CVS to get the 3m deal, but I printed them in greyscale and they would not scan. The cashier accused me of making photo copies of the coupons, but I assured her that I printed them out and they were the exact same coupons the lady before me used (because she did the same 3m deal). The cashier rudely said that if it doesn’t scan, they can’t take them. It was still a good experience for me because I learned 2 things. One, you can purchase things for “free” (because the lady in front of me did) and two, never print in grey scale! 🙂
You are so cute “remember he good times!” Love it!
It can be hard, and after working retail for years, I know, and try to remeber that poor training usually is the issue. It may be a poorly trained cashier, or a poorly trained manager. I have seen people with little or no experience managing, be promoted to manager, because they need someone so badly. Anyway I try to keep that in mind, and think of how embarressed I would be, if I were the manager on duty and dint know the coupon policy better than the coustomer. A lot of these folks are just thrown to the wolves.
I don’t have any magic tips…
just wanted to thank you for posting that. We all have bad days, the cashiers, the managers…feels like we’re never getting the “perfect deal”.
i just take it…and hope that next time I SCORE the big one!
a little savings is better than none at all.
I’m not the best oop couponer yet…so bar isn’t set too high.
thanks for encouraging us all!!!
Thanks for #2. GREAT tip! I am fairly new to couponing, and I still screw up now and again by forgetting coupons or doing deals out of order, so sometimes I have more OOP and more RR to deal with. All in all I look at it like this: I am still saving money overall, plus I get to try new things (products and saving strategies).
I had a discouraging time at kroger today and left kinda upset, but then I thought of the 85% I saved at three other stores and quickly got over it! Thanks for your advice and tips!
Oh yeah, happens here and there. When you coupon as much as some of us do, things are bound to creep up!
My latest disappointment was from the WAGS I shop at. They stopped producing RRs if ANY RR is used to pay for the purchase. Well, now I know….
Thanks for the post! It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear (or read :).
Last night I went to Publix and walked away paying $39 and SAVED over $144!!! Then, when I got home I realized I got the wrong chips and paid full price instead of half for 2 bags AND paid twice what I thought for some roses I bought! I paid $10.01 MORE than I “thought” I should have. It WAS my fault, as I didn’t pay close attention to the sizes (should have been the half-dozen roses). I have been beating myself up all night after last night and now I realize, it’s silly and I am doing so good with all my coupons and savings, one mess-up isn’t the “end of the world”!!
Thank you so much for all your hard work to help us save money!
Great post Rachel. I have recently been having problems with a certain drugstore that has great deals every week. Their cashiers have absolutely no idea of their own coupon policy and sometimes the managers don’t either. I have been going up the food chain trying to get some answers. I think that is the best advice. Always be polite and if you don’t get the answers you need ask for the next person in the chain of command. Eventually you will get somewhere.
Frances Frugal Fairhope says
What can we do to prepare for the disappointing days that happen in our lives? Things so bad you just want to stay in bed with your head below the sheets. Hide away in front of the TV watching other fictional lives flash before you? Escape in food you know you shouldn’t be eating?
By being determined to get the best deal possible to save money and not let that new cashier or manager get in your way to your financial goal of saving money. You know that the coupon is valid and that you are an honest shopper. Asking the question “is this a new store policy” will get that manager to thinking that you will be contacting the corporate office and ask them the same question with the local manager’s name. Worse case you will walk away come back another day or go to another store to save money.
The best advice my 99 year old grandmother give me for dealing with disappointment is to “grit your teeth and smile, because you know you are right and they just don’t know it yet”.
I have never had a bad experience in the store. What I have had are bad experiences talking about couponing with my friends and family. They act like I am a charity case. I don’t need to coupon or budget for things, but why spend money when you don’t need to? My co workers yesterday actually laughed at me!
I posted all about this on my own blog:
What do you do for coupons when they don’t come in the newspaper??
I used to cashier at Target. For some reason, several of the cashiers I worked with, who were generally negative people, had an attitude about coupons. They acted as though they personally were losing money when someone had a great shop. If you are familiar with the cashiers at your favorite stores, you already know who they are and whose line to avoid.