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Extreme Couponing Tip: Embarrassed by Coupons?

Extreme Couponing Tip: Embarrassed by Coupons?

“I feel so self conscious using coupons, but I want to save money. Help!”

Coupons are for anyone willing to put in a little effort to save money. Couponers come from every background and budget, and you should always be proud to use them because coupons are your currency. Remember that the manufacturer reimburses the store for every cent of each coupon, so use them without shame.

If you’re new, if you’re apprehensive about redeeming coupons, or if you’re worried about how they’ll be accepted, start slowly.  Opt for eCoupons and newspaper manufacturer coupons for the most stress-free options, and sort out which coupons you’ll be using before you get to the checkout lane.  Always carry stores’ coupon policies with you every time you shop; those policies should do the talking for you when you run into snags.

Helpful Links:
Overcoming Negative Extreme Couponer Views
First-time Words of Wisdom
Organize Your Coupons Faster

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34 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Embarrassed by Coupons?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was embarrassed at first, especially when it took me longer to figure out what to buy… now I carry in my shoe box (so much easier for me than a binder) of coupons and really don’t care – I am spending less and eating better/ using nicer products so its totally worth it.
    I always try to be considerate and offer to let someone behind me with only a few items go first, but most of the time people don’t care, especially if you are polite – I have only had a few people accept the offer to cut in front of me, a lot of times people comment that they would like to use coupons themselves, and are curious how much I will save.

  2. Sharon Rudow says:

    I can’t save a whole lot because the stores in my area do not double coupons, but I do the best I can with what I have.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never gotten negative feedback from other shoppers but have run into several anti-coupon cashiers in my couponing. It just takes sooo much extra effort to scan small pieces of paper after you ring up groceries – yeah right.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i went to walgreens yesterday to try out my own coupon scenario and was disappointed. theres a few other coupon ladies in this small town im in at the moment, but a salesperson told me one in particular came in before i did and cleared the shelves.. now i have to wait til thursday for the truck to come in and hopefully make it there before she does so i can get my remington razor and 2 colgate 360 toothbrushes. :( im just trying to get things i need right now, i cant make a stockpile living in a temporary motel.

  5. A. S. says:

    I’ve never had anyone give me dirty looks except for a few checkers who give me that look like “great, you just made my job harder”, or a few people who come up behind me looking for a quick checkout.
    But then, I’m not a shelf clearer, either. I know I have probably shot a few dirty looks before, at shelf clearers who think it’s just fun to clear 20 or 30 items off a shelf that they will probably never use (ie. the 85 year old lady clearing out every single bit of the men’s body wash, different brands even. Really!?). I think there’s a huge difference between stock piling and hoarding.
    As far as feeling self-conscious for couponing at all? After having to make it on foodstamps for a few months when I was younger, coupons are certainly not a biggie. Keep that in perspective ;)

  6. HugoC says:

    I use to be embarassed also as a 19 year old college student i really need to save money! I always get the look because i’m the only guy that walks around with a coupon binder i smile back and think to myself how these shoppers throw aways there money! Thanks KCL!

  7. Candra Long says:

    I will admit, I get a little apprehensive when I first go into a store with my binder.The sneers and such don’t always roll off my back like they should, but I’ve only been at this for 4 months, so I imagine it will get easier. It’s all worth it, after all, when you see how much you’ve saved. Yesterday, I bought $259 worth of items and only paid $9.80! Totally melted away any embarrassement I may have felt when I first walked in the stores.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is quite an interesting coincidence that I arrived home today to see this post after I had a related experience at Walgreens today. After having gone for the past three weeks to the same Walmart and having the same cashier help me check out each time, as she finishes my transaction (a transaction that had been more than $15 dollars cut down to a little over $2.45), she says to me: “Not a lot of men do this couponing.” Not knowing how to take her comment, I replied “Well, I am not anywhere rich enough I guess to be throwing away my money paying unnecessarily high prices for a shaver, balance bar and 4 Arizona drinks…” She was in complete agreement with me, saying that people have “critiqued” her for having a stockpile of detergent, etc.,. In addition, she has told me that she has had some customers who even when instructed on BOGO sales, have purposely left the second free item at the store, simply because they “have no need for the product.” I replied back to her and simply said “Shame on them. Their mothers must have not taught them really well… Oh well, if they want to pay $ 7.00 dollars for their laundry detergent, I am more than happy to see their judgmental faces when I pay 1.50 for that same laundry detergent.”

  9. Carolyn Hicks says:

    My grandson,14, went shopping with me one day. He said this so embarrassing, I said what, he said people are going to think we are retards with that big binder you are looking in, and I said no they won’t. They will think we are pretty smart shoppers with all those coupons. I saved over 100 that day. He doesn’t say that anymore.

  10. John says:

    I went to the store on Friday and two young men (I’m in my 20s) started “huffing and puffing” and groaning when I brought out my stack of coupons. Then one of the coupons beeped and the snickering got worse.

    It was really shocking behavior on their part. I was fast and efficient and wasted maybe 1 extra minute of their time max.

    But it doesn’t matter because…I’m the type of girl those men will eventually marry. And then they too will be couponers :)

    Ha! :)

  11. l l says:

    I absolutely agree with this topic, I don’t understand when people give you looks or when you ask if they use coupons they say “no I don’t” and always give lame excuses that add up to “I’m lazy or too busy”. Too lazy to cut paper when your watching tv, playing on the net etc? No one is 100% productive everyday all day long. I actually love getting good deals and I look forward to the sunday paper for coupons and ad matches. After years or asking why we didn’t coupon I finally got my family to due to necessarily but even when I live on my own I will still coupon because who doesn’t want to save money? So whenever people say “I don’t like coupons” I give them a funny look and say “O.o you don’t like saving money?!”. And just leave it at all. I don’t agree with over buying but if your stock piling responsibly then they shouldn’t give you grief. People will always be judgmental best to just ignore them whenever possible. They say something inappropriate about your coupons, just wait till your done and smile brightly when you leave spending less then them and getting more. Might teach them a thing or two about respecting the coupons. I do want to get more organized and I feel embarrassed digging for coupons in my cluttered purse XD.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m a poor college student who also works full time so no I am not embarrassed at all I know in the end it will be worth it

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m not shy when it comes to using my coupons. I used to be, but I talk about it regularly. That way people know you coupon and proud to ask you questions. I actually have had coworkers sit down with me and explain the process. I show them how I organized them, match up deals, and make sure that I’m not over spending. Its really important to make sure that you show your proud of what your doing. This way if your proud people will respect it more. I tell people its my earnings because it is. I have money in my binder and I can share. I love the fact that people are open to listening because its my hobby.

  14. I donate my stuff to the Local Shelter, Food Bank , Friends and Family …. I am very proud to be a couponer… I always do my smart shopping at night when few people are buying, never bother anybody, always give my coupons on the cashier line to let other people save ! It is a blessing!

  15. monina wood says:

    I have never been shy using coupons, even back when I’m only using 1 or 2 coupons at the store. I am a naturally shy person, but I’m not that shy when I’m trying to save money for my family. I’m stockpiling little at a time of personal stuff that I could send my family back home, I’m from the Philippines. And believe it or not, the cost of personal items are more than it is here. So I can’t afford to be shy.

  16. This is such an important topic for me, but not for the obvious reason. I have a pretty strong anxiety disorder and I enjoy couponing so much that my therapist has actually made it part of my treatment. It is difficult for me to walk into a store with my coupons in tow. I get self-concious about whether everyone in the store is staring at me while I match up my deals and hand over my coupons. It almost brings me to tears everytime I offer someone to go ahead of me because I have to tell them that I might be a while. HOWEVER, it is extremely good for my mental health everytime I do these things. I become a better person mentally, emotionally, and physically when I push myself to do things that other people think of as normal. Thanks KCL for helping to guide me not only in the art of saving money for my family, but also giving me something that I enjoy so that I can be a better mother, wife, and overall, just a better woman.

    • dawnbdh says:

      Tabitha,
      You are not alone! I am the same way. Three years ago I could barely get out of the house, much less shop with coupons. I started off really slowly, and would go in and get 2 items and then 3 etc. For some reason couponing has helped lessen my anxiety, I think having something to focus on…a job to do helps me. Although, I still struggle to know what to say when people approach me and nicely ask about my coupon use.You are so right when you say how good it is to push yourself. Good Job and keep going!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I also used to be embarrassed when I first started, but now it doesn’t bother me at all. If you will look around, you will see more and more people doing the same thing! We are all trying to save money. I am naturally a very friendly, outgoing person so that helps. Here is a good tip for those persons who may be kinda shy: next time you are in line at the store, SMILE at the person behind you and SMILE at the cashier. You will be surprised at how far a smile can go to put people in a better mood! :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    When a store offers double coupons- who pays the doubled part? The store or the manufacturer?

      • Anonymous says:

        I notice some manufacturer coupons state ‘do not double’ and I know the store has the option to double or not however, that led me to wonder if the manufacturer has a deal with the store at times re: the doubled amount. Any thoughts?

      • Sophia Valdivia says:

        Are you sure? Few months ago when I went to Ralph’s (around the time they stopped doubling ALL coupons, just the first like) I was told that because of the show, the Manufacturer is no longer paying for the additional “double” like they used to. So that left me under the impression that manufacturers used to pay the “double” ??? Anyone know any of inside information.

        • Anonymous says:

          I have read that the manufacturers do pay the double amount back to the store, unless the coupon specifies “Do not Double.” In that case, the store would be paying for the double amount.

  19. I am not embarassed but actually I am super proud that I am saving money, donating, and helping others save. There are some people who look at me and roll their eyes but I don’t care because to me being a “couponer” means that not only do you have the common sense to save money but we do have strategic planning skills that most people don’t have. I don’t like it when people quickly assume I am a bored stay at home mom (no offense to any stay at home moms, I am just saying, stay at home moms actually have more work than people who get paid to work!)
    Anyway, when I encounter these people I ask them “so, do you want me to help you save money?” In some instances I make friends while I’m shopping, some people will stop and ask me how I do it. I tell them I can meet them for coffee and can quickly go over how to use coupons.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I just got a $827.89 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HTV for only $251.92, they are both coming tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prîces at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use GrаbPenny.сom

  21. It can be hard sometimes but I try to ignore negative people.

    At Walgreens yesterday I was paying and there was a kid behind me in line with his parents. I heard him say “wow, that lady has a lot of stuff!” Which embarrassed me at first, especially because his parents were complaining about the wait, but I left with more money (in RR) when I left than I spent. I bet they can’t say that, they didn’t essentially get paid to take their items out of the store.

    I try to be considerate, I let others go in front of me if I am going to have multiple transactions and they have just a few items. When I went up to pay nobody was around, not even the cashier. They even opened up another lane because I told them up front I would be doing multiple transactions. Some people are just really negative about coupons and they are raising their kids to be the same way. Why the people stood behind me complaining instead of going to the other open register is beyond me.

  22. I started couponing when I worked in a grocery store and saw for myself what people were saving. We had extreme couponers way back before the show. My boyfriends grandma was one of them that inspired me way before I ever met him. lol. Ive never been embarassed. Im proud. I know the store gets the money back so its whatever. Money in my pocket

  23. Sophia Valdivia says:

    I used to be embarrassed. But now I am very proud of my savings at EVERY store trip. When asked if I’m an extreme couponer, I say, “No, I’m a strategic shopper!” I tend to hand out coupons in the check stand to people either in front of or behind me, or looking at items I’m going to buy with coupons. I simply say, “I see your buying __, can I give you a coupon to save $__” and I’m never turned down! I usually get a, “Wow, thank you so much, I’ve really been wanting to get into coupons!”

    I work in a law office, and people at work save their coupons for me. They know of the deals I can make, and come to me when they want snacks and goodies and I usually bring anything in that I got for free, that I don’t use. Now we’re working on a care package for one of my co-workers’ sons in Afghanistan. They knew to turn to me for help on deals on goodies!

    I LOVE COUPONS!

  24. Im only embarrassed in the store when everyone stares at me – oh she has a BINDER shes one of those = and they expect me to take it all away for free – when I might not be doing that with this trip – but I bring my binder because you never know.

    Theres a lot of negativity about us out there. If I buy a lot of one item and leave plenty on the shelf, oh I am one of those binder people – but I am within the stores limits. I’ll get nosy comments like “big family huh” (no I live alone). They just dont understand stockpiling, and there is an attitude that there is something wrong with me for stockpiling and carrying a binder.

    The cashiers however always appreciate me being organized.

  25. Im only embarrassed in the store when everyone stares at me – oh she has a BINDER shes one of those = and they expect me to take it all away for free – when I might not be doing that with this trip – but I bring my binder because you never know.

    Theres a lot of negativity about us out there. If I buy a lot of one item and leave plenty on the shelf, oh I am one of those binder people – but I am within the stores limits. I’ll get nosy comments like “big family huh” (no I live alone). They just dont understand stockpiling, and there is an attitude that there is something wrong with me for stockpiling and carrying a binder.

    The cashiers however always appreciate me being organized.

  26. J says:

    I was embarrassed when I first started couponing.. I didn’t want people to think I was in financial constraints… but when I started seeing how much I could save.. and challenged myself to save at least 40% at the grocery store each week, it became a game… and I got really excited to see the % saved.

    Now, when I get asked (usually in a negative-ish tone) “Are you one of those extreme couponers?” I say with a smile, ‘Nope, I but I do love saving money!’. Of course, since I learned to pick the right cashiers, it isn’t really a problem any more. Many of them love to see how much I do actually save!

  27. Anonymous says:

    So looking forward to passing this post and all the upcoming comments on to friends and family who would be mortified to use coupons. Frankly, I don’t get it. Coupons have become so mainstream that those who don’t use them will soon be in the minority. Especially in this economy, it’s the responsible way to shop and protect the family budget at the same time. I used coupons 20 years ago when I was young and broke. Once I made some decent money I remember thinking, “oh, thank heavens I don’t have to do that anymore!”. If I could have a do-over with that one, I could have saved so much money over those 20 years…kills me to calculate the number. I got back into couponing in May of this year. My monthly grocery/drug store spending is down 50% AND I’m buying DOUBLE the retail value I was before. 75% overall savings each month! Now that my stockpile is looking healthy and I’m gaining some experience on what’s a good deal versus what I used to pay and what’s a great deal, I have the confidence to wait for that great (aka Krazy) deal, so my numbers should drop even further. Embarrassed to use coupons? No way!