Extreme Couponing Tip: Keep Your Cool at Checkout

  • Sort out which coupons you’ll be using before getting in line. This helps transactions go smoothly and keeps stress low for you and the checker. If there’s a line forming behind you, ease the pressure for the cashier and let other customers know you may take a little longer and another line may be faster. When possible, pass along a coupon to those who patiently wait behind you to spread the coupon love (and it wouldn’t hurt to mention TheKrazyCouponLady.com)!
  • Keeping your cool under pressure is key. When you run into a problem with a cashier or manager, calmly explain your understanding of the store policy. Nicely show them the policy printout. Never lose your temper or make demands – you’ll lose any high ground. If things don’t work out, simply leave without a fuss. If the store is not following policy or if you have a concern, call their corporate office when you’re calm and collected.
  • Showing courtesy to cashiers and store employees is a great way to forge a good bond between couponers and the store. Smile, ask them how their day is going, and always end your transaction by thanking them for their help. Remember, everyone has bad days. Try to be understanding and kind, and you’ll be surprised at the difference!
  • If another shopper or the cashier says something demeaning regarding your couponing, let them know that you are just a normal mom, dad, college student, etc. trying to save money for your family, household or education. Ignorance is often the greatest divide, so explain things like special ordering, being informed, donating, and building your stockpile slowly.

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16 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Keep Your Cool at Checkout”

  1. Susan says:

    I had one lady behind me at winco a few months ago who swore and cussed at me because “I was wasting everyone’s time with my coupons.” She then yelled at me that she would pray for me. I just thanked her for her concern.

  2. Sarah says:

    i always feel guilty when someone gets behind me in line, so i let them know i might be awhile. but i find that a lot of the time the people don’t mind! i have had several people tell me how impressed they were and how they wish they could get into couponing. i always recommend this website to start out!

    • Anonymous says:

       I try to let people know, too.  But sometimes they still stay in line and then fuss if there’s even a slight delay.  I had one woman behind me at Target one day (I’d already nicely let her know it might be faster if she chose a different lane, but she didn’t), and, when the cashier was scanning my printed coupons, she made a snide remark to the cashier that she didn’t know you could xerox coupons.  I told they weren’t xeroxed, but printed off the internet and she told me that she wasn’t talking to me.  LOL.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this post! I am a cashier at K-mart and I can’t tell you how many rude people we have to deal with every day every hour. I feel like I am always very friendly and try to be very understanding yet still get an attitude. I am a couponer also so I am extra patient when it comes to coupons. I have met some really nice couponers that make my day so much better but have also met some very nasty demanding ones that think they know everything or are trying to cheat us and giving couponers a bad name. Just remember that cashiers are only doing their job and there is only so much we can do. Thanks for all the sweet people that make my day. It can be VERY stressful.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I normally have a great experience with my Wal-mart.  I’m always super organized and polite.  And normally the cashiers are very appreciative.  Yesterday, I used the BOGO Scotch wipes coupons.  The cashier typed in 75 cents before I could even tell her they were $1.97.  I politely told her they were $1.97.  She rolled her eyes at me and walked off.  Another cashier happened to walk by and saw what happened so she finished my transaction.   My original cashier never came back.  Guess she was having a bad day.  LOL.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t imagine not being prepared at the checkout. Seems pretty basic to me. Easier for me and the cashier. I have an accordian file that is subdivided and put all of the coupons I plan to use in the “Today” section in the order of the aisles. I pull the ones I use as I purchase and put in the front (also easy to refer back to if needed). I have my list in order of sections of the store and pretty close to by aisles to make sure I don’t miss anything. My list also has red stars next to any ad match items so when I get to the checkout I can pull those quickly and alert to the checker and walk her/him through. Coupon items are in italics on my list so I remember what I am pulling coupons for. If there is a an unexpected clearance item I have a coupon for I can quickly find it in the subdivided sections and add it to the front. I shop at Wal-Mart for convenience (disabled) and I always greet the cashier with a smile and ask how they are doing. Some I am pretty friendly with. The Wal-Mart I shop at is pretty good about ad matches and coupons. I do have the ad match papers in my purse should I need them. Rarely will a coupon be turned down and more often than not when a CSM is called over to approve some, they are approved. I rarely have more than 20 coupons for them to sort through. I even gather them and separate them so none are missed while the checker is scanning groceries and bagging. They even help put the bags in my basket when I am done! I am not binder person since I only have 1 computer and newspaper and am retired with just myself and husband.
    I am very lucky that I have a wonderful Wal-Mart and most of the cashiers. They train them pretty darn good here. I was a grocery cashier when I was in high school and a little afterwards so I do know what type of customer makes them crazy. Unless you are a factory worker you probably can’t imagine what it is like to stand in the same place all day long on your feet while being pleasant and accurate.

  6. Isabelle says:

    This is a really helpful post. It never hurts to be polite! 

  7. Guest says:

    At Walmart if you use more than (I think) 40 coupons a manager has to come and approve it.  Well, this happened and the guy in line behind me starting getting really frustrated; I apologized to everyone.  But the guy behind me decided to be a smartbutt and ask me if the coupon we were waiting for the manager to approve was worth “just a dollar” and then he pulled out his wallet! I then told him that since we used so many coupons that the manager needed to approve it. I was nice, I showed him other open checkouts, but some people are just rude.

    • Anonymous says:

       You are VERY lucky if you can use up to 40 without a manager.  At one of the local Walmarts, more than 7 requires a manager.  Such a pain for everyone when the manager then wants to go back through everything and double-check against things that are already bagged.

    • Mamaluke3 says:

      Something similar happened to me just the other day. I ran into the grocery store with no list and grabbed what I needed…it had been a busy, busy week and I had not had a chance to make a list. Luckily, I usually know my prices and don’t go over board. Since I always have my binder with me, I was able to pull out a few coupons for some of the items. I got into line, unloaded my stuff and stood their withe my THREE coupons in hand. The man behind me said in disgust “you’re using coupons?”. I said I only had THREE. He rolled his eyes and stood there until the cashier said my total. $75.00. It was a cart full of items, but way more than I’d normally spend. He said “you paid $75.00 for all that? Will you do my shopping ? LOLmaybe I created a believer with only 3 coupons!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shopping with coupons in its entirety is time-consuming, so to save time searching for and sorting coupons, I sort my coupons in the order that I will find the products in my coupon accordion, envelope, or Ziploc (whatever I’m using that day) by store layout – I try to plan my trip to make a circle (if possible/necessary) from the store entrance to checkout.  As I am shopping, I put the coupon in the front or my accordion or separate envelope/Ziploc, so when I’m ready to checkout, I have all my coupons together – if a special order of coupons is necessary (like at Kmart or Walgreens), I’ll put my coupons in the proper order as I am shopping and putting products into my cart, so there’s no need to do so at checkout.

  9. cg says:

    I have had several cashiers at different stores thank me for being so prepared at checkout. I still feel I could be more organized but I do my best to make sure to double check my coupon with the product and counts etc before I get to check out.
    Every time I’ve been thanked I explain it’s not only easier for me to coupon and checkout but I’d like to make sure it’s easy on the cahiers that check me out too. I also thank them for being so patient and wish them a good day when I leave. Even if something does happen and one of my transactions don’t work out exactly as I had planned.

    • Sarah says:

      We need more of you. As a cashier at a Walmart myself, I greatly appreciate people that are organized and are patient. As a couponer on the other side of the register, I think it makes your shopping trip less stressful if you have all your things lined up!

    • Kromacy says:

       I totally agree cg.  I too try to make sure that I have all my coupons ready to go when I get to the checkout.  If I have BOGO coupons, I make sure they are on top so the cashier can see them and I have the price already written in for them.
      I have also been thanked by the cashiers when I have everything ready.  It just makes for a much smoother transaction for me and for everyone in line behind me.

      • LauraD says:

        Never thought about writing the price on BOGO Qs before getting to the register.  Love that tip!  Thanks :)