The midwest drought means staple crops are dying and food prices are on the rise. Stores are working to keep prices low to retain customers. When couponers help them out, stores can lower expenses which translate into big savings.

BYORB: Bring your own reusable bags when shopping so stores don’t have to purchase plastic or paper ones. Reusable bags hold more and help the environment. Some stores even offer $0.3 or $0.5 cent discounts per bag!

Freezer doors: When browsing for frozen food, leave the doors closed. Open doors raise energy costs, which are passed on to the consumer.

Put it back: If you will not be purchasing a product, put it back to its proper place before checking out. This is especially important for perishables.

Cart etiquette: Grab a cart from a nearby corral or a stray by your vehicle instead of getting one from the entrance. After unloading your groceries, make sure to return the cart inside the store or to the marked cart corrals. When carts are left everywhere in the parking lot, stores have to hire more help to keep collecting them.

Report it: If you see something that could cause a slip, trip, or fall, report it to the nearest employee. Fixing problems before someone gets hurt ensures safety and prevents expensive accident claims.

Pay Cash: Stores must pay a fee for every card transaction, so you’ll save them money by only paying with cash and coupons. And when the store saves, they won’t have to raise their prices as often to cover the costs, saving you money in the long run.

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18 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Help Stores Lower Costs”

This was a good article and helped me remember some things that I had failed to do. Thanks to the reader who mentioned taking your own plastic produce bags to reuse before you send them to the plastic bag recycling bins at stores. NOTE: In Dallas where we have once a week recyclabels pick up by the city, the plastic bags are not accepted because they can easily clog the machines used at the reccylcing line on the sorting belt. If you can’t find the collection bins for the bags at your store ask the cashier as the store often moves them around.
I wash my take along bags about once a month. I prepare a sink of warm water with soap squeezed and let the bags soak for a few minutes before I squeeze them out. After draining the water, I douse the bags with white vinegar as a mild germ killer. Then I hang the bags in the sun to dry. Takes a little work but particularly important to clean bags after bringin home poultry products.
And as a good shopper, when you see a product on the floor bend over, pick it up, and put it back on the shelf before someone runs over it with a cart.
Again thanks for the tip. Have a great day!

I carry some plastic store bags with me inside of some of my green bags (from the occasions I forgot my bags in the car or went out to lunch with a friend and “stopped” into a store). I use these inside my green bags for produce, meat, frozen etc to keep my bags cleaner. I have some pretty bags from The Fresh Market that I love but I don’t think the material will wash well.

I am always amazed at how lazy people can be when it comes to the grocery store. I see carts banged up next to cars when the corral was a couple of feet away!! I have also seen items randomly placed throughout the store where they don’t belong. It isn’t that much effort to go put it back where it belongs. I always make sure that if I don’t end up getting an item I will put it back or if I’m at the cash register, I will offer to put it up real quick.

I work at Kroger and it’s disgusting what some people will do with the food they decide they don’t want at the register. I have alone found a whole big family size pack of chicken legs that someone left on the candy racks. It leaked over all the candy bar boxes below and we had to throw out more than $50 worth of product. Not only that, I have seen many way too eager young children try to eat the candy through the wrapper! If any had picked up one of the bars that the chicken had leaked onto, the child could become sick!
I have also found people putting milk and ice cream and other cold items in the heating unit for the display of deli chickens! We have had to increase the prices of a few items a few cents to cover these losses.
I have found that some people are responsible enough to say “I got this _____. I don’t want it anymore.” When someone does that, we can send a bagger or someone who is currently unoccupied to quickly return it.
I have also found a bunch of packs of bacon in the Coke fridges at the registers too. At least they were kept cold so we could still sell them.

As a cashier, I often have to go behind customers and clean off the candy shelves off discarded product. And often, some of the discarded items will be half eaten candy bars or opened packs of gummy candy or half full drinks that we can’t sell back, and we lose money on those too.

I get kinda freaked out when I see little kids wiping their nose and then touching and playing with the produce. I always wash my produce, but that doesn’t mean I want extra germs to wash off!!

I see people everyday place their unbagged produce up on the belt after their leaking chicken and meats. Then, the meat juices leak all over the belt, scanner, and second belt. Then their produce get set into the germy juices on the scale and second belt. I’ve had people get angry at me for trying to quickly wipe off the scanner and belt before their produce gets put on there! I don’t see the problem with some things like corn still in the husk, because you’re going to peel it before you eat it, but they don’t want me to wipe it off before their apples or peaches?

I purchased generic plastic placemats and cut them to fit the bottom of my cloth bags…could get enough for 2 bags from each placemat. Now if I can only train the baggers to put the placemats in the bottom of the bags instead of standing them up on the sides. :/

If you are a State Farm customer, ask your agent for one. Their bags are the best!

I love the reusable bags. I even have 2 that are lined for freezer items. I found out the hard way though they do not wash well. The cloth ones I have had for quite a few years and love them.

carts left in lot = job security :)

Carts left in lot = lawsuits. I worked for a grocery store for 6 years and it was a big issue. In the Seattle Area most store lots are sloped on purpose for water drainage. Due to the slope if a cart is loose the wind can cause it to hit a car. I personally don’t want my car hit by a grocery cart.

great tips.

Great post.

where’s a good place to get reusable bags…affordable ones and well made.

I have been using the ones you can get at the grocery store for $1 for a couple of years. These work well for me. You will also see giveaways for them all the time. Earthbound Farms just gave away 8,000.

i bought mine 4 years ago at trader joes and they are still in great shape i love them and they are so easy to wash

I also have TJ bags, definately worth $2. I’ve had same canvas ones for about 12 years!

Dollar General sells some for $0.75, if they are in your area. Or you can get them at the Dollar Tree for $1, those come with a plastic insert for the bottom (so they won’t sag).