checkoutlineIt’s no secret that we Krazy Couponers average longer at checkout than fellow customers. Inevitably, lines will start to form behind us, sometimes with impatient and irritated shoppers. So what’s a Krazy Couponer to do? Read below for tips!

1. Keep it Organized

When you’re prepared for checkout, things go faster and smoother. Have coupons set aside and shopping list in hand. Also, check that prices ring up correctly and that all coupons get scanned.

2. Time of Day

Going shopping at optimal times means less stress and, therefore, fewer mistakes and shorter lines. This may be early morning, late at night, or off days (usually the middle of the ad week). Try to avoid Saturday afternoons, Sundays (after churches get out), the day before holidays/events, or right after rush hour.

4. Multiple Transaction Courtesy

When doing several transactions and there are other customers, put one transaction on the conveyor belt at a time. When finished paying, get back in line to do the subsequent transactions.

5. “Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey!”

If you know you’ll be awhile, turn around and warn others in line. I usually say something along the lines of, “Just a heads up–I might take a long time, so another line might be faster.” Often, customers will thank you for the warning and switch over. Others may tell you they’re in no hurry but soon find out that you’re serious. And then they go in search of another line!

6. One Line Dilemma

When only one cashier has an open line and there’s no self checkout, the above isn’t really an option. Make the best of the situation by alerting those following you and, if you can, offer a few spare coupons for items they have in their cart. When you’ve finished, thank the cashier and customers for their patience.

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31 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Know What To Do When a Line Forms Behind You”

  1. Chantel says:

    Oh, and to all the ladies on here, we get enough negativity just couponing. We don’t need more here. This should be a safe place to vent and be supported, not criticized. I’m sorry you had a crappy shopping day younggradnma2. It really sucks when you worked hard to save and you lose out on some of your savings because the coupons didn’t go through right. It helps to take your time and stay cool. The best way to do that in Walmart is to checkout in the garden section. It is usually open, there are ever lines and the cashiers are usually nicer because they aren’t as busy. :)

  2. Chantel says:

    Usually people are pretty nice in Line behind. I had a lady at Walmart chew me out once because I warned her that it might be faster in the other lane. She nearly bit my head off saying she just moved to my lane and she has kids in the car. I just smiled and ignored her from that point on. I had another bad xperienc at the commissary where couponing is ncouraged and coupons are put ontons of products. I had printable coupons. Sometimes my printer messes up and prints them in color. She gave me a hard time about having some bw and some color. So I showed her the barcode and told her if the numbers are different then they are different coupons, not photocopies of one coupon. She didn’t even try to scan them, she just yelled at me that she knows how to read coupons, then she threw, yes threw a copy of their coupon policy at me and told me to read it. She was just trying to strong arm me though. I laid the pamphlet down and responded that I know exactly what the policy says, and that both bw or color coupons are acceptable. Then I told her I wanted to speak to her manager. She told me not to worry, she was already going to get him! I didn’t see that cashier work for a long time after that, and when I do, I just avoid her line. Some people are jerks, and there is no excuse for acting like that. You don’t bring you problems to work no matter what. I was in basic training when my sister died. No matter how bad you may feel, your day can’t be as bad as that was.

  3. I see a lot of people here have been having issues using coupons at Walmart. I work for Walmart (in electronics and as a cashier) so I understand as a couponer that sometimes coupons just do not want to scan. I will tell you that coupons have been updating their barcodes and most Walmarts are not up to date with this yet. If you are comfortable enough, kindly ask your cashier to use the handheld scanner. I have that the registers cannot scan the newer barcodes but the handheld scanners can. I hope this helps a little.

    Also just want to let everyone know: couponers are always welcome at my checkout lane! I love to see people saving so much money. I have not been a good couponer lately, so it is nice to see what people are getting these days. And honestly, you couldn’t use a little extra money in their pockets these days?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you should come to my local Walmart! I would be happy to be in a couponer’s lane :)

  4. juju says:

    Yesterday I went shopping at my local Walmart and ALL of the printable coupons that I gave to the cashier were rejected. I had no problem with the coupons from the paper just the printed ones. They were printed clearly (with a new ink cartridge), They would not scan at all and the cashier told me they could not key them in any longer. Are stores doing away with print at home coupons?

    • Anonymous says:

      Their corporate policy still allows printables. It’s just some of the scanners haven’t been updated to read the new barcode yet, so see if they’ll scan it with the handheld one– that tends to work better. I’m not really a fan of the “no scan, no acceptance” policy either :(

  5. DMC08 says:

    I would just warn the people behind me and then they have fair warning and can just deal with it. You could tell them that you will be using a bunch of coupons and maybe they will be one of those that want to watch the amazing transaction your about to perform?!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have become self conscious lately when couponing because alhough I try to be extra nice it seems someone is always getting frstrated with my coupon use–if it’s not the cashier or the customer, it’s me! I find the cashiers tend to roll their eyes a little bit when I approach the counter and some of the customers have huffed and puffed as well. I really try to be organized and get the right product and have my coupons and rewards ready but inevitably it seems something always goes wrong. Sometimes it takes a little long with my coupons, but at one particular store, it is totally the slow cashier. She tends to comment on every item I purchase and even checks the expiration dates on food and milk–I already do that and I appreciate her concern but it really does slow the line down–coupons or not!! I have also had an experience where the cashier made an error while checking me out (she totaled the order before I was finished and I needed to reach “x” amount) and she asked me to step aside so she could check the others in line and then she would fix her error on my transaction–I didn’t appreciate that at all !! She was the only checker and refused to call someone else up!

  7. wendy3aces says:

    My best experience was at walgreens cosmetic counter. I had started my 2 part transaction, advised him of “might be a small wait”, but he was not in a hurry. Ran my coupons for first, offered to wait, but he was mesmorized by the savings I had. Did 2nd transaction, paid and thanked him for being patient. I looked at what he had to buy and was able to save him about $10.00 on his transaction! Nice to be nice to the nice! A winner all the way around!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have used the Multiple Transaction Courtesy suggestion with somewhat amusing results. The customers behind me cast strange looks towards me but once they know why I moved back in the line they express interest. I have never, when using this tactic, had any problem. And when you think to yourself that you have taken a long time, simply turn to the customers behind you at the conclusion of your transaction(s) and thank them for waiting. There is always time for courtesy.

  9. anon says:

    Just keep your cool! You should never have to apologize or feel sheepish just because a few people are too childish and impatient to have to wait 5 minutes. They have bad manners. There are worse things in life people! PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!

  10. Regina says:

    I was at my local walmart yesterday – unlike a lot of the comments I hear our clerks are friendly and helpful and most say they coupon themselves. Walmart has told them to be sure that the coupon matches whatever is purchased. So the checkout line is slowed a little more. I had a large order and then with comps and coupons it was taking a while. There was a man who got in line behind me with only a few things. I could see that he was getting upset as a couple of my coupons beeped and she had to figure out why, because as I said she was a nice clerk and she would say I don’t know why it beeped we both know you purchased that item. At the second beep, the man walked past me with a huff. I looked at the ckerk and being the person I am, said hey I’m sorry. She said you have nothing to be sorry for your doing nothing wrong. Your using coupons the way they are supposed to be used. that’s when she told me that she used coupons too. I also wanted to post and say how much I love this site and how much it has helped me. I’m still not able to do as much as a lot of the posting I read, but have tripled the amount of coupons I was able to use before. I have limited coupons as our paper only has RP and PG never SS. I have learned to use many of the tips and coupons that are posted here. Please ladies keep up the good work

    • Anonymous says:

      It must have been National Bad Day to Use Coupons at Walmart yesterday. I got into the speedy checkout lane with only 15 items and coupons for most of them. The Ortega coupons beeped even though it said “any” and I had 4 seasonings. The Earthbound Farms didn’t want to scan for a very long time; the Belvita BOGO gave the cashier fits, and the free El Monterey burritos she deducted just .68 each instead of $1. Nearly 15 minutes later, which included 3 consultations with CSMs, manually adjusting the deduction (incorrectly I found out later), and at least 5 people choosing another lane, we finally got out of there. When I tried to figure out what all she had done, I ended up getting cheated out of .54, but I was not going to go back and stand in line at customer service. I should have had her just start over and re-ring everything. And she was NOT a coupon fan.

      • Kristen says:

        younggrandmah: Interesting why you would choose the “speedy checkout lane” with coupons. Yes, you only had 15 items, but I feel you should always be prepared to have some sort of problems with coupons. Even if you don’t, it can still take some time to scan them all in. Those lanes are for those who want to get out quickly with a few items. You should never use them if you’re couponing. I wouldn’t even dream of utilizing one of those checkouts even if I only had a few items with coupons. It’s common courtesy. Of course she’s not a coupon fan (perhaps she is); you were using a “fast” lane and causing such a ruckus. Next time, use a “normal” check out lane no matter how few items you have with coupons. I’m actually trying to bite my tongue about the “re-ring everything” bit. It was a FAST lane, after all.

        • Anonymous says:

          Would I have been less a pariah in your estimation if I had omitted the information about being in the speedy lane? There is always someone on this site ready to jump down someone’s throat just for commenting. But thank you for your input.

          • jalong says:

            Were you replying to me or to Kristen? I wasn’t jumping down your throat at all. I was just stating my opinion on what I thought we as couponers should do to give a better outlook on all of us. It is totally okay that you did that. It is just in my opinion and also apparently Kristen’s that we don’t think that it is right for someone to go into the fast lane. As far as my thoughts on it, I didn’t think that you should get upset at the cashiers and CSMs. It was just a simple mistake on your part but now that you know it isn’t a very good idea it will help not only you but the cashier, people in line and again the general outlook of how couponers are perceived. That was all I was saying. Also my post was not just for you but for everyone.

            • Anonymous says:

              I had replied to Kristen. Yours posted after I left my original snarky reply. The thing is, I was just adding my comment to say that things did not go well with me that day either, but I did not get angry at the cashier at all; in fact I was more than patient with her and saw that she was frustrated after the first coupon did not scan right and then it went downhill from there. I had not considered that I shouldn’t use the speedy lane with coupons, because I AM careful not to exceed the limits for the number of items. Had I used a regular lane, the possibility of someone with a huge cartful behind me would have gotten really mad. The ones who waited for awhile behind me and then took another lane right next door still got out quicker than I did and they didn’t make any remarks at me or the cashier. Again I apologize.

            • jalong says:

              I totally understand. Like I said earlier it isn’t a big deal I just wanted to make sure that you weren’t mad about my comment because it was just to add my thoughts on what Kristen said. As far as what she was saying I do understand her frustration as well but I think that she did a very good job of explaining the reasons why she wouldn’t choose to do that, without getting as mad as I have seen other people. She kept her cool and explained it very well. I think that we have our different opinions, which is good. But as couponers we have to be extra vigilant to uphold our reputation. Whether that be going to a normal line or being patient with others. We as a society have to be better people as a whole. I am 27 and in my 27 years of being on this earth I have learned that patience, love and kindness are the best way to get through to people…….even when my coupons won’t scan or a cashier doesn’t know what she is doing. Like I said before it is okay to make mistakes…hint everyone does LOL ( that was a joke btw). I hope that you have a better shopping experience in the future and save a LOT of money. Truly I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Talk to you later. God Bless, Jaime

        • Anonymous says:

          I want to apologize for sniping back at you. It was a very unChristian thing for me to do.

      • Linda says:

        At one point I started having trouble with my coupons…then I realized the printer ink was running out. Once I began using new cartridges I didn’t have any problems. Until I discovered what was happening, I felt so uncomfortable at the checkout! Hope your next coupon purchases are better.

    • Anonymous says:

      So glad we can help!

  11. shari fitzgerald says:

    My favorite store – Shop Rite that when I get in line- usually with my Q friend our cashier turns off her light…. leaves everyone Happy

  12. AshleyAshley says:

    I’ve also let people who have just a few items go ahead of me. I think it’s a common courtesy anyway and often appreciated. Some stores still dont have self check out options for their customers. Think stores that haven’t had remodels or updates done to them in a long time.

    I will give some praise to Publix. There’s a few cashiers there who have become friendly toward myself and my three year old and instead of thinking I’m a stressed out mom, they walk over and talk to my son or bring him a balloon. I really appreciate when they do that too.

    Respect. It goes both ways. =)

  13. lynnc19 says:

    Only on two occasions when I had a massive amount of coupons have I told the people behind me that It might take a while because I had a lot of coupons so they might wanna change lanes, one rolled her eyes at me and made some sort of disgusted “uGHHH” sound the other told me she’d “pick whatever line she damned well pleased” so needless to say I no longer say anything to anyone lol. I find that people are so unfriendly nowadays that in most cases trying to be polite to strangers just bites you in the butt lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      But keep being polite anyway. If they want to be horses’ behinds, they will have to answer for it someday.

  14. Eliza says:

    Choosing when to shop can help but this doesn’t really work in cities when lines are consistently long and most of our ads start on Wednesday! Ask a friendly cashier what days and times are /less/ likely to be /as/ busy!