Let me be really clear here: There is no reason to be ashamed of couponing, as long as you are couponing ethically. We aren't cheating anyone, and we have as much right to go to the store as any other person. Frankly, I feel that throwing away money is something to be ashamed of no matter how much money you have. And couponers are not all poor! People of all levels of income coupon because it is the responsible thing to do.
As a mom of eight, I'm used to people staring, mumbling unflattering things, and asking inappropriate questions. I'm also used to people glaring at me in grocery lines. When we first adopted our girls, this was really hard. But I've learned how to go places with confidence and how to avoid being hurt or offended by what the other people say or do. I think the same things that help me as a mom of eight can help new couponers feel confident, too.
Come to the store prepared. Do your matchups at home and come prepared with a shopping list that is detailed. Have your coupons ready. Know the store policies. The more prepared you are, the more confidence you will have. If you are trying to do matchups in the store and shuffling through coupons to find one you forgot, it's easier to get flustered.
Never Let Them See You Sweat
Try to avoid shopping on days that you're already upset or frazzled. If something goes wrong (like a cashier not accepting a coupon that you're counting on), take a breath and speak calmly and politely. If you find a good deal and need to find a coupon, go to an area that isn't crowded to look for it calmly. People expect couponers to be frazzled. By staying calm, you disprove that stereotype.
Kill Them with Kindness
This is hard. When someone is being nasty, the last thing you want to do is be nice, but it's the best way to get people to stop being ugly. A big, sweet smile and a kind word will stop most of the rudeness. I love to turn to people who are mumbling rude things and say brightly, "Thanks so much for being so patient. I know we all hate waiting in line." If the person continues to be rude, simply smile. No one likes to argue with themselves.
Go the Extra Mile
Help the reputation of all couponers by doing small kindnesses.
Offer coupons to the people who are in line behind you. If you aren't in a hurry, let people go ahead of you in the checkout line. Find a manager to compliment a courteous cashier. Thank the cashier and the people in line behind you.
It's hard to be the target of rudeness, but if you can learn to face the situation with confidence, it gets better. After five years, I can take my eight kids to the grocery store with my coupons and find it funny to hear people counting my kids and grumbling about couponers.
This has been a guest post by Heather from Eagle, ID
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!