For a lot of new couponers, going to checkout and handing your coupons to the cashier is a scary thing. It’s especially intimidating when your coupons get lost in the register’s conveyor belt. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, this has happened to me. I placed my coupons on top of one of the last items I was purchasing, and the cashier didn’t see them. When she picked up the item, the coupons slipped off and fell onto the running conveyor belt. Many couponers (and cashiers) would simply forget the lost coupons and continue with the transaction, but my cashier offered to retrieve the coupons. What awesome customer service! She practically had to take the whole thing apart to find them! Thankfully, I knew exactly which coupons I had and was able to get full credit when she dug the coupons out of the conveyor pit!

Being organized is absolutely necessary if you want to be a successful, confident couponer. Because I knew which coupons I planned on using and in which order, I was able to recover from the conveyor belt incident quite quickly. I was even able to keep track of my savings even after all the commotion. Here are a few tips to help keep your checkout experience running as smoothly as possible—even when there is a minor hiccup!

1. Organize coupons and groceries by category

Just like we shop the store in sections, organize your coupons by category. Dairy, snacks, boxed foods and refrigerated items are just a few examples. Also, these items are typically bagged alike. If you’re like me, you watch your groceries as they’re bagged. Observe where the bags are placed in your shopping cart. If a coupon beeps and the item has to be verified, the cashier can easily find the item. This not only helps you, the customer, but it also helps cashiers manage their register and time per transaction. Stores like Walmart rate their cashiers based on a number of factors, the biggest one being time spent per transaction.

2. Organize by alternately stacking coupons

I like to alternately stack my coupons. In other words, turn the coupons alternate ways in a stack. I like to stack a printed coupon, then a manufacturer coupon cut from my Sunday paper and alternate this way. I do this to ensure that coupons don’t stick together, which can lead to missed savings. It’s also an effective way to quickly count your coupons before you hand them over for credit.

3. Organize by limiting the number of coupons you hand over at a time

I like to hand my coupons to the cashier in stacks of 5. After she scans the first five, I’ll hand over 5 more coupons. This is an effective method for not losing your coupons and making sure you get proper credit.

 

3 Tips for Organizing Coupons at Checkout