Saturday, August 27, 2011

Couponing for Two: Coupons = Money and THAT Keeps the Joint Runnin'

Couponers get a bad rap....and THAT is just not fair.  I do not care if you are using cash, coupons, or food stamps...YOU are the CUSTOMER and with out CUSTOMERS the store will not stay open.  It is as simple as that.  (Let's back up a minute....I am speaking about customers who follow the rules.  Customers who do not abuse the system, but work it to save as much as possible.  I know there is a fine line there and different people have different definitions of "crossing it" and we could go back and forth all day we will not go there.  We will just agree that you should not abuse the system.  Also, just like we will not approve of stealing, counterfeit money, etc etc...we will not approve of counterfeit coupons or the misuse of coupons...because that, too, is stealing.)....ok back to my rant....

When a customer buys a product with cash, the store will profit.  When a customer buys a product with cash and coupons, the store will profit.  When the customer gets an item for free because of couponing, the store will still profit.  These joints do not stay in business by giving things away for cheap or free...they are getting their money....believe you me (that is what my Mawma used to say..."believe you me" LOL). 

When you use a coupon the store is reimbursed from the manufacture and also paid .08 cents per coupon for a handling fee.  So really, they are making money on each coupon.  If you use an "in store" coupon, the store is still turning a profit because they work that into their marketing strategy.  It is a way to get you into the store to buy more items....just like the company pays to advertise...the "in store" coupons and promotions are in someway an advertisement.  Think about it this way....Walgreens is a HUGE company...they know what they are doing or they would not be as big as they are and staying in business for this long.  Your savvy couponing, no matter how clever you think you are, is not hurting them...they are smarter than you, most of the time.

Keep your cool and do not let the cashier bully you or make you feel less worthy as a CUSTOMER because you are using coupons.  Coupons are currency just as if you are using cash, credit, or whatever you use to trade. 

One way to make sure you know the rules of each store is to KNOW their coupon policy (and Price Matching Policy, if you are shopping at Wal Mart or Target).  You can find a nice long list of store policies at Coupon Diva's web site.  Print these policies out and keep them with your coupons (I keep a coupon binder and just stashed the policies in there).  I make sure I know the  policy before I challenge the cashiers, etc.  I would hate to end up with those cheap eggs I just bought all over my face.  Most of the time, believe it or not, the cashiers do not know the policy....I am still new to all of this and actually had to show a manager at Tom Thumb the policy.  She was extremely rude and informed me that she would "let this slide THIS time"...WTHeck?  THIS TIME?  Whatever.  (I just choose not to shop there now...their "deals" are not all that great and that store (Campbell and Coit) has more problems of their own to worry about...that has to be the WORST store in my area for not having their check-out lanes open...oh but that is yet another rant I have!!!!)

So what about other CUSTOMERS giving you "looks" and complaining about you using coupons.  Well, frankly, they can just go jump in the lake because it is really not anyone else's business how you spend your time or money.  And if they are so concerned about you taking too long in line, so what...they should have got their first and in the words of Krazy Coupon Lady, "Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey!"  You are paying the same as they are, you are just not spending as much.  Does that make sense now that I explained how the store gets reimbursed?  And if you have to "call the cashier out" about not taking a coupon or not doubling it, or is the same as letting her know that she over charged your Visa or did not give you back the right change in cash.  I am sure the lady behind you, "rolling her eyes" would not be "ok" with getting the wrong change back.  Just because she is paying CASH where you are using COUPONS, does not make her more worthy of a customer than just means you are much much smarter with your money.  Now did your confidence in being a "Crazy Coupon Lady" just go up a notch? 

Just stick to your guns, know your policies and store rules, and keep your head up knowing that the 50% (and more) you are saving will look just fabulous on your feet in the form of a new pair of shoes.

Now get to clipping....and start saving lots of money.


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