Couponing Correctly: It’s Not Up to the Store Manager

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see Full Disclosure Policy for more information.
Couponing Correctly

couponing correctlyI do everything I can to make sure I’m couponing correctly. There are a lot of things that drive me nuts.  It’s not a secret, I have a lot of pet peeves. However, one of the things that really gets me going quicker than anything else is the average consumer’s reliance on “the store manager.” Before you get all hot and bothered, let me explain.  I am all for you building a relationship with the management in the store where you shop.  I think it is very beneficial for you to have that resource and I can assure you they love to know the people that are putting food on their table. However, the store manager is used as an excuse when coupons are NOT used correctly and they are used as a scapegoat when proper transactions are not able to be performed.  In simple terms: The store manager has nothing to do with the intended use of a coupon.


Manufacturers Set the Terms

Store management may have the ability to give you a nod or a shake of the head in their store, but in reality, your couponing correctly is not up to them. Manufacturers put pictures on coupons to give you and example of A product that is able to be purchased with the coupon.  How many times have we all read “the store manager said it has to be the product in the picture.” Really?  Since when do we IGNORE all the writing that is on the coupon?  Since when do we not rely on a description to tell us exactly how a coupon is supposed to be used?  That is one of the biggest cop outs that I have heard.  In fact, it’s laughable.  I can guarantee you that store and corporate personnel are going to read the entire coupon when it comes time to get reimbursed for the same coupons to which they turned a blind eye.  Is the store manager evil?  No, in this case, they are just uneducated.  That’s why you need to stand your ground!  Don’t take no for an answer.  If the manager says no, take it up the ladder.  Simply make sure you you know your stuff and you will prevail.

The situation above is bad enough.  What grates me even more is when we see the rampant misuse of coupons and the excuse is “The store couponing correctlymanager told me it’s OK.” Interesting.  Isn’t this the same guy you were complaining about not taking your Tide coupon on a travel size last month?  Now he’s your best friend!  Uh?  You can use a Whitestrips coupon on toothpaste?  “Well, the store manager said I could.”  Well, here’s a newsflash.  The store manager isn’t the manufacturer.  The store manager doesn’t have a Gutenberg Printing Press in the stockroom making coupons to specification.

Sometimes Couponing Correctly Takes Work

There is a reason that the coupons are printed with a picture AND a description on them.  In some cases, I definitely give people the benefit of the doubt.  Some coupons can be ambiguous.  However, use your resources wisely.  You have the power of the internet at your fingertips! Write an email to the manufacturer.  Pick up the phone and call them!  While store management is definitely a wealth of information about their store’s coupon policy and promotional information, they have no business being the translator for manufacturer’s coupons.  If they don’t 100% understand what the coupon is stating they should do,  shame on them for rendering a decision.  They should take the extra time to find out if the coupon is really being redeemed legitimately.

There is a lot of buzz on the internet about coupons being used fraudulently with the willful participation of store management in a variety of chains across the country.  This, obviously, is not couponing correctly. While I have remained silent on this point until now, I will definitely be weighing in this week.  Keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming post “Why Store Management has no Incentive to Fight Coupon Fraud.”  It will be a behind the scenes look at the average grocery store and what it takes to make your profit bonus.  For some, this will be confirmation of information long suspected.  For others, it will be an eye opening journey into the bowels of one of the oldest “Good Ole Boy” networks in industry today.



  1. I had a Hugh problem once again at Dollar General! The manager would not let me use my Campbell soup coupon, because the picture was not the same! I don’t feel educated enough to argue with her but every week she stops me from using 1-5 coupons.

    • Thats why we need to take and retake the webinars until we are confident that we do know. David I always love hearing your straight forward information. I feel wiser for having hooked up to this website almost 1 year ago. Thank you

      • my only advice that I give to you is that BE CONFIDENT in your couponing. Okay so maybe you are not a coupon pro yet, but can you read? Of course, you can! So like david mentions above, read the coupon to the cashier and if the coupon says tomato soups but has a variety of soups, stand your ground by what it says. My worse scenario of couponing was when I was trying to use a Lays Free purchase any size coupon. There was only 3 coupons in this purchase with about 20 items. Before I even thought this deep about couponing, so no real goal except to get a free bag of chips. The cashier INSISTED that I could not buy the family bag of plain chips because 3 reasons: 1) the coupon said Frito Lays while the bag said Lays on it; 2) the picture had a multipack on the front; and finally this one almost made me need a straight jacket 3) the bag I had was more than one chip so I could only purchase one. WHAT? How can one bag be considered more than one chip? The manager did come over and tell her that the coupon was okay, but I waited and waited until she just took the coupon. I knew it said free bag of any Lays potato chip up to $5.00 and that was what I knew I was leaving with. I have learned from the wizards and have become very aware of my coupons. Don’t doubt yourself! You are more educated than you credit yourself with…now we just have to work on your “fighting” skills. 🙂

        • I have always been confident in what I am buying. I had a cashier at CVS last week when I used a $3/3 Nabisco coupon to get the snack size Crackerfuls for free. She took them, then said, real snotty “You know..the coupon is supposed to be for BOXES.” I replied..”Really?? Why would you say that?”(acting stupid). She goes “Well it shows full boxes on the coupon, not the snack ones.” So I took it back and showed her “You see here…it says on ANY..not on full box but on ANY. That is called NO size restriction. Maybe you should learn to READ the coupon and not rely on the pictures like we are reading a Dick and Jane book”
          She snatched the coupon back and said “Well didn’t you just luck out then.” and I snidely remarked…”Nope’s called SMART shopping and using coupons correctly”. And I smirked at her and walked out with my 18 crackerful snack packets that I paid .66 in total for.

          Stand your ground. Read the coupon carefully.

          • Hahaha! Thats great! I have been very fortunate with my CVS. The staff is really great (and patient). I couldn’t imagine them doing this.

          • Not sure why you’re bragging about this. 18 packs means you used 6 coupons for the same item/s. Which, (to me) means you’ve taken someone else’s share. Coupons are sent in the paper, and I’ve never seen a full sheet of the same coupon. Manufacturers want many people to have the incentive to buy/try their product. Otherwise, they’d just send all their coupons straight to your house and let you have at it.

          • Renee, usually I do not have any trouble with cashiers. If they question stuff I simply explain it to them..and they are like..”OH OK”, but this chick was just purely a B*TCH, some snotty, just out of high school, think she knows it all. I’ve even had some cashiers at Target and Price Chopper get excited when I come through because they can’t wait to see how much I have saved.

          • Sally, if she went and bought 6 newspapers one Sunday, she is entitled to using 6 coupons.

          • My mother always told me, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

  2. Thank you for your post!

  3. I appreciate all the information the you give us. Especially sense you understand this an give those of us that have not had your experience a chance to see what things really mean or how it really works.

  4. Marie Shackelford says

    Very good info and I appreciate all you do to help us be good couponers.

  5. Cant wait to read this post “Why Store Management has no Incentive to Fight Coupon Fraud”. This ought to be good.

  6. great article. def passing it on

  7. I have not had to deal with a store manager yet but I have had to deal with a cashier that fought me saying one coupon per purchase so I could only use one. Even though in their policy and on the coupon it said I could use four like coupons per transaction. I hate when I know more about their coupon policy then they do.

  8. Think kindness always works better then not

  9. Vicki Oliver says

    if there’s ever a doubt in my mind about a coupon I will most certainly ask on here first then I will see a store manager (but haven’t ever had to do that YET). My dad being a store manager of a Family Dollar, I hear ALL the time about people misusing coupons. I’ve come to educate my dad on a lot of the coupons that come out and even give him heads up on what needs to be ordered so that he has enough stock in the store.

  10. Shanna Hartwell says

    I’m with Vicki, when I doubt, I check with TCW first! I have had to stand my ground with a few CSMs but knowing I was educated in proper use helped me win those battles. :0)

  11. Thankfully I haven’t had very many problems using coupons. Usually it’s just because the cashier doesn’t understand the difference between a ‘purchase’ and a ‘transaction’ but once explained they are fine. I must have one of the few Walmarts with friendly cashier and knowledgeable managers. I can guarantee my local stores wouldn’t knowingly accept coupons on the wrong products. I once had a cashier whip out a magnifying glass, read each q and go through the bags!

  12. I’ve had a few instances where I had to show them exactly what the coupon says. I’ve read some wrong & admitted my misreading & completely appoligized. Some have read it wrong & have appoligized. I had one cashier get upset one time because my daughter smashed her brothers toes w/the cart & was crying really hard. By the time I got to the cashier, she stated that if I can’t keep them quiet; then, I had to quit shopping there. Naturally, I was upset, 1: because she had no clue what had happened, 2: because she was young & clearly had no idea what it meant to have children, 3: she had no right to make that decision, 4: she had also stated that elders were getting upset because he was crying. So, naturally, I had talked to the manager; but, did wait outside for her as I was already steamed & I did explain to her what had happened & how I felt. Needless to say, the problem was rendered & that clearly no one can kick me out just because my son was crying because he got hurt in the store by accident from his sister. Some just need to be informed & understand how things are supposed to work & sometimes we do make mistakes. We all just need to work together & make sure that we are properly informed how to do it & teach others how to do the coupons properly. I am very glad that I found the right Coupon Family to help me & others out & keep the Coupon Community in good standards. Thank You for everything that you have taught us & for many more knowledgeable information in the future.

  13. It gets so annoying to have to waste everyone’s time in line to have to explain to cashiers how we can use coupons, they often think they have the last say, I have had to email companies with the required info name, time ,location, date and short details about situation, always get a positive response from upstairs.I really hate being one of those coupon customers holding up the line having to defend each coupon, so many times I have them take off whatever items they want to be difficult about, which takes even longer but I refuse to pay more than I have to, I spend a lot of time working with coupons to get good deals and won’t have some cashier cost me money refusing to honor a good coupon. If they want to be a real pain I will just walk away and they will have to take off the entire order.

Speak Your Mind


92d3fe425d250a07f0690e7b9446fd75d36d34df8c1539a41f 92d3fe425d250a07f0690e7b9446fd75d36d34df8c1539a41f