Coupon Policies – Knowing them Saves You More Money!


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Knowing Coupon Policies

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If you are new to couponing, there are quite a few things that you need to learn.  Many people get overwhelmed and as a result give up.  DO NOT LET THAT BE YOU!!!  Couponing is not hard, but it does take work and there is a learning curve.  Believe it or not, I feel like I am at the top of my game and there are still times that I walk out of the store and shake my head because I know I just made a mistake that could have been avoided.  Organizing your coupons and planning your shopping trip are certainly an important part of the couponing lifestyle.  Another important step for you to take is to learn the coupon policies of the different stores.  Because we don’t want you to get overwhelmed, we recommend that you start couponing slowly.  Trust me, once you get a taste of the secret sauce, you will ramp up quickly!

Best Way to Start Couponing

The best place to start is with one grocery store.  Pick the store that you like to shop at the most and start with that store.  Learn the sales cycles of the store, learn the promotions that they offer, walk the aisles slowly and look around.  You will be surprised at how many blinkies, tear pads and peelies you’ve never noticed before!  You will also want to go to that company’s website and get their corporate coupon policy.  If it isn’t on the website, you will definitely want to email the company and ask them to send you a copy of it for your records.  While some companies may resist sending it to you as a .pdf, they will usually answer your questions in an email that you can then print to a .pdf yourself.

Every store varies to some degree as to what they will accept.  Also, stores within a specific chain may vary depending on franchising, etc.  The one thing that I have seen and witnessed first-hand is that all stores will allow the manager to be the final decision maker of their coupon policy.  The corporate policy is a very good guideline, so we recommend that you learn that and use it to plan your shopping trips.

Coupon Policies - Man ShoppingWe also recommend that you keep a printed copy of each store’s coupon policy with you when you go shopping.  If you have seen our page on getting organized, you know that I personally carry a traditional coupon caddy with me on all of my shopping trips.  I have it divided by store and have my list for that store, coupons and a copy of the store’s coupon policy filed in the tab for that store.  I do this so that I have a quick reference in the event there is a discrepancy at check-out.  As many of you know, I spent ten years in the retail sector and am intimately familiar with the ins and outs of registers, cashiers and coupons.  I am also familiar with the lack of training support most companies give their employees, so it is quite possible that you know more about the corporate policies of the store than the person that is checking you out.

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How Coupon Policies Come in Handy

More than once, I have had a cashier refuse to take coupons from me for whatever the reason and all I had to do was wield the almighty corporate coupon policy before they magically figured out how to make the deal work.  They don’t even take the time to read the policy; I just give them the impression that I know what I’m talking about at that point.  Granted, I do know what I’m talking about, but it is nice to have these coupon policies as backup.  I have run into this situation with everyone from the front line cashiers to the store manager themselves.  Print the policy, read the policy and keep the policy with you at all times.  You will win many more times than you will lose if you follow this tip!

~David




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