Monday, March 2, 2009

Q & A

From an email...

Coupon Clipper: -If I have a ‘save 50 c. on 4 cans’ and I am going to buy 4 cans can I use one coupon for each can?

Me: Nope, it's one coupon per set of four cans... I consider these junk coupons... I only clip these coups if I am for sure going to purchase that product, that brand and in that specific quantity... Ah, I am so annoyed by those coupons. Chinsy savings are still savings, but I like the BIG savings!!!

Coupon Clipper: (I know you mentioned this in your class) the coupons that say ‘manufacturer coupon’ but have a store logo, are those ONLY allowed at that store. I had trouble at Meijer with a ‘Kroger’ coupon and they wouldn’t let me use it. I ended up calling the store manager and she said that those can ONLY be used at Kroger, and that Kroger strikes a deal with the manufacturer.

Me: With the exclusion of the 'Manufacturer' coupons in the Rite Aid flyer (those are actually very poorly designed Rite Aid store coupons) a manufacturer's coupon is a manufacturer's coupon. I clip the logo off of the coupon so it doesn't confuse the cashier... unfortunately most cashiers are under-trained in accepting and ringing in coupons, so really, it isn't their fault!

Coupon Clipper: Can you use coupons on clearance items? At Rite Aid I couldn’t, but at CVS I could? Do they have policies or is it just what that specific manager feels like doing?

Me: Honestly, it usually is up to the store manager. But... if you frequent your location and get to know some of the employees your odds are better for getting the best deals. At my favorite stores I rarely have problems because I am known - usually I spend my time at the checkout talking up the best deals of the week. If you ever are unsatisfied with the way in which a store handles their coupon policy, the 800 number is usually found somewhere on your receipt... just call. (Rite Aid's # is 1.800. RITE (748).AID (3243).)

Coupon Clipper: Lastly (for now) if I have a coupon that’s worth more than the cost of the item shouldn’t I still be able to use it (as cash) even if I can’t get the cash back. ie: toothpaste for .99 c. w/ a 1.50 coupon. Can’t I pay the tax and call it even?

Me: Yes and no. It depends on the savvyness of the cashier... if he/she knows how to adjust down a coupon (See right side bar and read about adjusting down coupons in the Snippets section). Otherwise the store should offer you coupon overage (coupon overage is also found in the Snippets section). CVS is awesome about adjusting down coupons, while Walgreen's often will just give you the coupon overage. It helps to know each store's policies- but it is a learn as you go type of education. Each store varies just enough to keep you guessing.

Coupon Clipper: I’ve been doing this couponing thing for 2 weeks now, ever since your class, and so far I’ve gone to more stores than I usually go to in a month, but I’ve gotten some good deals, and best of all it has made me way more aware of spending money and I feel more of a responsibility to spend wisely.

But, I have to say, I don’t know if it’s just my bad luck or what, but I have had a problem at least 50% of the time. Some of it is my own user error – like me not knowing the policy, or not knowing that there were maximums for the deals you can get (I bought a second razor at CVS last week expecting to get the 4 ECB's but I had already received them earlier in the week so I couldn’t do it again and now my $4 coupon was gone so I couldn’t return it and get it on a different CVS card. ugh) but I’ve also just had items not ring up at the sale price and not realize it in the moment so then I have to go back in and make a stink all for $1.20 back for 3 packs of gum. And then I feel like a cheapskate for making a stink for $1.20 but it’s the principle, right?

Anyway...I guess I just needed to do a little retail-venting, so, there you have it!

Me: Everybody needs a little retail- venting once in a while.

Mistakes happen to the best of us, but here are some tips that I practice:

1. Always watch the register. Especially when your items are ringing up (you can stop that cashier right there and have him/her check the pricing.) and when your coupons are being scanned (sometimes the coupons stick together...)

2. Review your receipt before leaving the store... yep, its Granny Style, but worth it! Plus, who doesn't want to gawk at the amount you saved with your precious coupons!!!

3. Repack your mispriced items back into the bag you brought them home in, and either set the bag in your car or next to your keys... with the receipt in the bag- so the next time that you head to that store (maybe the following week) you just grab the bag when you go... easy returning.

Keep up the hard work! It really does pay off! You'll work out your kinks and have your stores memorized in no time!



Good advice on checking your receipt! I don't know about yours, but our South Lyon Walgreens is terrible! Things do not ring up on sale, they do not adjust their coupons well and the Register Rewards hardly ever print.
The manager just laughs, because I am there every Tuesday and sure enough every time, he gets called over to adjust something or get me a gift card for the rewards that did not print! Oh well.
Also, the manager told me today that in April or May they are doing away with the mail in rebate booklets. They are switching over to all Register Rewards (which I am not real thrilled about since they hardly ever work!)

Laura Webber

The inside scoop is finally out... I've been asking!

Bummer about your Walgreen's - MINE is AWESOME!!!