Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Q & A

From an email...

Coupon Clipper: WOW - I'm truly amazed at how you continually save big $$ at the grocery store. How do you do it? I live in a small town called St Paris, Ohio, I have a question to ask you about Kroger.

Say I went to purchase a PACE salsa product listed at $1.99 each. I use my $4.00 off coupon. I had a frustrating time with this last night.

The customer service manager said I couldn't use my $4 coupon that it would actually be reduced to $1.99 even though its a manufacturer's coupon listed as $4 off. Could you help me out on this? The same thing happened when I used a $3.50 coupon off of a bag of Purina cat food priced at $1.99.

The manager stated that the cashier would write in the correct product amount. I have yet to see a cashier do this since I was previously over at Wal-Mart picking up another PACE product and used my $4 off coupon with no problems.

It was a VERY, VERY, VERY bad experience at Kroger which I totally felt criticized for trying to save a buck. The cashier made me feel so uncomfortable that my total wasn't what I had added up since she was adding coupon figures back on my bill that I had the manager VOID out the transaction and actually had them re ring my order. It was significantly lower of course and during all of this the cashier LOST 2 of my coupons which she said I lost.

I was beyond frustrated and was about to burst into tears. I know this is NOT how couponing is supposed to be. I was at the register for a total of 45 minutes. Ugh!!

Me: First of all, I'd be on the phone with customer service- not with your store but at the corporate level. Using coupons is savvy shopping NOT illegal or stealing!!! When you call customer care, make sure to let them know how long you stood in line, specific rude comments that were made to you, the time of day you shopped, how the employees made you feel/ look in front of other customers, and ask if you may be sent a gift card for the value of the 2 coupons that the cashier lost. Be kind and adamant!

Secondly, I'd find a new Kroger. I'm in the process of finding a new Kroger close to home (Super Kroger is 45 minutes away) because the daytime cashiers are so terrible at my local store! It will be well worth an extra few minutes in the car for me to find a store with kind employees.

The truth about coupon overage (when your coupon value is worth more than the product) is that it is allowed at some stores and not at others. Sometimes it is even just allowed by some cashiers while other cashiers will not allow it.

Walmart, hands down, is the only store that I know of that allows overage all of the time.

I personally receive overage most often when I stack a store's coupon with a manufacturer's coupon. For example, last week I purchased Bic Soliel razors at Walgreens. They were on clearance for $3.59 and I had a $2 manufacturer's coupon and a $2 store coupon for Walgreen's monthly booklet, the Easy Saver Catalogue (pick one up in the entryway of the store.). SO my coupons totaled $4, but my product was $3.59.

Most of the grocery stores do not allow coupon overage- it is more of a rarity at the grocery store to even have high value coupons.

If I were you, I'd stick with Walmart for Pace and cat food. You did the right thing by trying to explain yourself to the cashier and manager- too bad they weren't interested in listening.

Please don't let this rotten experience hinder you from keeping up on your clipping and saving. There is an art to coupon spending and it sounds like you are well on your way to understanding- keep up the great work!