A few thoughts on couponing…..

My good friend Lane asked me to go grocery shopping with her and help her figure out how to coupon shop.  At the end of April she and I went to Kroger armed with her shopping list and my coupons.  I have written one , two…two coupon related posts on her Women Worth Knowing website.

When Lane and I went shopping,  I realized that I still had a few things to say about coupon shopping.  If any of you have watched the “Extreme Couponing” show on TLC,  it can be intimidating to try to match those kinds of savings.

Were you aware that some coupons can be used on trial sized items? Were you aware that those items can end up being free or almost free with coupons? Well, you can….and they are.

So, check your coupons (especially if they are about to expire) 1 load Tide laundry detergent might not be a “normal” buy for you, but if it’s free….why not use the coupon? It’s all about the fine print. Does the coupon state specific sizes it can be used on? If not it can be used on any size.  Many coupons have very specific terms on them, but a few can be used on any size item.  Those coupons are little freebie gems.

On the other side of that savings coin is misuse of coupons.  Misuse of coupons is, to break it down simply, using a coupon on an item it was not intended for.  It’s tricking the computer system, and it’s coupon fraud.

Heather at Full Price? Never said this about coupon misuse and I agree.

Heather said “Each coupon comes with set rules. These rules state what the coupon can be used on. Quite specifically too. When a coupon is used on the wrong product it hurts all couponers. Manufacturers watch these shows and are cracking down on how their coupons are used {ie. PG’s 4 like coupons per shopping trip and similac’s 1 coupon per transaction}. When I see that coupons are being used {on purpose, read planned misuse} it gets my blood boiling. It’s just pathetic. The stupidity to do it on TV amazes me even more. “

Just because you “can” trick the check out computer and use a coupon for, let’s say,  lunch meat on a smaller package than it was intended for and get that lunch meat  free does not mean you should do it.   Because you should NOT do it.

Jill Cataldo wrote a great article about coupon misuse as it pertains to the TLC show “Extreme Couponing”.  If you have time, go read it.

Using coupons is a privilege, one I really enjoy.  I know that I have noticed a lot more scrutiny from the cashiers since the “Extreme Couponing” show began airing.  I don’t really mind the scrutiny, because I obey the rules, but it does slow down my check out process a lot. It does makes me think that the cashiers have been advised that coupon shoppers are trying to cheat the stores, and sometimes they treat me like I’m “the bad guy” and that does not feel good.

Use your coupons, but please for your sake and mine use them properly, use them with integrity, be an honest coupon shopper.



  1. I have noticed more scrutiny from cashiers at Kroger. I’d never made the connection though. Great post.

    • I’m just guessing about that Greg, but the timing seems too coincidental. It seems like the cashiers started really checking the coupons, after the show started. I could be wrong, but it seems like it must be show related to me. I had a cashier un-bag my items at Albertsons yesterday so she could check each item vs. the coupon before scanning coupons. I was glad that it was a light coupon trip, otherwise I might still be at the store. Ha!

  2. megan

    I would have been annoyed with the unbagging. Why wasn’t she paying attention as she was scanning?

    • No clue, but I had 8 coupons and she verified every item before she ever tried the coupon. It went a little like this…inspect coupon, locate item in my bags, check coupon again, scan coupon. Lather, rinse, repeat. 8 times. I have to be honest, it made my eye twitch a little.

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