I remember my first coupon shop and I’ll never forget it. It was both nerve-racking and exhilarating at the same time.
The fun part is going around picking up your items knowing that the bunch of paper in your hand is the same to you as money but when you get to the till then that’s a whole new game.
That’s where tips and hints come in handy so here are my top tips on how to become the best couponer you can be.
Knowing where to find coupons
To do a coupon shop you obviously need coupons and there’s some great places to find them, websites such as static.promotionalcodes.org.uk/blog, www.supersavvyme.com and www.caringeveryday.com have some great coupons and also websites such as www.extremecouponing.co.uk These are great for finding all the current available coupons.
Planning your shop
Once you have your coupons then it’s time to plan and organise your shop so you know exactly what you’re getting, how much your items are and how much out of pocket you will have to pay.
Check the terms and conditions of your coupons first and make sure you stick to them, next compare the items in each of your local supermarkets to find the cheapest. Then simply work out how much is left to pay once the coupon value has been removed.
Make sure you have a clear breakdown list with you at the till and make sure you watch the items scan and the coupons scan so you know it’s all going through. If you have your breakdown with you then it’s easy to refer to.
Once you’re in-store
Collect your items, checking prices against your breakdown, double check your coupons are in order and head to a till. Try and chose a till with either no queue or a small queue and if anyone joins behind you politely inform them that you have coupons to use. This way they are aware and can chose whether to move to another till or stay behind you.
I find that doing coupon shops in the early evening or at night is a lot less stressful and easier on other shoppers.
Keep a close eye that items are scanning at the correct price and once you hand over your coupons check that they are all scanning at the correct value and that none are missed. If all goes to plan, then all you have to do is pay the remaining balance and off you go.
At some point in your couponing adventures you will encounter issues. It’s something I’ve come across a lot but don’t be put off. Knowing how to deal with it is key.
Tills rejecting coupons and staff not knowing policy are just a few you can encounter. Make sure you know the stores coupon policy, that you have stuck to the wording on the coupon and you have the correct item. There should be no reason they aren’t accepted.
If you have stuck to it correctly and you are still having issues, then either speak to a manager to get it resolved or contact head office to get things clarified.
Never feel embarrassed
One of the biggest things I’ve found that puts people off is embarrassment when you have coupon issues and being judged by other shoppers.
It’s something I dealt with when I first started but stick with it. When you’re walking out of the store with that trolley full of goodies that you have paid next to nothing for allow yourself to feel that sense of achievement.
The worry of being judged will soon disappear. Just remember to always stay courteous to other shoppers and staff even if they aren’t to you.