Monday, April 19, 2010

My Coupon Code of Ethics

Not only can couponing save your family a TON of money, but it can also be a lot of fun.  It is important, though, to respect coupon rules and respect stores, their employees, and other customers while you're at it.  It just makes the couponing experience so much more positive!  So, I bring you my personal coupon code of ethics.  This is a code that many couponers stick please feel free to join the club :)

  • Be courteous to other customers.  
    • Let customers with a couple items go ahead of you if you're making a large couponing transaction.
    • Use a side checkout (like the beauty or photo department)
    • Shop during "off" hours
  • Don't clear the shelves. 
    • Don't take 20 products from 1 store and clear off the shelf's inventory leaving no items for other customers
    • If you plan on making a large purchase, call ahead and work out something with the store's manager OR split your purchases at different store locations.
  • Be courteous to your cashier.   
    • Cashiers are people just like you and me.  I have found more often than not, they are helpful and friendly.   Sometimes there are issues with coupons.  If the cashier can't help you, politely ask to speak with a manager if you'd like.
    • From time to time, you may find a cashier who is just having a really bad day or refuses to take your coupons.  Personally, I always tell myself I don't know what that person is going through so I find it's better just to have them take off whatever item it is and make the purchase with another cashier or store location.   
    • There is no sense in ruining your day (or someone else's) over a coupon!
    • If a cashier/manager/etc goes out of their way to help you, leave some good feedback with the company :)  People are often in a rush to leave negative feedback, but good feedback is just as valid!
  • Shop and coupon in an environmentally friendly & responsible way
    • Recycle your newspapers and coupons you don't use
    • Shop with reusable bags
  • NEVER scan or photocopy a coupon
    • Plan and simple: it's illegal.  When people photocopy coupons, stores lose out on money because manufacturers will NOT reimburse them for fraudulent coupons.  As a result, stores can change coupon policies.  Sometimes stores even drastically change their policy to no longer accept printable coupons.  Everyone loses when people copy coupons!
  • You control the size of your it forward if possible
    • Sure, it's fine to stockpile your family's most used items if you can get it FREE or super cheap.   But you also don't want to have a personal store take over all of your living space in your home (aka hoarding).  Stocking up on 20 years worth of toilet paper or 5 years year of toothpaste is just not for me.  Instead, take what's right for your family's stockpile and donate the rest.
    • I often give extras to families in need of it, whether I know them personally or donate through a local charity, shelter, or church.
    • You can create your own fundraiser gift baskets for schools or churches.  Use them as door prizes and/or raffle them off to help your cause reach its fundraising goal
    • There are several organizations that send expired coupons to troops and their families overseas.  They can often use coupons expired up to 6 months.  Check with local organizations to find out their rules and where to donate your expireds.  If you live near Lansing, IL, send me a message and I'll give you the info of where I send my expireds!
*This post may contain affiliate links...they are what helps to keep South Suburban Savings alive! However, I do my best to only post credible deals, and I participate in most of them myself. To see my full disclosure policy, CLICK HERE!

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