With the coupon craze being so popular right now, there are a lot of things to remember while couponing and trying to save money.
There are actually some unwritten rules of coupon etiquette that a lot of people don’t know about because they are new to couponing, or because they have been doing it so long they don’t realize things have changed.
This is meant to be a coupon etiquette 101 to help people save money and make sure they are not stepping on peoples toes in the process!!
Clearing tear pads
The number 1 rule of coupon etiquette would be to never clear(Take all) of the coupons from a tear pad in a store.
The basic rule is to take a couple of the same coupon or 5 max if it is something you buy a lot of. It is really frustrating when you find out about a new tear pad in a store and then the next day they are totally cleared out.
People often take a ton of coupons wanting to trade or sell them but this is really poor etiquette behavior.
There are in fact a number of Facebook groups that are specifically geared towards trading coupons and members often have 10+ of the same coupon up for grabs.
This is not proper etiquette to grab coupons that you just don’t need so that you can trade them for something you do need.
It is the same thing as selling coupons online.
Only take what you will use and leave the rest for others that may need them.
Another rule to remember just like you shouldn’t clear the tear pads, you should never clear the shelves either.
A lot of the time you will find high value coupons that will either get you a free product, overage or just a great price. Don’t take all of the products because there are many places that only put out a certain number of each product and other won’t be able to take advantage of the deal!
Be a coupon fairy
If you have a coupon that you won’t be using or that is about to expire and you don’t need, then leave it in-store for someone to possibly use rather than throw it out.
Simply place the coupon on the shelf with the product if you can so that some lucky person can take advantage of it.
Paying it forward is always a good thing to do!
Make big trips during slow hours
Nothing is more frustrating then getting in line behind a person that has like 20 or more coupons and it is rush hour at the supermarket.
If you are using a lot of coupons, try going later at night or early in the morning if possible, when stores tend to be less busy and customers are usually in less of a rush.
Not only will the shelves be more full, but you won’t be holding up busy lines.
It will make a world of difference for the cashier if you are organized and have your coupons ready to hand to them with the product as it is rung through. Ask the cashier if they want them with the product or all at the end!(Except, as we all know, at Shoppers Drug Mart which is the exception)
Canada is not like the U.S. where you can hand the cashier a stack of coupons and have them scan them at the end.
They normally have certain rules and need to read the coupons carefully and make sure they match the proper product.
Also try to have your screen shots for price matching ready and organized at the checkout!!
Do everything legal
Don’t photocopy coupons, or try to give expired coupons to a cashier.
Don’t try to use a coupon for a product that is not meant for that specific product(Make sure variety and size also match any restrictions that the coupon may have)
You may get a freebie here and there but in the long run everyone loses.
Companies are putting more restrictions on coupons due to people trying to pull fast ones, so that they don’t lose money.
It will benefit everyone to keep things legal.
Be kind to your cashier
With the popularity of coupon use growing in Canada, many stores are still working out their coupon policies and training their staff on the ins and outs of coupons.
There are a ton of different coupons out there so be understanding if the cashier doesn’t know as much about coupons as you do.
If you feel as though your cashier is misunderstanding a particular coupon, and you feel as though it is valid, then politely ask for the manager/supervisor.
If a cashier doesn’t know about the coupon policies it could be a lack of training on the store’s part.
The better you treat the staff at the stores you frequent, the happier they’ll be to accommodate you and your coupons in the future!
Know the stores’ coupon policies and follow them Coupon policies can vary greatly from one store to the next.
It’s a good idea to look up the coupon policies for the stores you frequent most often.
You’ll probably have the best chance of getting the coupon policies by emailing customer service.
The email address or contact form is usually very easy to find on all store websites.
*You may want to print off or have the coupon policies saved on your mobile device, to have on hand when you’re checking out, this way you have the information readily available if there’s an issue.
But as always, be polite when discussing issues with the cashier or manager.
These are the main coupon etiquette rules that should be followed but there are a few more.
Coupons are a great way to save money when you do it properly.
There are more than enough to go around.
A great resource for print coupons is our