Skip to comments.The Coupon Whisperer: "You're Cheating the System"
Posted on 02/10/2011 5:28:14 AM PST by PJ-Comix
"You do know that you're cheating the system."
Those were the actual words said to me by a clueless cashier the other day.
Cheating? How? Was I using counterfeit coupons? No.
Was I using coupons for unauthorized items? No.
Was I using too many coupons? No.
(Excerpt) Read more at couponwhisperer.blogspot.com ...
Yes, stock up...for example a drug store chain here (Bartells) often has colgate toothpaste for ONE DOLLAR....limit 5. Love it!
We don’t have double coupons in my area.
I prefer to live in the Land of True BOGO than in the Land of Doubles. I find the former deal is better.
Hmmm. Why are coupons produced? To give stuff away for free? No it is to entice people to try a product or preferentially buy one brand over the other.
Using a sequence of coupons that don’t prohibit stacking is gaming the system to take advantage of someone’s failure to fully cover their bases in the small print.
Is that cheating the system? By the standard definition of the phrase... Yes it is. Its not a lot different than circling the free samples cart in order to get your lunch for free. Illegal? No. Abuse of good faith marketing? Yes.
If your neighbor put out a sign on his garage sale that said “free shirt just for looking” would you feel comfortable coming back to look 40 times and emptying his rack clothing rack? The morality of an act isn’t based on the identity of the abused party.
The cashier was completely out of line.
Here is what is going on:
There is a certain group of people who have to buy their favorite brand: Skippy peanut butter, Crest toothpaste, Thomas’ English Muffins. There is another group of people who shop for either lowest price or best perceived value.
There are companies making products by the tens of millions. 90% of those products will be sold at regular price. The other 10% will be sold to marginal buyers who are happy to choose alternatives. In any event, the marginal cost of the 10,000,000th box of Sugar Frosted Flakes is a lot less than that of the first box. On top of that, a small percentage of these discretionary sales will find they prefer the product and remain customers. You can bet that without the coupon, Joohn Smith wouldn’t be going into Walgreens to relieve them of their surplus of JiffyPop. If not for coupons, some of this stuff would wind up in dollar stores or worse, discarded.
This is no more an abuse of the system than one who aggressively seeks leisure travel airfares. They are playing by the airlines schedule, and the airline fills an otherwise empty seat. The full fare guy paid for security and convenience.
I say all this as someone who rarely uses coupons, and whose wife buys mainly Aldi stuff, vegetables and commodities (e.g. milk, ground beef) that don’t get the same level of coupon exposure.
Ingles doubles 3 coupons with each ten dollar purchase. Publix now refuses to refund anything without a receipt because of people getting items for free at one store and bringing it to another store for a refund or credit.
I’m learning every day!
Isn't he in the White House? :-)
There are always the exceptions. Like I said she still does coupons from time to time when the deal is right, but most often the deal is NOT right.
There are three sites that offer printable coupons:
There are several sites that will sending you weekly updates with links to these sites. Couponmom is the one I use.
There are also sites you can join that share coupon deals such as: Howtoshopforfree.com
It costs $1.00/year to join. Members of this site will coach you how to save money. This site has forums, links and lists of printable and Sunday paper insert coupons.
There are also sites that specialize in certain drug stores where there are weekly deals that after coupon they are FREE.
www.iheartcvs.com for CVS Drugs
www.iheartwags.com for Walgreens
I believe she also maintains one for Riteaid.
Generally, the way to save money is to buy volume of the
items when they are on sale by combining them with a coupon to make them free or the price greatly reduced.
For example, I just bought 20 Celestial Seasonings $1 tea coupons from someone on EBAY. I will wait until they go on sale and then use them to reduce the price to approx. $1.00/box. This is not free. However, the regular price is $2.50/box and my wife drinks this stuff everyday.
Like PJ I also bought more Colgate toothpaste at CVS last week. After coupons, they were free.
You will not end up buying ribeye steaks for free. However, there are a lot of other grocery/drug store items you can get at a large discount to their regular price. The idea is to build up a stockpile so that you do not ever NEED to buy.
Not coupon related, but we keep our eyes peeled when at the market....two weeks ago we went into Fresh & Easy (a smallish chain) and their spiral cut hams, which had been on sale at an already great price of $1.47, were on ‘cleanout’ at 50% off - we snagged the last one which gave us a ten pounder for the freezer - at less than $7.50.
“Don’t be shy about posting on this thread...”
You’ll love this...
Went to a new Walgreens yesterday. I try to spread the deals out among as many different stores as I can. Luckily, there are a lot around here. Anyway, the cashier was impressed with the deal I got, saying “someone sure taught you to shop” (implying a lady taught me.) She looked at me like I had two heads when I quietly replied “the coupon whisperer.”
Our favorite store doubles coupons up to 99 cents every day, up to $1.99 on Wednesdays. They accept Internet coupons, and soon we’re going to find out if they do coupons on the smartphone. And they’ll combine all those coupons with their common buy one get one free and buy two get three free sales. Often products come down to being practically free.
The chain supports this, although saving a certain amount of money requires a manager to come over with a key. Normally my wife has something like a $400 total coming down to the mid-late $100s, so the manager knows her by name now.
It's using that Sunday coupon and combining it with a 50% of sale and a store that offers register rewards (dollars applied to your next purchase).
Say an item retails normally at $5.00 and you have a $1.00 of coupon. The store has the product on sale for $3.00 and offers $1.00 in register rewards for every $5.00 purchase.. That brings the actual price down to a buck.
I did the same thing with turkeys when they were $.49/lb.
I found the two smallest they had. They were less than $6.
They are taking up space in the freezer now.
Another thing to watch is for pork loin. It goes on sale for about $1.69. I buy the whole thing and have them slice and repackage into 1” thick steaks which end up in the freezer. The nice thing is it no bone and a low fat cut.
A friend of mine in North Carolina posted on her facebook page a reciept from her latest shopping excursion. She bought 113 items from her grocery store. She used 90 coupons. She paid $18.88. Yes, she got back $1.12 from the twenty she paid. (All on the reciept). According to the last line on the receipt, she saved $325.00 in coupons.
Couponing for those who take it seriously is big money.
Please add me to your list. Thanks!
People talk about this as if it were a new thing. I remember a coupon expert lady in the 70s who on TV made a big deal of getting two large shopping carts of food for cheap. I figure if industry didn’t like this they’d have put measures in place to stop it over the last 40 years.
I see it as most people who use coupons don’t save all that much money, but it does entice them to try new brands. The big savers who you hear about are publicity for coupons, encouraging people to use them, and thus try new brands without really saving much overall.
Keep an eye out for the buy 10 get $5.00 off at stores like Kroger’s I stocked up on .49 DelMonte veggies that way. That is cheaper than store brand. I like Kroger’s brand of veggies but the DelMonte was 20 cents cheaper. And use the coupons with the 10 items. Did that last week and I can’t believe its not butter ended up costing .49 for the 1 lb sticks.
The trick is to buy what you need or are going to need in the next few months or will keep a long time and will be rising in price. Like laundry soaps. I bought All for $1.99 Tuesday because it was part of the buy 10 and I had 3 coupons for All..used all 3 and won’t need laundry soap for 4 months now.
Bought my hair care products at Walgreens, had coupons for every item, they gave me a $5.00 register reward, which I used to buy 12 large rolls pk of Cottonel TP.
Bought my BOGO vitamins at Rite Aid with coupons, and the RR’s to buy an 8 pk of Viva paper towels and a box of Kleenex which was BOGO final cost $1.36 for the paper products.
Who gets hit for the "double coupon"? If I bring a 50¢ coupon to Kroger and they double it, does the manufacturer pay $1 + handling costs, or do they just pay 50¢ + handling and Kroger eats the other 50¢?
Last week Kroger had a sale on Quaker Quakes rice snacks. Normally around $2, but it was on sale for $1.29 and if you bought ten items from a list you got $5 off so the net price was $0.79. On top of that, the coupon printer at the checkout printed a coupon for $3 off a purchase of 5 bags. The second time through the line I picked up 5 more bags for 19¢ each net. And I got another coupon. I would have bought more, but I was well on my way to being on a special episode of Hoarders.
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