Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thoughts on this Frugal Lifestyle of Mine...

I've received so many emails lately from readers regarding Target issues and other coupon problems they've been encountering. Some even mention throwing in the towel and just giving up. I feel bad when I hear these stories, especially when they come from newbie couponers.

When I first began this frugal journey, well, there were a few times when I almost gave up on using coupons altogether. My main reason for getting discouraged--dealing with those not so coupon friendly cashiers! There were a couple times I actually left the store in tears. I know, I know, I'm on the sensitive side. Over time, though, I've realized that I'm NOT doing anything wrong! In fact, I'm doing everything right! I'm helping my family live on one income easily, I get to stay home with my kiddos, I'm teaching them the value of a dollar and so much more! There's nothing wrong with using coupons and saving money! Do NOT let anyone tell you differently!

I have a memory that I swear will probably never leave me. My hubby and I were checking out at the grocery store (with of course a pile of coupons). There was a line forming behind us, so I said politely to the young guy directly behind us, "I'm sorry this is taking so long." He looked at me and stated, "Don't worry, we've all been there before, we've all been there." I wanted to say been where?, but instead I turned around and smiled at my hubby, who smiled back at me (we were thinking the exact same thing).

What were we thinking---What a misconception people have! I find it quite funny that some people really do think that the only reason we use coupons is because we HAVE too! If we don't we'll lose our homes, be on the streets... BUT that's just not the case! I don't have to use coupons. I choose this way of living! I have more money in the bank, NO debt, we've been able to save for vacations... And the best part, like I said above--I get to stay home with my kiddos! We really do lead a great life, a life filled with way more than I could have ever expected. Being frugal does NOT put a stop to all that life has to offer. I think it does the opposite, opens your eyes to even more...

For all you new couponers out there, I hope you don't get discouraged like I did! Don't let other people bring you down for wanting to save money! Keep on truckin', because I promise it will be well worth it! I never anticipated how amazing this frugal journey of mine would become and now, well, it has surpassed all my expectations and I can guarantee it will for you too!

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all you do!! :)

Anonymous said...

I love this. My 16 year old daughter LOVES going to the store with me. It is like a game to see just how much we can save. I do feel like I am teaching her the value of a dollar through couponing. BTW I love your site!

Melissa A. said...

I have been using coupons for almost 20 years and won't be stopping any time soon. However, I did have to pause for a moment last night. We were heading to dinner to use a coupon that was ready to expire when a friend called and asked us to join her and her family at another restaurant. After agreeing to mmet them, my husband mentioned that we didn't have a coupon for that restaurant...then my 5 year old son started crying. He was concerned that we wouldn't be able to join our friends because Mommy didn't have a coupon! After getting over feeling guilty, it was the perfect opportunity to explain to him that we use coupons when we can. By saving money, we are able to go places and buy what we need and (sometimes) want...and that we would never allow the lack of coupon to keep us from joining friends!

Stephanie said...

I find that I have more luck at the grocery store than anywhere else. Having built a relationship with few cpn friendly cashiers, it helps alot. If I didn't use coupons, we would not be getting as much, but like you, we would be fine. Couponing is fun most of the time and when it's not, I keep my purchases smaller and try a different store or a different time.

Kelley said...

What an encouragement; letting us all in on your little bumps in the road lets us know the journey is worth the struggles along the way. I've been doing this for just under a month now, and in that time I've "purchased" over $800 worth of products that were completely paid for between coupons and rebates. My son especially likes that he hasn't had to buy his dog any food for quite a while with all the free dog food I've been able to "buy". Keep up the good work, and the encouragement.
p.s. I cleaned out my cupboards because of your recent inspiration as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I really needed to hear this! Thank you for sharing your experiences. There have been times when I have had really frustrating couponing experiences--either because the cashiers were poorly trained or because they were just downright crabby--and I've wanted to throw in the towel. But then I remember what a significant impact couponing has had on my family's finances. And I think of the huge amount of items I have been able to donate to the homeless shelters because of couponing. Then I realize that I can't give this up just because of a few difficult people!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a very frugal family, and so it is just my nature. lol. but I am a young mom, and coupons allow me to go to school, and stay home a lot more with my 2 year old. The hardest part for me is how other people my age react to seeing me with coupons. They do not outright say anything, but roll their eyes when I have a coupon for where we eat, and so on. I just look at them and say on an average I save at least $200 a month due to coupons, and sales. Calculate it out. Then they usually keep there mouth shut. I just don't get why people are too affraid to use coupons. Even if I had more money in life, I could never see myself not hunting for deals, or couponing. It's my way of life now, and I love it! Thank you for all you do! Plus no one ever complains when they get goodie (freebies!) baskets for birthdays and Christmas. lol

Anonymous said...

I don't need to use coupons either but like others have said, it's like a game to me. I love to see how much I can save and it is fun to do so! Sometimes the hunt is also fun! It's amazing how many items you can get for free too and I just don't understand why more people don't use coupons! I totally love your site and all of the other sites. Keep up the great words of encouragement!

Anonymous said...

AMEN SISTER!

Anonymous said...

I started using coupons because we really needed too- now that we don't really need to, I love doing it and seeing how much money it really saves us! Dave Ramsey's program helped us see how important it is to save money, and with your website and coupons it really helps! I have several friends that are "embarassed" by using coupons and I don't understand especially since it saves MONEY! I have been able to save money and buy some things that we haven't been able to afford which has been nice! Thanks for all you do HIP! My husband just finished building me a food storage room (we have no pantry either) with our saved money from the past two weeks! Now I have somewhere to put it! Now for purchasing a freezer...Anyone have any good deals on freezers?? Coupon codes for lowes.com? Thanks guys!

Hipster90 said...

That story bought tears to my eyes, because simply put, I do have to use coupons. Being a college kid, and a poor one at that, I find that using coupons and things helps me out so much, that my friends have also jumped on the bandwagon. And to think it all started because I came across this site! Thank you so much for what you do and all your time that you give to us each day :)

A Crystal Garden said...

Great Post!! It is so difficult in the beginning and I will admit I had such a horrible experience at Target that I have yet to return and try to use coupons there. I would love to do the Special K deal this week but already know I will get the ONLY 1 coupon per product speech yet again when I try to stack. Not to mention I can't get the Target coupons to print big enough that they will actually scan.

So other than Target I have the hang of it at most stores and once you get it down most of the time it is a breeze.

I have had cashiers talk about me right in front of my face but there is usually one that has reason and says I don't blame her I would do the same thing. Usually this is right in the midst of 4 transactions rolling cats at Acme. :o)

Anne said...

Your post is quite timely, I would have probably thrown in the towel to couponing last night at Target if it was my beginning experience. I had a very coupon unfriendly cashier that kept on saying I shouldn't be able to use a coupon since it would mean the item would be free. This is the same cashier that jokingly said that he wished we had coupons to pay for everything or something like that when I said I had a lot of coupons. The managers were even telling him to let me use the coupons and he kept trying to argue the point that the item would be free. Then as I was visibly upset, the manager told me that the cashier was "just doing his job." I was doing my job too, effectively coupon shopping and saving my family lots of money, ugh. The Target cashiers need to read the coupon policy, I will not be returning to this Target, I don't need to be hassled.

K said...

Well....I hate to be the first one to post a "downer" remark....

but....

I now avoid shopping at WAGS and Target. I don't feel that this is detrimental to me....I choose not to shop at these stores because I have been hassled too many times. I don't want them to get *any* of my money.


There are plenty of other stores who welcome my coupons....and my money.

Jay said...

I am from MI I am a union carpenter and I'm sure many of you know our state has been hit hard economicaly, so I tured to coupons and I'm hooked on saving money. We could still get by without using them but that is just stupid talk n e 1 who puts you down for using coupons aka saving money is the stupid one. I've been told it takes too much time and all kinds of excuses why not to do it, but us that really know that is doen't take a lot of time. People also say time is money and I say to that well duh! Why do you think I do it! Like Stephanie wrote I have made relationships with cashiers @ the stores I frequent and never have any problems and when I'm at a store I'm usually not @ I try to be as nice as possible and that usually works for me. Thanks for all the hard work. My family thanks you.

Born2Save said...

Don't throw in the towel! Especially not now that they are ad matching!!

Be up front and honest with them if you have more than one item that has a Target coupon (ask if they want you to split it into separate transactions) and arm yourself with the Target coupon policy!

Ashley B. said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement. I've just started doing this since mid-June. Got my sister-in-law into it too! I have had many bad experiences at Target lately and finally decided to write to corporate! Got an email back with their coupon policy. My sister-in-law and I went to Target yesterday and were prepared with our printed out coupon policy in hand, just waiting for the casheir to get crabby! She was FANTASTIC! No sighs, no questions, nothing!! We were so surprised! I paid 0.21 for all my purchases and saved over $50! We had gone to Starbucks inside the store to take break and celebrate our great deals, we deserved it! Then we saw our cashier, we decided she deserved a reward! My sister-in-law and I split the cost of a coffee for her! We told her how much we appreciated her patience for accepting all our coupons and not giving us any trouble! She was so surprised and thanked us and told us nobody had ever done something like that for her. We told her we usually have a terrible experience with Target cashiers but she was great, she actually told us when she was ringing us up how she was thinking she needed to start using coupons too! We hope that will encourage her to be nice to other "couponers" in the future, especially when she's having a bad day! We will definitely be on the lookout for her on our next shopping trip! Thanks for all you do Hip! P.S. I also decided to clean out the pantry and organize (after I broke a jar of queso trying to fit in more groceries!).

Jen said...

Very well said, and I really needed to hear this little bit of encouragement because I do get discouraged at times. I do need deals and coupons in order to be able to work just part time and be home with my kids more often than not. It's been a rough year for my family and any way we can save some money helps. Great pep talk! Thanks.

SimpleInspiration said...

Well said, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not but I go to stores when I know my favorite cashiers are on the shift. It makes my trip a lot better and easier.

Hawkeye1966 said...

I've been working deals for more than 20yrs (since college days). Thankfully, for the most part, I've always been able to treat it like a game, a challenge to see how much I can save. I've been fortunate to have a good paying job so coupons aren't a necessity. Actually, my wife and kids feel I have a 'disease' LOL. Oh well. When it's their money, maybe they'll feel differently.

riz and liz mathew said...

thank you soooo much for your valuable post.....v r just newbie couponer's......and v r now addicted to buy items free or almost free spending just cents....

Anonymous said...

I'm new at couponing and was wondering what it means when it is said to use coupon 8/2RP? Sometimes there will be 8/2/SS. I'm assuming the RP is Red Plum and SS is Smartsource. I use their websites, but can't find the coupons I need. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!
I am a newbie, just started 2 weeks ago with the help of your site. I have also had awful problems with Target in that time, but this is enough to inspire me to keep it up.

I agree that it has a positive impact on one's life. For instance, I feel great going and getting something free, because even if we don't use it, I can donate it and someone will. Not to mention that I got $20+ of free stuff at Target today- making my weekly dinner out with my 2 kids much less guilt-inducing!

KEEP IT UP!

Brittany said...

I have felt like that sometimes too! I've been doing this for a year with groceries/HBA and baby items,and the past month or two have realized how to do the same with birthday and Christmas presents. It is so stressful sometimes when you get that cashier(or sometimes manager) who just does not know or care(usually)...but then I just think...I had the oppurtunity to be a stay at home mom(and I just turned 22!), and am getting to go to a 4 year university now....with only my hubby's income. We bought a house in May in the most sought after area in our city...and there is NO WAY we would be able to do that if I had not started coupon-ing. We still eat out, wear mostly name brand clothing(NOT that I'm a name brand snob or anything..I have just learned how to get it for less than Walmart and Target!)...and get to do fun activities without having to worry about wether or not we can afford to have fun. It can be hard, but it is WORTH IT!

About 1 month ago when I was at Dillon's (my FAVORITE grocery store BTW..b/c the cashiers enjoy seeing the savings) I left with $500 in groceries for $4.**tax and the line behind me dropped thier jaw and a few of them said "wow. no wonder we were waiting, but if you can do that-just ignore us! That's amazing." and then the lady directly behind me in line, came up to me at my car to see my reciept and ask how to do it too. So, do NOT feel bad. Most people...other than the occassional cashier, wish they could do what we do.

Anthony said...

I think many people don't truly understand why people want to save money and use coupons. I'm sure many people roll their eyes when they see me pull out a stack of coupons, but I know that I am making a difference in my life and keeping my hard earned dollars in the bank where they belong. Great post. Keep on doing what you're doing!

Lisa said...

i love this website, found it a few months ago and really don't know how i lived without it. You are awesome and I just wanted to say thanks for all your hard work.

Anonymous said...

Would love your comments and opinions on another topic ----I have six pages filled listings of free items, coupons, promotions and other items that goes back to MARCH 15 -----none of these were ever received by me and most are from very reputable companies----looking for everyones comments please---------

Jennie said...

What a great post. Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Hip! I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and I just want to say think you for everything you do and everyone else out there does for us to help us save money! I love collecting coupons and I can save a lot of money! My mom and I even compete each week to see who saves the most money! Its a lot of fun. I'm only 26 and have actually had some of my friends make fun of me as well, but when I tell them I can buy $100 dollars of food for $20 bucks that usually shuts them up! I am proud to cut coupons and I think everyone else should be too.

danielle said...

i must say this blog is awesome...i found it when i was looking for info on oldnavyweekly.com...and have been reading/following ever since..

my mom used coupons when i was younger and i always thought it was a waste of time...well i must say i was soooo very wrong...i'm pro coupons and love coming to the site everyday to see what deals are out there..though im with a few of you and stay away from certain stores, because they are not coupon friendly, i will spend my money at the store that makes me feel welcome and not like im annoying them...

thanks for all the awesome deals and thanks everyone for their comments and help on some of these deals...

Anonymous said...

I too have been following this site for about 6 months and I couldn't count the THOUSANDS of dollars we've saved in only 6 months! My family & friends are very envious..and I can count at LEAST 20 times where people behind me in line were like: "WOW, that's amazing" and I've given out Hip's website MANY times. I joke with my husband that I should just get cards pre made with her website on it because everyone wants it .. espically nowadays! Like everyone else Hip...I'M SO THANKFUL FOR ALL YOU DO!

Melissa said...

I'm so thankful for your site! I do the same tell ppl I'm sorry but most just want to know how I do it. LOL even cashiers want to know. I just want to say thank you for all that you do!

Kelly said...

I was just commenting that I have a ton of coupons from Vocalpoint & others and I no matter how many times I offer them up to family & friends, they turn them down - even though they admittedly use the exact same product. It's frustrating, but I just keep doin' what I'm doin' because it works for my family. Thanks for sharing your blog!

Anonymous said...

I really love to use coupons, it's a "magnificent obsession" with me. I find using coupons is more mind-based then need-based. I grew up in a modest home, and was given very little. I have a great deal of respect for money, with the first tenet being "not to waste it".

Now that we're older, both my sister and I make a very comfortable living. We both heavily use coupons, and shop at thrift store.

For those people who feel poor when they use coupons, I will leave you with this thought. I am more poor when I didn't use a coupon because I no longer have that extra money.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and I saved so much. I remember a couple of days ago at Target my coupon didn't work and I got red in my face. My mom noticed and later said don't ever be embarrassed it is not like you're stealing. she was right and I felt better after the chat. :) saving some cash is always the best!!!

knight2boys said...

Perfectly said. I have many wealthy friends who do not understand the concept of coupons or why I would even take the time to do this. It seems like it is beyond them. Since I'm a stay at home Mom, I see it as my contribution or "paycheck". Plus it's fun. I love bargains. I know have my 68 year old Mom following your site.

Jen said...

Thanks for cheering everyone on. I wouldn't have time to do all this couponing without sites like yours that make couponing so easy. We are in a tight financial time right now, but I don't think I'll ever give up couponing because it saves a TON of money that I can use to save for other things and stay out of debt. Who would have thought couponing could be soooo much FUN????!!!

Di said...

This is a great post.

For those on the fence, keep the faith. Just today I got $63.12 of goods from Target for a mere $14.89!

I also try to find a friendly looking cashier. I find the younger girls are the ones who get excited with you when the total pops up.

savin' cash in IL said...

Great post! Thanks for the encouragement...I'm a newbie to the couponing world(2-3months)and I've had my moments/experiences where I question my savings adventures, but then it seems for every 1 negative experience I have, there are easily at least 5 positive ones....so just like everything in life, you take the good with the bad and hope that the positive out weights the negative. When I feel frustrated, I try to remind myself that tomorrow always has the potential to be another great hip2save day!

Anonymous said...

I see that I'm not the only one with coupon problems.This is my problem at Rite Aid:Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 I went to Rite Aid, store #11766, on 405 Hill Street, Griffin,GA. Upon completing my transaction, I tried to use the Rite Aid $5 off $ 25 coupon. The cashier denied to scan the Rite Aid coupon first until she scanned the manufacturer coupons that I had with me. So she scanned my manufacture coupons and my total was then $18 which disqualifed the Rite Aid coupon. I'm very nice and polite person who does not argue or writes letters of complaints so I took my coupon back and left the store. Later that day a friend of mine went to Rite Aid and was able to use her $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon without any problems prior to scanning of manufacturer coupons. This made me feel disappointed. So I checked your coupon policy online and spoke to a customer service representative about my situation. I was informed that according to a new policy the $5 Rite Aid coupon should be scanned before manufacturer coupons. The person I spoke to then told me that next time this happens I should ask for a manager. The customer service representative that I spoke to continued to say that if the manager still refused to scan the $5 coupon first, then let them call Rite Aid customer service to take care of it.
So with this information, I went back to the same store again to make some more purchases. I bought dog food which happened to have coupons on the box. As I got to the register to check out, I obtained the coupons from the dog food box. The cashier stopped me from getting the coupons off the boxes and called Christy, who was the manager on that shift. There was an issue of whether or not I could use them with this transaction. Christy, with a grim look on her face, told the cashier to let me use those coupons and then proceeded to say, " You have to get those coupons from the box yourself ,she(the cashier) is not gonna help you. You should let her help another costumer while you are doing that." First of all, I never expected the cashier to help me obtain the coupons for me to use. I felt that the manager was extremly rude but I calmly replied as I stepped to the side, " Sure not a problem." The cashier then helped the customer behind me. Once I was done, the cashier scanned my items and I gave her the coupons. Again, she refused to scan my $ 5 Rite Aid coupon first until she scanned the manufacturer coupons. This is when I explained to her what I was told by customer service. So the manager was called over and would not help me. I asked her to call Rite Aid customer service and she refused. She then became belligerent. In front of the other costumers, she raised her voice and said:" You have done this before?! Did you?! Yes! You have done this before!" On that moment my heart dropped as I was being humiliated and degraded .I felt like she was accusing me of something I knew nothing about. She treated me like a criminal. What did I do wrong? I'm just trying to use the $5 Rite Aid coupon that numerous other customer have used. I reached for my phone and dialed the number myself. The customer service agent asked me to passed the phone to a manager. The manager was informed of the policy and was told to accept the $ 5 coupon before scanning the manufacturer coupons. Finally she did what she was told to do and I paid for my shopping. Shaking, I went out of the store, sat in my car with tears in my eyes. Never in my life was I treated this way.
My husband uses the Rite Aid pharmacy for his prescriptions. I feel disappointed that this situation occurred over a coupon discrepancy. I just hope that in the future Rite Aid employees become more knowledgable about the coupons that their company sends out. Am I going to shop at Rite Aid again? I prefer to shop at a place where I feel welcome and not threatened that I will be humiliated or degraded over a coupon.

Maria M said...

My family has been couponing since I can remember. I used to cut coupons for my Mom every week and help to organize them. Now that I have 3 children of my own, I use coupons even more so than my Mom did. I have my 5 year old daughter clip the coupons for me and I organize them for the next trip out. I feel like we're all teaching our children a very valuable lesson about money when we explain to them that when we use a coupon we have more money left over to buy and do the other thing that we want. And they get it! My Aunt and I have gone coupon shopping together to try and see who can do better. I love the challenge and the savings! Like I've said before, I feel like I'm legally stealing! Thanks for all that you do! You deserve a gigantic HIP hug!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your sharing, I have to say I have had a great time couponing and cannot see that changing. I have had a couple annoying times but not at Target. When I did have a difficult time I contact Corporate and the managers have been more than helpful. I love going into a store buying what I need and leaving without paying a dime or at worse very little. I appreciate ALL the advise help and suggestions!!!!!!!! Please keep encouraging others. Thank you, Dawn

barbara said...

I can't agree more. Thank you for all your help. I have always cut coupons, however, I was not doing it quite right until I found your blog and started couponing the right way. Thank you . Barbara

Bonnie/AR said...

Hip, your take on using coupons/rebating is great! Thanks for sharing that with all. You are so right, and so well said and from the heart. You are such a dear one.

And even though I had used coupons for over forty years, and done rebating in the past also, I had gotten to where I had not been doing much of it. Never did do the Wags thing till I found your site. What you have gotten me into now!!! I have really gotten into this, along with the couponing, and the free items on your site.

You and your site are tremendous and have saved my family so much money in the last nine months. I give away my extras to friends, family, and missions...what a great feeling. Thank you is not adequate for all the time you spend on this blog, but thank you we do and hope this finds you and your family well and happy.

And for the person asking what 8/2SS or 8/2RP means, you are right in that those stand for Smart Source or Red Plum Coupon Inserts. You will find the respective one for the date
listed in that day's paper.

And for the person that has not received the goods that they requested since March, they need to follow up to the address to which they sent the rebate, sample request, etc...or email addy, and explain the situation. Make a copy for your records before sending.

Hope that helps.

Jaime Jackson said...

Thanks for your encouragement and input. I have had frustrating moments too (usually at Target or Walmart) but have instead tried to overlook them and move on. You are right that WE are not doing anything WRONG! Thank you again for your encouragement and I hope other couponers take your advice. Happy posting!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your encouragement! I've got a TON of coupons for Target tomorrow and they drive me nuts but I'm determined to get my deals!

Heather H said...

Thank you so much for all you do! My family is doing so much better with our money thanks to your site, Dave Ramsey, and another site much like yours. It is great to feel encouraged and know taht you are all in this together. This money svaing community has really spurred me on!I also find I am more generous now than ever and am much less wasteful than I was in the past. Thanks for the blessing! You made couponning loads easier the second time around:)

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am moved by your testimony. I feel like the Lord has blessed me abundantly by opening my eyes to the savings of coupons!! I was skeptical at first and now I have an "addiction" --LOL. We have been able to help those in need and that has been wonderful too! Thank you for your encouragement, I get frustrated at times too, cashiers treat my family as if we were doing something illegal and get very rude at times. Their loss not mine.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all you do. I think a lot of your fans would really enjoy the book The Millionaire Next Door.

I will say that my kids sure have learned humbleness towards grumpy people in stores. We encounter it quite often. Humbleness is better learned by experience than by lecture anyway...

Tawanda! said...

Hi Collin,

My mom has used coupons for as long as I can remember. Like many of my fellow couponers, I turn to your site for information that helps my immediate family as well as extended family and friends. I have experienced such joy as I work towards being a good steward of our finances and able to give to others who are in need all due to the information that I receive from your blog. My work situation may be changing in a few weeks, and to be honest I'm anxious about it, but I know that I have a good handle on it due to all that I have learned from your blog and the friendly comments left by fellow couponers.
THANK YOU!

Sarah said...

I had a terrible experience at Target this week as well. I used some of the $1 Target coupons to buy the single serve General Mills cereal cups (making them free), 3 Glade soy candles (free offer from Glade), amongst some other items that were either free after coupon or less than 0.99 each. I was questioned by the cashier about the cereal coupons and told that they were for the boxes of cereal and I pointed out that there was not size specified. Then I had to explain this to the Team Leader who in turn called out the manager. He looked at the coupons and very angrily said let her use the coupons. The cashier proceeded to check me out and the Team Leader went back to the manager to question the coupons again. By the time she came back, I had already paid for my first transaction. She got angry saying that I could only use one coupon per transaction. I told her that they could have the cereal back and she told me to just keep it. Then we moved on to scanning my second order which included 4 Rimmel Mascaras along with other items. The computer didn't want to scan these coupons, so a different manager came out and immediately started attacking me. His first comment was "Is this the one with the cereal coupons?" I said yes and explained that I had already paid, but I would be more than willing to give the cereal back. He told me no and then said (with an exteme amount of anger and attitude) "What is your problem now?" I told him that to talk to his cashier because their system didn't want to scan my coupons. He then started checking all of my bags and reading the fine print to make sure that I had bought the correct items. He than told me that I could purchase the 4 mascara, but that I could only use 1 coupon because it stated "1 item per purchase". I explained that I was "purchasing" 4 and that I could use 4 coupons. He then told me "you are trying to cheat the system". I asked him how I was cheating the system and why were they treating me like I was a criminal when everything I was doing with the coupons was completely legitimate. He said that "purchase" and "transaction" are the same thing and I argued that they were completely different. He then told me "I keep explaining this to you, but you just don't seem to get it". He then said (again very rudely) "So what is it that you want?" I told him that I wanted to purchase the items that I came in to their store to buy. His response was "So basically you want everything for free!" I asked him "Don't you get reimbursed by the manufacturer?" He told me "sometimes", but they take a loss sometimes too, like when people like me take advantage. I told him I wasn't doing anything wrong and he didn't know Target's coupon policy. He told me that Target's policy is that they will only accept one manufacturer coupon of a kind per transaction. I then said I would do separate transactions and he told me "I wouldn't let you do that". He also said they were going to be writing up cashiers for accepting more coupons than they were supposed to. I am not sure what this guy's problem was, but I am in the process of contacting their corporate office. I am also going to contact the Better Business Bureau about their customer service practices and will be contacting my local news station to do a story on how Target customers are treated by their staff, especially manager. This will definitely not deter me from using coupons, but I am pretty certain I won't be going back to this store any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I love this site! I only wish that we had some of the same stores here in Las Vegas...no Super Target or Rite Aid. And, K-mart is NOT doubling coupons here. BOO! But, I am so happy to have found this awesome and very helpful site!

Mellisa said...

Thanks so much for this encouraging post!

Anonymous said...

Boy is this post hitting home!!!! I had the worst experience last evening at the Target in Hodgkins, Illinois. I dropped my boys of at the movies and thought I would do some power shopping. To make a long story short, the CSM was so snotty and down right ignorant. She even questioned me by saying "weren't you in here earlier today?" I replied "NO" and asked her what she was implying. The CSM did not respond. I talked to the store manager as I was leaving the store and she was very apologetic. The store manager stated they have seen a lot of fraudulent coupons. The CSM really made me feel like I was doing something wrong. I am definitely calling corporate because I don't feel the store manager was going to talk to the CSM (the CSM was much older than the store manager)...

Anonymous said...

I think it is funny that people this that I HAVE to use coupons. I don't have to, I want to. I have a great life too and my husband and I are so blessed. I have met
some really great people doing this and some real jerks. It is the hunt for me. It is like finding that one toy at Christmas that no one else can get but me. I love doing this. I hate paying full price for anything. I tell everyone that I run into about this website; even the cashiers at the stores. I started teaching coupons class out of my home and my friends all think it is amazing what you can do with coupons. Thank you for all that you do and your devotion to this. You are my hero!!!!
Lisa

Melanie said...

I wouldn't doubt if Target stops taking coupons all together. They give you such a problem. I was there today and tried to use the cheerios coupon on the bowls and they wouldn't take it. Then on top of that, the cashier lost one of my coupons after I saw that one of my coupons did not get rung up. Then I went to Walmart and didn't have a problem. Even got overage.

Anonymous said...

Go Girl!!!!

Thanks so much 4sharing your thoughts about using coupons yes, sometimes you can't avoid having issues for those "lovely cashiers" trying to embarass and disrespect you.. infront of others :( just because you use coupons and you saved a lot...

Now, i know i'm not the only one...
thanks to everyone of you!

Newbie couponer.

Rose L said...

I'm not sure if its the area where I live or that I just haven't encountered any coupon haters but its usually a weekly occurance that someone stops me in the store to comment on my coupon binder. And it is always positive! My K-Mart has nicknamed me the "binder girl" and are always friendly and excited to see what my total is. The only bad experience I have ever had was at Target last week when I was using the Glade candle coupons. Buy 1 holder get one refill pack for free. They would not let me use the $1.50 off of the holder and said it was coupon fraud. I called corporate and they are sending me something in the mail. Not sure what it is but I'm not going to let it get me down because I save so much at other stores. And really, it was only one location that gave me problems.

Anonymous said...

I first want to say I follow this blog daily, and several times. Your blog is the ONLY blog that has updates daily, and sometimes even throughout the day. Seriously, your blog is at the VERY top of my favorites, really. Second, I have to tell you, you are right about the misconception of coupons. I have always been a coupon user. Why? Becuase I know the value of a dollar. People are so surprised to see that I use coupons. I have been married 20 years and have never had to get a job outside the home. My husband makes $150.000 a year. We live in a very nice home (appraisal value $400.000) We travel and go on really neat family vacations. Stay at really nice resorts. And yes, I am a proud couponer! It is great to save so much and stock up. I love bargains, but we all know that sometimes you do have to pay full price for things you need at the moment, and have to have, or just simply want them. That's what makes it so great, when you save and stretch your dollar, you have more to spend elsewhere. It is great to see my kids learning this, and always asking me before they leave the house "Mom, do you have a coupon for ___?" They have leaarned the value of a dollar, and how when you save and spend smart, your money goes further. If I won the lottery tomorrow, It wouldn't change me. I would be a frugal millionaire living and exotic life, being frugal a long the way!

Anonymous said...

I have been really lucky lately and it almost seems as if the cashiers are getting better. . . if not because of training then maybe because of more practice in todays economy. I also notice a lot more people doing the same thing that I am doing, and it's fun to share secrets while shopping. I am loving the couponing deals lately. Thanks for all that you do Hip to Save.

Anonymous said...

Amen to this post! I too do not HAVE to, and even chuckle to myself at the way I am "treated" sometimes. I had a neat experience at Walmart....apologized to the guy behind me, who ended up being a single school (Math) teacher...and he was doing the numbers in his head. He then asked, where does he get a paper to get Q's and was impressed with it all.. Yay!

Anonymous said...

let me just say that i actually left h0lding tears back as i left target today. i had the worst experience ever. they didnt let me use some coupons because they said the items would be free. they made me feel like i was stupid and didnt know what i was doing. i argued for like 5 minutes with them before i gave up. what can i do in a situation like this. im kind of new at couponing.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just wanted to say that I have an awesome Target that loves to see me come in b/c they know I'm going to save a ton -- and that I'm doing it the right way. I try to find a really nice cashier and then stick with her and always go thru her checkout line. They see that you are not cheating the system and that what you are doing is perfectly okay. Then they look forward to helping you. Keep trying if you are getting a jerk cashier. Most of them don't know what they are doing since their position has a very high turnover ratio, but keep trying. Find that good one who understands that you are not a crook and are smarter than average for trying to save a ton of money. I saved around $65 in there tonight b/c of coupons. And the cashier girl loved it. Sometimes they even clap for me!

Anonymous said...

I've said before on this site,that if you get greedy it spoils it for everyone else.Who needs 4 mascaras

Anonymous said...

Woah last Anonymous poster...what if the person that got the 4 mascaras has 4 daughters, or is giving the 4 mascaras to friends?? What business of it is your how many mascaras a person buys? If she had 4 coupons then that is not being greedy. I think you are just trying to start trouble and possibly have a personal issue with the person that got the 4 mascaras.

Steve said...

I am new to couponing ( few months) and I have some observations that I have experienced.

1) New cashiers are most of the problem. They don't understand coupons and think you can only use one per item and can't stack them.
2) If you buy a lot of items and then use coupons on all of them this causes problems for the cashier in terms of scanning coupons and then spending time reading the coupon to make sure they don't get in trouble. (What kind of trouble I don't know. I have been a cashier and I took coupons all day long. Didn't even read one. If the machine scanned it I took it.)
3) I buy a few items with coupons get them free or next to nothing and because it's a few items the cashier won't make a big stink because it's free. Seems to me if you get 10 individual cereals and then try and use 10 $1 off coupons they will put up a fight. I know we are in our rights to use the coupons however some cashiers and CSP think that we are trying to cheat the system. Kind of like we found a loop hole and now are taking advantage.
These are just my observations and I am only trying to make couponing fun and not the emotional experience some people seem to be having.

Anonymous said...

I just started using coupons, and I love it. I have saved so much money just in the few months that I have been doing it. It feels like I'm in a club that only so many people now about!! Thank you for all your hard work!!

beck said...

Love your blog! The best one I have seen out there! I love couponing and love that you make it so easy. In fact, I probably wouldn't do it if it weren't for site's like yours! Thank you so much!

Menifee Thrifty Mom's Club said...

Anonymous about the freezer...check craig's list. I just got a standing freezer that the people had only used for 2 years, looks brand new, for $100!!

Anonymous said...

I do have to say, after 3 trips to Target this week I have no desire to go back anytime soon, and probably won't. The first lady I had was not friendly, nor coupon friendly. The 2nd trip I left empty handed because their machines wouldn't read my debit card. Todays trip sent me over the edge. The cashier argued with me and refused to use my coupon..and I knew I was right. I told her to pretty much take everything and shove it. I then went to customer service to say something about the ordeal. I was of course right, and she was wrong..which I knew all along.

I am a single mom of 2 kids and ever since I found this site a couple months, I am addicted. I LOVE this site! I never cut cupons before this site. Who can't pass up free or dirt cheap items?!?!

Monkeybutts Mom

cjs said...

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments (yes, I had that much time on my hands..lol). It made me feel good to know that I am not the only one out here experiencing the same issues. I used to use coupons when I was in college because I saw my mom use them when I was a kid, but I stopped because I figured I wasn't saving that much. Thanks to sites like yours, my eyes have been opened recently to couponing the REAL WAY and I am now saving at least $200-300/mo. I will keep using coupons because it is just plain smart! So, thanks for all you do Hip to Save. And to those couponers that are getting mean cashiers - don't let them get you down! Keep saving!

Anonymous said...

awesome post Girl! Sure we've had to deal with some raised eyebrows and rolled eyes. But really don't we do the same thing to people who aren't using coupons. I personally have four kids still at home age 19,18,12,6. Since I took over the shopping chores from my wife we save about 30% - 40% on groceries, and 90- 95% on paper, cleaners, toiletries, and other household supplies. Been times in the past when we had to choose between buying generic toilet paper or generic Ramen noodles-- No more, cupboards are full, closets are full. We don't rely on the free pantry at our church anymore, in fact, we are the primary donors to the pantry now. It's not how much $ you make, It's how wisely you spend it. Thanks for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Target (and some other stores) need to be confronted on the issue of how they treat customers who really know how to save at their stores.

Perhaps they would like to lower their prices to what things REALLY cost?

I plan to (anonomously) call Target locally and perhaps their headquarters every time I am treated poorly (I will wait a few days and not use my real name of course and dial *67 first, perhaps use a 1 cent per minute phone card from the dollar store - but I digress).

Put up or get your cashiers to shutup - TARGET!

Anonymous said...

You said it perfectly and made me feel even better about using coupons.

Heidi said...

I just recently became aware of your site and it has the bargain shopper inside of me hooked! Thank you for all the time and knowledge you share with us!! I am loving all the deals that I'm scoring!

Anonymous said...

As my mother told me many years ago
If the manufacturers didn't want you to use the coupons they wouldn't have printed them...simple

Andrea said...

Due to a back injury at one of peoples least favorite coupon places I am not able to work. Finding out about couponing has been a God send. Thank you for sharing. I want to encourage people out there to learn to fight for their rights. I have had to fight like I never had before due to my back. I have learned to stand up for myself and understand my rights. I didn't fight when I first got injured. I thought the company would follow my doctors notes. I got re injured. So now I fight. You don't have to yell. You just have stand there and calmly ask if they are going to uphold the companies policies or not. I have been able to buy my son and my family extra treats that would not have been possible several months ago. I feel I am being a good steward of what God has provided. I love showing my husband that I have saved us over 500.00 in the last 2 months. Keep at it. Thank you so much for all your help learning how to coupon!! God bless you.

Andrea said...

OH! I forgot to say that my 13 year old son now looks forward to going shopping with me. He loves helping me find deals. Plus he always gets to pick something I would not normally buy. I just tell him to pick the coupon he wants to use. I am only saving about 50-60% right now. I'm new at this!! But that is 50-60% in my pocket that wasn't there 2 months ago. We even took our savings and bought a used xbox360 game he wanted!! Thank you so much. This sight is the one that got me started. Love you darling. keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Upon returning home from Wegmans yesterday I realized that I hadn't given the cashier my stack of coupons. I called and went back for the $18 adjustment! It's worth it! Great thoughts!

SuzyQpon said...

It is funny how people will look at you like you are poverty stricken b/c you use coupons. My DH has gotten on the bandwagon with using Qs too but he says it does bother him sometimes when he gets the "you poor thing" look. Oh well, they can feel sorry for me or laugh about me (lady behind me in Target line with her snide comments). I am laughing all the way to the bank!!!!

Tashena Lynette Gonzales said...

I actually haven't had too many bad experiences with people behind me in line just the Target cashiers. I've never wanted to give up though. I am some where in between. I can stay within my budget and did so quite well just shopping at Aldi's. But if I can save the same AND get namebrand things and lots of freebies then hey why not!

I frequently have the baggers ask the cashiers ask how much I saved or get a good job from the cashiers at my local grocery stores!

And I just did my first coupon party yesterday with some family members.

Anonymous said...

I dont have personal issues with the person who bought 4 mascaras,I dont know them.I'm just trying to say maybe Target wouldn't give people a hard time if we all kept to a limit.Maybe thats why you can only print 2 coupons.I'm not a trouble maker,I love this site.

Chris said...

I took a break from couponing because I was getting tired of checkers being crabby and telling me I can't do this or that when I can. After about a 2 month break (back stock was getting low) I got back into and it's been great. I mostly have been going to WAGS and doing the register rewards. I just keep a smile on my face and keep positive and it seems to be working better this time around. I think also I have more confidence this time around and I think that makes the checker feel more comfortable and goes ahead with the transactions.

CJ said...

I wish Target would make their printed coupons more specific so we wouldn't have to battle the cashiers so much. If they clearly stated "Only good on boxed cereal" or "Not valid for single size cups" then there would be no debate. They also need to have one clear coupon policy that all stores follow. Store employees have no right to get annoyed with customers or accuse us of fraud or cheating when they, and us, can't even be sure what the rules are.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! This is a wonderful post! I think that coupons are a gift from God:) I thank God for the friendly cashiers that he's placed in my path. I've NEVER had a problem at Target. When I go to my local Kroger and CVS, the cashiers know that I have coupons. Some of them even joke with me when I DON'T have coupons!!! The other night, I went to CVS. I got $128.90 worth of items for $5.01!!!!

With that said, I'm glad I found this site out of the blue one day. AND...it's one of my daily stops:) Keep doing what you do, Collin!

Anonymous said...

I had to come back and read your post again today for some inspiration. Another horrendous experience at Target. And I am a RULE-FOLLOWER. One Target coupon per item per visit, even. But the girl hassled me like you wouldn't believe, and then went off on some person who used a Zyrtec coupon and hadn't bought any Zyrtec, etc. Once again, a Target employee made me feel like a criminal. Besides complaining to corporate, what else can we do? Anyone?

I'm So Pretty said...

I have been very lucky (so far!) at our local Target, but then again, I don't shop many of the deals there. My biggest coupon hassles -- many exactly like the ones listed here -- come at Wally World, right down to the "but that's not what's pictured on the coupon" nonsense. These stories about the same things happening at Target always make me nervous when I go into mine. And today I'm heading over there to pick up some more "free" Chef Michael's dry dog food - my dog has decided he really likes the stuff. LOL! Thank goodness for coupons!!

Anonymous said...

To those of you being discouraged with your coupons at Target and other stores, remember many stores do not train employees correctly (or at all). Take your complaints up the ladder to customer service, the manager, to district managers, to corporate and so on. Perhaps call or write whowever issued the coupon - General Mills, Kraft, etc. They want your purchase to be pleasant so that you'll continue to buy their product. Perhaps check with the Consumer Fraud division of your State Attorney General for information in your state. In my humble opinion, as long as you are following the rules you should be entitled to the coupon savings.

About those sighs you might hear from impatient people behind you during checkout, try to remember those sighs are misplaced and should be directed to management for failure to staff adequately. The people are probably regretting too, that they didn't bring coupons. For comments about you needing to coupon, just don't respond. Really, why would anyone want to throw money away? If you have a coupon why not make the best use of it instead of sending it to a landfill. Some millionaires are very frugal, humble people. Take their example. We should all reduce, reuse, recycle, use it up, make do or do without - and shop with coupons as often as possible! Why pay full price if you don't have to? It doesn't make the product any better. Maybe it helps that I was raised by parents who experienced the great depression. Every penny counts!

Great blog Hip2Save. Thanks!

Granny

Anonymous said...

I have been to target several times in the last week and I have never run into any problems at all. My cashier actually called over her manager today and 2 coworkers to show them what a deal I was getting. I save almost $70 w/ my coupons and paid under $12 and earned 3 $5 gift cards. They were great!! They even let me use multiple target coupons during one transaction with no issues!! I love Target!!!!

Anonymous said...

To the person who posted about limiting what you buy and stating that is why there is a print limit of two coupons, should maybe take into consideration that you can buy as many papers with coupons inserts as you want. Therefore,you could have 20 of any individual item if you really wanted. If you want to buy multiple of a certain item, who really cares. Isn't that what coupons are for? If the manufacturer didn't want you to use the coupons, they wouldn't allow them to be put out there for the public to use. I just don't feel that you want to blame people who buy more than one of any item for the issues at some to these stores. It simply comes down to cashiers and managers not understanding the coupon process. The other people to blame are the ones out there using counterfeit coupons. They completely ruin it for those of us who are doing everything by the book.

Michelle in OK said...

Thank You! I really need that this morning. I just went to Wal-Mart last night and got a bit scrutinized. Since I had soooo many coupons (about $60 worth), the CSM had to come approve them all before the cashier could finish the transaction. He wasn't outright rude, but I could tell he didn't like having to flip through them all and some of his questions were kinda "pointed", though I just laughed them off. (that or hit the man - which might have felt better!) Your article was a great reminder why I still do this. Because I get to stay home with my 5 kiddos and we get to eat good meals also! Thanks!

Jenn said...

I'm very glad you posted this. I started couponing a few months back. In May & June I saved over $1022.15 for my family. In July I had some bad experiences with mean wallgreens cashiers who told me I was commiting fraud when I tried to use 2 coupons on a BOGO offer. I also had to leave one wallgreens with all my stuff on the counter because I couldn't figure out how to make the RR work for me and I was so frustraited. August we tried to live out of the pantry and I barely went shoppping at all. I'm kind of gun shy now with the coupons. I get so embarrassed when a big line forms behind me or managers are called over. But I am learning to stand my ground. Now that it's a new month I'm going to try it all again. Thanks for the encouragement. You are the BEST!