Hello, all! Welcome back, me! If I’ve done nothing else over the last three months, I’ve settled that age-old question: Can I continue to blog during my maternity leave with my second child, and while (did I mention?) moving? Clearly, no. Now you know for sure. Happy to help.
While I was on maternity leave, I caught a few new TV shows. (Like many new moms, I spent a lot of time sitting. Ask one. She’ll tell you.) That includes TLC’s new Extreme Couponing, a program showcasing people who purchase hundreds of dollars of merchandise for pennies on the dollar.
It’s interesting. It inspired some questions, such as, Would I ever really want to buy 78 bottles of Gatorade, even if I could get them for free? Would I want to dedicate an entire room in my home to the hundreds of rolls of toilet paper and bottles of shampoo I’d acquired? For me, the answer is No. For you, the answer may be Heck, yes. To each his own.
But I was entertained recently when I learned that some stores are starting to change their coupon policies—likely in response to the show. According to the Consumerist, three stores—Target, Rite Aid and Publix—have all made changes that make it harder for couponers to walk out with free merchandise. Target and Rite Aid, for instance, now only allow one “buy one, get one” (BOGO) coupon per purchase, and Publix is limiting the number of coupons that can be used per product.
That’s got to sting, don’t you think? Imagine: You’re so successful at couponing that TLC has actually put you on TV, and as a result, you’ve actually managed to undercut your own livelihood. Oops.
Savings expert Andrea Woroch has these coupon-etiquette tips:
- Don’t clear the shelves. Sure, you could throw every last bar of Dove soap into your shopping cart because you have coupons for ALL of them, but other shoppers won’t be appreciative.
- Organize your stash. No one’s going to be happy with you if you pull three carts of stuff up to the checkout counter and hand over 150 coupons in a big, haphazard stack. Do a little prep work.
- Shop when stores are empty. Other shoppers aren’t thrilled to be behind you in line, even if you are walking out with $500 of groceries for $11.67. Do your extreme shopping during non-peak hours to spark the fewest number of hostile stares.
- Hands off other people’s stuff. Don’t steal coupon inserts out of your neighbors’ papers. Seriously.
Do you use coupons? (And have you seen the show?)