Theresa's Mixed Nuts: Cashiers and Coupons

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cashiers and Coupons

I like using coupons when I grocery shop, but ever since Christmas, I have noticed they are becoming a bigger hassle than normal to use. I am by no means one of those extreme couponers the television show is about. I don’t think I use more than 10 on any given shopping trip, but even that seems to send the cashiers into a big tizzy! Some days I leave the store wondering just who is training these people?

I had a Meijer store issued coupon for $5 off ANY item in the trim a tree department. I bought 3 boxes of candy canes.

Cashier: “I don’t know what “trim a tree” means, so you can’t use this."

Me: “Trim a tree is anything that you find in the Christmas department you can decorate your tree with. You put candy canes on a tree, right?”

Cashier: “No, you eat them.”

Me: “Just take the candy canes off the order and I’ll use it on something else next time.” I wasn’t going to stand there and argue.

At Kroger I used 50¢ off any Green Giant vegetables. Cashier hands the coupon back without scanning it.

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Cashier: “You bought green beans, the picture shows corn.”

Me: “Coupon says ANY. Please read the words and not the picture.”

Cashier scans coupon, and it goes through fine.

I had another Meijer store issued coupon for 25 free photo prints, up to $6. They were on sale that week, so my 25 prints came to $4.75.

Cashier- “Your prints don’t cost $6, they are only $4.25. You can’t use this since you didn’t spend $6.”

Me- “Coupon says “UP TO $6. Take $4.25 off."

Cashier- “Exactly. You didn’t spend $6. Use the coupon next time when your order is $6.”

I just paid, then I went to the service desk and got my $4.25 back for the coupon she wouldn’t take off.

Not a coupon story, but the store had soda on sale, limit 2 cases. I was buying 2, my husband was buying 2. We make our way to the uscan and cashier comes running over. I know there is a limit of 2. You have to pay full price for 2 of those."

Me- “I’m paying for mine, he is paying for his.”

Cashier- “Limit 2!”

Me- “Yes, per customer. I am a customer, I am buying mine. I will pay for mine, then he will scan and pay for his, seeing that he is a whole new customer. I am getting my limit of 2, then he will get his limit of 2.”

Cashier throws her hands up and stomps off. She is now known as “pop cop” every time we shop at that store.

Look, I get the fact that there are greedy jerks out there who use coupons in manners they weren’t intended, but you just shouldn’t treat every customer who uses one as a criminal. Is it really worth losing a customer over a 40¢ coupon? I don’t think so.

Do you use coupons at the grocers? Have you noticed an increase in the coupon patrol lately? 



  1. I haven't experienced what you have, but I know cashiers get little training on coupons.

    I also try to do self check out as much as possible, to avoid any problems.

    I have a system down, I scan all the coupons I can and then those Meijer Coupons and Catalinas, I ask the cashier for help on. It goes a little smoother.

    I have experienced the limit of 2 coupons and at Kroger, you can only use 3 like coupons (they hand them back).

    And I coupon, but I'm not coming with 2-3 carts full of groceries, my cart is usually 1/2 full and I have a coupon for each thing I'm buying.

    I make several trips a week if there is something I want a lot of, 1. to keep under their radar. 2. to allow the store to restock and not clear selves.

    Hang in there.

    1. You know, I am amazed at those Meijer store specific coupons they issue. I have never had one scan properly. You would think their own coupons would be the easiest, but nope, they never scan without cashier intervention.

      I am starting to use the uscan more and more myself now to avoid these kinds of hassles. I don't shop Kroger but once or twice a year, so didn't know about the 3 like coupon limit. Thanks for sharing! This will save me a headache the next time I make a trip there!

  2. The worst I ever experienced was at a Walmart. I had Walmart specific Similac Coupon that I was going to pair with a manufacture coupon. I was then going to use these rebate checks Similac sent me. The cashier looks at me and says, "Here is the coupon policy. One coupon per item pick what two you want to use, you are not using all of these." I looked at her and said, This is a store coupon, not a manufacture coupon, this is a rebate, not a coupon." "This is the policy, you are only using two coupons." I then looked at her and said. "I am not using any coupons because I am not buying this here." Then I walked away. Went across the street to Target and used my coupons (minus the Walmart coupon).

    1. I know most stores accept one store coupon and one mfr coupon. I was once told that I could use them both together unless either coupon said "one per purchase." Well, that pretty much excludes using them together ever since all coupons state "one per purchase".

      I also find that Target is pretty easy about coupon usage.

  3. I can't believe people are so dumb, and rude! Almost sounds like they get orders to try and foil all coupon usage. It reminds me of when I used to get WIC, they'd give me such a hard time and take forever. I got maybe 1 or 2 cashiers ever that did it quickly and with no problem...

    1. That's just nuts! They are getting reimbursed for those vouchers, so what's the problem? If a store doesn't want to take a WIC voucher, they aren't forced to. Just post it up so people can use them elsewhere!

  4. lol WOW! I can't get over that...I can definitely say I haven't had those types of issues with coupons. If anything, coupons seem to be taken pretty well around here. Canada doesn't have as much of a luxury with couponing as the U.S. does...although I wish we did!!! We're so much more limited with our coupons and when I watch that Extreme Couponing show, I'm so amazed at how differently it works in the states and how I wish we had the same opportunities here. Like doubling up on coupons? We can't do that here! I love how you call that lady the "pop cop" LOL. Some people take things too seriously and try to bust everybody all because there's maybe a select few who take advantage of it. Not fair for sure!

    1. I think that show is a bit exaggerated and not quite a fair representation of all coupon users. Not every store here doubles coupons, and the ones that do have pretty strict limits. The people on that show make couponers look like greedy shelf clearers, when I don't think I've ever met anyone like that in real life. Though I don't doubt there are some people like that out there, they are few and far between. I think that show did a disservice to the rest of us because the stores did take notice (as well as coupon mfrs) and really started cracking the whip on their policies, and now the rest of us will suffer because of it.

  5. I use coupons and try and match them with the sale items and have everything ready and organized before I shop...i must be very good at this because they always need the manager to figure out my order!

  6. LOL! Thankfully, I have never had manager intervention. You must be a power shopper :)

  7. Oh goodness I can't believe that happened to you. Maybe you just invite trouble when your shopping? lol I've never had a problem like that. The only time I've ever been turned down using a coupon was because I accidentally gave them one that had expired already. Some cashiers have even just tried a coupon out even if they thought it wouldn't go through.

    I do admire those crazy couponers though. I wish I had the drive to do what they do!


    1. I guess I just have the face that screams "Look at me! I'm going to rip you off with coupons today!" lol.

      Those crazy couponers must have a lot of grit to stick it out week after week if they go through as much trouble as I do!


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