I have been seriously couponing for over a year now and have noticed that there are many times things just don’t go like I planned them. I have had to be flexible in my shopping plan, leave deals behind and sometimes handle a rude cashier, employee or other shopper. Here are some of the things I do when problems occur during a shopping trip.
Be flexible!! This is probably the thing that saves me the most stress in life. If the deal I was expecting to get doesn’t work out or the shelves are cleared when I get to the store I rearrange and try something new. This happened to me the other day when I was at Albertsons, I thought the cheerios that were on sale included the new peanut butter variety and I had $1.00/1 coupons to make them almost free. I got to the store and discovered none of the cereals I had coupons for were part of the deal (Big Bummer!!). I stood in the aisle for a while perusing my coupon binder and then decided the cereal just was not a good enough deal but now I had all my TTV coupons to use. I decided to look down the other aisles and see how I could make this trip successful, even without the cereal that was supposed to be half of this trip. I was so excited when I reached to yogurt and found that the new granola yogurt from yoplait was $2.00, I had a $ .75/1 coupon which would double making each two pack of yogurt $ .50 but the deal got better when I found out that would get a dollar catalina for every three I purchased and could then double that catalina. Wow $ .17 for a two pack of yogurt and with the double it actually made a moneymaker, hooray the trip was redeemed!! If I had been so stuck on my idea of cereal I would never have found the great yogurt deal and been really bummed not to get cereal or paid more than I should for it. Flexibility is important when couponing.
I have had circumstances where the cashier I am working with does not understand their coupon policy. It is important to always carry a copy of the stores coupon policy with you in your binder. Then if you have a dispute you can bring it up in a reasonable way and have the proof to back your argument. There have been several times when I have had to show a cashier their policy and explain why my coupons should work.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, everyone makes mistakes. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked out of a store frustrated and overwhelmed by a mistake I made that cost me more money than I was expecting. Remember by couponing you are still saving more money than not doing it at all. There is a learning curve and you will make some mistakes but don’t beat yourself up about it, there is always another deal tomorrow.
If you have to, walk away with a smile on your face. I have had to leave that deal behind because the cashier was difficult, or I misread a coupon. Try really hard not to get angry, smile and move on. A positive attitude will make a huge impact.
Remember, couponing should be an enjoyable experience. You are saving your family money and that is great!! Having a good attitude, flexibility and the ability to walk away if needed you will be able to enjoy your couponing so much more.