There are things that make a couponer thrilled. One of them is the amazing coupon that finally is available. However, the best one is that absolute BEST DEAL EVER on the item you want.
For instance, you see that the toilet paper you use is finally on sale — and at the lowest price you’ve ever witnessed. You rush to the store, and you fill your cart. However, that isn’t enough for you! So you run to yet another store and wipe those shelves clean too! Before you know it, you realize that you have enough toilet paper for your child’s school….for the entire year.
Yes, that example is a bit extreme, but I have seen it happen. I totally understand how great it is to score a hot deal. I’ve been there. However, what many can do is take it too far and clear every shelf from all of the stores in your area. It is frustrating for the person who only wants one – but there are none to be had because of the crazy person who cleared it all out for his or her self.
How can you go about taking full advantage of a deal, but still be courteous to others? Check out these tips to do just that.
Special Order. You can always ask your store to do a special order for you. That way, you can get in on the deal that they are offering, while still leaving product on the shelf for others. Most managers are willing to work with shoppers who need a larger quantity of items – you just need to ask. In fact, most stores welcome such a request so that they keep products on the shelves and don’t lose out on other customer sales.
Rain Check. Pick up one or two items and then get a rain check from the store. That will allow you to go back at a later date and still get the same price. You won’t be clearing the shelves for others, but still are able to build up your stockpile..
Charity. While I admire others who coupon to pay it forward, you still need to keep in mind the other shoppers. While you clear the shelf to give it away, you are taking away from the mom who can’t get help from other programs – who was just trying to get one small good deal for her family.
Learn the sales cycle. Deals will come and go — and come back around again. By using a Price Book, you can start to track your store’s sales. This will help you learn when the items you use will be on sale and how frequently it happens. You will be able to stock up just enough to get you from sale to sale, thereby keeping the amount you need to purchase to a minimum (and leaving some for others).
Remember that whether you are couponing for yourself or for a charity that it is rude to clear the shelves. No one needs 27 bottles of deodorant, when 4 might suffice. When greed enters the picture for couponing, we all suffer. We suffer by limits being imposed and by couponers being scrutinized and labeled as whore mongers. None of us want that.
All we want is to save a little money. We are a community and being courteous to one another is key to making that work.