Tip of the Day Tuesday: Standing up for yourself when using coupons

I have been using coupons for over five years now, and even after years of experience, there are times when I still have anxiety about getting hassled over my coupons. Here are a few tips to help you stand up for yourself when using coupons:

1. Make sure you are using your coupons correctly: Make sure you read the fine print on your coupons and that what you are buying matches up with the details on your coupon. I have noticed that many of my stores have become much more particular about coupons. More often than not, they read the fine print and make sure that my items match up, especially if they beep. Avoid embarrassment at check-out by using your coupons legitimately!

2. Know your store’s coupon policies: If you do a search online for individual stores and “coupon policies” you will find letters that others have received from customer service regarding store coupon policies. Sometimes it’s helpful to print these letters to share with your cashiers, especially if you have had difficulties redeeming coupons at that store in the past. When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to e-mail customer service yourself to inquire about their coupon policies so that you have your own hard copy.

3. Remain calm and don’t be afraid to ask for a manager: Even though you may be embarrassed or incredibly frustrated, don’t lose your cool. It will only make the situation worse. Instead, if things get too heated or the cashier refuses to work with you, don’t be afraid to ask to speak with a manager.

4. It’s OK to walk away. If you are trying to use your coupons correctly and the cashier and/or store manager refuse to work with you, it’s OK to walk away. You can try to visit the store at another time or visit another store in the area. Be sure to contact the store’s corporate customer service department to share the “issues” you had.


  1. DeAna, Joshua and Family says:

    Hey Mel!
    As always, great tips, thanks! There are 3 Walmarts in my area, and the largest one, closest to me, does NOT accept Internet coupons (go figure). So I have to drive to a nearby city for my main shopping since their Walmart DOES accept internet coupons. I had a cashier that commented, "Man, I hate these" after I handed her my stack of coupons, most of them internet. She did not know what she was doing and had trouble scanning the internet coupons. A CSM came up and started to help her. I had a couple copies of the same coupon, except the expiration date was different. The 2nd & 3rd coupons didn't want to ring up. The CSM accused me of making copies of one coupon. I had to explain that, no, in fact, I had printed more than one copy and at different times (Bricks, SS, allows us all to do that!) I also pointed out that the expiration dates were completely different & there was a watermark on each coupon, so how exactly did I copy them? Anyhow, the situaion really upset me, not that I was seeing red, I just felt that I was treated unfairly and that the employees were out of line. When I got home, I called the store manager. She was very sympathetic and confirmed that they do accept all legitimate coupons, including internet, and that neither employee should have spoken to me the way they did, including the cashier telling me that she hated doing the internet coupons. It's definitely gotten better since then. I do my shopping late in the evening, when there's less traffic inside the store, so there's no room for complaint!

    Thanks again for the post (& thanks also for having the link for the emailed version–it has totally helped me to keep up with your posts!). Chat with you later!

  2. Melissa says:

    Walmart is SUPPOSED to take internet printed coupons. You can print their coupon policy (which is on their website) here:

    I would contact their customer service about the store in your area that is refusing to take them!