Tip of the day Tuesday: When bargain hunting trips don’t go as planned

When bargain hunting trips don’t work out, it can be frustrating and for a new couponer, enough to lead them to give up. From time to time, even experienced bargain hunters experience “glitches.”

Tonight I made what I thought would be a quick run to Randalls to do the Living Well promotion. Things took a little bit longer than expected when my $10 catalina didn’t print.

Here are some tips for dealing with bargain hunting “glitches”

Make sure you buy participating items

When grocery stores offer special promotions, there are typically special tags on participating items. Also read the fine print in the ad because sometimes only specific sizes, scents, flavors, etc. are part of the promotion. Buying one “wrong” item will throw everything off.

Don’t be afraid to visit customer service

If your deal doesn’t work out as planned, don’t be afraid to visit the customer service desk. Participating promotion items usually have a special marking on the receipt and they can usually easily figure out why your deal didn’t work out as planned. Sometimes it also might be something as simple as a catalina machine that is not working. If you bought an item that did not count toward a specific promotion, if you ask, they will usually let you return the item that did not work and exchange it for the appropriate item.

Stand your ground

Sometimes you will encounter customer service associates or even members of management who are not familiar with coupon policies and who are afraid of coupons. You may hear things like “Your coupon didn’t print because you paid with coupons” or “You have to pay X amount after coupons.” Be informed about store coupon policies and don’t be afraid to stand your ground. You can learn about that here.

Don’t let a bargain hunting trip gone wrong ruin your experience forever. Take a deep breath and move on!


  1. Yo Prinzel says:

    These are great tips and really being familiar with the terms of your coupon can help you stand up for what you deserve. I get frustrated when I print a coupon from a website and present it to a cashier who looks at me like I have two heads, but I stand my ground and get what I’m owed 🙂