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Ask DSM Readers: How Do You Deal with Tough Cashiers?

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 20, 2010 · 188 comments

Coupons & Cashiers

Every Thursday I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

If you've been couponing for very long, chances are you've come across a tough cashier -- one who acts like you're wasting their time or doing something illegal, who huffs and puffs as they scan your coupons or, worse, says that they can't accept coupons that you know are valid and acceptable under the store's policy. Running into too many of these types of cashiers can make couponing an awful experience instead of an enjoyable one, and more than one couponer has quit because they prefer to avoid confrontation.

So how do you deal with tough cashiers? Do you have tips to spot them and avoid them altogether? What do you do to try to "set the mood" before you check out? How do you handle their bad attitudes or refusal to accept coupons?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

{ 188 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chancey May 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm

One place that I have quit going to is Walgreens. I have had nothing but problems with my coupons at that place. The straw that broke the camels back was when they had the Wet Ones on sale & we got the Q's taht made them free after the RRs. The boy cashier didn't ring them up as 1.50 he manually rang them up as .75 Q's. I was in such a hurry that night to get home b/c my son was sick that I didn't even notice until later on that night. I was like, hmmm I think I paid too much at Walgreens tonight. I was ticked when I looked at my receipt. That & I couldn't get the Q's back either! So I haven't been there since. I try to avoid Walmart anymore, it's such a hassel there too. If my coupon is more than what the item costs they give me a hard time. Last time I was there I asked a manager about them & she said they would adjust the Q, but I still have problems with the jerks that work there. I love shopping at Winn Dixie & Target. Target lets me have the overage!!! & When I got to Winn Dixie I never spend more than I save. Last week, I spent $58.00 (we have 10% tax which stinks) & I saved $80.00! & in that transaction I even bought a box of Huggies! :) I had a coupon for $10.00 off $30.00 in baby items, I had the $10.00 from the baby club, had some ocupons, & had a store Q & manufacture Q for the diapers. So really I spent $4.00 on the box of diapers :) The nearest Publix (I love shopping there with Qs) & Kroger are in Georgia :( We don't have either one in Anniston which stinks :(


2 Chancey May 20, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Actually I forgot about the $10.00 baby club, so really the box of diapers was free hehe. They were on sale for 19.99!


3 lynn February 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

This is why cashiers are tough to deal with a-holes like you!!!!!!!!!!


4 Ashlee May 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I HATE confrontation. However I will stick up for myself when I need to. Sometimes my CVS will accept a $ off coupon and a BOGO coupon, sometimes not. I never argue with those since I know that is a really gray area in coupons. Our grocery stores double coupons $.99 and below. They always double whether they say do not double or not. One time at Meijer I had a cashier manually prevent every coupon from doubling. I nicely asked about it and she was very rude and said she doesn't want to lose her job just so I can rip them off. I again very nicely said I have been shopping here for years and have never had this happen. She offered to get the manager and the manager said she was wrong to prevent them from doubling. The manager told me their policy is if it doubles on its own they allow it, but if it doesn't they cannot manually double it if it says do not double. I can accept that. I however will not go to that same cashier again.


5 Kirsten May 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Most of the coupons I use come from online. I can't imagine being accused of fraud like some of you have. However , I have only been printing coupons for a month now so i'm sure the day will come when I am accused. Last time I went to my grocery store, (HEB) a couple of my printed coupons wouldn't go through. I guess they wouldn't scan . I'm not sure why since I wasn't running low on ink or anything. And I uploaded the computer printer.But the manager came out and told me that if the coupons don't scan , then they can't accept them. I was kind of bummed cause I was hoping that since I did purchase the items on the coupons in the right sizes and quantities they would just enter them manually for me.Mind you 20 or more of my other coupons scanned just fine. so i'm not sure why some scan and some don't. Now I worry when I go shopping if the coupons I print are going to scan or not. I also hate to waste my printer ink printing a coupon that won't scan.


6 Michelle S May 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

First, I avoid older women. They are the most difficult when it comes to coupons. Often, not always, they act like the money you're saving comes out of their check! I try to look for younger, male cashiers - they don't take it personally if you use coupons. Second, I always start talking to them right away about a fun topic or if they're having a good hair day, or something to that effect. I do have a lot of trouble at walmart with coupons and price matching so I keep a copy of their corporate policy in my coupon box. Even if a manager is called over, they can't argue with it. I try to go at the same time during the day so that I often use the same cashier and we start talking about our kids, how that garden is coming, etc.


7 Elena May 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm

i totally agree with you about young male cashiers... they always give me props about how much i saved and my oop


8 Kristen May 20, 2010 at 11:09 pm

I also prefer the young males if there isn't a cashier available whom I already know will work with me and my coupons. Most of the time they are amazed at the savings.


9 Terri May 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Our Target and Walgreen stores in Grand Junction, CO is the worst! But I will always do the following, if showing them a copy of the policy fails to work: 1) ask to speak to the manager; 2) if the mgr is uncooperative (it happens a lot), let that manager know that you will be contacting their corporate office (get the names of the manager and cashier), and 3) contact their corporate or district office(s) and ask that they not only clarify store policy to their local store managers and cashiers but that they respond to you, or have someone respond to you, either in writing or on the phone, to let you know that the policies are understood and have been implemented. Contact info can usually be found online. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau and file your complaint with them. The stores are obligated to respond. I've done all of these things with various local stores. They hate confrontation just as much as we do, but they hate having their names and managerial skills brought into question even more. So the threat or actions of taking your complaints "higher up" generally yield favorable results. Not doing anything is tantamount to acceptance of bad behavior, which is unacceptable.


10 michelle May 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I hjave had several run-ins with the cashiers at my local Safeway here in Az. I was advised by quite a few people to go exactly the same route you go, that is through corporate, etc. I came really close a few times, but always held back. My question to you is this, after all the complaints you register, do the stores give you a harder time when you go back? I would rather get in an arguement with the manager than be an object of ridicule. I have tried 4 different Safeways here in Az, and they really take the cake at being rude, loud and obnoxious. They all seem to come up with new rules everytime you go there and invariably nothing works in your favor. The most ridiculous rule one of the cashiers threw at me was they no longer accept more than 3 coupons per transaction because the recession was forcing more people to use coupons! huh, whatwasthat?? My brains feel like a bowl of spaghetti trying to figure out that line of reasoning! So then, do you go back to the same stores you have complained about?
The other stores I go to, I normally walk up to the cashiers who especially give me a hard time, and I announce that their 'favorite problem couponer is here' This normally embarrasss the heck out of them and we end up having a 'polite' checkout. At Target, I always go for the young male cashiers....they are the coolest.


11 Shanon May 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm

This winter, on a night before a winter storm was supposed to hit, I spent about 2 hours matching my coupons to the Kroger sale items and didn't get to the register until it was almost closing time. When I handed the cashier my coupons at the end of the transaction she gave me that look of disgust and told me that she could only accept 2 internet coupons total. I explained how long it took me too match these properly and that I had no probmlems in the past using internet coupons and could she show me that policy. As the line behind me grew, she argued that she learned this in training and wouldn't even try my coupons. Luckliy a customer service employee came and looked up the policy which read that you could use 2 internet coupons per type of product. Finally she scanned the coupons and only 1 or 2 even beeped, which the CS employee took care of. The situation was embarassing for me and made the people behind me angry. I went online and checked Kroger's Coupon policy and when there was no mention of the "2 only" rule, so I called the manager and explained what happened. He apologized, said he would speak to the cashier, and gave me a $5 gift card. It hasn't happed since, but I carry around the policy now just in case!


12 Stella May 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I have to say that generally speaking I have found that it is true about a cashiers age/gender and whether they are easy going about coupons or not. Please note that I said generally. I have come across a few exceptions. If I am unfamiliar with the cashiers when I am ready to check out, I look for a male. Young or older, I've never encountered a cranky male cashier. If there are no male cashiers I look for a young female. And yes, generally speaking I get he most trouble from middle-aged female cashiers. I don't like when I've been asked if I copied a coupon (I'm constantly asked that at WalMart), but when I respond "no" and they leave it at that, I understand that the cashiers are only asking the questions they were told to. My Shop Rite and Price Chopper won't take any coupons that say free or Buy one Get one Free. The manager at Shop Rite told me that the manufacturer only reimburses the store very little and they cannot afford to accept them. I just use those coupons at Target. When I am done shopping, I find a quiet isle and go through my coupons and make sure I have the items and the correct quantity in my cart. I do not get in a line to check out before I am ready and knowing that I went through my items and coupons beforehand makes me feel more confident when it is my turn in line. For me the stress associated with checking out is worth it for the savings I receive.


13 Pam May 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I have the same experiences with young male cashiers. At my Krogers, I always go on the same night so I know "MY" cashier is working. He is as excited to see what deals I have each week as I am. Never go to middle aged women... and NEVER NEVER NEVER go to Walmart with coupons. Only go there if absolutely necessary. Walgreens cosmetic counters are great in my area too... When they see me in the store, they tell me to come get them when I am ready to check out.


14 Colleen May 20, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I have only had one bad experience so far. I was at Family Dollar. I had never used a coupon there and was unfamiliar with their policy. The manager told the cashier and me that they accepted coupons, but not those for free items, like the ones we get on facebook for free Vitamin Water, free sunchips, etc. When she rang me up, one of my items was $1 and I had a coupon for $1 off, making it free. I said I did not think this was the same situation and she asked the mgr who said it was ok. I again nicely told her that I was new to using coupons at their store and said I would have to look up their policy to learn it so I don't hold up her line next time. Then she ripped a printout off the wall and slammed it on the counter...It was their coupon policy. I was not sure why she got so hostile, other than she clearly did not understand it herself and was maybe feeling embarrassed. I was nice the whole time, even after her slamming the paper on the counter, but I did write an email to the company but never got a response. Needless to say, I have not been back to that store.


15 CS May 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I am a cashier at a local dpt store like Target, and my store has never educated any of the cashiers about coupons. We had a double coupon week and half of the week the managers were arguing about what we could and could not double, and if we do or do not accept internet coupons. Two weeks later we had it advertised all over the store that we do accept internet coupons, when only weeks before I had been yelled at for accepting them. Because of this, when I coupon I assume that most cashiers do not understand coupons or have not been taught their coupon policy, so I am always patient when i explain why my purchase is correct.
As a cashier I will look through coupons to make sure that the exp dates are correct (lots of exp ones will still scan but I can get in trouble if i accept them), but beyond that I will usually force coupons through if i can see that their purchase is correct. Also, I am always nice to my cashiers, because I know that when I am working I am nicer to people who are nice to me. When my customers are nice I will tell them if their is a similar or same item on clearance, or if there are coupons in the store that will save them lots, or even if they would get a better deal if they purchased more or did separate transactions. When a customer is rude to me, especially about all of the questions that I am required to ask, then I will not go out of my way to help them save.


16 judy workman May 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I have found that Walmart gave me the most trouble and even when I was not using coupons. For the second reason, I contacted corporate and the manager and refused to go back and told them their cashier was something I won't put in print. I just recently found that at CVS no family member can use a CVS extracare coupon unless you have the correct card that is registered for the extracare coupon.
For the most part, I have found most stores very reasonable when using coupons (won't use at Walmart and I haven't used at Target, no reason) and have used there own judgement and it turned out for my betterment.


17 Kimberly May 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

You know I was just researching today coupon policies. On one of my recent visits to Kroger, they would not honor IP coupons over $1 which I was floored but polite. It was an older lady and not the usual teenagers that checked me out. Usually i go in and neatly have my items ready to go, i hand them the coupons and they rip right thru them. This lady took 15 minutes reading and studying each coupon. So after that i found myself going to Kroger and to Walmart which i hate. Walmart has not turned anything down nor have they been rude, it's just painful to go there. But when Kroger wouldn't take my $3 Huggies coupons i made the trip and was well worth it.

Today, I called my local Kroger because i realize each store does their own thing. I was told next time to ask for the floor supervisor because they do take IP coupons for more than $1. I will be trying Kroger again tomorrow so we will see!


18 caroline May 20, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I just used several 2/2 and 3/1 huggies coupons at my local kroger just two days ago. Good luck with yours!


19 Nicole May 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I have to say I have not had too many problems with coupons. When I am at Target I do tend to look for younger cashiers because they don't scrutinize your coupons and they will actually go out of their way to make sure they are accepted. I also like to give a list of all the websites I go for coupons to the cashiers. You would be surprised how many people appreciate that, especially when they see my bill go from $80 to like $10. I am the coupon queen of all of my friends and I have people ask me all the time for tips on how to coupon so good. I have had a couple times customers that were behind me get upset because I was holding up the line with my stack oh coupons. I litterally looked at them and said there are other checkout lines if you are in that big of a hurry. My favorite was this older man who had a Starbucks in his hand that we all know cost $5 atleast and he was buying store brand cinnamon toast crunch and was complaining that I was taking too long. I looked at him and said I am sorry I get to buy name brand foods because I save so much.... you are buying knock off cereal and your bitching to me. Jealous are we much. haha
I have had problems with coupons not scanning but I figure I save so much money with coupons that if I lose out on 1 coupon per visit it won't kill me. I haven't had to call a manager over yet, but I am scared if I ever have to the enitre store will here me complain. The manager will wish he just took the coupon or paid the amount out of his pocket.


20 Beth Anne May 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I try to go to stores at the same time during the day so that I usually am familiar with the cashiers. I agree than male cashiers seem to care the least if you are using coupons, and middle-aged female cashiers are most likely to give me a hard time. I have one cashier that I never go to because she will manually override my coupons that double if they say 'do not double'...I have even gotten in a longer line to avoid the conflict. I love when stores have a clear coupon policy that I can take with me, specifically Rite Aid. I want to be honest with my couponing, and that is so much easier to do when the company tells you up front what they will and will not accept.


21 Beth May 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm

The very first time I decided to coupon at a drug store, I planned very well. I chose Walgreen's because you don't need a store card. I wrote my shopping list on an envelope separating my 2 transactions and put my coupons in the envelope so they were ready. I was confidant and ready to go. Then I hit a snag when the cashier wouldn't let me use one of my coupons on one of my items because although my manufacturer's coupon, (clipped from the paper), clearly stated "ANY", the item was not the EXACT item pictured. I nicely showed the cashier that it said any, but she still refused to let me use the coupon after reading it very carefully. Since this was my first drug store couping attempt, I was not that confident, so I politely told her that I would not be purchasing the item, paid and left. I haven't been back since. Now I shop at CVS where they are very helpful and nice!


22 Brenda May 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I've been going to the same Kroger in central Ohio (High & N.Broadway) now for over 2 years and know the cashiers well. I have no problem with any of the cashiers...they are all great regardless of age, except 1 lady. Everytime I have to go through her line she lays all my IP coupons out, matches them up and starts comparing to make sure the numbers aren't duplicates or they aren't takes forever! She's gone as far to hand two back and say "they are the same", basically accusing me of coupon fraud, and then I showed there they weren't and she took them. She won't even scan until after she's laid them all out and compared them. In addition to this she is so SLOW and speaks very broken english so it's difficult to communicate with her. I've given up on being friendly because I know she recognizes me and should know by now I'm not a dishosnest couponer but she still insists. I've tried to be nice and reason with her that she could scan first and then check if they beep but she just mumbles excuses about how she has to check. I do everything to avoid her but sometimes she's the only one open.


23 Sarah May 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm

My problem store is rite aid, just a certain one up the road from me. All the other rite aids are awesome. This certain one only allows you to buy one of each sale item!! Even on a saturday evening when the sale for the week is about to expire!! I was accused of fraud with original newspaper coupons and was buying the exact item that was pictured on the coupon. When I asked to speak to the manager, he was very rude and and spoke to me like I was trying to steal something. I called the regional manager she very nice and appauled that I was spoken to the way I was. In the end I was given a gift card in an effort to not lose my business. However, I will NEVER go to that one rite aid again.


24 EM May 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Reading all these comments make me feel so much better! It's nice to know that we've all been in the same boat one time or another. I've had problems with Walmart and occasionally Walgreens.
And I ALWAYS pick the younger male cashier when I can- they think it's so cool I pay so little for so much with coupons!


25 Megan May 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I worked as a temporary cashier at Walmart one summer in college. It often felt like a mindless, thankless job. I'll never forget the excitement in another cashier's face when she told me the lady I had just checked out (and had been talking to about candy and the Osborne's reality show) had just written a glowing comment card about me at the customer service desk. To this day, if I've had a positive experience with a cashier, I make sure I write a comment card, send an email, or call so that corporate, the store manager, and (hopefully) the employee know that they're making this couponer a happy customer. (I will do this as well if I've had a "not so positive" check out as well).

I try use my coupons correctly in the first place. I also either give them directly to the cashier at the beginning or place them on top of my first item on the conveyor belt/register counter. If I have q's that will require the cashier to write in or look up a price (like for B1G1 or free item coupons) I give them a heads up. If a problem arises, I apologize to the cashier for holding up the line, but hold my ground.

I've rarely had problems at Walmart, Rite Aid, Shaw's, CVS, and two local supermarket chains: Hannaford's and Shaw's. Target, and Walgreens can be hit or miss. I sometimes refer to them as "coupon purgatory" as it depends on your cashier, your manager, the register, what q's you're using and deals you're going after. It's any one guess what will happen.


26 ShelleyB May 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I had an incident with Dollar General - I had a BOGO and a $$ off 2 coupon - so I was either going to walk out with 3 free with the 2 coupons or 2 free with the one - I asked about the coupon policy if they could be combined (as mentioned many a times - it's a grey area!). The cashier was pleasant and willing to see if it would...well, it didn't and she did the BOGO first. She had no idea that you couldn't take off a coupon (which I still do not believe!) without voiding the transaction with manager override. Well, the Manager pitched a royal fit about it - I politely said, well you can void the transaction and allow me to use the coupon, or you can void the transaction and I'll walk out of her without spending a dime. (I was spending about $20 oop) She voided it and slammed everything she could until she stormed off - the cashier felt bad and kept apologizing - I told her that it had nothing to do with her! So I did contact DG about the incident. I too will never go back. I think it boils down to respect and I refuse to suppost a company with my hard earned money who will behave like that.


27 Alison May 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I always have trouble at Target. It seems that every time I go in, the same two middle aged ladies are working the registers. I have had issues with both. Sometimes, I'll go to the CS desk to check out to avoid the confrontation.


28 Jen May 21, 2010 at 1:52 am

Try going at a busier time,when they are likely to have cool young people, like around 5pm (after school), or on Saturdays.


29 Amy May 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm

As a cashier of Target I can only say this based on my store's way. Not all stores work the same. We have to look through your bags if the computer declines the coupon. If you have a lot of coupons, to avoid this, place the coupons with the items. I had a lady one day who had 2 carts full of items, and a lot of coupons. She got upset, because I did this. Also, after she left my manager noticed that she used a photocopied coupon. These are not allowed. That is why we have to pay close attention to web printed coupons. Most sites have a limit of times you can print. Also, if you have b1g1 coupons let your cashier know ahead of time. We also price adjust the coupon if it is more than the product. If a cashier tells you they can't accept the coupon cause it's more just politely ask to see their manager. Odds are more than likely they don't know how to adjust. If you have a coupon for example diapers it cannot be used on wipes unless specified. It's those who abuse the coupons that make it difficult. I try my best to give good customer service to those with or without coupons. Please do not take it the wrong way us double checking your coupons, or asking for approval. I am very fair about coupons, but I will make sure that they are used the right way.


30 Patricia May 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I find that kindness and empathy work well when a cashier looks grumpy. I say something like "I'm really sorry to make more work for you with all my coupons." Just acknowledging that I'm asking them to do something more than the average customer is usually enough to soften them just a little.


31 Jen May 21, 2010 at 1:54 am

What a great idea. Also, I sometimes ask them how their day is going, or if their feet are tired.


32 kimberly May 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I always start right in talking to them when I get up in line. I let them see that I am okay as a couponer...not a theif. I did get totally scruntized at walmart once by a young cashier with some attitude. She made me feel like I was stealing. A customer in another line walked by and said, "you poor thing" to me. I just try to scruntize my coupons and make sure it's all clear as can be when checking out. I also help the cashier remember to write in amounts on free items.


33 Cindy May 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm

How strange that everyone says not to go to middle aged women, but to go to young men. I mean, definitely go to young men! They do fine. But I've never had any trouble with middle aged-women, either. In fact, the only people who have ever given me trouble are college-aged girls who would rather be gossiping with the girl in the next line over. Maybe I just live in a really friendly place, but I rarely have any trouble getting anything accepted at any of our stores, though my favorite grocery store won't accept free or bogo coupons that are internet printed. That makes me sad. :-(

I'm also surprised at the Wal-Mart criticism. Wal-mart is a great place to use coupons in our area. The cashiers have never given me any trouble at all. I think it must depend greatly on where you live.


34 lisa May 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm

My walmart tells me they can't accept internet coupons, they could lose their jobs! but then, they code them in, very annoyed since I stand my ground(very very politely) and they act like they are doing me the biggest favor in the world. Walmart is definitely the worst store for couponing. which is too bad, my kids love the place. but I usually only use it as a last resort.


35 Cindy May 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Oh, yeah. And be sure to wear a smile. If you expect to meet an adversary, you probably will. :-)


36 Sandy May 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I have also had the most trouble with middle-aged women. The very worst experience I ever had was with a 40ish woman, though. I think I could have chosen a better line from the beginning, because she looked irritable before I even got up to her. There is also an older lady at our local Publix who wants to line up every item with it's coupon and scan the coupon immediately after the item it is for. I avoid her like the plague! That takes forever. Couponing in itself isn't embarassing in the least, but holding up the line that way is. She says that even though the register beeps or refuses coupons when they aren't used properly, she doesn't trust that and she doesn't want to get in trouble. I aim for the college-aged boys. Most of them think it's cool, and a couple of them have asked if I would teach them how to do it, too. I drive all the way across town to go to a specific Walgreens even though there is one about 2 blocks from my house. The closest one has been terrible with my coupons, but the other one is great! Wal-mart is a hopeless case. I worked there in a managerial position for 11 years. They truly are the Evil Empire.


37 Constance May 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I am friendly with several cashiers at several stores, so I usually try to get in thier lines because they know me and they already know "what to expect"! But, if for some reason I do run into some sort of attitude/problem, I nip it in the bud by saying "Thank you for your assistance so far, but now I'd appreciate it if you would call the manager over". That usually solves the problem right there. If not, and the manager gets involved, I always have a copy of the corporate store policies with me in my binder. If for some reason THAT doesn't do the trick, I write down the managers name and the cashiers name and politely thank them for thier time and inform them that I will be contacting corporate with my grievance, and for help with resolving the issue(s). I find that 9 times out of 10, managers try to avoid having the customer contacting the corporate office and involving thier store, and them personally. I am ALWAYS polite, but firm. I usually walk out of the store satisfied.


38 Rachel G May 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm

The middle aged ladies at my local Safeway are great. I've goten high fives and requests to teach them how to coupon and just a lot of positive comments.
I've had the worst at WalMart and Target beleive it or not. I've had two really bad experiences there.I try to work it but if they wont budge I just wont buy that item there and try somewhere else. Most recently it was the young college guy front end manager at walmart that didn't want to let me use the $1/1 scotch brite coupon. It beeped because the sponges were .84 and I told him that you can adjust the value of the coupon or the price of the item and his beef was that I was getting more that one he thought that "one coupon per purchase" meant one coupon per transaction and I told him what it meant and he didn't believe me and I said "you mean to tell me that if I bought four boxes of cereal and used four coupons you wouldn't let me use them. Then he said "I'll do it this time but I wont do it again" really rudely. I thought to myself whatever I just want these stupid sponges for free.
I think they just get mad when you get stuff for free. I've had that same issue at Target with the manager who wouldn't budge while trying to use a coupon with a price match and they said that you couldn't use more that one coupon per transaction but I was able to go to WalMart and use them.


39 Jan May 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I have been couponing for 5 months now and never had problems. First of all my stores are great about coupons and second I was told to look for young female or male cashiers and believe me that works!


40 Serena May 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I have never had an issue with my coupons at Target (this is the only store I shop) Any age cashier, any gender cashier, they are happy to scan my coupons and are excited for my savings! I guess that is the difference about being in Las Vegas! Everyone loves a winner (even at the store)!


41 Kristy May 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I have had bad experiences with walmart also. They did not want to accept a soymilk coupon because it did not have the scan mark on the ususal place as other coupons. I explained to her that the coupon was emailed to me directly by the company, but she still had to get approval from the manager. Another bad experience with walmart is that they do not want you to get anything for free. I had a coupon to get free nabsico crackers, but the cashier & manager would not give it to me. They said that I had to get the crackers pictured, eventhough the coupon stated any nabsico crackers. I was irritated & just told them to take it off my total. Also, during this same trip to walmart, I also had $1.00 off coupons, which made the $1 items for free & the cashier said I could only use 1 per purchase. I explained to her that is why I bought 4 items for each of the 4 coupons. The manager said I could use all of them if they scanned, & they all did.My friend who works at walmart, said that walmart does not want you to get anything for free, even if they get their money back with the coupon. I used that nabisco coupon at publix, & they gave it to me with no problem at all. I like publix much better than walmart, publix accepts manufacturers coupon, & the store coupon for one item! My mother has had problems at walmart also, & now she refuses to go there! My mother shops excusively at publix & saves more money through coupons than getting sales at walmart. After, reading some of the posts, I realized it just is not me & my mother who have problems with walmart!


42 Helen May 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm

In the area in which I live (Arizona/CA border area) Walmart is great about coupons. In fact, when I do my monthly shopping trip, the cashiers recognize me and some will come over just to watch and see how much I save each time. On the other hand, I have been embarrassed to the point of tears at the local Target store. I've been accused, loudly, of trying to rip off the store, being the cause of higher prices for everybody else, etc. I tried to use coupons four times, and all four times this happened. I guess I'm a slow learner! I finally wrote a letter to their corporate headquarters, copying the local store's manager, and never even received a response. Now, I refuse to set foot in any Target store, anywhere. Also, I have a HUGE extended family and they've begun to stay away from Target stores because of my experience. So, the lesson for Target is this: You are LUCKY that customers want to do spend their dollars, and use their coupons, in your store. You should treat them will the respect they deserve. In this economic climate, you can hardly afford to lose the number of customers that you've now lost over this ONE customer's bad experiences. I can imagine that I'm not the only customer that has stayed away due to this problem.


43 Lisa May 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I have had horrible experiences at Target also. The cashiers and even the managers have been rude and inconsiderate towards me. I try to avoid Target most of the time.


44 Lisa May 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I always go to a younger cashier, I think since they know the internet more, they have no problems. If I have to go to an older cashier, they always just stare at them and kind of act like you're counterfeiting money or something. (last week I had an an older man for a casheier and he held the coupon up to the light, he must have thought he was going to find a prize inside! lol)


45 Jessica C May 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I've been hardcore couponing for about 6 months now and I've had a few issues. I try to be fair and correct and cheerful when I know I have a complicated transaction(s) because I don't need to be "THAT WOMAN" that I used to hate when I worked retail. However, I WILL NOT have my rights stripped away from me from a cashier who doesn't understand what I'm doing and that it's not hurting the store, they put the coupons out, I found them, I'm using them, the end. Nothing illegal is taking place, I'm not cheating anyone out of anything. I'm just observant and thrifty! I have printed coupon policies and if a coupon doesn't work I will finish my transaction peacefully with the cashier, then walk over to customer service and let them call the manager to handle it. It's not the 3-5 customers fault behind me that the store doesn't know their policy so I'm not trying to be rude and hold anyone up, I just want to use my coupons. I've had more luck at customer service because they have more time to focus on what I'm saying rather than just giving me the brush off.


46 Kristen May 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I think that is a great idea. Very smart to be considerate of the other shoppers but still take care of the transaction in the store before you leave.


47 Kimberly May 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I have had many problems with grumpy Walgreens employees. Including... if I have multiple transaction the head cashier (who had no one in line) telling me that I had to go to cosmetics and wait while she called up a checker. That checker said that register rewards were supposed to be 1 per customer per product for 30 days. I did have 1 Walgreens lady (older) like what I did and wanted to take notes so that she could do the same. Safeway has been awesome for the most part. 1 checker (older lady) asked if I had more coupons so that we could go lower than .49 and she told me how impressed she was. I haven't tried Walmart (scared). Target has been careful but nice enough. Rite Aid has been 50/50. I just try to be nice from the start and hope for the best.


48 Luci May 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Alot of cashiers know me by now and I recognize the grumpy ones. I start up a conversation with them before checking out. And I also bring in extra coupons that I am not going to use and give them to the cashier and tell them they can use them or pass the savings on to someone else. It's hard to grumble at someone who is smiling and being so pleasant. Smiling is contagous, don't you know? Then I thank them for being so patient with me. But I alays have my coupons ready before getting in line so as not to hold up the line for the cashier or others behind me.


49 Nancy Gambill May 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I nicely ask them if there is a problem. It really deflates a lot of tension. If that doesn't work, I ask what the issue is with me. If that doesn't work, I just ask for the manager. That usually works. Everyone expects a 'blow-out' but it hasn't happened yet. This way gets the job done every time.


50 jboli May 20, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I have never had a truly bad experience yet. There are certain cashiers I like better at the stores I go to than others, just because they know me and that I coupon. The only thing I dislike is when cashiers are not trained uniformly and one will do one thing one time and the next time you go in another does it completely different. I think they should be given some training to save everyone a lot of trouble.


51 Jennifer H. May 20, 2010 at 8:46 pm

As so many have already said,always go to the young male checkers at Target they are the best. They never question anything. In fact, they have apologized to me when a coupon would not scan. There is an older man at our Ralph's Supermarket who will not take anything. He acts like it physically pains him to accept a coupon LOL I learned my lesson. I avoid his line like the plague.


52 Katherine May 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I have had some very rotten experiences in the 8 monthes that I have been couponing but the deals make it fun and worthwhile. What I try to bear in mind is that you might meet that quick-to-the-draw cashier at church or they might turn out to be a friend of a friend. So if they turn hostile, let it slide. Ignorant or hostile cashiers used to unnerve me and I would come home and vent. It does get easier, though. Yes, go to young male cashiers; they're often so much nicer. And try to have a "you win some, you lose some" attitude even though your pocketbook could really use the break. The best thing that I have learned: THE DEALS KEEP COMING! At first I thought that if I missed out on something then I missed my one chance but no, no! There are more deals every day!! :)


53 Jan May 20, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Walmart has had the greatest amount of issues with everyone I know. Many of the folks I know have stopped shopping at Walmart for this very reason.
Target and Kroger never give any hassles or issues with coupons. I think that these stores realize if they take one extra coupon that is worth like .35 that they do not get paid for it is way better than loosing even one customer. Something Walmart has not learned. Walmart often marks things as roll back and low price and then the item scans way higher as well. The round carrossels also are an issue for me. The cashiers do not help you make certain you have all of your bags / when I left something behind last winter i called right away but then I got really sick and could not get back to the store and when i got well I went back to the store with my reciept and note regarding the phone call and they checked the book they saw where the bag was left but they stated that since x amount of time had passed it was my bad luck they would not allow me to go get the items. (this was about 18.00 worth of stuff) this got me extremely upset. Stores that do not care about their customers deserve to loose the customer. So if the store does not treat you right move on!


54 suzanne May 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I have had a couple of run-ins with one older female cashier and one rather young male assistant manager at the Walgreens closest to me. They act like I am stealing or something. And I don't even do multiple transactions like some people talk about. The last run-in I had with this duo was when I was using one of the Walgreens internet coupons from their own website. Their coupon didn't scan in the system and they acted like it was some how my fault. I went to the corporate website and filled out a complaint form about the two of them. Now they mostly avoid me when I am shopping, which frankly, suits me just fine. The others are always friendly and helpful. I pass those messages on too.


55 Rebecca May 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

The worst example so far was an arrogant older woman at a CVS who took my internet coupons, lined them up on the counter very neatly and said, "I can't take these." I asked why and she said, "because you photocopied them all." I was livid!!! I bit my tongue and said, no I most certainly did NOT photocopy them, that is coupon fraud and I do not commit fraud. There were a couple of people behind me and she was adamant that these coupons were fakes and she would not take them. She then pointed out that the bar code was the same, to which I responded that they were supposed to be since they are for exactly the same product. I then pointed out that there was a unique ID code to each coupon and if she doubted me, to take my credit card information and driver's license information because I had absolutely nothing to hide or be ashamed of, afterall, I was shopping with my 5 year old daughter and I needed to be clear that I was doing nothing wrong! She then picked up the coupons and started going through the fine print and said well they say one coupon per purchase. I informed her that I was only use one per purchase but that I was using five per transaction which was totally fine. She still insisted I was passing fraudulent coupons and called the manager ... who took them as she grumbled that he could do it but she certainly wasn't going to lose her job over it. I really should have called corporate because I didn't do one darned thing wrong but I brushed it off as the price we pay for paying a low price. Most of the time I don't say anything but that time was just too much.

Normally, I just try to get younger cashiers, male preferably. I hate saying this because it is total discrimination but I avoid heavy set female cashiers, no matter their age. I myself am quite heavy so I hate saying that a heavy person isn't always nice but I have found too many that seem angrier then they should be, no matter their age.

My daughter is quite the distraction as well and usually makes most cashiers friendly right off the bat. She's a little chatter box and loves people ... and people generally love her right back. I love when she trades silly bands with the younger cashiers! Lol. :D


56 dana May 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I agree with michelle s.I always cruise the check out lanes kinda scope out the cashiers of course my hubby laughs at me.It reminds me of an old wild west movie were you look at each other and stare each down.What I try to look for is young males or females who dont look like they care less.Like michelle said the older ones kinda get mad about it.I went to publix about 2 weeks ago and they had the special k granola cruch b1g1 I had 2 $1.00 q's and the price was $3.19 so with the q's it would have been $1.19 for 2 boxes.Well I had about 10 boxes of special K I was excited of course so I scoped out the cashiers and found one well I had seen this older cashier and avoided her like the plague and she was in the next lane so I got in my lane with the nice cashier and a manager comes and said maam you can move to the next lane and I thought oh shoot.Well I got over there and she started ringing me up and scanned my q's as she was ringing up I thought I seen her not ring up some of my special k coupons.Well i didnt really believe it to be true but it was and being that I had already fought with my 2 yr old the whole time I was not willing to go back in and put him in a tizzy again.So I sucked it up and next time regardless of wheather someone tries to tell me to get in her line next time I will not and I will tell them why.Most of the time its easy for me but I do run into those sometimes who want to hassle you.I tell those people bottom line ot dosent come out of your check and your store gets the money back so just deal with it.


57 Jen May 21, 2010 at 1:49 am

Yes, don't let them drag you over to another lane! If the lines are long, find an interesting magazine to look at while you're waiting for your good and/or cool cashier. If they say "M'am I can take you over here", just say "Oh that's Ok, really wanted to read this magazine while I wait!".
Sometimes, if i see the lines are really long and this deal about opening a new lane is likey to happen, I just shop around a little bit more, and wait for my favorite cashier, or a cool-looking dude cashier, to have a shorter line. But it's just my luck that while I"m "shopping around" that someone ELSE gets in that line.
It's such a game, finding the best cashier. Here are my choices:
1. young cool guy, tattoos and piercings a plus
2. young cool girl
3. older guy
4. older woman....always last choice!

But even a young guy can be a pain, especially if he looks like he's not that "cool" and maybe has been bullied or picked on in school. He might turn around and bully me by reading the fine print on the copuons and saying "oh this says 'one coupon per purchase' so you can only use one of these..."

There are always exceptions! One of my favorite cashiers is an older guy; he is so nice.


58 Nicole May 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I totally agree with you guys about the young male cashiers! I feel like sometimes cashiers at CVS get annoyed with all my coupons, but a few of the guys at my CVS are always excited and just say NO WAY! when I get almost everything for free. Luckily, I'm still in college and most of the cashiers around here are students like me who are trying to save money as well so they will help me out. I've never had a bad experience down here, but my Dad is a big coupon user and its usually older women who are unhappy with their jobs that try to take it out on you. I try to avoid really old women or those who just seem like they are not having the greatest day.


59 Greg May 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I have been power shopping for the past several months and have had a couple of issues but have gone back to the stores so often that most of the store employees know me and want to know what I am purchasing that day. The benefits of using coupons far outweighs any issues that we might encounter. There are several Walgreen, CVS, Target, Kroger stores in a radius of 10 miles of where I live and if there is a good sale I hit them all so I can spread the coupons out and not look like an obvious coupon junkie. I max out the free items at CVS and Walgreens every week based on CVS bonus buck quantity limit and at Walgreens based on the number of coupons I have clipped from the Sunday paper. Today I purchased 12 bottles of dish soap at CVS and had 12 coupons - no problem. Targets have been great and I have purchased up to 10 items and used 10 coupons. Two weeks ago I was purchasing Vaseline lotion several at a time and got each container for $.04. There were occasions where the register would not accept the $3.75 coupon but when the cashier or manager compared the product and found it legitmate the cashier would force the coupon to accept. I was never denied the use of coupons. I don't shop at Walmart as one shopping trip last Christmas I purchased about $60.00 worth of items and when I got to the point of handing the cashier the coupons I was told the store did not accept internet coupons. I asked why that was not posted on their door at the front of the store. I said that is fine I will go to Kroger where I know they will accept my coupons and said goodbye. No biggy. I left them deal with putting back what I had hoped to purchase. Besides Walmart does not double or triple coupons. A couple of Walgreen stores also would not accept internet coupons so I called the corporate office and filed complaints. The next time I visited the stores I asked again if they accepted internet coupons and the response changed - yes we do as long as there is the bar code on them.

I will purchase items at Kroger and use the self check out to run through at least two seperate transactions. Kroger limits the double/triple couponing to the first item. So I have more than one order. I get the Sunday paper for $.50 so I have cashed in on the BOGO coupons and other high dollar coupons. Some weeks I purchase 20 papers and end up saving $100s of dollars.

I have been unemployed for 14 months and have learned a strategy by reading and following the posting on websites such as this. I appreciate you very much for the work you do and the service you provide. I pay it forward by donating much of this stuff I acquire and by teaching others the art of coupon shopping. I spent time with my 80 year old mother this past weekend and showed her how she could get free stuff at CVS that she could give to the grand kids. I am trying to start a coupon club in my area as I had gone through the Dave Ramsey video sessions at my church and there were several people that were also couponing. Dave endorses the use of coupons as reflects good stewardship with our finances. So far this year I have saved 68% on food and all the other stuff. I have purchased $7,345.00 worth of stuff (shelf price) and have paid $2472.00 for it.


60 Valerie May 20, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I haven't noticed any problems at all with middle aged women; they seem to want to learn couponing when they see the deals, young men are also great. Not to generalize but the younger women are the ones that give me the blank stare and the "the computer won't let me do that" comments, the eye rolls and the sighs.
I personally like a manager to ring me up because they (usually) know the rules. The problem areas I often run into are BOGO/BOGO, Free Item coupons (cashiers don't know how to enter in the amount so they ignore it and I don't realize it till I get home) and combining manu. w/store coupons

I try to give them a really organized pile of coupons and make sure that everything is legit. I don't really bother with gray area competitor coupons, etc.
I typically am friendly about it until it gets ridiculous. One time at CVS the cashier tried to call the manager and about 10 minutes went by without him appearing. A long line had formed behind me and I told her to just void the entire thing. I've given up on many Target and Rite Aids because everyone is clueless about coupons.

Kroger and Publix are great; I just tell the cashiers up front I have a couple free item or BOGO coupons so they can watch for the prices to fill in on the coupon. CVS and Walgreens are pretty good for the most part,the managers especially are wonderful. If they aren't I head to another store.


61 Michele May 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I once had a new cashier who thought that "do not double or triple" meant she couldn't ring up more than one coupon in the same transaction (regardless of type or how many products you were buying. Thankfully, when I explained it to her, she scanned all my coupons without needing a manager, since it was really busy. Publix has always been good about listening & solving any problems I've had with my coupons. (Unlike Walmart - I hate shopping with coupons there).


62 Brooke May 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Wow, didn't realize so many of you enjoyed couponing as much as I did. I'm fairly new to it, but already consider it a "hobby"! Thanks for sharing. I almost quit due to the complications/treatment I received at Wal-Mart. I'd rather change my shopping venue than give up my couponing! Yours in savings, Brooke S.


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