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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Be Prepared at the Checkouts!

Do you ever feel like a "deer in the headlights" at the checkout stand?! (FYI, do a Google image search for "deer in the headlights" if you want to see some freaky pics!:))

Recently, I have been reminded again of how important it is to BE PREPARED at the checkout! For example, I recently was "running into Walgreens for a quick deal" (not usually a good idea to be in a hurry at Walgreens!) and I did not realize that I could not use my Register Reward on what I was purchasing. I had a "deer in the headlights" moment. I should have realized that I needed to put a filler item on there (a cheap pack of gum, etc.) because of the amount of coupons I had per items. Instead, I just mumbled, "Okay, go ahead." and made my purchase without the Register Rewards - making my out-of-pocket expense more than I had budgeted.

This past weekend, right before I checked out I saw some bags of "New York Style" bagel chips by the deli. I knew that I had two "FREE product coupons" for those that were expiring that day, so I excitedly threw them in my cart and went to checkout. I could tell the lady was getting a little "anxious" over the amount of coupons that I was using/the amount of B1G1 and "free product" coupons I had. She told me that the coupon said they had to be 9 oz. or more. Deer in the headlights again - all of a sudden I noticed the line behind me and I imagined their frustration standing behind this lady with all of her coupons. "Oh, I am so sorry. I won't get them," I blubbered... If I would have been prepared - by reading the coupon carefully - I would have realized that it actually said "not larger than 9 oz." I could have gotten them!

Here are some tips to keep us from the "deer in the headlights" moments:

1. Know the coupon policies for the stores that you shop at the most. It might even be a good idea to print a copy of the policies in case you run into any uninformed cashiers. Here are a few:

Walmart Coupon Policy
Walgreens Coupon Policy
Super One Foods Coupon Policy

2. Always be organized and prepared. Of course, we all have those days when we are doing good just to get some sort of grocery list made and purchased. However, to get the best deals - be organized! I like to make my grocery list (using the store ads to find the specials/best prices), then I go through the A Full Cup coupon database to find if there are any other coupons out there for the other items on my list.

3. Try to slow down at the checkout and have as few distractions around you as possible. When I have time, I like to stop before I get in line and make sure I have all of my coupons out and ready that I want to use.

These two experiences were good reminders to me. Hope they help you avoid some of those akward checkout moments!


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