Thanks for stopping by! If you are new to my site and/or new to couponing, you might want to start here: Getting Started! I'd be happy to answer any questions you have, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment here!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where Do I Start? Part 5

Hopefully you have read the several posts I have made about doing multiple transactions in a single shopping trip (one example is here) I want to share a few tips with you about how to handle doing multiple transactions so that your shopping experience will go smooth and hopefully not make an enemy of the Cashier or other customers!

1.  Get organized BEFORE you leave your home!

No matter how many transactions I do I write on a sheet of paper the following information:

Trans. #1

Playtex Tampons $3.99
$2/1 Q                  2.00

Colgate Optic White $3.99
$1/1 Q                       1.00

total OOP $4.98 get $3 RR

Trans. #2

As I write the transactions down, I pull the coupons and place them in the corresponding retailer envelope (explained here).  Once I write all the transactions down, I double check everything to make sure I have the right coupons and to make sure the order of the transactions saves me the most money. I then fold up the paper and place it in the envelope.  

If I am doing 3 or less transactions, that's all I do.  If I am doing 4 or more I separate the coupons by transaction and paper clip them to a yellow post-it note that states the corresponding trans. number.  This saves a lot of time and frustration at the register!

2.  If at all possible, keep items together in your basket that go in the same transaction!

You want the check out process to go as quickly and as smoothly as possible  Placing the items in the basket together that go in the same transaction will decrease your stress and confusion.

3.  Be patient and courteous at the registers!

At my local Walgreens they request that those using multiple coupons check out at the beauty counter.  I have found that doing so definitely makes the whole process so much easier!  The clerks are extremely knowledgeable of the Stores coupon policies and can help you make sure you're getting the best deal!  If you shop at Walgreens be sure to ask if your store has a preference!

Unfortunately no other store I shop at has this convenience.  When I am ready to check out in another store  I first make sure that all other current customers are taken care of.  I know that it's going to take a little longer to check me out and I don't want to make enemies of the other customers so even if I'm already in line if someone comes up behind me, I let them go first.

Before I start placing the items for the first transaction on the counter, I inform the cashier that I will be doing x transactions.  Unless this is their first day on the job, they are familiar with couponing and multiple transactions.

Once I have completed the first transaction if no other customers have come up behind me I proceed to transaction #2.  In stores where a loyalty card is required such as CVS or Randalls, I just hand my keys to the cashier so he/she can scan the stores loyalty card without my handing it to them every time.  

If a customer has come up behind me, I move out of the way so the clerk can take care of the customers waiting in line.  I then move back to the register to complete my next transaction. I repeat this process until I have completed all transactions.  

4.  How to handle a coupon that is not working.

Sometimes even if you KNOW you are purchasing product that is covered by a coupon, the coupon will not scan.  It's frustrating to both you and the clerk.  Try to remain calm.  The clerk will check the coupon to make sure it's not expired and that you did buy the correct item.  If he/she cannot solve the issue the manager will be called.  My experience has been that if I didn't mess up the manager will manually input the coupon.  Sometimes the registers are just difficult.  I have read the experience of others, however, that tell of the manager being less than helpful.  There are new bar codes that are causing tremendous frustrations for both shoppers and clerks.  You can read more info here on these new bar codes.

Even if you know your right but the manager will not allow the coupon, you need to decide if you still want the item or not.  You can tell the clerk you do  not want that item, or any of the items and ask for your coupons back.  It helps if you have a copy of the corporation's coupon policy with you. Many times the manager and/or clerk is not aware of the policy.  You can all the corporate office once you leave and report the clerk and/or manager if you feel you were treated disrespectfully.

I have pointed things out and educated many clerks and managers.  I do my best to maintain a polite, courteous posture.  I have had only 2 incidences where I did lose my cool because of the way the clerk or manager was treating me and/or talking to me. 

Doing multiple transactions in some cases the best way to get the most product for the least amount of money.  This does not involve doing anything illegal or fraudulent.  It is simply using the resources the store provides such as extra care bucks or double/triple coupons.  If you have any questions about to work out the best possible deals using multiple transactions please ask!  All you have to do is leave your question in the comment section under this post!