Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Frugal Tuesday Tip: Steal the Coupons

I am a fan of self-checkout. It is a faster and more efficient way for me to get in and out of the store. I don't have to wait in line while the store manager locates a bagger or a backup cashier. Nope. Just cruise on in, scan my stuff and go on my merry way.

One of the other perks of the self-check is that you can still use and get store coupons. Our local grocery store prints store coupons based your puchased items. For example, I usually get coupons for Ben & Jerry's ice cream whenever I purchase it. This "free coupon" stuff is very smart marketing because (a) my grocer knows I buy B&J at their store and (b) they've just given me even more of an incentive to do so. Brilliant!

Oftentimes when I go through the self-checkout, there are coupons from the person (or people) before me. Do I run after the person, waving their savings in the air? Do I leave them and only take my earned coupon? Heck, no! I take the whole lot of coupons. I admit it. I just take them. This method has actually netted me quite a few more coupons that I would have gotten on my own and for items that I wouldn't normally buy without a coupon:

  • Thomas English Muffins
  • Quaker Breakfast Snacks
  • Lipton Iced Tea - 24ct
Stealing is a morally wrong, but in this case, the person has discarded the coupon for whatever reason and I am merely collecting their trash. In that way, I'm a little like a "coupon bag lady." I collect stuff for use at a later time. I'm not sure when that time may be, but you can be sure that if I should need Always Jumbo Maxipads I will have the coupon for them.

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