Couponing and being frugal may seem like a silly part of someone “else’s” life – but it is a HUGE part of the lives of those who practice it. We save $1000’s and $1000’s. It only takes a few minutes each day or maybe an hour on a Sunday afternoon to prepare to make our haul of stuff. The way you do it is a personal preference. But once you get out to your local stores, there is a protocol that all couponers adhere to. The 10 Commandments For Couponing has been circling the internet for years and I have added a few words of wisdom to help guide you through your new ventures to saving money.
- Thou Shall Not Used Expired Coupons – Unless it is your stores policy to accept them. Sometimes they will not beep even with expired but that doesn’t mean you can use them. Send them to organizations that collect expired coupons for overseas military bases.
- Thou Shall Use The Coupon For The Item Is Intended – Read your coupons. There are specific requirements for most products that have a coupon.
- Thou Shall Understand The Requirements & Restrictions On The Coupon – Read the coupon language carefully. Sometimes there is a certain number you have to purchase or a specific variety is only included on the coupon. Proctor & Gamble have recently started printing on their coupons “Limit 4.”
- Thou Shall Not Decode the Coupon to misuse the coupon – Unfortunately, again, this is a common misuse of coupons. However, in recent months the manufacturers have become wiser to this and started changing the bar codes on the coupons to help eliminate this
- Thou Shall Not Alter Coupons – Do not try to change anything on a coupon
- Thou Shall Not Make Copies of Printable Coupons – Making copies of printable coupons is a big “no no”. Most cash registers will now pickup and “beep” because even though you can’t see it, there is a code within the bar code for every printed coupon.
- Thou Shall Not Clear the Shelves – This is pure courtesy for your fellow shoppers/couponers. I’ve covered this topic on previous articles. If you have 12 coupons and there are 12 products on the shelf – DO NOT take all of them. Go back another day and get some more.
- Thou Shall Question Any FREE Coupon Items For Legitimacy –The old adage, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are a TON of free coupons out there. But unless you know the source of where the coupon came from, question its legitimacy.
- Thou Shall Not Misuse the Self Checkout System – Many fraudsters have tried to use the self-checkout to help themselves to many products that didn’t match the coupon they had. A word of warning, most stores now have camera’s angled right on the self-checkout while they watch on their computer what you are scanning. I’ve seen people arrested for “theft” while trying to use coupons for the wrong products in self checkouts.
- Thou Shall Use Your Couponing Powers for Good Only! End of story. Nothing left to be said – provide for your family, provide for others.
So get out there – collect your coupons, compare your sales and fill up your cupboards and pantries. It can be done 100% legitimately and FREE – just following a few simple rules of the road.
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