Always use a coupon on the item its intended for. You’ll know what it’s intended for by reading it. Just because a coupon “works” on an item it wasn’t intended for, doesn’t make it valid or ethical to use on that item. If you get a reputation as a dishonest couponer, it will stick with you forever. Also, FYI…Coupon fraud is a felony, not a misdemeanor.
Always honor the guidelines and policies set by your grocery store. Trying to get around set guidelines or limits will hurt you in the long run.
If a coupon says “One per customer” or “one per transaction” then you may only use ONE at a time. Most coupons say “one per purchase” which means you can use one coupon for each item you buy. If you have 5 coupons for Ragu spaghetti sauce, you can purchase 5.
Many people agree it’s ok to remove a peel-off (peelie) coupon from an item and use it on another ELIGIBLE item. Others think its not OK. It’s a personal choice….But most of us agree that it’s rude to remove more than a couple peelies. It can be frustrating to see a whole shelf of items that someone removed the peelies from.
Be reasonable in your expectations of a store. Remember stores don’t get reimbursed for honoring other stores coupons. So one at a time is a good guideline. Don’t expect them to hand over hundreds of dollars in merchandise that they won’t be reimbursed for.
NEVER be rude to a cashier. Always be polite, even if the cashier is clearly wrong, rude to you and/or dumb as a post. This way you can go over his/her head and get the matter resolved, and they will take you seriously because you kept your cool and were polite.
It’s VERY common for newbies to get overzealous and want to get anything and everything they can for free. PLEASE remember that there will be more deals, and you don’t have to get everything on the shelf right now. We’ve all been newbies. Spare yourself the embarrassment you’ll feel later for your “overzealousness.” The worst thing that can happen is for cashiers to start recognizing you for your excessive couponing adventures and talking about you in the break room. These store managers and cashiers can be your best friends or your worst enemies. Make sure they are your friends.