Thrifty Thursday: It’s Not Worth It

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I have received an influx of comments and emails about illegal and inconsiderate coupon use.  I thought it was appropriate to share some of the scenarios that I have been made aware of. 

We have seen stores changing and tightening down on coupons policies over the past couple of months.  Rite Aid is the most recent store to change their policy, now placing a limit of 4 like coupons if sufficient stock is available to satisfy other customers. 

We all need to work together to promote couponing in a good light, regardless of what you see on TV.  We all have the same goal; to save money.  We can either work together or watch our saving disappear.

If you’re new to the site, please take a moment to read my past articles on Ethical Couponing and Courteous Couponing.

1.  Clearing shelves:  Please be respectful to other shoppers and don’t clear the shelves.  Most stores also have policies that limit the number of “like” coupons.  You must adhere to these policies.  

During  Harris Teeter triples a lady was throwing all the bottles of Tabasco into her cart. She informed the shopper that only 3 coupons could be used and the shopper seemed unaware that there was a limit.

2.  Clearing shelves and disrespectful behavior:  Again, please don’t take all 20 items from the shelf and be respectful to other shoppers.

The first I noticed of the change was when the Jell-O Delights were on sale a FF a while back and would be free with the double coupon. As I was looking in the case to choose a flavor I thought my kids would enjoy trying, a woman came up, excused herself and took all that were left (about 12). Of course, I knew only 2 of her Qs would double, but was too dumbfounded to speak and before I had the chance, she had dashed on to the next item on her list. This also happened just this past Sunday with the Lunchables at Wags.

3.  Stealing Coupon Inserts: Please be mindful that other’s may want a Sunday paper (not just for coupons).  Also, it is not okay to remove the coupon inserts and leave the newspaper.  I have personally experienced this at Walgreens.

I tried to buy a newspaper at Walmart and a few 7-11s because my newspaper was swiped from my driveway. They were either bought up or had the coupon inserts missing. I was cutting through some aisles at Walmart and low and behold there was a stack of newspapers sitting in a laundry basket with all the coupons taken out. Someone had taken a stack from the front of the store and went and hid in the store and removed them.

A mail carrier was charged with Felony Grand Larceny for stealing 7,000 coupons from his mail route and selling them on eBay!  Yes, stealing coupons is a crime.

4.  Using coupons for products other than allowed by manufacture: I read a post on We Use Coupons (can’t find it now) regarding Harris Teeter Triples. 

As the article author was shopping, she noticed all the Eggo Waffles were cleared from the shelf.  Well, the Eggo coupon available was for the Fiber Plus variety only.  The Fiber Plus variety was not included in the sale, and the shelves were full.  Shoppers were using the Eggo’s Fiber Plus coupon to purchase Regular Eggo’s.   The coupon was clear as to the product limitation.  Shoppers must remember to read the coupon and adhere to manufacture guidelines.

These are just 4 examples to remind everyone of some of the issues we are facing.  Let’s work together, so stores continue to be coupon friendly.  We will all benefit.

Opinions are welcome, but please use your “big girl words”

This post is linked to My Coupon Teacher


  1. Vera says

    Nice, “keeping it real” post.
    Three is the max of anything I have ever purchased w/ a coupon.
    While shopping Farm Fresh yesterday, I saw at least a half-dozen buggies with a binder full of coupons in the seat, and a few others struggling with an envelopes and folders.
    I often wish I could use more coupons on Wednesday, but it only takes a second to realize that actually, I am very happy to have the opportunity to use 20 coupons!!!!
    I bet we are just beginning to see big changes in couponing.
    Ahhh, if everyone were honest and considerate!

  2. Schaiquana says

    Thank you for putting it so well. I am fairly new to couponing, but I make sure to use them according to what is written, and right, and ethical. It is funny that you mention the theft of the coupons by the mail carrier, and from the newspapers, as I have had this happen to0 many times to count. Now when I purchase, I ask the cashier if I can stand in their view and check to see if the inserts are there. I pray that those of us who work so hard to do it right will inspire those who don’t.

  3. K says

    Seriously! My Sunday paper was stolen off my lawn 3 times already. And everything but the coupons were thrown into mine and my neighbor’s side yards for us to clean up. It’s crazy.

    And interesting enough…that recent guy (the 22 year old) that was busted for coupon fraud…from my hometown! My mom is a teacher for that district and knew him.

    Anyway, thanks for the reminder post. We all have to choose to be good “coupon ambassadors.”

  4. Peggy says

    Ahh, if only everyone would behave! When I first started couponing 4 months ago, there were only a few people in the store with coupons. Since the advent of “Extreme Couponing”, (don’t ask what I think about the show, it’s not pretty!) the stores are full of people with their binders, boxes and envelopes. And now everyone wants a stockpile. Ok, I’m building a little stockpile as well, but I’m doing it 2-3 items at a time. By the book. I’m saddened to get to Walgreen’s only to discover that 1-2 people have cleared the shelf. I suppose it’s a sign of the times. The cashier was so rude to me yesterday too. I’ve noticed a decline in the friendliness of cashier’s on Wednesday.

    I also think they will begin making changes to the coupons in order to minimize our savings. I’m already noticing 1.05 and 1.10 coupons as of last week. It’s a shame that a few people may wind up influencing changes that will affect us all.

  5. Jjb says

    Well said! I’ve stopped shopping at rite aid due to everything good being sold out in minutes. It is not worth the stress. Wish everyone had the ideas you do!

  6. says

    I agree with Vera, I’m happy to have the opportunity to save with 20 coupons. I hope stores continue to allow us to save money.

    K, I can’t believe your mom knew him! What a small world! It’s insane that papers are being stolen from your home! Seriously people! It’s a newspaper!

    Peggy, glad to have you aboard using coupons! It’s a great way to save money and it’s fun :)

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