How to Save Money » Coupons

Couponing etiquette: Things to remember (new video!)

Couponing etiquette

Do you use coupons? If so, pay attention. Today I’m going to explain a little bit about couponing etiquette.

I’ve received a lot of questions about this over the last few weeks, so I wanted to give you something to think about.

When it comes to couponing etiquette, there are a few things that you should know (and this is not just for couponing in Canada, but anywhere that coupons are used).

Do not photocopy coupons

One of the things that you should avoid is photocopying coupons.

Photocopying coupons is illegal and is not the same as printing coupons from your computer.

Never do this – no matter how good the coupon may be. It’s not worth it, and it’s not right.

Do not take full tear pads

Another thing that I always tell people to avoid is taking full tear pads of coupons.

When you’re shopping at the store and you find tear pad coupons, please don’t take the entire tear pad. Always leave coupons behind for others.

If there’s only one coupon left, that’s a different story. However, if it’s a full tear pad of coupons, take a couple (whatever you think you’ll be able to use), but don’t take more than 5-10 (10 being the maximum).

Taking any more than that is going to prevent other people from getting coupons as well.

Also, keep in mind that you should only take the maximum amount of coupons if you are certain you are going to use them all. Otherwise, just take 1-3.

Be kind to your cashier

Another couponing etiquette tip that I wanted to share is to be nice to your cashier.

When you get up to the register to pay for your groceries with coupons, you’re often going to encounter cashiers that either doesn’t understand how to use coupons or who don’t like people that use coupons (because it creates more work for them).

The only thing you can do in this situation is to be kind to your cashier.

I know it’s difficult sometimes, but the best thing to do is just be polite. This will usually help you more than if you’re angry and getting very defensive.

Those are my tips for couponing etiquette. I want to encourage people to use coupons, but to use them the right way.

When we all use coupons properly, we are less likely to run into issues when we try to redeem them.

Are there any couponing etiquette tips you want to add to this list?


  1. Lindsey

    Quick Question…

    When checking out, what is the best way to present my coupons?

    Do i give them to the cashier at the end or place them on the items they belong to and hope they are not missed during scanning?


  2. 050937k2

    When I am at the grocery store I try to place the coupons on top of the products and if I have FPCs I usually save those until the end because 1. It is easier as they are the last items on the screen and 2. I they need an override might as well do it all the one time. At SDM I usually ask when they want them (due to the inability to line up items on a conveyor belt) and most times they do them at the end.

  3. PrinsessSarah

    I do almost the same thing only I keep the coupons in my hand and tell the cashier at the beginning that I will be using a bunch of coupons then when she is scanning the product I pass them to her. I always leave my products with coupons for the end and then very last is the stuff I will be price matching!

  4. Jayne

    Hightlight the due dates. Cashiers appreciate this.
    Try to place all your coupon products together at the beginning and be organized.

  5. Lori

    I am a Wal-Mart cashier. Please place your coupons with the product otherwise we have to rummage through the bags to ensure you actually got the stated product and correct size and we also have to print a slip to determine the price if it is a free product coupon so we can ring the coupon in properly. I do agree with Jayne , it is a big time saver if you have highlighted or circled the expiry date, verified that there is a Canadian mailing address for us to remit the coupons to and it has a barcode(although we do not use these). Most cashiers, including myself, actually do not mind redeeming coupons and helping customers save money but it is the few disorganized ppl or ones who intentionally give the coupons at the end when the product is already bagged trying to disguise a product for something it is not that ruin it for everyone else. Just a FYI Wal-Mart will only redeem 6 of the same coupons per order and they are no longer accepting the “coupon zone” coupons(Fortino’s).

  6. Georgia

    I always inform the cashier up front that I have a lot of coupons, price matching, or free items. I also ask how she or he would like to proceed – do they want the coupons up front, during or after. Having your coupons organized and grouping your items on the conveyer belt according to whether they are free items, or items that need price matching help the transaction go smoothly.

  7. Lindsey

    Thanks everyone!

    I will put your advice into practice when I am at the grocery store this weekend.

    Also thanks for the tip about circling the expiry date – great idea!!!

  8. Monica

    I do exactly as Princess Sarah and my grocery store cashiers LOVE me for it (I’m their superstar couponer, LOL).

    I save all products with coupons for the end and hand them as the scan especially since I have stacks and they have to read each one. I also let the people behind me know I’m using coupons so they have the option of using a different cashier, although a couple of the cashiers that *know* me and my couponing will have me place the closed sign at the end of my groceries and temporarily close so that I don’t get a disgruntled shopper behind me!

  9. JoAnne

    If you have coupons for items that you do not use, leave them on the shelf for someone else who is going to buy that product to pick up 🙂

  10. JoAnne

    Circle expiry date!!!

  11. Pippa

    I always do my price matching and coupons first. Certain grocery stores need customer service to come and do the overrides so I always let the cashier know that I will be doing this so they can call someone right away to speed up the process. I find they like you better if you do this 🙂 But being nice to the cashiers is a nice tip 🙂 I had a grouchy one yesterday but I just kept talking about how good the deals are and how much money this saves me and then she was nice to me and chatted with me 🙂

  12. crafter

    When using coupons at the cash, I often notice the customer behind me getting impatient
    Many times, I’ve glanced in their cart and given them a coupon for one of their items…it changes an impatient customer to a “friend” very quickly:)

  13. Katie

    When I was a cashier, I dislike the coupons on the item 9 times out of 10 they got knocked off and sucked under the convery belt. I also disliked koolaid or gravy packets place on the belt. They got sucked under too. And magazines..and cards. It was gross under there. I preferred to be handed things like that and coupons!

  14. Lynn Caplette

    I am a cashier at Save-On-Foods and am an extreme couponer as well. Most of the cashiers there want the coupons before that way they can be matched as they go or at the end. When someone comes through my till I prefer the coupons at the beginning and I just enter them as I go or at the the end. I am also okay with them having the coupons on the product they are getting.

    Pink Hugs,

  15. Deb

    I am glad I read the comments. If something as quick and easy as highlighting the due dates on the coupons will help the cashier consider it done. BTW, I always ask the cashier how she prefers to handle the coupons.

  16. Vicky

    I feel that coupon etiquette should also include not sifting through all the free news paper and flyers in the news paper boxes to take ALL the coupon flyers, but leave the whole news paper. At first, I assumed the papers,(Western,etc.) would still have a coupon flyer in it, only to find out when I got home, it did not! So, it is very frustrating when it takes awhile to search for the coupons with each paper that I take. I think that if you want the coupons, you should take the whole news paper and recycle it your-self, or wait until the papers are about to be nenewed, and then sift through them. And, having said that, still not taking more papers/coupons that you think you will use.

  17. sue kavanagh

    Hello there im new to this couponing thing but i see that when people do their shopping they get like 30 of one thing free. How do they do that without photocopying. Also could u give me tips for that and also on the coupon match up on your page u show there is more than one coupon for an item to get it free. Are you aloud to do that and as well if i click on the box beside the item will that coupon be printed off. I found your site very helpful. It has policies and tips as well as much more. Any advise u can give me could be great!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*