People Think Coupon Users Are Cheapskates, Unless You're Hot

If you use coupons in a store, your fellow shoppers are probably negatively judging you as being cheap, according to a new study. The stigma extends to those around the coupon redeemer as well. However, if you’re hot, you get a reprieve. The study had people watch consumers cash coupons, and then interviewed the participants afterward for their reaction. The stigma is lessened if you don’t know the person using the coupon, the coupon is of high value, if they’re in a different line, and if the coupon-user is a hottie. Researchers proposed that the reason for the coupon-hating is “the modern consumer tends to prize status and luxury over thrift.”

Stigma by Association in Coupon Redemption: Looking Cheap because of Others [Journal of Consumer Research] (Photo: Getty)

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  1. nicemarmot617 says:

    I only hate coupon-users who are absurdly slow and clog up the whole line sorting out their coupons. If you’re going to use coupons, don’t wait till you’re at the register to figure out which ones you’re using!

    Coupons themselves, I am too lazy to use, although if my BF loses his job that might change!

    • dieselman8 says:

      @nicemarmot617:

      Those people behind me can kiss my ass. I’m finding that coupon!

    • mnstrzr0 says:

      @nicemarmot617:

      I like to wait for the cashier to total the transaction before saying, “Oh, wait, I’ve got coupons!”

    • LoveNoelG says:

      @nicemarmot617: And they will inevitably write a check.

      • ludwigk says:

        @LoveNoelG: My girlfriend and I have cardinal rules of grocery store checkout line selection. Rule #1 is NO OLD PEOPLE. They pull out the coupons, shuffle through them, realize they don’t have the correct product, ask the cashier to announce over PA to bring them the right kind of grapes so that they can save $.07/lb, then they pull out the checkbook… meanwhile, the lines on either side of you have cleared 5-6 customers in the same amount of time.

        The main reason for these rules is so that whenever we stand there languishing behind some old crazy cat lady doing the coupon/wrong product shuffle, instead of saying “*GRUMBLE GRUMBLE* old people, coupons etc.” we say “I broke THE RULE! And now I’m paying the price!”

        • ninjatoddler says:

          @ludwigk: The rule for me extends to the cashier as well.

          Oh and I love coupons. Saved 30 bucks one time at the grocery and no, I’m not one of those who decide to tear out the coupons in the last second to hold up the line.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @nicemarmot617: Yeah as I get each item in the cart, I put it’s corresponding coupon in my pocket so when I’m at the checkout all I have to do is whip out the wad of coupons.

    • madanthony says:

      @nicemarmot617:

      I don’t use coupons as much as I used to, and I try to have them sorted before I get there. But I sometimes have cashiers who have no idea how to ring up coupons (especially for free items) as well as cashiers who don’t know their own stores policies (especially with internet coupons).

      There are a ton of times I’ve had to tell cashiers how to use their own POS systems or the price of an item.

  2. nataku8_e30 says:

    I just hate it when the cashier forgets to run the coupons the customer put in a big stack right in front of him / her and processes the payment, and then the customer gets pissed and I have to move lines.

    • youbastid says:

      @nataku83: How does that even happen? Why would the customer go through paying for it if the coupons are still right in front of them?

      • @youbastid: Typically because you’ve already swiped your CC while they were scanning everything. Most swipers let you swipe at any point, but you do have the danger the cashier will run the transaction then w/o your coupons. Which, at my grocery store, means I have to go to customer service and have them run them all. It’s annoying.

        I’m a pretty big couponer and there’s one cashier I NEVER run my card in advance with because she NEVER remembers the coupons. Otherwise I rarely have a problem. I just let them know at the beginning of the transaction and give them the stack, and they usually remember.

        • ribex says:

          @Eyebrows McGee:

          This is why I use self-checkout whenever possible. Also, within the last few-several years, I made a habit of looking at every item on my receipt before leaving the store when I couldn’t use self-checkout because the supermarkets I frequent kept “forgetting” to update the sale price in their systems. Well, the largest offender has since closed…

      • nataku8_e30 says:

        @youbastid: It can also happen fairly easily if you’re not paying attention. Most of my local supermarkets have really bad cashiers who really need a lot of customer oversight to get things correct.

  3. ratnerstar says:

    Other things hot people often get a reprieve for: rudeness, stupidity, bad driving, chronic lateness, speeding, child endangerment, high seas piracy, and arson.

  4. myabloodyvalentine says:

    i’ve always been a coupon clipper – and i’m only 25 – i try to be stealthy when i’m in an aisle and going through them (also, to avoid the aforementioned clog at the line, i hate those people too). i store them in a cute little purple accordion file that fits in my purse.

    but yeah, my friends make fun of me for cutting them out until i hand them over in line and get like $10+ off my grocery bill. i’m the grandma… *sigh*

    • Etoiles says:

      @myabloodyvalentine: Working in retail (CVS) in my teenage years gave me awesome respect for the power of coupons. My 20% employee discount, combined with coupons, meant I routinely got $50 worth of stuff for my household (the bane of working at CVS: your family calls every shift with, “oh, on your way home, could you pick up…”) for about $15.

      The deals aren’t that good anymore but I still get the Sunday paper mostly for the coupons. (Which are, mysteriously, delivered on Saturday.)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @myabloodyvalentine: I use coupons too. If I have a lot of coupons, I usually go to the self-checkout line. That would normally mean I have more actual items to check out, and it aggravates me when people with a whole cart full of items go to self-checkout, but what’s another pack of cheese going to do? By “a few more items” it’s usually two bottles of juice instead of one, or two boxes of cereal instead of one.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      @myabloodyvalentine: Three cheers for coupons! And cute little coupon files. And My Bloody Valentine!

    • kairi2 says:

      @myabloodyvalentine: this could have been me posting, lol. i’m 25, use a purple accordian file, and organize them as i shop. it wasn’t that way until i had to do my own grocery shopping. when i was little i used to joke on my mom and grandma for being coupon freaks. but coupons are easy money, i don’t understand why everyone doesn’t use them.

  5. crabbyman6 says:

    I generally like coupon users. Usually they remind me that I just picked up a coupon in aisle 5 for those Trix that I would have forgotten about.

  6. Tambar says:

    When the people behind me in the Publix line last night were watching my total quickly drop by $55 their mouths *were* slightly agape – sadly, I don’t think it was because I’m also hot. I know my coupons save my family from the soup kitchens and I think that matters more than a stranger’s fleeting opinion.

    *Note – soup kitchens are awesome but their resources are best used on people who truly need it. That’s not us, yet.

    • @Tambar: I also think it depends on where you live. Frugality’s still a virtue where I am (smaller midwestern city), so while people might be a *leetle* embarrassed at their couponing ways, most folks approve. I’ll even have people in line say, “Oh, man, I wish I’d remembered to cut out that Tide coupon!” when they see me pulling out mine.

      Also depends on when you shop. I most often get groceries during the daytime on Tuesday when it’s retired people, two stay-at-home-moms, and ME in the store. Going after work on Friday when the store is packed to the gills and lines are six people deep, getting a full cart, and using coupons is going to get you a lot more dirty looks than going when the store’s 1/2 empty. 3 a.m. is also a great time for couponing if your store is 24-hours!

      • battra92 says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: I think you make a good point on location, Mr. McGee. I live in a more rural area where frugality is a double edged sword. We have people clipping coupons and sharing them at work and people are all trying to save $0.10 on something.

        On the other hand people here are just as into status symbols it seems as anywhere. Just looking in my work parking lot at all the fairly new trucks and SUVs shows it.

    • Melanie says:

      @Tambar: I never worry what people think about me as I hand my coupons over to the cashier. I’m saving money, I’m a happy girl. In fact, at my neighborhood Safeway in DC, the cashier typically reviews the receipt before handing it to me, saying something like, “you saved 20% today.” And I say, “awesome,” and she congratulates me, and the people behind me do that mouth agape thing.

      There’s no shame in saving some money for the bar later. None at all.

      • EYESONLY says:

        @Melanie: Don’t know if this is still the case, but as of a few years back, the Vons chain (in Southern California, anyway) instructed their cashiers to always read your savings back to you, off the bottom of the receipt… to remind you how much you saved by using a club card, etc.

        I was going through one day (had only bought one item) and the cashier automatically glanced down at the receipt before handing it to me: “And by shopping at Vons today, you’ve saved… $0.01! Oh, dear. That IS embarrassing.”

  7. legwork says:

    Did someone turn in their paper late? Methinks the results don’t speak to current events.

  8. GMFish says:

    Researchers proposed that the reason for the coupon-hating is “the modern consumer tends to prize status and luxury over thrift.”

    No, I think most coupon hating comes from the delay. It’s the same thing with those morons, er, kind hearted souls, who spend several minutes to pay with exact change.

  9. surfsimply says:

    Here’s another interesting quote from the uManitoba/uAlberta study:

    “Recent work in marketing has focused on consumer stigmatization related to cultural backgrounds (e.g., Mexican immigrants), age, literacy levels, and certain subculture affiliations (e.g., Star Trek fans).”

    That’s a double-whammy for coupon users who also happen to be Trekkies.

  10. majortom1029 says:

    The problem with coupons is that most of the time they are for products that are the most expensive anyway. Meaning that if you picked a less known brand you would get it for cheaper than something even with double the coupon.

    • cmdrsass says:

      @majortom1029: That’s coupon myth #482.

      • fairywench says:

        @cmdrsass: No, it’s not a myth. It’s much cheaper to cook from scratch than to use processed crap that has coupons available. It’s also much healthier. The thought of “saving” $55 is nuts….I can eat for a week on $30, and I don’t buy any carbs, which are cheap. Only chicken, seafood and fruits and veggies. This includes lunches, btw.

    • @majortom1029: Yeah, we talk about this one every time coupons come up!

      It does demand smart shopping; there are plenty of coupons for nasty overprocessed expensive convenience food. But most of us don’t clip coupons for crap we don’t need!

      First, if you have brand preferences in some product categories, brand coupons are great; you’re not buying the generic anyway. (My husband is way particular about his syrup — Hungry Jack microwaveable. I get coupons for that all the time, it’s great.) Or if you buy organic, coupons on organic brands are very useful.

      Second, there are plenty of coupons for staples. I bake and cook from scratch a lot; I get coupons for sugar, flour, baking soda, milk, etc. Coupons on spices are especially useful and tend to be generous.

      Third, sometimes coupons do drop the price of the name brand below the price of the generic. (I don’t buy a whole lot of name brands, but I’ll often see this with chicken. Buying a name-brand raw whole chicken will be $1 cheaper with the coupon than buying the store-marked raw whole chicken.)

      Fourth, even if coupons are on “luxury” products, maybe that’s when you buy them as a treat. I like Pepperidge Farm cookies (mint milanos … mmmm) but I only buy them when I have a coupon. I know they’re more expensive than, oh, generic oreos, or than cookies I bake myself, but sometimes I want a mint milano!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @majortom1029: Coupons will sometimes knock down a price enough that the name brand item is comparable to the generic, and if you prefer generic, good for you, but if you happen to like the name brand of that item better, yay for the coupon.

  11. downwithmonstercable says:

    Coupons aren’t bad if they are the kind that come in the mail from manufacturers, those you just scan and they come off. What I can’t stand are the people that bring Safeway coupons to Albertson’s or something like that, and the cashier has to manually figure out the difference between Safeway’s 3 for $5 price and Albertson’s 4.89 price for every single item, or something to that effect. That is when it’s good that I do not own guns.

  12. EBounding says:

    I have more of a problem with people who write checks at the grocery store.

    • oldheathen says:

      @EBounding: Oh, by far…while asking 3 times if they got their senior discount. Note: it’s never the hard-up people doing this – it’s always the old guy driving off in the late model Lincoln Continental.

      • Laffy Daffy says:

        @oldheathen: That’s how he’s able to afford the Lincoln, silly.

      • balthisar says:

        @oldheathen: I drive a late model Lincoln Continental! I just knew there was a stigma there!

        It’s got 275 ft-lbs of torque on an otherwise light unibody (i.e., it’s quick). It looks like a sleeper, but it’s a fun ride. It’s also, ahem, on Consumer Reports best 10 used cars to own list, and it was made right here in Michigan. The only non-consumable work done has been the front end, and in Michigan, you really should count ball joints, etc., at consumables.

    • pb5000 says:

      @EBounding: This is also my biggest pet peeve, why people use checks at a store instead of the debit card is beyond my comprehension.

      *off topic* but I was at Great Clips getting ready to pay for my $4.99 haircut ($4.99 vs. $11 because of a coupon) the lady in front of me in line was griping that she had already written out the check before they told her they don’t accept checks. Her complaint was that she now HAD to use her debit card and wasted a perfectly good check. I couldn’t help smiling at the sweet satisfaction.

      • Difdi says:

        @pb5000: There used to be a small benefit to using a check instead of a debit card. Namely, the so-called “float” time. Checks took longer for the store to cash, giving people a small buffer to pay it off, as if the check payment were a very short term credit card transaction. In some places, the float time could be up to a week or so.

        Nowadays, most places scan the check electronically, so the float time of a check, unless you’re in the back of beyond and they barely have telephones, is around 20 seconds longer than a debit card. But so many people can’t change an ingrained habit even if it would save their lives, people continue using checks.

  13. nidolke says:

    I don’t pay attention to their coupon use, I’m too busy judging them on what’s in their cart.

  14. Murph1908 says:

    An ex-girlfriend of mine was a coupon queen. When we lived together, she would spend about 30 minutes on Sunday going through the coupons in the paper. She’d cut out ones for items we buy all the time anyway.

    Then, she’d check the weekly ad, pull out the coupons that matched, and buy those items with the coupon. It was a-freakin-mazing how much she would bring home for $50.

    She too had the tiny accordion file to store them, and organized them by type (breakfast, desert, dinner, household).

    I don’t have the patience for such activity.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Murph1908: I find it therapeutic. I do that too. Sunday is nap time, football (when it’s in season) and coupons. I have emails that come to me every week or every other week from the grocery stores I go to the most. Surprisingly, the emails are very sparse. When I signed up, I expected to be inundated with mailings every week, but I prefer to get the emails with the deals rather than have to collect a weekly paper version which will end up littering my countertop anyway.

      That’s probably the best way to hide your coupon clipping, if you’re inclined to do so. I look online for coupons as well as clip my own from the Sunday paper, but wholesale clubs have coupons online and so do grocery stores sometimes.

  15. Coupon Cashers > Check Writers

    Use a Debit Card!

  16. cmdrsass says:

    I’d rather throw my money around on fun stuff than pay extra for groceries.

  17. CountryJustice says:

    I am a staunch and avid coupon clipper/user. I too have a small accordion file that I use to organize them (it’s also pink, at the missus’ discretion) and there’s an empty pocket in the front. Whenever I pick up an item I have a coupon for, it goes into the front pocket. At checkout, BAM! there they all are, like so many tiny frugal Emerils.

    I do everything I can to avoid holding people up, because I’m considerate that way and I understand that the earth does not rotate on my axis. If, after all my preparedness, they still want to think I’m cheap, then fuck ‘em, what do I care. My attitude is further supported and justified as I drive off in my 10-year-old Hyundai.

  18. dtmoore says:

    It’s just as annoying as people complaining about prices that are 3 cents off for a can of soup or the coupon saving 5 cents not scanning property or something. I realize that stuff adds up, but wasting 5 minutes of my own time as well as everyone in line behind me is not worth 8 cents. I’ve paid people in front of me to forget the coupon before. “here’s a dollar, let it go”.

    • AMetamorphosis says:

      @dtmoore:

      Corprate American loves you.

    • reishka says:

      @dtmoore: I wish I could meet more people that would pay me to ignore 8 cents.

      For some of us, that 8 cents IS a big deal. When you have to pinch and save everywhere you can because you’re half a step away from the poor house, it matters.

    • HooFoot says:

      @dtmoore: I love people who get huffy and self-righteous over losing an extra 30 seconds to someone sorting coupons or disputing the bill. Anytime a stranger makes a comment like this to me, I suddenly feel compelled to write a check to cover my purchase. I keep checks in my purse strictly for this purpose.

      • youbastid says:

        @dtmoore: You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never seen a coupon for 8 cents off. The lowest value I’ve seen is 25 cents off, but most are worth 50 cents to 2 dollars. I usually save at LEAST an extra 10% off my ~$120 bill with coupons every time I go shopping.

  19. I, for one, find coupon users extremely hot–regardless of what they look like :)

  20. forgottenpassword says:

    I tend to have a problem with cashiers trying to find any reason to deny the coupon. This happens mostly at walmart. Walmart must HATE coupon users & teach their cashers to try & find any way to refuse a coupon.

    I hate using coupons when I have people behind me because the cashier is usually the one that holds up the line scrutinizing my coupons like I am trying to pass off poorly counterfieted cash. I have my coupons out before my stuff is even scanned.

    • Difdi says:

      @forgottenpassword: I hate that too. It’s especially bad with online coupons — The kind you print out rather than clipping. But even mailer coupons are occasionally hard to redeem; Burger King recently sent me a coupon book that requires a manager’s override code for the counter guy to accept.

      I’ve had that exact walmart experience in the past too; Had the clerk simply scanned the coupon, the increase in wait time for the people behind me would have been on the order of an extra 3 seconds. But because he felt the need to argue with me about the coupon’s validity, call over his supervisor, supervisor called over manager, all three debated the validity of the coupon with themselves and me, and were ultimately going to reject it (I suggested scanning it and letting the computer verify it…lo and behold, it was valid!) the transaction took 20 freaking minutes longer than it should have.

    • redvwbug says:

      @forgottenpassword: Walmart is the worst when it comes to coupons. Last week I had 3 great coupons and she scanned them and they wouldn’t work even though I pulled out the products from the bags she said since the cash register wouldn’t deduct the amount I would have to go to customer service to get my money back from the coupons. WTF, like I am gonna wait another 20 minutes to get a couple of dollars back, geeez. I was pissed, won’t be going back there anytime soon.

  21. Someone being frugal is fine by me. But don’t you dare write a damn check when I know you have that little plastic card in there that says Debit.

  22. incognit000 says:

    Clearly they’re forgetting about how annoying it is to be behind the person who has dozens of coupons, all of which must be scanned in one at a time.

    Also, obsessive coupon collectors tend to be particularly rude about it, and demand that coupons be redeemed even if they are expired or pertain to other items. I know this is why my local grocery store has shifted away from coupons and now just pushes the loyalty card real hard and then mails you a flyer every few days detailing all the deals loyalty card users have access to.

  23. Jesse says:

    Coupon users aren’t bad as long as they get the right item, don’t try to pass an expired coupon and have everything ready to go. When I used to work as a cashier at a grocery store back in high school, this didn’t happen quite a bit. Double/Triple coupon days were notorious for bringing out all the bad coupon clippers from the woodwork.

  24. Sevarious says:

    Another study demonstrating the obvious.

    Here’s the results of my own personal study:
    – Coupon users are irrelevant if in any other line than mine or if located behind me in line as they have no effect on the speed of my exit from the store.
    – All coupon users located far in front of me in the line are obnoxious as they are delaying my exit from the store.
    – Coupon users directly in front of me in the line are obnoxious as they are delaying my exit from the store.
    – Hot female coupon users directly front of me in the line are excluded from the previous statement as the opportunity to ogle eye candy is always welcome.

    Now that I have published the preliminary results of my study I request a press release and $100,000 for a follow up study where I will conclusively demonstrate that as hot females waiting in line wear fewer and tighter clothes my overall mood improves.

  25. ironchef says:

    so what? Who cares what the money wasters think!

  26. dweebster says:

    I’d rather be judged a “cheapskate” by trying to live within one’s means than one who just helped drive the world into financial turmoil by participating in the ponzi scheme of easy credit.

    As little as I want to, I’ll probably be judging a few people living in their SUVs (the ones that weren’t repossessed) soon.

    Bushtown, USA

  27. Twerpsichore says:

    Everybody had best get over it because we’re in a g/d recession/depression (repression?). Sadly, most of the stuff they offer coupons for is crap, but still, have patience with your fellow consumers, especially if they are elderly (which in coupon country is usually the case).

  28. Maulleigh says:

    I agree with coupons in theory. However, if a coupon causes me to buy two products of something I wouldn’t buy in the first place, that’s just wasted money.

    My tip: Always buy generics or what’s on sale.

    You can go broke saving money.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Maulleigh: That’s how a lot of people get into problems even with coupons…they go “I can save $1 on two boxes of cereal!” but they don’t eat that cereal anyway, so they use it as an excuse to try the cereal (and end up hating it) or they do it just to save money, but they just don’t realize that not buying the item is cheaper overall.

      Moral of the story is only clip coupons for what you would buy anyway. It’s better for your wallet and your mental state.

  29. dweebster says:

    **Researchers proposed that the reason for the coupon-hating is “the modern consumer tends to prize status and luxury over thrift.”***

    Gee…wonder how our sheep society learned THAT? Doesn’t seem innate.

    (Awww, shaddap grammaw – the Great Depression is over, we’ve learned the lessons and there’s infinite prosperity!!! Deregulate!! Drill, Baby, Drill!!! “Trickle Down”!!!)

  30. rednrowdy says:

    after having spent way too much time with a guy who openly said “i’m bad with money” and had the horrific credit to prove it, i look at a guy who clips coupons as a dreamboat, regardless of what he looks like.

  31. Shadowman615 says:

    Who gives a shit? What strangers in a grocery store think about me is of no use to me.

  32. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    If you are military then you gotta love the commissaries. People think you’re a moron if you DON’T use coupons!

  33. drewheyman says:

    Do i file a complaint with consumerist for the English language abuse witnessed in this post’s title?

    How does my hotness influence coupon use unless I happen to be the one using the coupons?

    Howabout, “If you use coupons, people think you are a cheapskate unless you are hot”.

  34. GothamGal says:

    I don’t care how hot you are. If you are wasting my time because you are going through your coupons at the register, you deserve to be slapped.

    • Princess Leela says:

      @GothamGal: This is what I don’t get. If I’m gonna buy some particular item with a coupon, I a)already know I have the coupon, b)seek out the item in question, and c)arrive at the register with the coupons I need already in my hand. Who are these idiots who buy random shit, wander up to the register and THEN start looking to see if maybe they have a coupon? Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

      • Sevarious says:

        @Princess Leela:

        I don’t know who they are, but they are more common than I would like. There is also a 75% chance that after rummaging through their gigantic portable coupon file they will proceed to whip out a checkbook and ask the clerk what the name of the store is so that they can fill out the check.

        There is also a 20% chance that at least one of their coupons will produce some kind of a problem resulting in an argument and a store manager being called. Common problems include: The coupon being expired. Not last week expired, more like expired during the Clinton administration. Also utter shock and amazement is observed when they discover that their 10 cents off Tropicana OJ doesn’t also apply to Minute Maid OJ.

  35. RandomHookup says:

    Hey, who stole Consumerist? This thread would usually be packed full of gripes about couponing and 20 cents off coupons and high processed food. Did the commenters get laid off too?

  36. reverendskinner says:

    They can think whatever they want while I’m saving money.

  37. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    I expect the people in this study mostly disagree with being slowed down. I love using cupons. But I have them all ready before I get to the register, and I shop in the middle of the night when there isn’t much of a line.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @Lin-Z: But, inevitably, there’s a coupon that doesn’t scan right or cashier has to get help because the item will end up being free with coupons or some other problem that still makes it difficult. The ladies behind me the other night were very impressed with my couponing, even though a manager had to come over to fix a problem with a coupon scanning.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Lin-Z: Exactly. Have your coupons prepped. On average, I have a ton of coupons paper clipped together, sorted by expiration date with an index card that names each item in the stack. And whenever I go out to get groceries, I’ll look at each card to see whether I can use any of the coupons. And I only take the ones that are applicable to the items on my shopping trip.

  38. tinybubbles says:

    I’m cheap and proud of it!

  39. floraposte says:

    I don’t really think it’s my business how the people around me are paying for their stuff, and I’m usually thinking about something else when they’re paying anyway. I tend not to coupon clip, as the rate of return isn’t good for me with my shopping patterns, but I do use the POS-generated coupons. I’m in much the same area as Eyebrows McGee, and as she says, coupon use is the rule rather than the exception, so I doubt there’s much stigma here.

  40. saradanger says:

    I used coupons for the first time yesterday, at Whole Foods of all places. You can really save quite a bit when you combine in store sales and manufacturers coupons. I saved nearly $20 off of a $78 bill and I purchased stuff I normally purchase every week plus a couple of things I have been wanting to try. I kept the coupons in an envelope, and as I grabbed items I transferred them to my coat pocket. It probably took the cashier no more than 20 seconds to quickly scan my coupons.

  41. My keyboard has a typo key says:

    IF, as in if. There was only a way, I could pick what I wanted to use in terms of the discounts. Have one universal bar code and be done with it.
    Finding all the discounts for 10-25 cents here and there. Is more effort that just ignoring it.

    I normally charge more per hour for my labor. Than I save (overall) with coupons.

    Plus with a voyeuristic reading of Consumerist, knowing of the “shrink ray.” How much are you really saving. Do you just break even?

    IF.. It was easier to use coupons. I would print out one coupon gives all. And use it. Since it takes more effort and time. To scour paid media and look through JUNK! It is not worth it to me.

    I could care less who stands behind me. They are jerks. Unless they prove otherwise. Most people are really nice in line in my about 40 years of shopping. (The older people who somehow get the speed to cut in line do not count.)

    Another cool Gawker property? Coupondeals.com???? One stop coupon deals..

    • RandomHookup says:

      @twiddling_my_thumbs: Most of the discounts aren’t 10-25 cents anymore. I save about $1k per month (though I would never spend that much on food just for me). I end up donating a lot and selling some really cheaply to a neighbor.

      If it’s not worth it to you, that’s fine. I’m using time I wouldn’t be paid for anyway…such as just watching TV.

  42. bohemian says:

    I rarely use coupons at the grocery store because they are only for expensive brand name processed foods. Buying raw ingredients is way cheaper.

    I do use coupons for non food things that we need, deodorant, scrub sponges, % off for clothing or hardware.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @bohemian: So you make your own cheese? You make your own cereal? Do you make your own milk? There are coupons for milk too, you know. And for juice. Do you make your own juice?

      Not being snarky, I’m just wondering why you’ve got all these assumptions that coupons are “only for expensive brand name processed foods” because there are plenty of coupons for items that people normally can’t buy raw or make themselves (unless you don’t eat any of the things I listed above or buy everything generic).

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      @bohemian: ‘I rarely use coupons at the grocery store because they are only for expensive brand name processed foods.’

      Really? Huh. Guess I hallucinated those coupons for fresh vegetables, cheese, flour, canned beans and a free pound of strawberries I used last week.

  43. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Another really good way to save money is to make everything you make into a recipe with specific amounts of ingredients. That way, you don’t make more than you intended, or less, and you can adjust your price if something is cheaper. And if you are making something new or you’re using a recipe, I don’t find it a bother to only buy one of a particular item, like one potato or one green pepper. It’s better than feeling pressured to buy a few of them when you only need one. If the recipe only makes X amount and you need twice that, adjust the numbers in the recipe first and then go shopping so you don’t just guess on what you think you need and end up with too much of something.

  44. bdsakx says:

    I’ve been using coupons a lot lately when I go eat lunch. I don’t have time to make my own lunch (nor can I make anything I’d enjoy eating). Nowadays, I never throw away coupons I get in the mail for places like Sonic, Arby’s, Grandy’s, Quizno’s, etc. I cut those suckers out and I save 1-3 dollars every time I eat lunch. Weinerschnitzel has the best coupons too. I’m suddenly so religious over these coupons, I bought a little pouch to organize them (and I’m a man too!!!).

  45. AMetamorphosis says:

    As a coupon user living within my means I rarely care what the shopper behind me thinks about my frugality.

    Luckily I’m hot … lol just kidding :-)

    If anything, I’m still pissed that those crappy loyalty cards NEVER did away with coupons like they promised us in exchange for a detailed record of all our purchases.

  46. Outrun1986 says:

    I really don’t care what anyone thinks of me for using a coupon, if someone is worrying about that then they should probably get their priorities straight.

    There are a lot of coupons out there for prepacked and processed foods however you can find coupons for other things too and for basic, healthy items and toiletries that you need. Most coupons that I use are over 1$ each.

  47. EYESONLY says:

    Another great place to use “coupons,” which I suspect a lot of people overlook, is the Internet. Sites like CouponCabin.com and RetailMeNot.com will post recent discount codes for a ton of online sites. Not such a great source for Amazon obviously, but before nearly any non-Amazon Internet purchase, I always try to remember to Google “[name of store] codes” or “[name of store] coupon,” and see what turns up. Knocked 10 or 15 percent off a purchase at a store I’d never heard of, just last night, by using CouponCabin. (Some of the posted codes are expired of course, but it only takes a few seconds to check, and quite often you can save as much as 20 percent off, or even more.)

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @EYESONLY: I do this too, you can really save a lot this way and it usually only takes 5 min to save on a purchase that you will be making anyways. You can also google the name of the store or website with “coupon” or “code” in the search to find discounts. I have gotten printable B&M store coupons this way too.

  48. krom says:

    yeah, well the average consumer is a flicking retard, which is why they consume so much (and why they take out ARMs on heavily overpriced McMansions.)

  49. xip says:

    I hypothesize that many, many things could fit into the blanks in this statement:

    “People think that are , unless you’re hot.”

    • xip says:

      @xip:

      I guess it didn’t like my brackets…

      “People think that (insert something that describes a group of people) are (insert negative opinion), unless you’re hot.”

  50. I use coupons and I love it. I usually use them for toiletries since I don’t get good ones for food.

    I am currently combining coupons with ECBs and getting stuff for FREE at CVS….so I will continue to use coupons!

  51. LBM says:

    I LOVE using coupons…I feel vindicated when I am able to save money when I shop. The stores are out to make a profit off of me…heck, all the odds are stacked against the consumer. Coupons are one of the only perks a shopper has.

    And frankly, if people don’t like it that I’m saving money, that is their problem. Afterall, they’ve plenty fo money to burn, what is a few extra minutes? If it’s that much of a hasssle for them, they can always give me the difference in my savings from their pocket. (And I have the accordion organizer too…and I have my coups all ready before I check out)

  52. AnF-DuDe says:

    I personally think this is true, not to sound cocky or whatever but I’m a nice looking guy, and I do sometimes get treated differently than say the average looking person, hey, thats how I got my job. haha.

  53. Sevarious says:

    Many years ago I ran register. Most coupons weren’t a problem. Customer hands them to you, you scan them, the whole process takes a few seconds and everyone goes away happy. The problem is that some noticeable percentage of coupon users are in fact abject morons. Examples follow:

    - Coupons that expired last year.
    – Coupons for a different (sometimes even unrelated) store.
    – Coupons for a product entirely different than the one specified by the coupon.
    – Spending 10 minutes rummaging around trying to find coupons. Looks through purse, pockets, wallet, bra, crotch, etc.
    – Coupons they wrote themselves on a piece of paper.

    When the coupons don’t do through the person never says “oh no problem, I didn’t realize that coupon expired in 1998.” No they argue, then the manager is called in and it takes the manager a while to get there because he is usually busy doing something more important (such as almost anything else). Then the ranting continues about how they should be able to use a RadioShack coupon at a Kroger because they are just buying batteries. The people in line behind them are now waving around pitchforks and torches and finally the manager just gives in and gives them the discount because its easier than trying to explain for the 5th time why the person is an idiot.

    To wrap up I’ll just say kudos to those of you who save money buy using coupons while not being a douche who ruins the shopping experience for everyone else.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Sevarious: They are probably not idiots but are purposely trying to pass off the coupon to you hoping that you will be a stupid cashier and take it for extra savings. I have been on many deal sites and this is a common practice, they purposely try to pass off expired coupons and coupons that don’t match a product just to see if the cashier will take them.

      My coupons are organized and I have them ready for the cashier and most people in my area are this way or they don’t use coupons.

  54. kairi2 says:

    At least they are using coupons, and not food stamps.

  55. m_m says:

    Consumerist Reader pick-up line #435:

    “Hey baby, you know, if you used a coupon, I wouldn’t think you’re a cheapskate”

  56. Marshfield says:

    If the coupon-using-shopper is organized, has the right coupons ready to go at the right time, it doesn’t take long to scan them in. It shouldn’t be much of a problem to the people behind, any more than writing a CHECK or looking for EXACT CHANGE would be. (I find both those things highly annoying if I’m stuck behind them.

    Or the dreaded PRICE CHECK….

  57. james says:

    It is so cute when hot girls use coupons. Then they can pretend to be spending their own money.

  58. Xero says:

    Psh, screw that. I use coupons whenever I get the chance… usually save at least $100 or more a year with them. Wouldn’t YOU like an extra hundred dollar bill in your pocket?

  59. nescafe says:

    Yes, because poor people are just cheap.

  60. ncgirl says:

    Just yesterday, I bought 2 weeks worth of groceries for my family of 3, including 12 lbs of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts for $90. I matched my coupons to the sale circular for the store & they were also doing triple coupons. I saved $88 with my store card & coupons.
    With the economy the way it is, those who are coupon-haters would be wise to re-evaluate. Saving 50% is allowing me to build a stockpile of items (PB, beans, lentils, rice, canned goods, etc…) in case things get worse!

  61. ab3i says:

    Although i haven’t ever used grocery coupons (too lazy), i did love the coupon that ‘floyds 99′ barbershop sent me. I got a 25$ hair cut + shampoo + shoulder massage for free :). What was funny was when i tried to leave a 10$ tip, the staff was quite amused. I guess they didn’t expect a ‘free coupon guy’ to leave a tip.

  62. BytheSea says:

    The hell do I care if the other people in line look down on me? Are they paying my bills? And for all their negative thinking, they’ve never turned down a coupon when I had an extra one to share.

  63. LittleEnosBurdette says:

    Coupons, planning, bulk buying, and then the trifecta – the triple bonus coupon. Before my divorce we routinely saved $30-$40 on weekly groceries, sometimes more, on groceries for 4 people. Too easy! Now I don’t care what the biatch buys, let her boyfriend pay for ‘em.

  64. SusmitaNestor says:

    I’m a cashier at Target and hate when people buy 100 items and then give me all of their coupons at the end and I have to look up each coupon that doesnt scan. I’ll usually accept them if its under $1 without even looking them up.

    One tip: keep the buy one get one free coupons separate if you buying a lot of stuff and give them to us along with the item because we usually have to look up the price and write it in on the coupon.

    Also, read the fine print on the coupons. Half of the coupons that dont scan are because people CANT READ!

    I hate coupons :).

  65. Trojan69 says:

    I most definitely get condescending looks if I am in line with coupons in hand. I am careful to have them at the ready for the cashier to scan.

    What is interesting is when I am in a shopping aisle comparing items against coupons I have. The same looks. BUT….when I offer coupons for other products I am not interested in, or just leave a coupon next to a product on a shelf, I get a big smile.

    People just suck. Selfish, judgmental, xenophobic. And yes, hotness often overcomes these traits.

  66. Cliff_Donner says:

    To be blunt, all of you people in are in my way — at the check-out line, on the freeway, and at the singles bar. For the love of God, please step aside so I need no longer be bothered by you. If you are pretty, I may enjoy ogling you for a few seconds — or possibly minutes — depending upon your relative attractiveness — please, do not outstay your welcome!! Move on, and let more attractive people take your place. Thank you.

  67. TheNomad says:

    You know what, they can all call me cheapskate or whatever their sucky hearts desire. If my announced total is $120+ and right after that I say “oh but I have some coupons” and toss a thick wad of them to the huffing and puffing cashier and leaving the store 10 minutes later by paying a mere $28, who is the idiot here ? Sticks and stones can break bones but word don’t hurt. Also that almost $100 saved, fixes a lot of broken bones y’know.

  68. heathenkitties says:

    There is nothing more SATISFYING than finding out, at the register, how much I’ve saved. I could give an flying f what anyone else in line thinks–they don’t contribute to my checking account! :-P

    • foodandshoes says:

      When I was a child (in the 1800s aparently) my mother would give me the money we saved by my clipping coupons as my allowance. I was a mercenary.

      Tomorrow I will purchase food and shoes…both with a discount.
      suck it haters.

  69. synergy says:

    “the modern consumer tends to prize status and luxury over thrift.”

    And this is part of why we are where we are today…

  70. LuvJones says:

    They wasted money to find out what people thought of coupon users. WOW. I use coupons for my large family. I only use coupons on the items we buy anyway. With this economy every little bit counts. If people don’t like it they can kick rocks. Does it really matter what some jackass behind me thinks of ME saving money…me thinks not!

  71. RandomHookup says:

    One thing I have found is that the Internet has changed couponing. I can now find information about when/where the deals are, what the fine print means and where to find the coupons (which means I just file the inserts away by date and pull them out when I need them).

  72. christoj879 says:

    Even when I’m not in the same line, watching people argue over 50 cents after using 3 coupons at McDonalds makes me want to get up and smack them. You got free fries, probably free burgers, now you’re going to add up the cost of the combo and how it doesn’t add up the same as if they were purchased separately? Go flog yourself.