First, double-check your coupons that you plan on using. Make sure you pulled the correct product, including size, flavor or whatever other stipulations are printed on the coupon.
Check expiration dates. For hostile, coupon-hating cashiers, nailing a couponer for trying to use an expired coupon is a hobby. Once they spot one in your pile, every other coupon is closely inspected and really slows down the check-out process.
When using "Buy One Get One" coupons, double-check that you have the correct items to qualify for the free or discounted item.
When you purchase items that are advertised on sale, bring the store ad with you when you check out. Many times the register systems have not been completely updated and do not include all of the advertised prices. Having the store ad handy will help solve pricing problems.
It is also helpful to know the store's coupon acceptance policies. Most avid couponers always carry copies of policies in their coupon binders.
Why Store Employees Don't Know the PoliciesIt can be frustrating to couponers when store employees appear totally ignorant about store policies, especially coupon policies. You can't help but wonder how they missed that part of their training.
Sometimes stores have new employees, including new management and they do not know all of the policies. Since most store employees are trained on the job, they may only learn about a policy when they are dealing with it in front of a customer. Also, store policies often change and the employees are sometimes the last to find out.
You may also be dealing with a visiting manager who is filling in for a vacationing or sick manager. If they are from a different region they may have different policies to follow. This would be a good time to pull out your copy of the store policy and do some gentle educating.
Avoid getting into a debate with a grumpy cashier about the value of couponing. For her, couponing equates to more work, slower lines, mistakes and more stuff to keep up with at the register. Use this opportunity to put on your "nice" hat and compliment their efforts. Be sympathetic to their woes and tell them how much they are helping you meet your household food budget.
Make New FriendsRemember, most stores will allow their management to turn down a coupon for whatever reason they deem fit. This policy can either work in your favor or work against you. If you have a good relationship with the cashiers and store manager, chances are when a coupon transaction may be questionable they will do it your way. On the other hand, if they do not like you, they may decide to make couponing difficult for you, just because they can.
Lower Your VoiceIf things do get heated at the checkout counter, take a deep breath and lower your voice, even if they do not. Remember that it is just one of many shopping trips that you will make in your lifetime and refuse to let store employees ruin your day.
Partner With CorporateIf you have made an effort to abide by the rules, develop a nice relationship with the employees, but they are still exhibiting hostility towards you, or worse, refusing some of your coupons for no apparent reason, leave your basket and go home and call the corporate headquarters.
Do not let one employee keep you from getting a good deal on something that you need. Chances are they will not be there long if they exhibit childish behavior towards their customers.