Laura Hanlon is a die-hard coupon clipper who is happy to share her unwritten code of coupon etiquette -- especially since she sees so many bargain hunters violate it. "They give couponing a bad name!" Hanlon says.
Here is Hanlon's Golden Rule of the Grocery Store:
- Don't hog the deals. Leave some for other shoppers.
- Swap coupons with other shoppers. It's a nice thing to do, and you'll save even more money.
- Place coupons for items you don't need on the shelf so other shoppers might use them. Share the wealth.
- Don't take all the coupons from in-store "blinkie" dispensers. The machines don't have an endless supply.
- Allow shoppers with only a few items to go ahead of you in line. Coupons take time.
- Have your coupons organized. Make sure you have the correct coupon for the correct item.
- Know store policies. For instance, some stores won't accept coupons printed off the internet.
- Be courteous to cashiers who must process coupons. Coupons require cashiers to do double the amount of scanning.
- Shop at off-peak hours. Don't clog the checkout lines during the busiest times of the day.