While being unorganized doesn’t break any laws (thankfully, or there are many of us who would be in deep trouble!), it can be a huge inconvenience for cashiers and other shoppers.
Does it irritate you to stand in line for a long time while you wait for someone who lost their checkbook, forgot their debit card number, or is arguing with the cashier about a pricing error? It’s especially annoying when you are in a hurry or have young children who are about 10 seconds away from a meltdown.
First let me say that I don’t think you should feel pressured or uncomfortable at the checkout when using coupons. You have waited in line just like everyone else and your purchases are no less valued by the store than anyone else’s.
The store is reimbursed for all the coupons you use (if used correctly), so your coupons are just as valuable as cash. Don’t be intimidated, rush through your order, and lose track of coupons and savings. If you are organized, your turn at checkout should not take too much longer than any other person who is purchasing the same number of items.
Now, while you do wait in line like everyone else, you do have to keep in mind that your order will probably take a little longer, no matter how organized you are. You might consider letting other customers know that you are going to be using coupons and they might want to consider a different checkout line if they are in a hurry.
You could also let customers who are only buying a couple of items go in front of you. I think this is a great thing to do, even if you are not using coupons!
How to Be Organized at Checkout
- Have all your coupons already clipped. Do not wait until you get in line to clip your coupons!
- Have the coupons you are going to use in an easy-to-find location. Storing them at the bottom of your messy purse is not encouraged.
- Have your coupons stacked neatly. Try to keep them unfolded and facing in the same direction to save the cashier time. If you are worried about them sticking together, trying stacking them in a criss-cross pattern.
- Group items for “free” coupons together at the beginning or end of the transaction and give the cashier those coupons first. Having them all together at the beginning or end will make it easier for the cashier to look up the price of the items.
- Use coupons correctly. Make sure you’ve read the terms of the coupon carefully and are following the store coupon policy.
- Organize at Home. If you spend a little time at home organizing your coupons, it’s a lot easier to be organized once you get to the store. Be sure to choose the organization method that works for you. If you choose one that’s too time-consuming, you won’t do it and you’ll be no better off. Go with what works.
Being organized will not only help keep cashiers from rolling their eyes and other customers from tapping their toes, it will save YOU time and money!
How Being Organized Will Benefit You
- You will be able to watch the prices of the items as they are scanned. This will make it easier to catch price mistakes and correct them as they happen. This will also save you time because you won’t have to go to customer service later and try to get a price adjustment or refund.
- You will be able to watch the coupons being scanned and make sure the cashier does not accidentally miss one. If you wait until the next day to look at your receipt, it may be too late to prove they missed a coupon.
- You will know that you gave the cashier all the coupons you intended. No more finding missed coupons in the bottom of your purse, in your pocket, or left on the counter at home.
- You will have the opportunity to be a shining example of a couponer. You might even gain an ally in a cashier or recruit a watchful customer who is looking for ways to save money.
Being organized does not take much time, and with benefits like saving money, it’s time well spent!