Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tip o' Me Hat to Melissa's Bargain Blog

Have you ever had a really, really, really bad shopping experience? Ever presented a valid coupon and had it rejected? Ever shopped for an advertised deal and things just didn't go your way? Yeah, that happened to me at a recent shopping trip to Walmart Supercenter.

I went late at night, thinking it was the perfect opportunity because hubs was home with the kids, I could be by myself, and the store is usually empty. Little did I know that two of the four cashiers called in, my cashier refused to take my Internet coupons, forgot to ring up the two coupons I presented that weren't Internet, refused to price match one Walgreens advertised special for Dole fruit cups because Walgreens wasn't "competitor", forgot to ring up the cat litter and it had to be rung up separately, and...the list goes on. And since they were short on cashiers, the two open registers had lines backed up to the wazoo, so I didn't bother spending too much time arguing with the cashier. However, as soon as she handed me my 4th receipt (yes, 4th), I went to someone and asked to speak to a manager. When all was said and done, I learned that yes, Walmart still accepts Internet coupons, and the manager honored my coupons, saving me nearly $11 off my bill.

Has anything like that ever happened to you, too? Well, if so, never fear because my great friend Melissa at Melissa's Bargain Blog is there to help! During the whole experience, I couldn't help but recall an article Melissa had about standing your ground when using coupons. Melissa and I have known each other since freshman year at college, nearly 15 years ago. Gosh, has it been that long?! Melissa, who is an educator by day and bargain hunter by night, has been a huge help for me, always sharing recipes, bargain hunting tips, freebies, and great websites for earning $. Her blog has become a huge success. One of her features includes providing scenarios for CVS, Walgreens & Target shopping to help you maximize your savings and reduce your out of pocket (OOP) costs. You won't believe how she manages to spend $40 or less on groceries each week for her family of four. I'm still in awe--how does she do it?! The short of it: she knows her stuff.

Here's an excerpt from Melissa's post, Tip of the Day Tuesday: Standing Up for Yourself When Using Coupons:

I have been using coupons for over five years now, and even after years of experience, there are times when I still have anxiety about getting hassled over my coupons. Here are a few tips to help you stand up for yourself when using coupons:

1. Make sure you are using your coupons correctly: Make sure you read the fine print on your coupons and that what you are buying matches up with the details on your coupon. I have noticed that many of my stores have become much more particular about coupons. More often than not, they read the fine print and make sure that my items match up, especially if they beep. Avoid embarrassment at check-out by using your coupons legitimately!

2. Know your store's coupon policies: If you do a search online for individual stores and "coupon policies" you will find letters that others have received from customer service regarding store coupon policies. Sometimes it's helpful to print these letters to share with your cashiers...[click here to view the complete article]

When it comes to bargain hunting and getting the best deal, I promise you that Melissa will give you honest, helpful advice and won't steer you wrong! So let's all give a big "Shoutout!" to Melissa by visiting her blog and taking a peek at the tips and advice that she has for you.

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