I have a question that might seem silly but I’ve wondered about it a few time. Do you ever go to a store and only get items for free and not pay anything at the register? For example, I might want to go to CVS to get crackers that are on sale for $1 and I have a $1 off coupon. But I feel really awkward not paying anything so usually grab something else that is small to buy when I check out. Do stores even let you just get the free items and walk away? -Liz
There are no silly questions, Liz! I’m pretty sure that plenty of others have wondered this, as well.
And the answer is that I have no problem at all only buying free items. In fact, I think it’s really rather exciting to go up to the register and have ten items end up ringing up for less than $1 after coupons! Usually, the cashier is a little speechless and says “How did you do that?”
Since they are reimbursed for the value of the coupons plus $0.08, stores are rarely losing money by people using coupons. In the case of a loss leader sale or a store coupon, it is possible that they are losing money, but it’s their prerogative to determine what sales they offer and coupons they release.
Where we live, there is sales tax, so it’s near impossible to have a $0 total, but there have been occasions when Dillon’s has had an instant discount sale running and, after my coupons, my total was actually negative. In those cases, I just add something onto my order to get it up past $0 and then checkout.
So as long as you are using coupons ethically (not copying coupons, not using coupons for items they weren’t intended to be used, not following a store’s coupon policy or using more than one manufacturer’s coupon per item), you can be completely confident in your couponing and check out without an ounce of guilt — even if your total ends up just being pennies or even $0!
What about the rest of you? Do you ever just get completely free items in a shopping transaction? If so, does it make you feel awkward or triumphant?
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