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Tips from the Coupon Queen

Speedy checkout lane rituals

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Jill Cataldo is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

CTW Features
July 2, 2014 | 2,307 views | Post a comment

Do you have a special ritual or method for getting through the checkout lane in a speedy manner? Some of my readers do, and I found many of their tips so thoughtful and clever that I’m going to share some this week.

Dear Jill,

I’ve never encountered rude customers in the lane when couponing. For the people that do, I wonder if these shoppers weren’t quite ready to present their coupons when they reached the cashier. It might be good to give those who are new to the game a few suggestions.

To prevent a backup in the line behind me, the following seems to work:

1. Put applicable coupons in an envelope as you pick up your items.

2. When you are ready to check out, stop in a quiet store aisle to prepare.

3. Get your store loyalty card out and place it in the same envelope.

4. Find your credit or debit card, or your cash and add to the envelope.

5. Put everything in an outside pocket of your purse.

6. Now you are ready to hand over your loyalty card and unload your basket.

7. Hand your coupons to the cashier as he/she reaches the end of your order.

8. The cashier will complete scanning the coupons before the bagger is done.

9. Scan your credit/debit card or fork over your cash.

10. Voila! No complaints or annoyed people in the line behind you!

Keep up the good work!

Mary J.

Dear Jill,

I have a tip for making your cashier’s life easier when checking out. When I have coupons for buy buy-one-get-one-free or totally free products, I’m sure you know the cashier has to type the price of the item in to make the coupon go through. I make this easy for the cashier by leaving any of those products I have free coupons for in the cart until the rest of the checkout belt is loaded. I put them up last. Then, when I hand over my coupons, I put the free coupons on the top of the pile. When the cashier scans them and they beep, the prices of those items are still on the register screen because they were the last to scan. At my store, the cashiers really like it when I do this and I get out quicker too!

Lorraine L.

Dear Jill,

I am surprised how many people don’t get their coupons ready before they go to checkout. By ready, I mean go through them and get all the ones you plan to use together in the front of your wallet. I remember you talking about this as what you do too, but it really saves time. It is much easier to just get the coupon ready when you put that item in the cart, and when you go to the checkout, hand over the pile.

Nina T.

I agree! This is the method I use too. As I walk through the store and add an item to my shopping cart, I pull out the corresponding coupon and stick it in the pocket at the front of my coupon wallet. When I am ready to check out, all of the coupons I need are stacked together neatly. I hand them to the cashier, who scans them in. I pay, and I’m on my way!

At times I’ve been behind couponers who are furiously digging in their wallets or files trying to find that last coupon -- the “I know it’s in here somewhere!” syndrome. Why put others through that? Take a few extra moments before you get to the lane and get everything in order. Everyone, including you, will have an easier experience.

Smart Living Tip: I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Something similar could be said for couponing. Spending a small amount of time getting your coupons in order before you reach the checkout lane helps prevent delays for the cashier -- as well as disgruntled shoppers behind you.

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, Email your own couponing victories and questions to

© CTW Features

Coupons in today’s paper:

• $5 OFF, Air Vent, Carpet Cleaning special, King Carpet Services, 6B

• BOGO Admission, Krossfire paintball, 6B

• 10% OFF, Air Pro, 5D

• FREE, 32 oz. fountain drink, The Tote, 6B

• $5 OFF purchase, LifeChek Drug, 6B

• Buy 2 Get 1 FREE, Leanin’ Tree greeting cards, WCN, 6B

• $3 & $2 OFF, Stopain, American Profile insert

• 12 coupons, Alamo Fireworks, insert
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