Planning Big Trip ... Any Advice?

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:34 AM
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Catalina planning big trip ... any advice?

I am planning a big trip on Thursday. I am armed with tons of coupons and knowledge from this board. This is my first couponing trip to the commissary. Any advise for commissary newbie?
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:56 AM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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Be patient, stand your ground & carry the policy with you! Often my commissary here in SC will try to tell me no on many things their policy states I CAN do. Also the cashiers aren't always fully educated about it so just be patient with them & good luck!!
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:42 AM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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Thank you. I am not a shelf clearer but is it okay to clear half the shelf? Also the military coupon insert are usually at the front of store? Going to hansom at then gfoton nas.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:44 AM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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Start with a smile and a sense of humor. Don't go into immediately strong arming cashiers. I think this is a huge area where people make mistakes that leave the impression of couponers to come for those cashiers. We have to lead by example and be friendly and knowledgeable and I've had countless cashiers tell me how much they appreciate my coupons being organized. Something I do is I hang onto my coupons until the end, I tell them I have them but I don't give them up until they are ready to scan. I ask them nicely to go slow and keep them in order so I can watch the coupons scan and the screen adjust. Warn them in advance that you have a lot of coupons. I like to do this with a joke of some kind to lighten the situation, cashiers can become overwhelmed and feel insecure about coupons when there is so much pressure on them to be sure they are recieving accurate coupons that are fully valid. As I go through the store, I keep my buggy sorted, then I put the items onto the belt in order, this way its easier to find groupings of items on the register and on your reciept if there are any issues with prices/coupons or necessary adjustments needed. It's also easier to see the exact number scanned and so on.
The registers will beep on overage coupons due to programing, the cashier just has to put it in manually to accept it. Do NOT let them adjust your coupon down, this is against the policy and you need to be armed with that policy incase this happens. And if you have overage, make sure that you have planned all the extra items to absorb the cost because the commy does not give cash back on a negative balance and it's better to use those items on meaningful things than to grab something random in a last minute rush. The last huge trip I did, I used about 30 dollars in overage to pay for my cranberry juice which was around 16 dollars, then I used the rest for produce.

Don't forget your surcharge! The higher your balance, the higher that surcharge creeps up. I did a haul last night for roughly 154 bucks that I had all overage coupons for and I ended up with 2 dollars less my surcharge, but though all my items were free, I still had to pay them 5 bucks.

Be patient and dont be afraid to ask them to slow down for you. I get stressed when cashiers go super fast because I can't track my 3 kids, the register and my coupons scanning as much as I'd like. This reduces my stress quite a bit when they take their time. Plus your stuff doesnt get mashed up in the bagging area because the poor baggers can't keep up with the cashier.

Good luck to you! Be sure you post your haul!!
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:46 AM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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Originally Posted by AF Retired Mom View Post
Thank you. I am not a shelf clearer but is it okay to clear half the shelf? Also the military coupon insert are usually at the front of store? Going to hansom at then gfoton nas.
It's always better to plan ahead and order but some items won't come in time before the q expires. In these cases when I have to have the item but can't order it and I plan to buy a lot, I try to go just before closing this way I don't screw anyone else who happens to pop in during the day. Early morning shelf clearing is fairly common so sometimes I miss out, I guess it's just per your own personal guidelines.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:21 PM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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I have had the problem with special ordering, when I go shopping I pick up 10 of everything I need like lunch items for my kids school lunch and my husband. Then I would wait til my special order comes in. Sometimes I clear a shelf and sometimes not. But when my special order comes in I would use just what I have in coupons and let them know what I don't need because I have already used with my coupons. they would just put it back on the shelves. Makes my conscious clear
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:32 PM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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Thanks! This is is all great advise. I bow to the masters. I appreciate all the help. I am doing this trip to hopefully convince by husband it is worth the trip.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:44 PM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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One thing I do is collect all of the coupons I plan on using, and put them in an envelope. I paper clip all the same coupons, and I only take them out of the envelope if I put that item in my cart. I take it out of the envelope and put it into a pocket in my binder, so I know when i get to the register, the only coupons I am using are the ones that are in my binder pocket. Any other coupons I do not use, stay in the envelope. That really helps me stay organized!!
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:18 AM

RE: planning big trip ... any advice?

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Originally Posted by ldequatro View Post
One thing I do is collect all of the coupons I plan on using, and put them in an envelope. I paper clip all the same coupons, and I only take them out of the envelope if I put that item in my cart. I take it out of the envelope and put it into a pocket in my binder, so I know when i get to the register, the only coupons I am using are the ones that are in my binder pocket. Any other coupons I do not use, stay in the envelope. That really helps me stay organized!!
I use a method similar to this and it works well for me. I like being organized when I get to the register - plus you can tell the cashier appreciate it (usually)
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