Ok world, I think I may have done something wrong. I’m adding this note the day after my big haul that I got for free at Walmart because after doing a little more research, I have read alot of opinions on the web that say using 2 BOGO manufacturer coupons on 2 items is wrong because you have to purchase an item.
So here’s my opinion on the subject…Although I’ve read all the explanations on the subject, I’m not sure I agree. I truly do not see how what I did was any different than using a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale. The manufacturer pays the store for the items regardless, so I don’t understand the difference. It’s completely possible that I am just not getting it. If anyone can break it down for me, that would be awesome, because I’m just not seeing it right now.
With that said, I used this combo using what I thought was good judgment based on what I knew to be true of the couponing “rules”. Considering that it is the opinion of alot of my peers that it wasn’t legit, until I can find the info to back up my opinion, I won’t use this combo again.
So, read the following post knowing that what I had done may or may not be considered a legit use of coupons, and you shouldn’t use this combo without knowing for sure. There was no intentional coupon fraud, if that is in fact what happened. The truth is, I was operating out of my best knowledge, which may have been wrong.
I went to Walmart with my little man aka my coupon buddy, and I cannot believe how much I saved. This is the most savings I have ever gotten since I started couponing almost 2 months ago. Let me tell you what I bought…
Old Spice Body Wash in Assorted Scents: reg price $3.48 ea
I used 6 BOGO coupons on 6 bottles of body wash.
Total Regular Price: $3.48 x 6 =$20.88 Price Paid: FREE!
Right Guard Deodorant: reg price $3.47 ea
I used 8 BOGO coupons on 8 sticks of deodorant
Total Regular Price: $3.47 x 8 = $27.76 Price Paid: FREE!
Gillette Mach 3, 3 Pack of Razors: reg price: $6.87 ea.
I used 4 BOGO coupons on 4 packages of razors
Total regular price: $6.87 x 4= $27.48 Price Paid: FREE!
I purchased $76.12 worth of products and only paid $5.57 in sales tax…and that’s it!
So how did I do it? Many people don’t know that you can use 2 coupons when there is a BOGO sale, even though one of the items is free. Well, it works the same when you have a BOGO coupon. If you have 2 BOGO coupons, then you get both items free. Or if there is a BOGO sale and you have a BOGO coupon, again, you get both items free.
Here’s an example of how I did it:
+ = FREE!
If you want to try to get a deal like this, the biggest thing you need to do before you even leave the house is, you’ve got to check your stores coupon policy. Even better, you should go ahead and print it out to keep a copy on you when you go to the store trying to pull off a deal like this. There are two reasons:
- I’ve found the majority of cashiers have no clue what the coupon policy is.
- This deal seems too good to be true, so usually the cashiers first instinct is to turn you down.
My favorite couponing website has a fantastic list of a bunch of store coupon policies, you can check to see if your store is in her list here. If your store isn’t listed, just do a google search for “coupon policy” with the name of the store and you’ll get a ton of results.
You really need to go into the store confident when you plan on pulling off a deal like this. If you are questioning the math behind it, there is no way a cashier is going to believe you when you explain that it is in the policy that a coupon can be used on a free item as part of a BOGO deal. The reason why using 2 BOGO deals is ethical, is not cheating, and is totally allowed is because:
- The manufacturer will reimburse the store the full price plus 8 cents for each coupon
- Coupons are a form of payment, much like a check
The cashier that rang me up today thought I had lost my mind. She immediately bucked up and told me that I needed to actually “purchase” an item to get one free, in a not so nice tone. I have to admit, it’s kind of hard to keep a calm and friendly when the person on the other side of the register is looking and talking to you like you are a crazy person or like you are trying to “steal” from the store. But I have learned really quick that if you want to walk away with the deal, you HAVE to keep your cool. So, the cashier tells me she’ll have to call a manager over, so I said ok with a smile. When the manager came over, she explained the situation in her way, then I explained that I had told her that you can use a coupon on a free item. He told her to ring me up and I WON! Woo hoo! It’s super nerve wracking standing there, you against the register, the cashier, the manager…if I get out of the store with my planned savings I feel like I survived a mine field.
So the manager walked away and I basically walked the cashier through how to ring the transaction. Then I tried to pay for it (just the tax), and the register beeps. The transaction required a manager approval. It was like…good god, don’t give them another reason to turn me down! This has happened to me before, and it apparently happens when you have used coupons and saved more than 50%. I swear it’s just a built in mechanism to make us couponers sweat just one more time before they take our money.
Well, after all the drama, I had a handful of coupons for Gilette Body wash, & Gilette Deodorant that would end up with 1 body wash at full price, 1 body wash for $1.27 and 4 deodorants for free. I didn’t end up using them because Logan was losing his patience by the time I got to them on my list, but they were expiring on May 31st…so I asked the cashier if she had a man at home that uses Gilette? She says that she does, so I handed her the coupons and taught her how to use them. She lit up. I had won her over. The next time I have a deal like this I will be able to go to her and I know she’ll remember me. Not for the hassle, but for hooking her up with a bunch of free stuff!
The moral of the story is, it’s really important to take care of the people that take care of you. My cashier didn’t give me a hard time purposely, the truth is, she didn’t know any better. I cannot blame her for lack of education. If her managers don’t make it a priority to train their cashiers in the coupon policy, I cannot blame them for not being familiar with it. You have to always have a good attitude and always be willing to go above and beyond to be kind. The fact of the matter is, cashiers are terrified by all the new extreme couponers out there with their binders walking around trying to get things for free. They are afraid that someone is going to scam them and they will lose their jobs. This is not exactly the best economy to lost your job in, so I can understand why they act the way they do…in general. Every once in while you come across a grump that is just pissed that you’re getting stuff for free…so in my next post I will get into how to be a cashier profiler. How to pick the cashier to ring your order with the least amount of headache…stay tuned.