Extreme Couponing Tip: Check Your Receipt Before You Leave the Store

Extreme Couponing

Extreme Couponing Tip: Check Your Receipt Before You Leave the Store

This week’s Extreme Couponing Tip is on ensuring you read your recent before you leave the store whenever possible!  I know sometimes you are in a hurry or maybe have kids who are fussy, tired of shopping, etc., but if you’re able to take a minute or two to quickly look over your receipt BEFORE you leave the store, I think that would save you lots of time and frustration later if something didn’t ring up at the correct price or if one of your coupons didn’t scan.

I have learned the hard way with this.  Too often I just want to get out of the store after my shopping trips.  I used to forget to stop and just quickly check over my receipt to make sure everything was done accurately.  I would hate when I would get home and realize a high value coupon didn’t scan or my produce rang up at the wrong price per lb.  It just happened to me a few weeks ago.  I had 2 coupons for a Free 4-Pack of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt…something I definitely wouldn’t buy without a coupon because it is expensive ($4.99).  I don’t know how I didn’t notice it right away (probably because I was too busy talking to the customer behind me who asked about using coupons!), but the cashier only scanned 1 of my coupons.  It wasn’t until I was at a red light on my way home that I quickly looked over my receipt, when I noticed only 1 of my 2 Free Coupons scanned.  ShopRite owed me $4.99!  I immediately called ShopRite, told them the name of the young man who rang me up so they could go over to his register and see that there were 2 coupons for Free Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt in his envelope.  I told them what happened and politely asked them to set aside the coupons for when I came back with my receipt to show them that only 1 coupon scanned.  Ultimately I received my $4.99 back from ShopRite, however it wasn’t without an added unplanned trip back to the store, time spent on the phone, etc.  If the coupon that didn’t scan wasn’t such a high value, I probably wouldn’t have bothered because let’s face it, we’ll all go nuts if we try and make everything perfect when it comes to using coupons, however if we take the time right away to check accuracy, I think that will help save time and of course valuable money!

Tips for Checking Your Receipt Before You Leave the Store:

  • Know the prices of what you’re buying so you can recognize if something rang up at the wrong price.  Many stores offer the item for free if a product rings up at the wrong price.
  • Weigh your produce so you know how much it will cost and make sure it corresponds with what is reflected on your receipt.
  • Understand how to read your frequently visited stores’ receipts.  Every store’s receipts are different and can be confusing to read.  Learning how to read them is important, like how to read the final price of an item, where scanned coupons show up, etc.
  • If you’re planning your shopping trip and have a good idea of what you’re buying before you head to the store (highly recommended), know about what your total OOP should be before you head to checkout.  If you know what your estimated total should be and your actual total is much higher, this will be a red flag to you that something has gone wrong.
  • If you’re shopping at stores with Instant Savings Deals, check your receipt to be sure the savings came off instantly.
  • Before you head to checkout, count how many coupons you are handing the attendant to scan.  When your transaction is complete, count how many coupons scanned at the bottom of your receipt for a quick way to know if they might have missed one.

What are your tips and thoughts on checking your receipt before leaving the store?

Do you have an idea for an Extreme Couponing tip you’d like to see addressed?  Leave your ideas in the comments!


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  • Haseena

    I have done this so many times, and by now you would think I would’ve learned my lesson, but I did it again twice last week. First, I bought Kids wonder bread, which I thought was $1.99 because the other varieties were and I did not bother to check the price, well it was 3.99 and I did not realize that until after I got home. The second time that week I went back to use my Wet Ones coupons that were about expire, well after paying my total seemed a little high, but with a fussy kid, and running late I did not check my receipt and after getting home I saw that the cashier only scanned 3 of my 4 coupons, so I ended up paying $1.99 for something I should’ve paid $.50.

    Anyone know if I go back and explain to customer service will they let me return one of them? I have been able to get these for free in past so $1.99 seems a lot to just let it go.

  • Meg

    What a great tip! I also suggest to do shopping with another family member or friend if possible so one can unload items and another can watch register and not to feel pressured with all the multitasking. Yesterday I was doing shopping myself at Walgreens and I was so pressured by line of people, it was empty when I got there but I was doing 4 transactions and line grew up very fast. My last transactions I was suppose to get 50c change but honestly I do not remember getting it but because I was so pressured, I realized it only later and I was not completely sure, since I could simply not to pay attention with all the RR, recepts and bags I had do carry.

  • Baze

    I used to be embarrassed to ask questions when coupons didn’t scan. Usually I’d get “the look” saying I was already saving 50% or more why bother with one coupon.

    Now, I have no problem pointing out when a sale didn’t work or coupons were missed. If I took the time to clip a coupon, bring it to the store and work it into my list, I’m making sure it gets used.

    Counting your coupons does help a lot. Also, calculating what the total amount in coupons will take off helps because once you have your total you can do the quick math.

  • Anonymous

    Besides counting coupons, I take a few extra minutes before checkout and jot a list of what I bought and the coupon value, short hand. Like Wasa 1.50, Nab 1.00, etc. Then I compare the receipt to my list, marking off each. It does
    take a few minutes after but to me its worth it to not have a meltdown when I get home when I notice too late that there was an error.
    Taking the hubby is a mixed blessing, great to have a bagger so I can pay attention to the cashier but he tends to want things not on my list.

    • Kelly

      I don’t like bringing my husband with me at all. He always wants things that are not on my list. Or he will want something that I know is going on sale the following week.

      • Andrea

        My husband is the same way or he will ask to come along knowing full well I’m going to be couponing and complains I’m taking too long. Good thing I love him.

  • Arianna

    Yeah, I have no shame. I watch as things are rung up, like a hawk! And when something is wrong I will even call the managers over myself! Occasionally a coupon wont scan, and the cashier hands it back to me, to which i reply “no, put it aside and we’ll get a manager at the end.”

  • Qpon Jenn

    I’d also watch them scan your SR card too to make sure the right card number comes up. I had a cashier take my keychain which has other different cards on it too and he went to scan my SR card but a different card number that I had on my keychain came up on the screen. I don’t know how i managed to catch it out of the corner of my eye but I’m glad I did and had them scan the right card otherwise my ecoupons and everything wouldn’t have came off.

  • jen from philly

    Another thing the I find very helpful is to know how much my total is going to be beore i check out. I know my total before I go to the store and then add or subtract anything else from the total. So if the total is within a dollar or two, I know that my reciept is right and that I can wait until I get home to admire my savings.

  • Sandra K321

    My problem with ShopRite is their digital coupons. I’ve just about given up on them because they very rarely work. Today for instance I got the $2.00 off for the ShopRite pasta sauce, but I did not get the $2.00 for the Hershey’s Simple Pleasures, which I would never have bought without the coupon. I’m not sure what you can do about digital coupons not working. I’ve also had SavingStar coupons not work.

    • Rocky

      Sandra K321, This is a great site for help with this particular problem and if you regularly read the SR posts you will invariably find your answers. Many times it is either Cindy, reader Laura D. or myself who respond. But, rather than repeat what was recently posted, I will refer you to comments made by Laura D, today, Thur, 9/13 on the “ShopRite Coupon Match Ups 9/9 – 9/15” post. Very complete wrap-up of what you should do if you are having ecoupon problems. You can find the post by clicking on the Find My Store tab, above, and then clicking on SR Weekly MatchUps. Regarding the Saving Star, that depends on a few things, also. They no longer allow you to their coupon links if you have already clicked the same ecoupon on SR or Cellfire. If, though, you click on their coupon before you the add one of the ecoupons, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you do, though, send them an email. They are fairly good about checking into problems. HTH

    • Rene

      When this happens to me, I use the contact via email option on their website. They will want you to input as much information as possible to include your transaction number, date, time, and which ecoupon it was. They have always sent me a shoprite voucher to use on my next purchase. Be aware though, that if you get two $1 vouchers, you can only use one per transaction. They don’t expire though. I used to contact shoperite via phone, but often times I would get a customer service rep who would say that it didn’t apply to my bill because I had a manufactures coupon as well. I have never had that happen when I email them.

  • Cindy, Great tips and I always check my receipt. Here is one more: I have on my shopping list e-coupons next to the items as well regular coupons so I can easily check my receipt before I leave the store to see if they all came off. If not, I can either head to customer service or I know who to call about the ecoupons when I get home. And I know it might seem like a lot of work to do a shopping list this way but I cut and paste my shopping list from your website into an excel shreadsheet and then add the other items I need. It’s very simple!

  • Susan K Glose

    I also cannot stress enough for people to check their receipts before they leave the store. It seems like 3 out of every 4 trips to my grocery store (Giant) I end up at Customer Service because an item did not ring up correctly. They give you double your money back for the difference. They used to give you double back for the amount of the item, but that didn’t last long (wonder why?!). I have even contacted the Giant via their website and complained. It is a real waste of time when something rings up incorrectly. You run through the store to check it before you complain to Customer Service (you don’t want to look like an idiot by buying the incorrect brand/size), then they usually send an employee to check it out, then they make the price adjustment (and forms to sign) … meanwhile, your ice cream is melting and your grocery trip has taken twice as long as you anticipated. So frustrating. I have even purchased an item at the beginning of the sale, had it ring up incorrectly and went through the process with Customer Service and gone back later in the week to purchase additional quantities of the sale item and they STILL have rung up incorrectly as they never bothered to correct the problem. So frustrating when you’re in a hurry.

  • Sebsa

    This is one of those “Murphy’s Law” situations for me. When I do check my receipt (usually once I’m in the car but before I’ve left the store parking lot) everything has rung up correctly. But when I don’t do this and check the receipt after I’ve returned home (or even the next day…gasp! : ) then something won’t have rung up right or a coupon will be missed. Haha! : )

  • lisa

    Great tip! I try to use the scan it yourself options at my grocery store so I can watch every item and every coupon. I still find myself at the customer service too often these days. Its like a game the store is trying to play and we have to catch their fouls!

  • Kate

    Wow, just last week I was thinking about how other people deal with something not being right on their receipt. And today we get to discuss it!
    I usually check my receipt in the car before I leave the store lot. And my problem is that sometimes I don’t know if it’s worth it to go back and get it fixed. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to do that.
    Let’s say they didn’t scan $1 coupon. Would you guys go back in line to get it fixed or just let it go?

  • Jasmin

    i try to do the self check out at the stores that have it that helps 90% of the time but i am at customer service at least once a week … they must think i am crzy but every $ counts it adds up …so go back for your money!

  • Mommy of three

    I always watch the cashier scan my coupons. It is so easy to miss one. I also write down my ecoupons, check those and Catalina’s which I also write down. It’s easy to check those few things. . It only takes a few minutes. Thanks for your tip!

  • CJ

    I started doing my list on a small excell spreadhseet. The item – price – store ecard – coupon and dbl coupon column. Then it nets each item and I get a total at the bottom for the prices – ecards – coupons and net price OOP. It has helped me manage my budget this way. I can add or delete items as new coupons/sales are posted each week before I do my actual shopping.