Extreme Couponing Tip: Pay It Forward

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Extreme Couponing Tip: Pay It Forward

One of my absolute favorite things about being an “Extreme Couponer” is being able to help others!  This week’s Extreme Couponing Tip is on “Paying it Forward” with your knowledge of using coupons and saving money.   How many of you have seen someone buying a product that you have a coupon for and decided you wanted to share the wealth with them and said, “Excuse me, I have a coupon you can have for that, which the store will double, saving you ___ of money!”  I’ve done this many times and it is always so rewarding seeing the person’s reaction to your generosity.  To them, it is so generous, but to us as couponers, it is just a coupon we know we can get more of or a deal we know we’ll come across again.  The appreciation on the stranger’s face when you share a coupon or money saving tip is much more worth the coupon you gave up or the few minutes you spent giving them some tips on how to save money.

Everyone Wants to Save Money, So Share How

Everyone wants to save money– no matter how rich or poor.  If you offer a coupon to the person behind you who happens to be very wealthy buying expensive products, even that person I doubt would turn down an automatic savings handed right to them!  I love to do this at places where you can reuse a coupon.  At Kohls for example, if I have a coupon that I know I won’t use anymore, I love handing it to the person behind me, politely asking them if they’d like this coupon I’m not using anymore.  I’ve never had anyone respond in a rude manner — everyone has always been so appreciative.  I then say, pass it to the person behind you when you’re done 😉  This happened recently at the Children’s Place as well.  I had a coupon for 25% off my entire purchase and at the bottom of the coupon it said save 15% for a friend too.  I asked the cashier if I could give it to the woman behind me and she said sure!  What a great feeling knowing you “paid it forward,” and helped someone save money just because you knew how and wanted to share the wealth.

Another way to help others and “Pay It Forward” is to share where you have learned your couponing skills from.  When you go to share a coupon with someone or share a money saving tip, tell them about Living Rich With Coupons! Some of you guys have told me how you have written down the LRWC web address for strangers in line behind you who admired your coupon skills and I think that is awesome!  We love to hear that.  You might be the beginning of someone’s life changing as they can potentially save thousands of dollars a year using coupons once they give it a try.

So I’d like to give you guys a challenge to “Pay It Forward” sometime soon.  I’m completely confident you won’t regret it 😉

Now it’s your turn…have you ever paid it forward with coupons and tips on deals?

If you are new to couponing, you may want to check out the Couponing for Beginners section where you will find a lot of answers to your questions.

The links in the post above may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.
  • Mar

    Always sharing the great tips I”ve learned on this site 😎
    I’m either met with an odd stare or they are totally into it.
    If you live in the Bridgewater Area let me know. Often put together food drives and with the help of LWRC I’ve been able to do it more often 😎
    Can’t thank you enough for the match ups….glad I’m not the only one who looks forward to Tuesdays!

  • Randi

    If someone is brave enough to get in line behind me and decide to stay, even after I tell them it’s going to take a while because I have a lot of coupons, I always scan their cart and start pulling out coupons for them. Love to see the look on their face.

    • Anonymous

      Randi. That’s a wonderful thing to do! I am going to steal tat idea!

    • Lisa

      Randi, what a great idea to scan their cart to see if you have any coupons for them! I always have people asking me “where do you get your coupons?” when I am checking out. I had this adorable elderly couple ask me the last time I went shopping, I wish I would have thought of your great idea. Thanks!

  • LJ

    offered the person in front of me a coupon that would have taken $10 off of his order. He said “no thanks.”

  • Dawn

    Recently a friend and I started Coupons for a Cause here on facebook. Our mission was to restock a towns pantry that was devasted by Hurricane Sandy. 107 people started clipping for 6 weeks.. We have been able to purchase 1,686.00 items of stock for $23. and we are still going.

    • claire

      great job, dawn! that is awesome!

  • anonymous

    i have done this many times at the cinnaminson nj store.
    see someone looking at a product that i may not want to buy
    or have it it already. so ask if they want a copupon for it to save money.
    also i see people buying turkey hill ice cream and tell them to call the
    phone number on the package to ask for coupons

  • Annie

    I told a Shoprite cashier about this website when he was amazed on how much money I had saved on my order :0)

  • Anonymous

    I pay it forward by filling my Shoprite bags with products and giving them to my sons friends, my relatives, and my neighbor. I just delivered my neighbor three bags today, in fact. I send my sister coupons and boxes every other month.

    I have passed on your website, Cindy, on to about 50 or more acquaintances and total strangers, who ask me how I save so much. I have been stopped in Shoprite, and Target and have taken peoples emails…I in turn, send them my “training email” on how to use the LRWC site. I have taught friends and family in my home…how to coupon.

    After Hurricane Sandy…my husband and I made two different trips down to Long Island City in Queens. We took 2 truckloads of bins filled with foods and goods and a big box of coupons to the New York Irish Center. They in turn, sorted and trucked the goods into Breezy Point and other areas that were in need. I plan to go back to the New York Irish Center and teach a free workshop on how to coupon using the LRWC site. I took my receipts and showed them how much I saved last year and asked them if it would be something they would like to share with their community and anyone who wanted to learn to coupon. They said YES!! So I am looking forward to that!!

    My neighbor called to thank me today and asked me if she needed to give me money for the bags I left at her door. I said, of course NO!! I told her that what I brought to her is what I have couponed for and have gotten for FREE!! I told her that I was hoping to get into heaven some day! 🙂

    I saved $11,000 in 2012 just at Shoprite alone. I have been ill and my husband lost his job in July…so couponing is not just my hobby, it’s my job!! It is how I take care of my family. So as always, Cindy, I tell everyone you are the best and so is LRWC. Thanks for all you do, all you have taught me, and how you have changed my life.

  • Steph

    I also like to go into Bed Bath Beyond around Christmas with a stack of coupons (since they allow you to use expired ones) and give them out near the check out and just say “Merry Christmas”. The manager came over and told me he never saw someone show such kindness. (I was a little afraid when he walked over that I was in trouble.) Something so small to a couponer can make someone else so

    • Maria

      Wow, I didn’t know bed bath and beyond took expired coupons. Are these the manufacturer coupons or their store coupons?

      • Suzanne

        Their own store coupons. I just save the postcard ones that seem to come in the mail every week.

        • Maria

          Thank you!

  • Steph

    Oh my BBBeyond tip- the male shoppers buying gifts for their Moms, wives, etc rarely have coupons and are usually thrilled when you give them one.

  • Karen

    More often than not my shopping list comes home minus the header from the first page. It’s been torn off and given to another shopper so they can get the name right. My coworkers love that I walk into work and tell them what item are on sale for the following week and then hand them the coupons that match the items they use and I don’t. Now if I could only get that coupon fairy to stop by one night and cut and file last week’s coupons. LOL!

    • I love paying it forward if it is handing someone coupons or writing down lrwc on a piece of paper or handing out the things i got for very cheap or free. It gives me a great feeling. Love you Cindy.

  • lindsey

    I have given a few people coupons in the past, but nothing beats this week. I gave a Walmart employee 3 of my $10/1 neralco shaver Q’s since they were on sale for $9 each, and I had already gotten the 7 I needed for presents, and Yesterday @ Giant/ martins or stop and shop in other states, I help my ex’s girlfriend stock up their freezer for when my kids are there. She got over $300 in food for $62.. I like to help others when I can since I know what it is like to get sticker shock so to speak when I don’t have a lot of money to get everything I need without the help of coupons.

  • Shanta

    I give my little freebies to regulars where I often shop, I also keep a donation box in my home and I drop things off to a church in my neighborhood. I am fortunate to has acess to plenty coupons, when we get the ‘free iced coffee Mondays’ Dunkin Donut coupons in our ‘circulars’ I give those out to many of my co workers. Also I am 1 yr 3 month of quitting smoking but I still receive coupons in the mail, this may not be the best but I give those cigarettes to my coworkers who still smoke. Wow I could go on & on, its great to pay it forward!!!!!

  • Mar

    have you ever had someone refuse to take the coupons you offer? it’s happened a few times. for the most part people are very happy to use my coupons…i’m still surprised by how gobsmacked so many are at my coupon collection. how is everyone not doing this ?!?!!? i’ll admit, i have to give credit to those great clippers on ebay.

  • Shanta

    cigarette coupons(typo above)

  • Sandy Barker

    I have been couponing for a cause of the last 5 years. Each year I give about $5,000 in goods to a center for the needed. I give mostly things that they can’t buy with food stamps and the center really appreciates it. I also give them food items that I have extra of, I also will give coupons to people in the store, and they are usually very appreciative. My philosophy is what comes in on one hand should go out on another. I am very fortunate to be able to do this.

  • Anonymous

    thanks for posting your comments, love reading about your giving. couponing, it’s the new black

  • crystal

    I actually havent had this opportunity yet. I do my couponing at weird hours and believe it or not theres not really anyone in the store. I do however,tidy up my stock piles every now and then and when cabinets and drawers and such start to overflow,I start putting stuff aside for family,friends, and donations. I have found this very rewarding. JUst the appreciation in peoples eyes is enough for me. I guess you could say im paying it forward. 🙂

  • claire

    love you cindy, lrwc elves, and fellow couponers…keep up the good work, everyone!!!


  • micheleana

    I have/know quite a few single young teen moms who work with me now or in t past so I keep an eye out for diaper n wipes all t time n they pay me when they can what I paid. I also try to teach them how to turn their foodstamps in to diapers and other non food items at places like CVS m Rite Aid and Catalinas from the supermarkets. Most low income families do not have access to a computer so they r unable to do what we do here which is y it’s hard for me to show them without doing with or for them. Thank you LRWC entire network of extended families as well as Cindy n elves. I keep trying to help anyone who wants to learn.

    • Randi

      If you have a public library near by with computers they can print them there. Just a thought. Love what you’re doing!!

  • Suzanne

    Charlie Browns Steakhouse issues coupons that are PDFs . I usually print several, and give to families or maybe an elderly couple, seated around us. Current coupon is $10 off when you spend $30 (food only).

  • Liz Kelly

    I don’t usually get the chance to hand someone a coupon specifically, however, I have placed coupons for items that I won’t use right on top of the product at my shoprite. I have seen a few other ladies do this at my shoprite as well and recently found a few that I was able to use that way myself. Otherwise any food items that we get for free or cheap that we won’t use, we send to my girls school to help fill the food pantry the church handles every month. We were also able to send cleaning and personal care products for a town they were sponsoring after the hurricane last fall. I find the most important part is that my girls are learning how great it is to help others who are not as fortunate as us.

  • Lisa M

    I work at a grocery bakery and ALWAYS cut out the Carvel coupons to share with customers. The smiles and excitement that I can share with customers is priceless!! Paying it forward!!!

  • Rocky

    On this site, we are definitely a community of givers! Sometimes, my forward is only ‘litle’ things at a time, but, I find they are appreciated! Thursday, at SR, I was getting my last few bags of Penn Dutch noodles for the sale, when a woman with, perhaps, her mom in a motorized chair were deciding on the noodles, also. She had put one bag in her cart and was hesitating over taking another package. I told her I had one coupon left after getting mine, and, if she wanted, with the coupon, she could get two bags for the price of one? It seemed to tickle them!

    About a week or two ago, I passed a woman in the aisle and she said, ‘You’re the coupon lady’! Since I wasn’t quite sure she meant that as a good thing {chuckle!), I said ‘Okaaaay’… She laughed and said ‘last time I was here, I was behind you in line and you warned me you had a lot of coupons, in case I wanted to move to another lane. I said no, that’s okay, and, when you were done, you gave me a dollar off my next order coupon for my patience! You inspired me to start using some coupons, too!’.

    In addition, I’m always telling customers and cashiers, alike, about LRWC!

    On the home side, I also regularly hand out to relatives razors, snacks, coffee, boxed potatoes, rice, Dole frozen fruit items, and lately, ummm, Oreos and Chips Ahoy! I’m also putting away stuff for the postal food drive coming up in May. I really feel that, to get, you have to give, and this is a wonderful site to help people do that! Thanks, LRWC, and, all the great, helpful people that are here!

    • Anonymous

      On a side note..Rocky I always invisioned you as a guy…yet you are a coupon LADY!

      • Rocky

        Anon, no problem – totally understandable (chuckle)!!!

  • shorst

    I make up goody bags of freebies at Easter and Christmas to give the people that give me their coupon inserts each week. They love it.

  • Becky

    I hand out coupons just about every time I go shopping. I tell anyone I see (especially those shoppers with mainly newspaper coupons) about this site and how much I’ve saved. Over $5,000 last year!
    I love to share the savings. I even check out people’s carts and give them coupons I don’t plan to use. I also leave coupons on shelves that are almost expired, that I don’t plan on using, for other shoppers.
    Love saving myself and others money!

  • Mary

    I’ve always thought it would great if the LRWC website had a page of “business cards” that could he printed, clipped, and kept in my coupon binder to hand out when people express an interest in my couponing. I have torn the top off of my grocery list many times, but having something ready to use in my binder would be so much more convenient (and “professional”).

  • Meli

    I have tried to teach family and friends but they dont have the patients. what they do is all give me thier coupons and copys of their store cards and come “shop” outta my garage ; )

  • Anonymous

    anybody know someplace in Monmouth/ocean county where to donate all the crest toothpaste and right guard deodorant that I got paid to take out of the store this week?

  • JerseyCityWoman

    I give my postal person his favorite chocolate chip cookies. He always sticks in my mailbox coupons from local businesses, that were addressed to occupants who no longer live in the building. I, in turn, keep a few and pass on to my friends and relatives. After super storm Sandy, I was able to donate to residents in my neighborhood, (it’s basically buildings, brownstones) who lost everything. Having a healthy stockpile made it so easy to accommodate specific needs. I am presently teaching one of these unfortunate neighbors, as we’ve become friends. She could not believe what I gave her and what I paid or not paid for the items. I now enjoy seeing her smile when I hand her coupons and/or inserts.

  • Antionette Blake

    I’ve been doing this for years and people are so appreciative. Thanks for sharing!

  • Arielle L.

    I work at CVS, and I always chat to this one customer about our couponing habits. Today, she gave me this website. Boy, am I grateful! 🙂

  • Jenn

    When my two kids were in diapers, I was always so grateful to those who left the coupons in the baby aisles for diapers, wipes and formula. Now that my kids are older, and I don’t need these items anymore, I “pay it forward” by still clipping the baby coupons and leaving them for those who could use them. 🙂

  • Karen

    Most weeks my shopping list ends up with the logo torn off and handed to another shopper so they’ll remember the website correctly. I’ve also been the recipient of the “Coupon Angels”, leaving their “extras” near the items. And I agree, it’s a great feeling to see the look on someone’s face when you hand them a coupon for something in their cart. One incident I specifically remember, an elderly woman was selecting a 16 oz jar of Hellman’s mayo priced the same as the 30 oz jar. I had $1.00 off coupons for the 30 oz jar. I picked up the larger jar for the same variety she had selected, grabbed on of my $1.00 off coupons and handed them to her; telling her this will get her the bigger jar for $1.00 less. Oh, the smile! 😀

  • Guest

    Yes, and I during my shopping trips whenever I have extra coupons on hand I just put the coupon under the item or package showing the tail end for the next person to grab the deal. ~ Anastacia “Ace”

  • Ace Rich

    Yes, and I do it often during my shopping trips whenever I have extra coupons on hand I just put the coupon under the item or package showing the tail end for the next person to grab the deal. ~ Anastacia “Ace”

  • Kimberly A.

    I did this the other day at Wal-Mart. There was a gentleman buying the same laundry detergent I was and I had four $2 coupons. I didn’t need all four so I handed one to him and said here this should help. His reaction was priceless. Such a small gesture with such a great reward in how it made us both feel. I doing that.

    • Ang In CT

      That is so sweet Kimberly. I love it when people see me in the diaper aisle with my daughter and offer extra coupons. It helps a lot. I try to do the same when I can as well even if it’s just leaving a store coupon with a cashier. I personally refrain from putting anything on a shelf as I feel that could fall and cause someone to accidently slip. It happened to my son and it was not a fun experience.