I'm a couponer from way back. I guess you could say I was couponing before it was cool. Wal-Mart cashiers and I would have clashes often as they just were not aware of their own policies. Coupons were easy to come-by as people who got the Sunday paper would be more than happy to give them away.
This is just not the case anymore. Thanks to shows like Extreme Couponing, more and more people are getting the couponing bug. With couponing being the new 'in' thing, things have changed for us old-timers to it. No longer are coupons so easy to come by. In fact, sometimes trying to buy a Sunday paper involves driving to several different stores just to find one.
Another draw back is the empty store shelves. As with most new things, people tend to go over-board with it. It becomes almost an addiction to see how low the grocery bill can get using sale ads and coupons. Stocking up with very little cash going out is the ultimate goal. The problem comes though when people try to stock up all at one time. This will wipe entire products off the shelves leaving none for others. Amongst us old-timers, this is considered quite rude.
On the bright side though, Wal-Mart cashiers are much more knowledgeable with their policies. This makes check out much less stressful. In fact, I have actually had cashiers tell ME of a sale on an item that I am purchasing. I know too, the cashiers are very appreciative when a couponer comes to the register prepared.
Stores are all trying to get the business, this brings about greater sales, which in turn brings about greater savings for those willing to put just a little time into research and preparing.
All in all, I'm very pleased that so many people are moving from the spend-spend-spend mentality to taking an active role in saving their families money. For many, it's a great way to involve the whole family in a project together.
As with most things in life, moderation is the key. Don't get so wrapped up in chasing the next great deal that you miss out on life.
Friends don't let friends coupon irresponsibly.