The Washington Times-Herald

Food

October 20, 2011

Shopping with One Eye on the Other Guy’s Cart

WASHINGTON — My recent columns on etiquette for Super-Couponers generated an incredible amount of email from readers. Shoppers who “clear shelves” in order to buy one product in quantity or who take multiple copies of coupons from tear pads or coupon dispensers are causing great consternation in the aisles. Judging from the passionate letters I received, I don’t think there’s a more divisive topic I’ve covered in this column. Listen in:

 

Question:

“Regarding the amount of coupons you take from in-store dispensers: You provide justification by saying that you take enough of the item in question to last your family until the next sale. Well, here’s the rub. I’m sure everyone could justify the number of coupons they take or the amount of product they buy even when they deplete the store’s supply in the process. You say that you bought 15 boxes of granola bars, which is justified because your family will use them. If just six people did that, I’m sure the shelves would be empty by the time I got there.”

 

Question:

 “I read your article on etiquette for couponers. I was a little surprised by your comments about shelf sweeping. I live in a small town of about 2,500 people and my trips to the grocery store involve an hour-long drive in order to feed my family on a budget. I’ve seen those looks from people when I’m in the store buying eight bottles of laundry detergent or 20 toothbrushes in one trip. If stores are going to advertise that a certain product can be purchased for 99 cents with a coupon, then they better be prepared to have those items in the store. I think you’re right. People should worry about their own carts, not mine.”

 

Question:

 “The article on shelf clearing made me want to scream. I have three kids and, as many people know, growing children can clean the shelves at home in less than a week. I make two trips to the store every week for our family.”

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