Don't get me wrong, I still walk into the store with my coupon binder. I don't see that changing anytime soon; it's the most effective coupon organization method for me. I'm just tired of being lumped in the with the ones who discover that they can't just buy a paper & a binder this morning and walk into the store this afternoon and get everything free. I know the majority of couponers are not this way - even the ones who've just started because of the show. But it only takes a couple to get rude with a good cashier, and suddenly they're suspicious of us all. The good cashiers are getting burned and it's up to the rest of us - the "normal" couponers to make sure we're doing it right. That we're using coupons correctly, that we're following the stores' coupon policies, that no matter how horribly wrong the shopping trip goes, we are not rude to the store personnel. Even when they're wrong!
I'm not saying you shouldn't stand your ground when you're following the rules, but stand it nicely. And know that sometimes, you may have to walk away from a deal because a cashier or even a manager may just not understand the policies. Just remember to make sure that YOU know the policies, and if you get caught trying to do something wrong because you didn't know better - apologize! Then thank them for explaining the policy to you so you'll know better next time. And once you find those wonderful coupon-friendly cashiers, make sure you go online and email the company, mentioning them by name. It's no more than you would do if you encountered a really rude cashier, so why not put as much effort into praising the good ones.
If we make it a point to follow the rules, and to play nicely, maybe we can make them smile again so when they see us coming in with our binders we will get a different look. A look like I used to get from cashiers; a look of excitement when they see how much we're saving & they realize that they can do it too.
So if I'm choosing to no longer be referred to as extreme, I mean no offense to anyone who still fights for that label to remain a positive thing. Meanwhile I'm toying with the term "effective couponer". I'm sure I'm not the first to use it, I just have no idea where I've heard it :) Effective... Here's Merriam-Webster's definition: 1a : producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect
Well, those are my random, sleep-deprived thoughts for the night. I'm sure there will be more at a later date! :)