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Ethical. The definition is simple. One having morals, principles, values and standards while conducting an activity. While this is super important in everyday life, and in every choice you make, it is very important while using coupons. Let me explain why.

We live during a time when there is fraud everywhere. And when it comes to coupons, it is no different. But because you have a great moral compass, I know you would never try to use a coupon unethically. Here are some simple tips to remind you how easy it is to make the right decision while shopping.

Use the correct coupon for the correct item: Sometimes, but not very often, there will be a glitch in the barcode system. Websites that are not as ethical as they should be will let people know of these secrets and how to get something you shouldn’t be getting for a deal. While I love getting a deal, it is not right to take away from the store in that way. When the store gets their reimbursement for the cost of the coupons, they may lose it if the wrong items was purchased. Then the store is out the money. When you use a coupon, use it for what it is intended for. Pay attention to the sizes, details and make sure it is OK to use. Then you will have nothing to worry about.

Pay attention to expiration dates: Most every coupon today has an expiration date. You must pay attention to these dates and use the coupon on or before the date on it. To use it afterward is fraudulent. Any store in this region does not accept expired coupons, and they will lose money if they get them. The store loses money, and you will end up paying more in the future to make up for it. It isn’t worth it.

Be kind and courteous while in the store: If you are in line and you have 300 coupons for your transaction, let the person behind you know, as they may want to change to another lane. Always be polite to the cashier and the person helping to bag all of your items. If a coupon doesn’t go through and you know it should, ask to see a front-end supervisor or store manager. Don’t engage in an argument with the cashier.

In my monthly class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how they will benefit your family and your pocketbook. There are free giveaways during the class as well. I would really like you to join me for my next class at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25. Feel free to call 518-742-3309, or go to poststar.com/couponclass.

Head over to my blog at Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing to find some great deals around the region this week. These will point you in the right direction to saving more money. Post your questions, comments and deals in the comments section. Let’s start saving money together.

Kimberly Butler is a mom, wife and child care provider located in Queensbury and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at kimberlybutlerthepoststar@gmail.com or visit her Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing Blog at www.poststar.com/blogs/making_cents.

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