Forgot Your Coupon? These Retailers Still Got your Back

Updated December 20, 2023 by Kyle James

Have you ever been in the checkout line and the person in front of you whips out a coupon and you think to yourself, “Now why the heck didn’t I think of that!” Other than maybe getting your purse or wallet swiped it may be the worse feeling possible when shopping.

But fortunately there is a silver-lining to this little tale as there still are ways to collect your discount at many stores if you forget your coupon, or simply don’t have one. The one thing that all of these retailers have in common is they want their customers to walk out of the store thinking they got a fair shake and saved some money. Here are the top retailers who employ this culture along with what you need to know about each to ensure you always get a discount.

Forgot your Coupon? These Retailers Still Got your Back


Almost every time my wife shops at Michaels she does it with a coupon in her purse.

Typically good for 40% or 50% off any 1 item and occasionally good for 25% off your entire purchase.

On the rare occasion that she forgets to bring in a coupon, or doesn’t have one on her smartphone, she’ll politely ask the checkout clerk if they might have a coupon she can use.

I’d say 90% of the time they’ll open a drawer under the register and pull out a coupon and scan it. Bravo Michaels.

I know you have many loyal customers because you’re willing to do this for them.

See Also: Michaels Teacher Discount: A Really EASY Way to Save 15%

Joann Fabrics

Similar to Michaels, the craft and fabric store Joann is known for their great coupon offers.

If you don’t use a coupon at Joann’s you are clearly paying way too much.

If you forget to bring in a coupon be sure to ask any employee for one as they tend to hand them out freely.

Also, if you see one of their sales flyers laying around, and you will, just open them up and they almost always have coupons in the back.

Expect to find coupons good for 40% or 50% off any 1 regular-priced item and sometimes ever better.

Old Navy

I have witnessed it first-hand at Old Navy.

A shopper walks up to the checkout person with an armload of cargo shorts, signature polos and colorful tanks, plops them down, wipes the sweat from their brow, and asks the employee if there is a coupon available they can use.

Seriously, I’ve seen it happen. At this point the dealio usually ends with an employee pulling out a coupon from behind the counter to scan.

From conducting my own research with some of my savvy shopping friends, success with this method varies by store and employee but it is always worth a shot.

If you are shopping coupon-less at Old Navy you should give it a try or at the very least pull up the Old Navy Facebook page on your phone and check for a coupon.

They are constantly updating it with in-store offers.

See Also: 13 Old Navy Hacks That’ll Blow Your Mind & Help You Save

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Just a couple months ago I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods and was blown away with the great “coupon” customer service I received.

I’m fumbling through my pocket looking for my phone, I finally get it out, and am pulling up the app when the gal behind the counter says, “What was the coupon good for?” I tell her it’s a $5 off $25 or more coupon, and she says, “Oh, I can do better than that!”

At this point she reaches down and whips out a $10 off coupon and says we can use this.

As a coupon nerd I darn near jumped the counter and kissed her. Luckily I contained myself and choose to just thank her incessantly.

Moral of the story: Always shop with squirrely kids as store employees will feel sorry for you and give you great coupons.

But more importantly, when shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods without a coupon, always ask the checkout employee if they have some coupon goodness up their sleeve.

I think you might be happily surprised with the result.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Oh, how I love the famous “20% off any 1 item” coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond. The $5 off $15 or more are great too.

These things are like Gremlins at my house as they seem to multiply by the day and end up in every kitchen drawer within a weeks time.

But what happens if we actually forget to take it with us when we shop? A couple tips to ensure you’ll still get your discount.

First, keep an eye out when you walk into the store as I often see a coupon or 2 laying around the checkout area.

Secondly, it can be as simple as asking the person behind the register for one.

I have had a lot of success doing this. Just try it. It’s free money for crying out loud.

Also, most BB&B stores will still accept an expired coupon so if you find an old one laying around try and use it anyways.


Kohl’s is known for their great coupons, both online and in-store.

But what happens if you’re shopping in their store and you forget to bring in your Kohl’s coupon? You actually have a couple options.

The first is to look on your smartphone.

If the coupon was delivered to you via email and you can access your email via your phone then just bring it up and the cashier can simply scan your phone.

Your second option is to politely ask the cashier if they have any scratch-off coupons behind the counter that you might be able to take advantage of seeing that you left yours at home.

I think you’ll be amazed by how often this strategy will work as Kohl’s really does a great job helping consumers “get a deal”.

See Also: 6 Kohl’s Shopping Secrets That’ll Save You BIG Bucks


After the the big JCPenney coupon debacle of 2 years ago when they deiced they would stop using them and instead have an everyday low price which turned out to not be very low, the chain is trying to make a comeback.

Part of the JCPenney comeback is the reintroduction of coupons.

But what happens if you enter the store sans coupons?

Fear not my loyal JCP shopper, you can still save some money and it’s as simple as finding a weekly flyer as they almost always have a money saving coupon within.

Just look for them as you enter the store as well as at the checkout register.

If you can’t spot a flyer, just politely ask an employee and 9 times out 10 they’ll hook you up.

Ask the Reader: What retailers do you always shop at with a coupon in hand? What happens if you forget your coupon, do you A) pay full price, B) run out of the store cussing at yourself for forgetting your coupon, or C) get creative and figure out how to save some money anyways.

By Kyle James

Photo Credit to Carol Pyles.


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Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

🙂 Funny about the Dick’s sporting goods coupon. 🙂 Kohl’s here in our area is awesome about giving discounts if you don’t have your coupon, and always to the benefit of the customer. They’ll routinely give 30% off, even if you thought you only had a 20% off coupon. This will keep me shopping there forever.

Ryan @ Impersonal Finance

With all the money saving I do, I never thought about asking too many places for a coupon. I know Walgreens is good about it, but I’m definitely going to try it elsewhere now.


My second job is as a cashier and sometimes this can put me in a really uncomfortable position! Management doesn’t want coupons given away, but I usually do have some up at the register in case the coupon a customer brings in won’t scan.

I don’t like lying to people, but there is so many easy ways to get a coupon online/in the paper/on your phone! You have to walk the line between not getting in trouble with your supervisor and keeping customers happy.


Just saw this & recently have had something very similar happen to me. I work for a franchised store with 800 more of these stores across the nation. This company put coupons on their website which ‘do not’ require anything but the knowledge of it’s existence. Also, note the company made no attempt to properly train, or inform any of the cashiers on how to handle online coupons. Well, apparently I wasn’t suppose to be informing the customers while ringing their items up, that when their amount had met the qualifications
for them to be eligible. Sure seems silly because they want us to ask every customers for their email address & a huge majority say they do not wish to provide it & I understand why but when I ask if they have their cell phone on them & they say yes that’s when I get them to go to the ———.com website & retrieve their eligible coupons. I make sure I tell them to check the website before their next time shopping for new coupons. Those customers all gave me their thank you’s & appreciations for letting them know. I obviously was wrong to think this way…”If the company is offering coupons
to use then customers should be using them. A win-win Right? Ha…not so & now I know. Thank you for reading my experience.


You must work for Michaels…lol


Former Kohl’s associate here. It’s not a posted policy, but Kohl’s also will price adjust for coupons up to two weeks later (and probably more if you ask nicely). This works great if you forget to bring your Kohl’s Cash which the cashier can’t just put in for you. Just go back to the service desk with your coupon and ask for a “post sale adjustment” . Only caveat are that you need to go back to the same store where you made the original purchase and it has to be within 2 weeks.

Another Kohl’s tip: if your Kohl’s Cash expired, ask the cashier if there is anything they can do for you. As far as I know Kohl’s doesn’t have an official policy on expired Kohl’s cash but with their customer first attitude they’ll almost always honor it in some way. In my store, less than 6 months expired, we were told just take it and anything older or more than $50 we had to call a manage (who almost always said yes anyway). I know one of the stores nearby will give you 1/2 the amount of an expired Kohl’s cash and another will only take it up to a month expired. Moral of story: it pays to just ask because you have nothing to lose and Kohls is pretty good about things like that.

If I had a dollar for every BB&B that we have in our coupon bag I would be rich. I love that retailers will honor a coupon even if you forget it. It makes me more loyal to them in the future. That’s another great thing about Costco, the discounts that they advertise in their coupon booklets come off of your bill automatically.


Target will let you bring your coupons back with in 24 hours and still get the discounts.


I used to work at Kmart as a cashier and then at the service desk. At least at the one where I worked, there were a least a couple of sales ads kept at the register in case we needed one of the coupons from the back

If you forget your own coupons, either at home or in your purse until after you check out, you can bring your receipt and coupons to the service desk and they can apply them to your purchase.

However, this has to be done within seven days of the purchase, that cut off also applies to getting a price adjustments on an item that then goes sale the following week after you purchased it or put it on layaway.


I’m curious if anybody knows if I can go back to Wal-Mart with my coupons and get my coupon money returned to me after having researched their policies and found the cashier was mistaken and I was able to use them. It was almost 20 dollars worth of coupons and half the items I would never have dreamed of buying such an expensive brand if I hadn’t had the coupon. Thanks in Advance!!


Michaels Craft Store – NOT ANYMORE!!

Michaels says it’s losing too much money due to THEIR OWN COUPONS! (

I know of an employee who was “written up” and their job security threatened for letting the costumers use the in-store coupons Michaels supplies!! So, basically, the logic behind this thinking is “We’re losing money because of the coupons we print and give out. But, if our employees encourage the use of those coupons we can threaten the job/livelihood of the employee (for which we only pay minimum wage or a few pennies more with no more than 20 hours a week, mind you) for allowing costumers to use our freely given coupons.”

Yeah, that’s sound logic.

GEEZ! Either have the damn coupons or don’t have them. It’s pretty bloody simple!!