Couponing 101 – Let’s Get Started


Here’s another great post I found in CafeMom: (Red are my comments)

Lets get started:

•One of the most important things to remember is you don’t need to use a coupon right away just because you clipped it. You need to use a coupon when that item is on sale!
•It’s also important that you learn how each store works, their coupon policy, and how they run their sales.

Double Coupons: Some stores double coupons with a face value of up to 50 cents, other double coupons with a face value up to 99 cents. Some may limit the number of coupons you can double in one trip and others don’t. The best way to find out the Double Coupon Policy at your local store is by stopping by the service desk and asking. Kroger in our area is the main that doubles

When a coupon is doubled, the store pays for half the value of the discount. So, for example, when a coupon for 50¢ doubles at the register, and you get a $1 discount total, the store gets 50¢ reimbursed by the manufacturer. The other 50¢ is a promotional expense for the store. Sometimes you will find the following wording on the face of a manufacturer coupon: “Do Not Double or Triple.” This is a manufacturer’s way to remind stores that if they double coupons, they will only reimburse the face value of one coupon.

Learn how store promotions work. For example, bogo, when some stores say “buy one box of cookies for $3.00 get one free” they really mean that the second box is free. However, when other stores say that, what they do is divide the $3.00 between the 2 products so in reality each box of cookies is $1.50.

Gas rewards: some stores offer a discount on gas when you buy a certain amount of products in their store. Pay close attention to these rewards and look at them closely before accepting. Sometimes buying items to get the rewards can cost you more.

Don’t be afraid to speak up! If an item rings up different than what the shelf or ad says ask the cashier about it. Some stores have a policy that if there is a mistake, you get that item free or discounted. Computers and humans make mistakes so always check your receipt, BEFORE leaving the store. I had a transaction one time that had I not checked would have cost me $8.00 extra dollars, and when you’re trying to save money, $8.00 is a lot.

 Stacking Coupons: to save even more money, some stores allow you to stack coupons. This means, using a store coupon & a manufacturer coupon on the same item. For example: Lets say cookies are on sale for $3.00 a box, and you have a $1.00 off store coupon and a .75 off manufacturer coupon. Using both coupons, will allow you to only pay $1.25 for one box of cookies!

Overage: Overage occurs when the value of a coupon exceeds the value of the item the coupon is intended for. Most stores will let you apply the exceeding value to the rest of your shopping order. This is a good reason to keep coupons for items that you may not buy generally. They could help create overage that helps lower your out of pocket expense at the register. An important thing to remember is that a store doesn’t lose money by giving you the face value discount of an item, even when the item costs less. The store will get the face value of the coupon reimbursed by the manufacturer, plus a handling fee, regardless of what the price of the item was at the register.

Price Matching: Target and Walmart offer a price match guarantee. Both will match the price of an identical item if a competitor is selling it for less. You will need to bring a ‘print ad’ with you in order to have the item price matched, and the item must be identical to the one sold in store. This is a great way to save time, as you can shop all the sales at one place. But, you need to be aware of all the exclusions at both stores.

Target requires you to match at the customer service counter

Rain Check: A rain check is a store note that promises to honor the sale price of an item (if it is out of stock) at a future time. So, if you ever get to your store with your coupons only to find that the shelves are empty, make sure to ask for a rain check. That way, you will be able to get that same low price when the item is restocked. Make sure to ask how long your rain check is good for, as this varies by store.

Most will not give you the price after Register Rewards, Catalinas, or so on.  Some in our area will let you know when the items comes in – Rite Aid sometimes will, some won’t – Walgreens won’t

 Rebates: Mail-in-rebates are a great way to save a lot of money. Most rebates are honored based on the purchasing price of an item. Therefore, if you use coupons and take advantage of a store promotion, a rebate can help you get your items for FREE or possibly even better.

Source: Cafemom Serious Coupon Swappers Group