April 7th, 2011

Learn to Coupon

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Where do I find coupons?

What are the two kinds of coupons?

  • Manufacturer Coupons (MC) = A coupon issued from the manufacturer of item(s) stated and/or pictured in the coupon. It’s really easy to identify a manufacturer coupons since it clearly states “Manufacturer Coupon” some where along the top of the coupon, usually next to the expiration date (though in rare cases its located else where on the actual coupon).
  • Store Coupons (SC) = A coupon issued by a particular store on the item(s) stated and/or pictured for use at that specific store only. For example, Target, Rite Aid and Walgreens often release store coupons, which are only allowed to be used at that specific store. It will usually say this coupon is “Good at Rite Aid Only. Rite Aid is only an example, as it could say any stores name. It’s really easy to identify a store coupon since it clearly states “Store Coupon” some where along the top of the coupon, usually next to the expiration date (though in rare cases its located else where on the actual coupon and in Target’s case says “Target Coupon”).

Can I combine a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon?

  • YES and at many stores! The best part about having a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon is that many stores allow “stacking” coupons, which in better terms means using 2 coupons (a MC and a SC) on the same one item in a single transaction, as long as both coupons mention the same exact item and size, if applicable. At Target, Rite Aid and CVS, this is allowed and completely legal. Stores like Walmart, allow “stacking” coupons too.

“For example, let’s say a 2 liter of Diet Coke is on sale for $1.50. If I have a $1 off Diet Coke 2-liter manufacturers coupon and a $1 off Diet Coke 2-liter store coupon, many stores allow “stacking” both the coupons towards the one Diet Coke product and essentially you get the item for FREE!”

What’s “Oveage” or a “Money Maker”?

  • Overage (or as many like to call it a “money maker”) occurs when the coupon(s) used towards an item(s) is more than what the item(s) costs. You can basically MAKE MONEY using coupons. Stores like CVS allow overage but the balance will be applied toward other purchases in the same transaction, so you won’t be getting actual cash back. While Target doesn’t allow overage and simply adjusts the coupon down to the purchase price, Walmart recently updated their coupon policy and overage is finally allowed. And the best part is Walmart MUST give you cash back if you have no other item(s) in the same transaction. Awesome, right?!

What does $2/1 and B1G1 FREE mean?

  • Click here for all the coupon lingo necessary to keep you in the know!

Top Tips from the Pro

  • Start slow. Couponing can be very overwhelming. Invest in computer and printer to print coupons online and call your local newspaper to see if they have any deals on their Sunday paper.
  • Know your stores coupon policy. The more you know, the less issues you’ll come across, if any. Print it out and take it with you incase you run into any issues.
  • Be organized. Organization is the key to saving money using coupons and a faster checkout. Possibly invest in a coupon binder or simple envelopes to store your coupons. Do whatever makes things easier for you!
  • Plan ahead. Go through your weekly ads before you head out to the store. I go through my weekly ads searching for the hot deals I have coupons for and circle them.
  • Only cut out the coupons you need, want and will use. Don’t waste time and ink cutting and printing out coupons you won’t use.
  • Double/Triple coupons. Does a store near your double or even triple coupons? Find out that way you can take full advantage of these extra savings.
  • Pricematch. Stores like Walmart will price ALL competitor ads in your local area. Plus, use coupons on top of the pricematch for even sweeter savings!
  • Pick the right cashier at checkout. You’re better off choosing the happy, looks like they are having a good day employee. You don’t want to be stuck with a un-happy cashier when using lots of coupons. Trust me!
  • Grab a raincheck. If you store has run out an item on sale during a certain week, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens as well as many grocery stores will write you a raincheck. Plus, use a coupon on top of the raincheck for even sweeter savings!
  • Build your stockpile. Coupons can often equal FREE stuff at the register, so start a stockpile lasting you about 6-8 weeks that way won’t have to worry about running of stuff. Amazing deals don’t last forever but don’t over do it!
  • Donate stuff. If you’re able to score an item you don’t need or use for FREE, why don’t give it to someone who can use it. It’s an awesome way to give back to your community and others in need. You’ll feel great you did so!
  • Too good to be true. If you come across a coupon that you think may be a fake, make sure you check the CIC (Coupon Information Corporation) to see if a coupon is a counterfeit. Click here for a full list of the latest counterfeit coupons!
  • DO NOT EVER COPY COUPONS. It is against the law. Fraud of this time holds hefty fines and possible jail time.
  • And lastly… don’t you ever pay full-price for toothpaste! Literally, every week a different store has in-store deals that you can pair with a coupon, which almost always turns into FREE toothpaste. Or just come raid my toothpaste drawer 😉

Have any questions?

Free free to e-mail me here!