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Monday, July 13, 2009

General Coupon Pointers

You're ready to rock and roll with your coupons! There are only a few more tips that you need to know before you start saving big. They are:

Read the Coupon's Fine Print
You want to walk into a store brimming with confidence about your coupons. One of the ways to do this is to educate yourself. Read the fine print on the coupon. Does it say "do not double?" Are you able to use one coupon per transaction or one per item purchased? When does it expire? How many items do you have to buy to use the coupon? What specific item and size of that item is the coupon for? Knowing exactly how your coupon may be used can help at the checkout in case one won't go through, or your cashier raises any questions. You can provide a knowledgeable response because you have done your research!

Know the Store's Coupon Policy
Stores should have their policies available at the customer service desk. Many stores also have their policies available online or can email you a copy if you request one. Just as it is important for you to read your coupon's fine print, it is equally important that you know your store's coupon policy. Do they double, and if so, how high? Is there a limit on how many coupons they'll double? Do they accept printable coupons? Do they accept competitor's coupons? These points are crucial for you to be aware of when planning your grocery lists!

Double Coupons
It is becoming fairly common for stores to offer some sort of double coupon policy. Be sure to confirm how your store's policy works before planning your shopping list. Many stores will double coupons up to 99 cents. This means that any coupon from $.01-$.99 will be doubled at face value, for instance a $.99 coupon would be worth $1.98 off of your purchase. Some stores will only double up to $1, meaning that the highest amount you can save is $1.

Remember That Your Time is Valuable
A popular saying on many coupon websites is "YMMV" which stands for "your mileage may vary." Simply put, that means you might be able to use a coupon at one store, but get hassled when you try to use the same coupon at another store. Stores will sometimes refuse to honor a coupon. Does that mean they're right? No, not necessarily. You can always ask for a manager or call the corporate office. Keep in mind though that your time also has a price and there will always be another sale. Before escalating into an angry coupon tirade, ask yourself if it's worth it. More than likely, it's not. Smile politely, take your coupon back, and know that another good deal is just around the corner.

Coupon Stacking
A great way to save big bucks and many times get items for free is to shop at a store that allows "coupon stacking." Some stores will allow you to use ONE store coupon stacked with ONE manufacturer coupon together on ONE item! Walgreens is one store that lets you stack coupons. There are many opportunities for free products when you match a Walgreens circular coupon with a manufacturer coupon.

Bottom line: The more you educate yourself about your coupons and the stores that you are shopping at, the more successful you will be!


Devon posts regularly on her blog, www.mamacheaps.com. When she is not blogging or designing personalized candy wrappers for her store, Winterwood Press, she is spending time with her husband and her 9 month ol

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