Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Coupon Basics


Have you ever used a coupon before?  I remember what it was like the first time I used a coupon… I was pretty nervous!  Am I doing any of this right?  What if the cashier refused it?  How many coupons can I use per item?
I have only been at the coupon game for 7 months, but if you keep a few things in mind while you shop, you will be a pro in no time!  I’ve listed few coupon basics that will (hopefully) help you through the so-called “coupon chaos” on your first couponing trip! I had to find a lot of this out on my own, but now that I have gotten the hang of it, I am a coupon queen!

A manufacturer’s coupon is a coupon with a discount for a specified product printed on it.  The coupon can be used at most stores that carry the specified product. To receive your discount you must purchase the product and give the cashier the coupon. The cashier will scan the coupon and the coupon amount will be deducted from your purchase.

You may use one coupon per indicated items purchased. If you have two coupons to save $1 on one box of cereal, you can buy two boxes and use both coupons.  The coupon will say “one coupon per purchase.”  This means you may not use both $1 coupons on one box.  If you purchase two boxes then you may use two coupons.

You may not use two coupons on one item. You may not buy one box of cereal and use five coupons on it.  You may only use one of your coupons on the cereal.  You may use one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon on one item. Period.  But if you stack your two coupons with a sale price, you are saving BIG!


Coupons may not be copied.  Copying coupons is illegal. You can obtain multiples of coupons in legal ways like buying multiple newspapers.

 Coupons may only be used once. You may not buy ten boxes of cereal and scan the coupon for $1 off cereal ten times.  The store will only be reimbursed for the single coupon you scanned – they will then lose $9 for the nine additional times you scanned the coupon.

Ignore the picture and read the wording of the coupon! Manufacturer’s usually put a picture of their most expensive product on the coupon to make you think that is what you have to buy. That means you can buy even the least expensive product and still save with the coupon!

Check your receipts! If a product rings up higher than advertised or they miss one of your coupons, let them know!  I always read over my receipt before I leave the store to make sure everything is correct.  Any mistakes over $1 are pointed out to customer service.  Those little mistakes can really add up when you consider that you go to multiple stores in the course of a week, 52 weeks in a year…it can add up to an entire week’s worth of groceries!

Keep your Dignity. I have seen people seriously lose it because a cashier was misinformed over how to use a coupon. This is why keeping the store policies on hand is helpful. Keep your cool, and ask to speak to a manager. If that is not enough to resolve the issue, request that they call corporate for clarification.

There are no stupid questions! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!