When just starting out with coupons, I highly suggest choosing only one store and learning the “ins and outs” of this store. This will help you not get overwhelmed and build your confidence! There is so much to learn when it comes to couponing that it can make your head spin! Each store has a different policy when it comes to coupons. If you only choose to master one store at a time, it is less confusing. Many bloggers suggest printing out the store’s coupon policy and taking it with you. I have learned that many cashiers do not fully know their company’s coupon policy! Go to Money Saving Mom to find deals at your favorite store! Here are my tips for the stores that are around me:
Dillon’s: The Dillon’s around where I live doubles coupons up to $1 (so a 0.50 coupon will take off $1 and so will a 0.75 coupon). You can also “stack” (using more than 1 coupon for the same item) paper coupons and e-coupons (Cellfire, Shortcuts, and Dillon’s, etc. E-coupons or digital coupons are loaded to your Dillon’s Plus Card and will be automatically deducted if you purchase the correct items). If you get free items, you will still have to pay sales tax on it and if your coupons add up to an amount that is more than the item being purchased, then you will need to purchase something else to cover the overage, you will not get money back! Frugal Fritzie is my favorite Dillon’s site! Our Dillon’s used to take expired coupons, but they no longer do that! Frugal Fritzie also had a good Dillon’s 101 section!
Scenario: I often have coupons for Honey Nut Cheerios! They often go on sale for $1.49. I have a manufacturer’s coupon for 0.55 off one box. I also loaded an e-coupon onto my card that was for 0.40 cents off. I will pay 0.09 for a box of Cheerios! (the 0.55 coupon doubles to $1 so: $1.49-$1 (doubled manufacturer coupon)-0.40 (e-coupon)=0.09
Target: At the Targets around where I live you can use two coupons per item, a manufacturer coupon and a Target coupon. Target will mark down the coupon if the coupon amount is more than the item being purchased (for example, there is often a coupon in the paper for $1 off any Tide and it does not excluded trial sizes. Target sells trial size Tide packets for 0.97. When I use the $1 off any Tide coupon, the cashier overrides the coupon to only deduct 0.97!) The order that you give coupons to the cashier is important, give them manufacturer coupons first and then the Target coupons! My favorite blog for Target is Totally Target!
Walgreen’s: This is a whole other beast! Walgreen’s has Register Rewards which is like a coupon for a certain amount off your next purchase, they print off like a receipt! Walgreen’s also has their own store coupons; a weekly ad with coupons in it and a monthly coupon booklet, found at the entrance of the store. You may use a Walgreen’s coupon, a manufacturers coupon and register rewards, but you may not use more coupons than you have items! Give the coupons to the cashier in this order: Register Rewards first, then manufacturer coupons and lastly Walgreen coupons! My favorite blog for Walgreen’s is Wild for Wags!
Scenario: Pantene Shampoo is on sale for $2.00, buy two and you can use a manufacturer coupon for $1 off two. Use a Walgreen’s coupon for 0.50 off one Pantene Shampoo. If you also have Register Rewards from a previous transaction, you will need to purchase another item. I usually buy a Laffy Taffy for 0.10! So 2 shampoos for $2 each= $4 + 0.10 for Laffy Taffy. $4.10-$1 (manufacturers coupon)-0.50 (Walgreen’s coupon)- $2 (Register Rewards)= 0.60 for two bottles of Pantene shampoo (awesome)!
I hope this helps! Remember, start with one store and learn the ins and outs of that particular store before trying to conquer another store. I would NOT recommend starting with a drug store, their rewards programs are harder to figure out in my opinion!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below and I will do my best to respond! Here is a guide for coupon lingo! Good Luck!