The Queen of Coupons Reigns......

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How to Double the Savings...


Coupons are an interesting thing. It's the only time that you are able to pay for something without having to "earn" the money to do so. Make sense? It's like Monopoly money that the stores will actually accept and deduct REAL money from your total!! How people don't realize this, I'll never know. But in the coupon world, you generally are never able to use 2 coupons on one item. There is a couple of exceptions to this universal rule. One is where the store is offering to double the value of the coupon. For example, Albertsons' does this quite a bit where they will double up to 3 coupons up to $1 each. So if you have a $1 off product couple and a "store" coupon that doubles your coupon--you get $2 off the product. It's an exciting proposition to get that kind of savings, especially when the product you are buying is $2 or under, because that means the product is FREE.


The other situation of "doubling" a coupon savings onto one product is through the combined use of "store" coupons with manufacturer coupons. Many stores offer their sale prices through the use of a coupon. Target and Fred Meyer immediately come to mind. Those coupons they advertise with are not redeemable by the manufacturer, but are for "in-store" use and savings. Just because the product has a store coupon associated with it, does NOT preclude the usability our a manufacturer's coupon. So often a great savings on the product is possible when you use both together. An example would be when Fred Meyer puts "Aquafresh Toothpaste 99cents-limit 2" on an in-store coupon. As a savvy shopper, you are aware of that there are manufacturer's coupons available for 75 cents off one product. The store coupon sets the limits and terms of the purchase. So in this case, the store is limiting the purchase amount to 2 per transaction. So, your purchase total would look like this: 2 tubes=$1.98 (with in-store coupon). When the cashier is done ringing you up, you hand over the manufacturer's coupons. 2 coupons at 75 cents=$1.50. The register will automatically deduct the $1.50 from the $1.98 total, leaving you with 48 cents +whatever taxes your state implies. So with both coupons used on the toothpaste, you are able to realize an actual cost of 24 cents a tube. (Side note: the stores only limit the number of transactions that you are doing to the number of available coupons at the door or the times you are able to print from your home computer. There is no rule that says you are not able to repeat this transaction. Just keep it reasonable and as simple as possible and things will be fine).


This type of great deal is also available at many of the local non-food stores, like Target, Rite Aid and Walgreens. Target has coupons that are available on-line at http://www.target.com/. If you scroll down and click on "coupons" it will take you to their in-store coupons that you are able to print from your home computer. You are generally able to print 2 coupons for each item from each computer. If you have more than one computer in your home, you have scored double deals already, by being able to do more than one transaction if you choose.


Disclaimer: You must understand this very basic rule when printing your own coupons. You CANNOT, EVER, photocopy them and try and use this multiple times. That constitutes fraud and jeopardizes the use of these kind of coupons at all. The computer will generate a specific bar code and identification number for each print. The registers are basically computers with a key pad. They will detect a coupon that has already been used and alert the cashier. If it does not-- the store auditors will catch the misuse and log it. To error in your favor as a consumer is NEVER a good thing because the ramifications will effect all users. So please know that if you are only able to print 2 coupons per computer...that will limit the quantities you are able to purchase with a store coupon and manufacturer coupon combined. There are generally NO limits on the amount of manufacturer coupons you are able to use. So it always pays to know your store programs and policies before you put yourself in an awkward situation.
At the top of this page, I put a picture of 2 coupons that I printed from my computer. They are for the same products, but one is a store coupon and the other a manufacturer's coupon. Both coupons require the purchase of 2 John Frieda hair products. Both take $3 off the total. This store coupon came from Target, thus only usable at Target. They have the products for $4.49 a piece. Two of those would cost $8.98. So hypothetically speaking, you give the cashier both coupons and your remaining balance is $2.98. That's a tremendous savings because ONE product would have cost $4.49. In my search for the manufacturer's coupon for the in-store coupon double option, I found a manufacturer's coupon for $2.50 off ONE John Frieda product. I would only be allowed to print 2 from my computer, and I would be able to use two of those coupons in conjunction with the in-store $3 off coupon. The quantities outlined on the coupon cannot exceed the purchase quantities. So on this transaction, the total is $8.98 minus the $3 in-store coupon and two $2.50 off one manufacturer's coupons for an exceptional buy at 98 cents!! That's the better way to go. Your quantities are limited and you'll only be able to buy a few at a time, but if you did this weekly, bi-monthly...you'd be surprised at how fast your reserves will build up and how it will become very difficult for you to buy anything at full price again.

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