A coupon is a coupon…right? Well, not exactly. A coupon used at one store may be worth more than a coupon used at another store. You need to be familiar with each store’s coupon policy to get the best value for your coupon. Some stores, like Meijer, allow you to use a store coupon (mperks) AND a printed manufacturers coupon. Other stores, like Kroger, only allow you to use a store coupon OR a printed manufacturer coupon. Here are some tips regarding store coupon policies:
- Some stores double coupons up to a certain face value, such as $.50 or $1.00, but may limit the number of coupons that will double.
- Use coupons that don’t double at stores with lower prices, such as Walmart.
- Most stores limit how many of the same coupon you can use per transaction.
- Most stores limit how many coupons you can use for the same item. The coupon may be for a different amount, but for the same item, and therefore might be limited.
- Some stores limit the total number of coupons you can use per transaction.
- Some stores will give you the “overage” or cash back when a coupon value exceeds the purchase price. Some stores will allow you to use the overage on other products but not receive cash back. Some stores will only allow the coupon to cover the cost of the item.
- For stores, like Kroger, that limit the use of one coupon per item, remove the coupons you are going to use from your Kroger card. At Kroger you can only use one coupon. The printed manufacturers coupon may double if up to $ .50, but the Kroger card coupon will not double. Kroger will automatically take off the Kroger card coupon before the manufacturer coupon and you will miss out on the double coupon deal.
- Some stores will accept competitor store coupons.
- Print the store coupon policies and carry with you in your coupon binder. Some store associates are not familiar with the store coupon policies. When they try to deny your coupon, you can show them you are within store policy.
- Some stores will allow you to split up your transactions to use the maximum coupons per visit.
- Stores without a coupon policy will follow the wording on the coupon.
Store policies vary and change, so check the store websites periodically for changes. We will try to keep you updated on any major changes we become aware of.
How many times have we been filling up at the gas station and thought, “I sure wish there was a coupon for gas!” Well, guess what? There are ways to save on gas! Kroger has a great program where you earn fuel points for each dollar you spend in the store and at the pharmacy. Many times you get extra fuel points for purchasing gift cards at Kroger. Check the store for details. Whenever you are going out to eat, stop by Kroger on the way and purchase a gift card to the restaurant you are going to eat at so you get the fuel points added to your Kroger card. When you go to cash in your fuel points, when you are filling up at the gas station, you can get your discount on up to 35 gallons of gas. My husband and I go to the gas station at the same time and park on opposite sides of the gas pump. He fills my vehicle up first and then fills his up, all on the same transaction. That way we can get the maximum gallons available at the discounted rate. And he gets to pump my gas for me! lol We like to save up our points in the month until we get $1.00 off per gallon. That’s a $35 savings on gas when we get 35 gallons!
Also, sometimes some stores, like Kmart, will have a promotion where you receive a coupon to a Super America gas station when you make certain purchases. Last month I received a twenty cent coupon off gas at SA. With gas prices on the rise, every little bit helps! We will try to keep you informed on any new gas promotions. Any Couponers have any great gas savings stories to share with us?
Now that you have built up your coupon supply, organized your coupons and have started getting great deals, it’s time to talk about some storage suggestions and ways to avoid wasting your purchases. As your stockpile begins to grow, you will need to make sure you organize your storage for your couponing deals. Some people turn a corner of their basement or garage into a storage center. You could designate the coat closet or spare bedroom closet into your stockpile storage area. Here are a few suggestions to make sure you are not allowing your deals to go to waste.
- Organize your storage on vertical shelves to get the most use of your space.
- Rotate your food and health/beauty items to avoid passing the expiration dates.
- Use a marker to write the month and year of the expiration date on labels or on the front of boxes large enough to be easily seen.
- Donate any products that you can’t use before the expiration date to your favorite charity or organization.
- Put together a food box for a needy family, a sick friend, a couple about to marry, a new mom or a college student.
- Keep a record of what you have in your stockpile so you know what you have. Index cards work great.
- Remember to “pest-proof” your storage area. Don’t store items where they may be damaged by insects or rodents.
- Use over-the-door shoe organizers to hold small packaged items such as taco seasoning and drink mixes.
- If you find a freebie or an inexpensive item in a brand you don’t use, buy it and donate it to your church’s missionary closet.
- Give away or donate immediately any items or brands that you know you won’t use so they don’t take up storage space.
- Put food packages in small laundry baskets or plastic crates so you can pull them out on the shelf to reach items easier.
- Organize your freezer using baskets or plastic crates so you can find food quickly.
- Store chemicals separate from food items to avoid cross contamination.
Leave us a comment on your favorite storage and stockpiling idea! We look forward to hearing from you!
Here are some tips for shopping smarter, not harder. We are busy people, so we want to save time and money, not just add to our workload! If couponing is too much effort for you, eventually you will stop using coupons. Keep it simple and convenient for what works for YOU! Read more
Now that you have collected tons of coupons, you will want to organize them. Remember, couponing is flexible. You can start with one method of organization and move to a different method as your couponing needs change. What works for one person may not work for you. One thing is for sure – if you don’t organize your coupons so you can find them and use them easily, you won’t use them. If you don’t use them, you won’t save money.
Most people I know start out keeping their coupons in an envelope. Hey, if that works for you, go for it! You can even use envelopes to separate the different categories of coupons, or by the different stores where you will use the coupons. Besides using envelopes, some people like to use an index card file box. The lid snaps shut to keep your coupons protected and in order. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a coupon organization system. You can make one yourself using supplies you probably already have or can buy for little money. Of course there are numerous ways you can organize your coupons, but we will go into detail about three of my favorite methods: using an accordion file, a Velveeta Cheese box and a three-ring binder. Yes, you read it right, a Velveeta Cheese box! =) We will tell you all about these three methods in our next posts. Check back with us… and happy couponing!
In order to start saving big money with coupons, you must build up your stash of coupons! There are multiple places to find coupons, such as printed coupons in the Sunday paper, online coupons that you can print from websites like couponers.com, and online coupons you load directly to your rewards card or cell phone. Read more
In today’s world of electronic mail, internet, smart phones and computers, do you ever sit down to just write an old fashioned letter? I did just that very thing a while back and boy, oh boy, was it worth my time! I find that manufacturers really do want to hear a customer’s honest feedback on their product- not just a bunch of whining, but honest information the company can use to improve their product or service. On two different occasions, I sat down to write a letter to a company of which I was a loyal customer, but was unhappy with their product. Read more
Here is a basic list of abbreviations: Read more
A popular method of organizing your coupons is using an accordion file. These are very inexpensive and are available at most dollar stores or discount stores. Some people use an accordion file to store their coupons until they can sort them and place them into their coupon binder. Many small accordion file organizers are made for coupons and already have the categories preprinted on them. This is a quick and easy method to use if you are just starting out in couponing. Remember, couponing is flexible. You can start with one method of organization and move to a different method as your couponing needs change. Read more
I was thrilled to see the advertisements for “Extreme Couponers” on TLC a few years ago when the show started. I was obsessed as I tuned in week after week as serious couponers got thousands of dollars in free food, toothbrushes, deodorant and cat food. They had enough laundry detergent to last a lifetime. They had toilet paper and two liters of pop stuffed under their beds and in their kids toyboxes. My eyes were as big as saucers as I saw pictures of their stockpiles and watched them clear the shelves of every last bottle of ketchup and mustard. Yowza! Read more