How to Use Your Coupons to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

Now, it may seem easy.  You find a coupon.  You go to the store.  You pay for the item and give your coupon to the cashier.  Yes, you could do that, and you would be saving money.  But, with a little planning and preparation, I can pretty much guarantee you could be saving more money.  Let me explain...

1. You need to know that not every coupon is the same. 

There are two different kinds of coupons: Manufacturer Coupons and Store Coupons.  Here is an example of two coupons for the same product, however one is a Manufacturer Coupon and one is a Store Coupon:

  • Here is another example.  Both coupons are for the same product, but one is a Manufacturer Coupon and one is a Store Coupon:

  • It is important to note that some coupons say that they are only redeemable at a specific store, however if it says ANYWHERE ON THE COUPON that it is a MANUFACTURER COUPON, then it can be redeemed at ANY STORE that accepts coupons, even if it says only redeemable at Walmart/Publix/Winn Dixie/etc.

2. You need to know your store's coupon policy.

There a a few questions you should ask your store:
  1. Do you double coupons?  You may find a store that will double the value of any coupon.  This means that if you bring in a coupon for 50¢ off, they will automatically give you $1.00 off.
  2. Do you take competitor coupons?  If so, which stores?  Competitor stores are usually other  stores that sell groceries that are located within a few miles of your store.  This can include Dollar Stores, Target, family owned grocery stores and chain grocery stores.
  3. Do you have any coupon limits? You may find that your store has limits on the number of coupons allowed in a single transaction or how many of one particular product you are permitted to buy at one time. 
  4. Can I stack coupons? Stacking coupons means that you can use two coupons on one item (one Manufacturer Coupon and one Store Coupon). 

3. You need to bookmark a website that matches up the store's weekly ad with coupons.

That way you are using coupons on sale items to get the best deals.  These websites will list every item in the ad, which coupons to use on the items, where to get the coupons, and sometimes, they'll even tell you how much you'll end up paying after the coupon is applied.  These are my favorite match-up sites:
  1. I Heart Publix (There's an I Heart website for just about every store.  Google it.) 
  2. Southern Savers
  3. A Full Cup

Example Scenarios:

  • This is a great deal for a Buy One, Get One Free item if your store will let you stack coupons on the free item.  Some stores will not.  Also, some stores do not offer TRUE Buy One, Get One Free deals.  Instead, they would charge you $3.24 for each bag of coffee.  Check with your Customer Service Desk to find out how your store handles Buy One, Get One items and how many coupons you can use on each product.

Now you know how to use your coupons, so get out there and start saving some money!

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