Monday, January 10, 2011

Coupon101: Know your Store, Coupon Policies and More

This post is part of a Multi-Part series here at You can
catch up on the earlier segments by going here!                                                     

In past lessons we have learned what coupons are and the purpose they serve,
where to find them and how to organize them. If you have been following along
then I think by now you probably have some coupons gathered and organized
in a way that you feel comfortable. In this next lesson, I am going to go over
some Store policies when it comes to using coupons.

Stores can be very different when it comes to accepting coupons. Some, such as
Aldi, may not even accept them at all!  This is why it is very important to have a
pretty good understanding and feel for how the store(s) you will be shopping at
will handle your coupons.

Many stores have their coupon policies online, and it is a good idea to print them
and keep them with your coupons each time you shop. You will find that sometimes
the cashier may have a problem with a coupon, or maybe something that they don't
understand. If you are following that store's policy and have it printed to show, it
will help things run more smoothly.

You can check out the Store Policies page here for a list of links to various store
coupon policies. If you cannot find your store in the list, try going to that store's
website and see if you can locate their coupon policy. If no coupon policy can
be found online, then you may try emailing their corporate office and asking them
to send you their policy by email, or I suggest going to the store and asking the
manager about their store's coupon policy. I would also take notes while the
manager is explaining them. He/She will be more likely to be more specific and
careful in explaining how things work if you are there writing them down. You
will also be less likely to confuse any info they are giving you.

So, what are some of the differences you may find from store to store when it comes
to couponing?

You may find that some stores double the face value of a coupon. The price that will
be doubled varies from store to store. Some stores may be $0.50 some as high as
a $1! Sometimes stores will have special events where they even triple coupons!
There may be limits such as how many coupons you can bring in, or how many items
you can buy. This also varies by store.

You may also find that some stores will require you to register for shopper cards to
take advantage of their sale prices. Most of the time these are free and are the size
of a credit card or fit on a keychain. You will also want to know which days that
the store(s) you will be shopping at run their sales. CVS generally runs Sunday -
Saturday, however there are many that will begin their sales a day early! That can
be helpful to know when trying to grab an awesome deal before it's gone!  Many
grocery stores run their sales Wednesday - Tuesday. Again, this varies so it's
best to learn all you can about your favorite stores. The more in the know you
are, the better your grocery budget is going to look!

Some stores may accept competitor coupons, which can make for a great deal when
combining a sale and manufacturer coupon in the mix! There are many other factors
that can differ from store to store. I highly suggest getting to know your store and it's
policies before you start your couponing journey. It's also quite helpful to get to know
your cashiers and managers. It makes for a much pleasant shopping experience when
you and your coupons feel welcome!

Go to Lesson 5: A Couponer's Lingo Guide

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