When starting to use coupons, it can seem remarkably daunting in the beginning. Especially after watching extreme couponing shows and seeing people getting thousands of dollars in products for practically nothing! However, there are plenty of resources out there that will teach you how to coupon! And, I’m here to give you some advice on how to do it too!
The most valuable thing to know when using coupons is the store policy! Every store has its own policy; it is not “one size fits all” with grocery and drug stores. One store may accept unlimited coupons per item, while another only allows 3 like coupons. It is essential to know what your limitations are, to avoid spending hours in the store getting your “deals”, only to find out that they are not available because of a policy.
It is also necessary to understand coupon “lingo”. When first learning to coupon, there are so many things to learn. The difference between Manufacturer and Store, Internet Printable (IP), Double Coupons, Triple Coupons, Super Double Coupons, Electronic Coupons…the list seems endless! You are probably wondering “what do all these terms mean?”
Well, a manufacturer coupon is a coupon printed by the manufacturer. This can be either a coupon that comes in the Sunday Paper, a coupon mailed to your home, or a coupon that you printed online either from a site like coupons.com or the company site.
A store coupon is specific to that store. Most stores will not allow you to use a competitor store coupon at their store. It is an incentive that store is giving to get you to shop there instead of at another. This is perfect for you because you can combine the manufacturer and store coupons and sometimes get even better savings!
An Internet Printable, or IP, is a coupon you get either from an online coupon site, like coupons.com, or Facebook, the manufacturer website, and many others. This coupon usually has a 2 print limit, and you have to be careful with these. Sometimes people try to get around the system by printing the coupons on more than one computer. They will also make copies of the two printed. This is counterfeiting and is illegal! It is the same thing as if you copied dollar bills to take to the store. Do not ever do it! Each printed coupon has a unique number assigned to it, so when you try to use so many of the same coupon, you will get caught, and you will be in trouble with more than just the store!
Double coupons are exciting because they turn a $0.50 coupon into $1; however, most stores that double coupons only double up to $0.99. So do not go into the store expecting that your $3 off coupon will become $6. While that would be fantastic, it is not likely! Not all stores double coupon, and most that do only allow you to double so many a day. Some stores that do double coupon include Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods, and Bi-Lo.
Triple coupons are an even better deal, because they turn a $0.50 coupon into $1.50, and are usually a promotion that a store is running. It is the same with Super Double Coupons. Super Doubles are where the store chooses to double coupons up to $1.98 or $1.99 instead of just up to $0.99
Electronic coupons are coupons that are loaded onto your store loyalty card. These coupons will come off your total balance, or they are put into an account like SavingStar or uPromise. For example, SavingStar has a coupon that will give you $0.50 off Cottonelle Bath Tissue. Instead of it taking $0.50 off your total, you will get $0.50 into your SavingStar account. Once your SavingStar balance reaches $5, you can choose to leave it, get a $5 gift card, or get $5 in your PayPal account.
These are a few of my favorite coupon websites.