My sister made a four page document about Couponing, thought it might be helpful to anyone who is new at Couponing. If you are looking to save money by couponing then please read and tell me what you think. You can also follow her on IG at : lbc_couponer.
Thank you very much!
If this is hard to read then here is the original text format.
The following information is based for my region only, because I am sharing this, I do not know how accurate the information is for your region. I have only been couponing for about 4 months, I am no way an “expert” or an “extreme” couponer. I am still learning, and if I am sending this to you, this means that you are too! Use this as a guideline. You will learn by trial & error as I did. Pretty soon you’ll be able to help others. If you ever need any help, or have any questions please email me. I check my email frequently. Also, if you like to do online shopping, you might as well get ebates. I am not promoting my referral link, but you’ll get a free $10 gift card (GC) of your choice. I recently got mine.
– sign up at ebates.com
– a lot of people use the shopkick app, I’ve never gotten into it.
I tried to make everything as BASIC as possible, as I stated before, this was meant to be for a friend who is just starting out. I did not cover double dips (DD) or early activation (EA). Basically DD and EA means that your stores’ ads from last week and this week overlap. This means extra savings for you!
– ex. Nature Made Vitamins is on sale this week for $10, buy 2 get 2,000 points at Walgreens (Wags), next week it is on sale, buy one get one free (BOGO). On Saturday morning, some stores will have early activation and you can buy 2 Nature made vitamins. Instead of paying $20 and getting back 2,000 points at Wags, you can buy 2 for $10 (next week is BOGO), and get back 2,000 points!!
– I also did not cover “rolling”, ECBs, RR, Catalinas, UP rewards, etc.
– Always double check to make sure that there are inserts (coupons) in the paper that you are buying.
– Double check the DATE & make sure it is for THIS Sunday’s newspaper.
– Some newspapers will have more or less inserts than other newspapers.
Double Check your Coupons
– Make sure you read your coupons. Some will have “limit 1 per transaction”, this means that you can ONLY buy 1. If it says limit 4 per transaction, then you can only buy 4. Sometimes it won’t say anything at all, this means that you can buy as many as you want.
– Make sure you are buying the CORRECT item for the coupon that you have. Is it the same size/brand?
– Besides from the newspaper, you can also print out coupons from the following websites:
There are many more, but those are the only ones that I use.
– Sometimes you can buy on instagram, just search up #:UFT #:ISO
* Look at the prices, and shop around before you buy. Sometimes, prices for the inserts will be higher than actually getting the newspaper yourself & you would also have to wait for the inserts to ship.
– Look for blinkie machines in supermarkets, always grab as many as you can, you never know when they’ll come in handy!! And if you aren’t going to use them, you can always try to sell them on Instagram.
– NEVER EVER EVER EVER, EVER, throw away coupons. Save everything in a folder or a binder. You never know when a good deal will come by.
– Sometimes a low value coupon (ex. $0.50 off shampoo) will come in handy due to a buy 1, get 2 free sale or its stackable with in store coupons.
– If you’re at a gas station, run in really quickly to check the store for tear pads (TP). Also, if you’re at the supermarket, do the same thing. TP’s and peelies (located on
Using more than 1 Coupon
– Most coupons are stackable, this means that the coupon you print out or get from the newspaper are manufacturer coupons (MFQ), you can use those with the store coupons. You can print out store coupons from their website.
– Stores with store coupons include: CVS, Rite Aid & Target.
** For Target only: If you have a smart phone, download the Cartwheel App!!! Check the app for deals, you can TRIPLE stack using that app, meaning you should give all your coupons to the cashier, then give them your phone to scan.
– Other stores have newspaper coupons which can be found in their weekly ad.
– Walgreens has a monthly value booklet, located at the front of the store. If you see a coupon in that booklet, called an instant value coupon (IVC), you can use 1 coupon and it will take off that amount for all the items you have. For example, if you are buying 5 shampoos, and the coupon in the booklet (IVC) is for $1 off 1 shampoo (short cut way to say that is 1/1- for $1 off 1), you will get $5 off your total purchase even though you only have 1 IVC. You can stack that store IVC with a MFQ which will lower your out of pocket expenses (OOP).
** Target and other stores will not allow this. If you print out 1 coupon from their website, it will only deduct once!**
– For buy one get one free sales (BOGO), it depends on the store coupon policy. Some stores will let you use 2 coupons on the BOGO sale, some stores will only allow 1 coupon.
– CVS & Walgreens will allow you to use up to 2 coupons on a BOGO sale.
– Rite Aid will only allow you to use 1 coupon in a BOGO sale.
Using Coupons in Stores
** “Shop” around for cashiers. Sometimes you’ll get a nice one, sometimes you’ll get a mean one. I still get super nervous when I check out.
– Remember that you can price match (PM) at Walmart and Target. Bring in the ad from another store. For Walmart, you take the ad with you and give it to the cashier when you check out. For Target, I’m not sure but they have too many restrictions there so I would do it at Walmart if there is one nearby.
– CIRCLE the items you are price matching.
– Some stores have coupon restrictions; this means that they will only allow you to use 1,2,3 or more coupons. This will vary by area, sometimes one store will say one thing and another store will say another thing. Just make sure you remember this so you won’t have any problems at check out.
– The following are the coupon restrictions in my area, this is to just give you an example. Most stores will follow these guidelines:
– Food 4 Less: limit of 5 coupons for the SAME items.
– Ex. If you’re buying 10 sodas, you can only use 5 soda coupons. I would suggest for you to break it up into 2 transactions, this means that you would buy 5 sodas, use 5 soda coupons, pay for them and THEN buy another 5 so that you can use the other 5 coupons.
– VONS: Limit of 3 coupons for the same items.
– Walmart: No coupon limit. My Walmart does not accept internet printed coupons (IP), I called corporate and they said its up to the discretion of the manager.
– CVS & Rite Aid: You can use as many coupons as you want. Some stores may be stricter than usual. Some stores may be nice, or you may get a nice cashier and will allow you to use as many coupons as you want, even if the coupon states “limit 4 per day or transaction.”
– Walgreens: No coupon limit.
Dealing with cashiers (and managers) who don’t know the coupon policy
– Make sure you have the coupon policy with you! That way, you can nicely point out to the cashier that they are wrong. If they still give you a hard time, have them call a manager over.
* Sometimes cashiers will give you a hard time with the coupons that you use. In that case, call over the manager. Most of the time, they will call over the Customer Service Manager (CSM). Make sure you remember the CSM’s name and the cashier’s name, because if you have a bad experience with them you can just call corporate and let them know what happened.
– Phone numbers are listed bellow:
– Walgreens: 1-800-925-4733
– Walmart: 1-800- 925-6278
– Rite Aid: 1-800- 748-3243
– CVS: 1-800-746-7287
– Vons: 1-877-723-3929
– Ralphs: 1- 800-576-4377
– Food 4 Less: 1-800-576-4377
– Albertsons: 1-877-932-7948
– You can use these websites to find good deals:
– thekrazycouponlady.com (use this website to find good deals by stores)
** Her prices and scenarios are for her store/region only. ALWAYS double check the prices of the items in your store. Sometimes it may be a lot higher or lower. If you don’t double check the prices and calculate your new subtotal, you may be shocked to see how high your out of pocket (OOP) is.
– freestufffinder.com (use this website to sign up for FREE stuff!)
– moneysavingmom.com (use this website for the coupon database)
– Find your own deals, walk around the store and check items on clearance.
– Grocery stores have a clearance rack in the back of the store, always check that.
– What is a coupon database?
– Coupon database will let you know where the coupon came from. Sometimes this may be a newspaper insert (ex. Red Plum (RP), Smart Source (SS), P&G (Procter & Gamble, etc), other times it will be from the internet or a special facebook promotion from the company.
– Use instagram!!! A lot of people will post their “hauls” (what they bought) on their instagram.
– Before you ask them what the deal is or where they got the coupon from, READ all the comments and check the coupon database because they may get angry. Some people are really nice about it, while others will tell you to check the coupon database because often times they can’t remember where they got it from!
I have taken the list below from moneysavingmom.com. It took me a while to understand all the terms so I hope this helps (HTH).
$1/1, etc.: Indicates the value of a coupon, $1 off 1 item in this instance but could be any value, $4/2 ($4 off 2 items), $0.25/1 ($0.25 off 1) etc.
BOGO, B1G1, B1G1F: Buy One Get One free
CAT, Catalina: Coupons which print at the register after your purchase is made. These can usually be used like cash on your next purchase. However, if the say “manufacturer’s coupon” on them, you should be able to use them at any store although YMMV (see below).
ECB: Extra Care Bucks (CVS, prints on receipt)
GC : Gift card
HTH :: Hope That Helps
In-Ad :: Coupons that come in the weekly store ad, most likely found by the entrance of that particular store.
IVC :: Instant Value Coupon (Walgreens, found in the monthy EasySaver booklet)
IP :: Internet Printable coupon
MFQ: Manufacturer coupon
OOP :: Out of Pocket
OOS :: Out of Stock
OYNO :: On Your Next Order
Peelie :: Coupon attached to an item’s packaging which can be peeled off
Stacking :: Using a manufacturer’s coupon in addition to a store coupon for an even lower price
Tear pad :: A pad of rebate forms or coupons attached to a store shelf
UPR :: Up Rewards, a coupon you can earn on your register receipt at Rite Aid
WYB :: When You Buy
YMMV :: Your Mileage May Vary (in other words, you may or may not be successful with a particular deal at your store)