Coupon Collecting 101

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
For those of you that are new to the site, Welcome!  I know that many of you have just started on your coupon shopping journey, so I wanted to help you get a head start.  Take a deep breath and clear you mind, because I am about to give you a lot of information.  This will be the first part of my series called "The Basics of Coupon Shopping".

Coupon Collecting 101

Ready to start saving big money???  When I first started collecting and using coupons, it was a bit overwhelming.  I will try to make this as simple as possible.
Types of Coupons - There are 4 basic types of coupons, a Manufacturer's Coupon (MQ), internet printable (IP), an ecoupon(type you load onto your store card, like a Kroger card), and a store coupon.  Most stores will allow you to use a store coupon and a MQ on the same item.  
 Where can you get coupons?  
1) The easiest way is to buy multiple Sunday papers when they have coupon inserts.  Depending on the type of coupons coming out, sometimes I buy 2 papers, but I have been known to buy 8 at one time. You always want to buy in even numbers.  Why?  Because many sales will require you to buy 2 items for the sale price.  If you have 2 coupons, you get to use both on those 2 items.  Buy One Get One Free sales are also great!  When a store is holding a BOGO promotion, you buy 2 and still use 2 coupons even though one item was free.  Technically, you purchased 2 items.  See why you always buy in even numbers?
2) Many different sites offer Internet Printable coupons...

These are just a few.  Most internet printables are also a MQ.  Most of the time, you can print up to 2 identical internet printables per computer, per website.  For example, if you were on, you should be able to print 2 of each coupon on that site.   Sometimes you have to click the back arrow 3 times to print your second coupon.  This print limit is per computer.  Therefore, if you have 2 computers, you should be able to print 2 from each computer. NEVER copy a coupon!!!!  This is coupon fraud and it hurts all of us when people use fraudulent coupons!!!!!
3) Where do I find my e coupons?

4) Other places to find coupons
*tearpads in gas stations or grocery stores
*various coupon clipping services online
When you know there is something you want to stock up on, this is a great way to get lots of one coupon, rather than buying so many papers.   These services are also handy when you know ahead of time what sale is coming up.  You will have time to order and have it shipped while the sale is still going on.
*All You Magazine
*Company email updates

5) Who accepts coupons and/or doubles coupons?
*Meijer will double coupons up to $.50 not to exceed $1.  However, it will only double 2 identical coupons in one transaction.  If it is a $.40 coupon, it doubles to $.80 off.  Each Meijer varies on their coupon doubling policy.  Check with your local Meijer to get the scoop.
 *Each Kroger has their own coupon policy.  All will double coupons up to $.50.  Some will give a "bonus coupon" on coupons between $.51 and $1.  Again, a $.60 coupon would double to $1. There is no limit on the amount of coupons doubled.  Check with your Kroger to find out their policy.
*Kroger accepts e coupons.  May only be used once, and they don't double.  Can’t be combined with a MQ.
* Wal-mart accepts coupons, but does not double.  They are also picky about accepting an IP.
*Kmart accepts coupons but does not double unless it is during one of their Super Doubles Events.
*Dollar General accepts coupons, but does not double.
*Walgreens and CVS both accept coupons, but do not double.  Sometimes Walgreens and CVS  have store coupons available at the front of their stores.  You can use both a store coupon and MQ together at both stores.
*Food Lion accepts coupons but does not double.
*IGA accepts coupons. Does Double coupons up to $.50 every Tuesday.

6) Do all coupons double?  No.  Each coupon has a barcode on the bottom.  As long as the barcode starts with a "5", it should double, even if it says do not double on the top.  If it starts with any other number, it will not double.

Using the coupons to your full advantage and big savings

-You can’t be brand loyal
-You buy several small packages instead of 1 large package
-Watch coupons and totals when checking out
-Check several blogs daily
-Stockpile a 6 month supply


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