Print this HOT Totino’s Party Pizza Coupon for $1.00 OFF any 2. This coupon is twice as good as the other $1.00 OFF any 4 coupon. Most times the Totino’s Party Pizzas are priced at about $1.00 so you can get them for around $0.50 with this coupon.
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There are basically three types of coupons, manufacturer coupons, store coupons and e-coupons. Let’s take a look at each one.
Manufacturer coupons will be your “bread and butter” for coupon savings. Mainly found in newspaper inserts, these can also be found on products, displays or printable from the Internet. These coupons are provided by the manfacturer.
Most people don’t realize that stores are actually reimbursed by the manufacturer for the value of the coupon. So you shouldn’t feel like you are taking advantage of the store because the store still makes money on it.
So how can you tell a manufacturer coupon from a store coupon you might ask. You might say because the coupon says Manufacturer’s Coupon on the top of it. While in most cases this is true, sometimes it is not. Some stores will have Manufacturer Coupon printed on top of their own coupons, but they are in fact store coupons.
To tell real manufacturer coupons you can use these 2 ways to verify. Manufacturer coupons have a UPC code that starts with 5 or 9. They also have instructions for stores on how to get reimbursed for the coupons.
Store coupons are provided by the store and are only usable at that store. Stores do not get reimbursed for their own coupons and they act more like sales on those items.
Many store coupons are provided by the store’s loyalty programs, email subscriptions or within their own ads.
eCoupons work by “loading” coupons onto store loyalty cards. The coupon is activated automatically when you buy the associated item. This frees you from having to print or clip the coupon.
Here are third-party companies that you can load coupons onto various store loyalty cards:
Most coupons come from the Sunday newspaper inserts. These inserts are small booklets usually somewhere near advertisements.There are 3 main inserts – SmartSource, Red Plum and Procter & Gamble. SmartSource and Redplum inserts are usually in every Sunday newspaper, where as Procter & Gamble inserts are found monthly. To see a preview of upcoming inserts go to Sunday Coupon Preview.
It’s usually a good idea to get several Sunday newspapers. To save money, getting a subscription(s) is a good idea –> Discounted newspaper subscriptions
Printable coupons are becoming increasingly popular. They allow couponers to get coupons immediately for free. Here are the main printable coupon sites:
More and more companies are using Facebook to promote their coupons. Facebook provides a large reach for companies without the cost.
Blinkies are coupon dispensers found in stores usually near the related product. They usually have a blinking light which is how it got its name.
Coupons that are attached to the product. You can usually just peel them off the product and use the coupon right away.
Many coupons are found in the product itself. Manufacturers are hoping for repeat customers.
Catalinas are coupons that print out at the register after you have made a purchase. These coupons are normally linked to something you have bought that triggered it to print.
Some companies still use the good ole mail system to send you coupons. A good way I have found to get coupons in the mail is to request samples. Usually sample products come with coupons for the full size items.
Many magazines have coupons in them, but there are a few that have a lot of coupons. Many couponers have subscriptions to All You Magazine which is known for its coupons.
After mastering the basics of coupon strategies it’s time to use more advanced strategies to save even more money and maximize the benefit of your coupons.
Overage refers to the amount of the coupon over the price of the item. For example if an item costs $1.50 and you have a coupon for $2.00, there is $0.50 overage. You can use overage to offset the cost of other products in the same transaction. Please be aware that not every store allows you to get overage. Many stores will adjust the coupon down to the price of the item, thus in our previous example, the coupon would be applied at $1.50 instead of the $2.00. Check with the store’s coupon policy to see if they allow for overage.
A rain check allows you to get the sale price of an item even after the sale is over. They are given when the item is out of stock, usually because of a sale. What many people don’t realize is that rain checks are a fantastic tool for couponers because they allow you to get the sale price at any time for the duration of the rain check. You can hold on to the rain check and wait for the perfect coupon to match up for that item.
Many stores will price match their competitors prices. You can take advantage of this if you have store coupons for a specific store that you can use to stack with your manufacturer coupons. Sometimes you want to purchase all your items at one store to take advantage of the store’s loyalty program.
Many manufacturers offer rebates as another way for you to save money. Many rebates require you to mail in proof of purchase, however Rite Aid has their own rebate program that allows you to submit rebates thru their website.
Many times you can find items in the clearance section that you can use your coupons on. Because they are already at clearance price, combining them with a coupon usually makes them extremely cheap and even FREE!
Be sure to check the trial section for products that you can use your coupons on also. Many coupons do not specify a size so you are able to use them on trial size products which generally end up being FREE. Be sure to read the coupon carefully as some coupons state specifically that they are not valid on trial size products.
Successful couponing requires knowing the lingo.
BOGO or B1G1 – Buy One Get One FREE
Blinkie – Coupon dispenser found in stores near related product(s). The name comes from the blinking light on the dispenser.
Catalina – coupon machine at the register that prints coupons triggered by certain products that you purchase.
ECBs – Extra Care Bucks or Extrabucks. Part of CVS Store Loyalty program. Prints out on the end of receipt after purchasing promoted products. Can be used just like cash in CVS with a few exceptions.
eCoupons – are loaded onto store loyalty cards. They are automatically deducted when you card is swiped at the register.
Exp – expiration date
Insert(s) – coupon booklets inserted in the Sunday newspapers. 3 major inserts are SmartSource (SS), Red Plum (RP) and Procter & Gamble (PG). It is a good idea to get at least 2 to 4 Sunday Newspapers for coupons, to stockpile when a sale is good. Get a newspaper subscription to save on newspaper costs –> Discounted Newspaper Subscriptions
IP – Internet printable coupons or printable coupons. You can print them on your printer at home to use like other coupons.
IVC – Instant Value Coupons. Store coupons found in the Walgreens ad. Since they are store coupons they may be stacked with manufacturer coupons.
Manufacturer Coupon – Created by the manufacturer. UPC code on the coupon starts with 5 or 9. Stores are reimbursed by the manufacturer for the coupons they accept.
MIR – Mail in Rebate. Requires you to send in proof of purchase along with a rebate form to get your cash rebate.
OOP – Out of Pocket. Refers to the amount of money you need to make a purchase.
Peelie – Manufacturer coupons attached to a product that you can peel off and use right away.
PG – Proctor & Gamble. The are a manufacturer the creates a wide array of consumer goods. They provide monthly coupon inserts in the Sunday Newspaper.
Q – Abbreviation for coupon.
Raincheck – available upon request when an item is out of stock. Allows you to get the sale price even after the sale is over.
RR – Register Rewards. Part of Walgreens store loyalty reward program. Printed on catalina machine after purchase of promoted items.
RP – Red Plum. One of the 3 major inserts found in the Sunday Newspaper. You can also print coupons on the Red Plum Website.
SCR – Single Check Rebate. Rebate program from Rite Aid that offers you another way to save in addition to their Up Rewards program. You can submit rebates on their website without needing to mail it in. You can get 1 rebate check a month.
SS – Smart Source. One of the 3 major inserts found in the Sunday Newspaper. You can also print coupons on the Smart Source website.
Stacking – refers to using both a store and a manufacturer coupon on a single product. You CANNOT stack two manufacturer coupons on a single item.
Stockpiling – purchasing a lot of items because of great price of the item, usually because of the sale price of an item that is matched with a good coupon.
Store Coupon – provided by the store. Usually found in the weekly store ad or on the store website. Stores are NOT reimbursed for store coupons.
Tear Pad – pad of coupons found near the related product.
UPRs – +Up Rewards. Part of the Rite Aid store loyalty program. Printed on the end of receipts after purchasing promoted product. Can be used just like cash at Rite Aid with a few exceptions.
WAGS – Walgreens.
WYB – When You Buy. Some coupons or sales require to buy multiple items to get the discounted price.
YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary. Refers to the fact that the experience one person may receive may be different from another’s when using a coupon or making a purchase.
Stockpiling refers to buying items at low prices and stocking up, instead of buying items when you need them and paying whatever price the item is at the time.
By using the coupon strategies you learned earlier you are sometimes able to get “rock bottom” prices on items. This is the time you want to STOCKPILE.
You want to stockpile when you get “rock bottom” prices. How do you know when an item is at a “rock bottom” price.
This requires you to know what is actually a great price versus a good price. This will take some time, but each week you will gain a greater grasp of what items normally cost, when they are at a good price, and when they are at “rock bottom” prices.
Some people create a price book to keep track of prices for various items. Others just rely on good ‘ole fashion memory. Use what works for you.
Most sales cycles last 3 to 4 months, so generally speaking you want to stockpile the amount of product that will last at least that amount of time. For some products like household items you can stockpile larger amounts. It depends on how many coupons you have, and how many people are in your household.
For larger families obviously you are going to want to stockpile more product. Keep in mind you will also need more coupons to take advantage of those “once in a cycle” sales. The general rule of thumb is buy/get one newspaper for coupons, per family member.
The first thing to learn when using coupons is to pair them with a sale. This means using coupons on items that are on sale. Using coupons on sale items maximizes your coupon value and greatly increase your savings. Don’t feel you have to use a coupon right away, save them and wait for a good sale to use.
Crest Toothpaste normally cost $3.99. Lets say you have a $1 off coupon. You decide to use it and save $1 and get the toothpaste for only $2.99.
Now lets say the following week it goes on sale for $2.99. If we had waited for the sale to use our coupon we would only pay $1.99 saving us $2.00 instead of $1.00 essentially doubling our savings.
Crest Toothpaste – $3.99
- On sale for $2.99
- $1 off Coupon
- = pay only $1.99
The second thing to learn when using coupons is stacking. Stacking refers to using a manufacturer coupon along with a store coupon. While you are not able to use multiple manufacturer coupons on a single item, you are able to use them along with a store coupon. Combine stacking with a sale and you are in for some pretty nice savings.
Crest Toothpaste normally priced at $3.99 is on sale for $2.99. We use our $1 off manufacturer coupon and in ad store coupon for Crest to save another $1 off. Our total out of pocket cost is $0.99!
Crest Toothpaste – $3.99
- On sale for $2.99
- minus $1 off manufacturer coupon
- minus $1 off store coupon
- = pay only $0.99
The third couponing strategy to learn about is Store Loyalty programs. Many stores such as CVS, Rite Aid & Safeway, to name a few, have loyalty programs that involve store cards which provide additional savings, and offers. CVS for example offers extracare bucks as part of their program that is awarded on certain promotions and sales. Every week CVS will offer extracare bucks on certain items.
Crest Toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 at CVS. We have a manufacturer coupon $1 off. CVS is offering $2 extrabucks when you buy Crest Toothpaste. You end up paying $1.99 for the toothpaste, but you get $2 in extracare bucks that you can use on your next transaction which essentially makes the toothpaste FREE!
Crest Toothpaste – $3.99
- On sale – $2.99
- minus $1 off manufacturer coupon
- get $2 in extrabucks from CVS
- = FREE! after coupon and extrabucks
Extracare bucks print out on your receipt and can be used just like cash in CVS with a few exceptions. For more information about CVS checkout our CVS ExtraCare Rewards Guide.
By using these basic strategies with coupons, you greatly increase the amount of money you save and get the most out of your coupons.
When it comes to grocery shopping most people start with a list of items that they need. After creating this list they head out to a store to buy those items. This is the traditional way most people shop.
This way of shopping forces you to pay whatever price the product is at for that week. Also, most people will only go to one store to do all their grocery shopping, forcing you to pay whatever price that store sells it at.
- Start with a list of items you need
- Go to a single store to buy all the items
- Pay whatever price the store sells it at
Successful couponing requires a different mindset than what most of us are used to. Gone are the days you start with a list of items you need. Instead you start with a list of what is on sale. Then combine sales with coupons to maximize your savings and stretch your hard earned dollars.
- Start with a list of what is on sale
- Find out what coupons you have to use on sale items
- Pay rock bottom prices and even get some stuff FREE!
In the next lesson we will look at basic coupon strategies to get you started on how to coupon.