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Learn to Coupon


Here are the basics to becoming a Coupon Pro:

Where can I find the very best coupons?

Manufacturer Coupons (MC) and Store Coupons (SC)?

If your new couponing, you probably didn’t know there are two kinds of coupons:

    • Manufacturer Coupons (MC) = A coupon issued from the manufacturer of item(s) stated and/or pictured in the coupon. It’s really easy to identify a manufacturer coupons since it clearly states “Manufacturer Coupon” some where along the top of the coupon, usually next to the expiration date (though in rare cases its located else where on the actual coupon).
    • Store Coupons (SC) = A coupon issued by a particular store on the item(s) stated and/or pictured for use at that specific store only. For example, Target, Rite Aid and Walgreens often release store coupons, which are only allowed to be used at that specific store. It will usually say this coupon is “Good at Rite Aid Only. Rite Aid is only an example, as it could say any stores name. It’s really easy to identify a store coupon since it clearly states “Store Coupon” some where along the top of the coupon, usually next to the expiration date (though in rare cases its located else where on the actual coupon and in Target’s case says “Target Coupon”).

Can I combine a MC and a SC coupons in the same transaction for the same one item?

  • YES… at many stores! The best part about having a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon is that many stores allow “stacking” coupons, which in better terms means using 2 coupons (a MC and a SC) on the same one item in a single transaction, as long as both coupons mention the same exact item and size, if applicable. At many stores like Target, Rite Aid and Walgreens, this is allowed and completely legal. Stores like Safeway, allow “stacking” coupons too.

For example, let’s say a 2 liter of Diet Coke is on sale for $1.50. If I have a $1 off Diet Coke 2-liter manufacturers coupon and a $1 off Diet Coke 2-liter store coupon, many stores allow “stacking” both the coupons towards the one Diet Coke product and essentially you get the item for FREE and make a $0.50 in “overage”.

What’s “Overage” or a “Money Maker”?

  • Overage (or as many like to call it a “money maker”) occurs when the coupon(s) used towards an item(s) is more than what the item(s) costs. You can basically MAKE MONEY using coupons. How awesome is that?! Stores like CVS allow overage but the balance will be applied toward other purchases in the same transaction, so you won’t be getting actual cash back. While Target doesn’t allow overage and simply adjusts the coupon down to the purchase price, Walmart recently updated their coupon policy and overage is finally allowed. And the best part is Walmart MUST give you cash back if you have no other item(s) in the same transaction.

What does $2/1 and B1G1 FREE mean?

  • Find all the coupon lingo necessary to keep you in the know at Coupon Lingo!

Top Tips from the Pro

  • Start slow. Couponing can be very overwhelming. Invest in computer and printer to print coupons online and call your local newspaper to see if they have any deals on their Sunday paper.
  • Know your stores coupon policy. The more you know, the less issues you’ll come across, if any. Print it out and take it with you incase you run into any issues. I make it easy for you to learn about the Rite Aid coupon policyWalgreens coupon policyCVS coupon policyTarget coupon policy and Walmart coupon policy coupon policies.
  • Be organized. Organization is the key to saving money using coupons and a faster checkout. Possibly invest in a coupon binder or simple envelopes to store your coupons. Do whatever makes things easier for you!
  • Plan ahead. Go through your weekly ads before you head out to the store. I go through my weekly ads searching for the hot deals I have coupons for and circle them.
  • Only cut out the coupons you need, want and will use. Don’t waste time and ink cutting and printing out coupons you won’t use.
  • Double/Triple coupons. Does a store near your double or even triple coupons? Find out that way you can take full advantage of these extra savings.
  • Pricematch. Stores like Walmart will price ALL competitor ads in your local area. Plus, use a coupon on top of the pricematch for even sweeter savings!
  • Pick the right cashier at checkout. You’re better off choosing the happy, looks like they are having a good day employee. You don’t want to be stuck with a un-happy cashier when using lots of coupons. Trust me!
  • Grab a raincheck. If you store has run out an item on sale during a certain week, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens as well as many grocery stores will write you a raincheck. Plus, use a coupon on top of the raincheck for even sweeter savings!
  • Build your stockpile. Coupons can often equal FREE stuff at the register, so start a stockpile lasting you about 6-8 weeks that way won’t have to worry about running of stuff. Amazing deals don’t last forever but don’t over do it!
  • Donate stuff. If you’re able to score an item you don’t need or use for FREE, why don’t give it to someone who can use it. It’s an awesome way to give back to your community and others in need. You’ll feel great you did so!
  • Too good to be true. If you come across a coupon that you think may be a fake, make sure you check the CIC (Coupon Information Corporation) to see if a coupon is a counterfeit. Head over here for a full list of the latest counterfeit coupons!
  • DO NOT EVER COPY COUPONS. It is against the law. Fraud of this time holds hefty fines and possible jail time.
  • And lastly… don’t you ever pay full-price for toothpaste! Literally, every week a different store has in-store deals that you can pair with a coupon, which almost always turns into FREE toothpaste. Or just come raid my toothpaste drawer ;)

Was this helpful? We’d love to hear about your couponing tips and tricks? Are you a Coupon Pro?

* This page is still unfinished. More details and tips to be added.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Julie says:

    I do have a coupon binder, but do you think it’s necessary to also have a spreadsheet of the coupons I have?

  2. Kristal Alvarez says:

    I collect coupons all the time. Sometimes I save money but the majority of the time I can get an item for free.

  3. Earon says:

    I’m just starting out, but I’m having a hard time finding all the deals. Of course, I can’t afford to buy the newspapers. I’ve found a couple, but my question is: for a coupon that says $1 off an item with a max of three of those items per coupon, does that mean that I would only get $1 off all three items or would I get $1 off each item? Thanks in advance…

    • Jenny says:

      The paper ends of paying for itself 100 times over! And yes you get $1 of each of the 3 items :)

      • Earon says:

        Ok so would they ring up that coupon three times then if I buy 3 of that item?

        • Big Momma says:

          Just make sure you have the item per coupon. They won’t let you use a single coupon more than once. But you can use two of the same coupon if you have two of the items stated on the coupon. I hope that helps.

          • Earon says:

            Well the coupon litterally states that it’s $1 off per item and we can get up to three items with one coupon. So wouldn’t that mean that they should ring it up three times, and if not then it’s pretty much a waste of time.

    • Shari Valley says:

      I don’t have alot of money to buy newspapers but here is what I do. There are sites that will give subscription links to buy a $ 20.00 for 24 weeks of the paper. If you go to couponmom.com or to your newspapers website they are now offering daily 50% 0ff deals for numerous things and sometimes its subscriptions. Also, livingsocial.com and groupon.com have those same deals. I got a second subscription to our north county paper and they actually have a different collection of coupons that my major paper doesn’t have. One last tip…we get a “redplum” in our monday mail. I have sent a little cute note to our postman and he puts 3 of them in our box for me. Also, get to know your paper carrier!!! They are getting more requests lately but you may find one that can grab a few extra for ya if you are sweet to them!
      Sure hope that helps ya!! I am in the same boat but I do get way more for my money than the $40.00 I spend in papers!

  4. Tiggzzz says:

    I have found it useful to talk to my neighbors about the papers and inserts. They all actually hand them over on Sunday afternoon and I was dumbfounded by the amount of inserts I received. But I was honest with them and told them that I send coupons to my brother who lives on Social Security and 2 sisters and my daughter. I do anything to help my family, but with the economy today it’s tough to help but with sending coupons along with the ads (I paperclip coupons to the pages and circle the items that coupons are for) I not only have helped my family out, but they are learning how to coupon themselves and save money. When I first told them about couponing, they were a little skeptical, but now, they are really doing great. On the average my daughter and grand-daughter save over $300. each month on diapers, wipies, and baby food. Not to mention all the rest of the needs. My brother has saved enough in 6 months to buy himself a new bed and mattress. And my sisters have saved over $800. in 2 months. Do Coupons work??? YOU BETCHA they do. And I have my neighbors to thank for the help that they have given me and my family. I’m not sure if I could have afforded that many newspapers, I live on a fixed income as well, so I know how to stretch the buck. I have been an avid couponer for over 5 years now and share my knowledge with anyone who want to learn. Giving back to the community is an important part of my couponing. If I didn’t help the people who really need the help, I would feel like a hoarder or some kind of monster. Helping those less fortunate really makes my heart smile.

    • kayla says:

      where do they get the coupons for wipes and diapers i have 1 in diapers and am due in january with my 4th… need help bad

      • Tiggzzz says:

        I have signed myself up on Huggies, Pampers, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, along with gerber, beechnut, Safeway, Smith’s, and any other site that i could think of for baby products… Sign up with Target Baby registry and when you go to the Target nearest you
        , They will give you a bag full of coupons and samples. My daughter did that and she was surprised at how many samples she got. Also contact every baby manufacture and let them know when you are due and that you have one in diapers already, they will send you coupons and samples also… Also sign up for free samples from any freebie site, they have all kinds of freebies too… I like all4free.com & the freebie site. Most freebie sites have data bases where you can look for more coupons. Check out AFULLCUP.COM or HOT COUPON WORLD.COM they have great databases full of printable coupons.

    • Alyssa says:

      Please let me now what your tips and secrets are. I’m in need of help, I need to save money!

    • Alyssa says:

      Please let me now what your tips and secrets are. I’m in need of help, I need to save money!

  5. Laurel says:

    Our Saturday paper at the store is the Sunday early edition it has all the same coupons.Saturdays is a lot cheaper .75 instead of $1.50 + tax for the Sunday final edition.Also we have a Spanish paper it is only .50 it usually has the same coupons. I compare them and usually buy the Spanish one.It saves money.I buy the paper for the coupons and I give away the papers. I have the Sunday final edition delivered it is a lot cheaper about half.I am always looking for ways to save.I’m hooked it kills my soul if I have to pay full price.Happy Couponing!

  6. Dawn says:

    Im just starting out and was wondering if they have any Apps that allow you yo have the coupon on your Android instead of having to print the coupons ? I always seem to forget about them , and I have 4 little ones . It gets pretty difficult when shopping . Thanks in advance !

    • Tiggzzz says:

      Target has an app for your mobile phone, but with that they charge 15 cents per coupon download.. Not very thrifty, but if you don’t get a local paper, it’s worth looking into. Also give the grocery and drug stores where you live a check, I know most of them offer downloadable coupons.

  7. Cathy says:

    OK, so I thought I knew what I was doing sorta then I saw a comment above about using two coupons for one item. Did I read that correctly? For instance, I have twelve $4 off coupons for dog food. Can I use two coupons on one bag of food?

  8. Maribel says:

    If there is coupon that is $1/2 can I use that on a twin pack? or a pkg of three if it is a $2/3?

    • Yvonne Bush says:

      a $1 off 2 cannot be used on a 2 pack you have to buy 2 individual products to use this coupon. You can use it on 2 2 packs but not one 2 pack. Same with the $2 off 3 .it expects there to be 3 items for the coupon. I am a cashier and if you buy one 2 pack and we scan the coupon it will say quanity not satisfied

  9. melani says:

    there is a 50 cent coupon out there for colgate and winn dixie has them on sale for 1.00 so my coupon doubled…..i got three FREE tubes of toothpaste..whewwhoo…

  10. melani says:

    I am learning…i got two free coke zero’s, 3 toothpaste, 3 tabassco, great tuna and cake mix deals.. I just cant figure out how to get organized and wrap my mind around how to know which store to go to….and how all these people know how much an item is before they even go shopping…..is it worth it to go two stores if you know one doubles up more than the other..take those coupons to that store….or just stay at one store and really learn its ways…

  11. Kellie W. says:

    I remember reading some where that the different codes on coupons meant certain things. Is that true? What do they mean?

  12. erika says:

    Hi… I am very new to this. I live in a very small town where our store choices are only Walmart,winn-dixie, and a piggly wiggly. (not sure I’d anyone has heard of the last one!) I was wondering if anyone knows if these stores double coupons, let you stack coupons, or anything else I should know? Thanks in advance!

    • krystal says:

      Call the stores to find out! Some stores have copies of their coupon policy on hand to give out. I have found that some grocery store chains have different policies in different towns as well. so if there are 2 stores about the same distance apart, one doubles and the other doesn’t , go to the one that doubles!

  13. diane says:

    help!! please ,can anyone help me print from coupons.com . about 2weeks ago it just stop printing and spool in my printer or if the cps prints they are blank.i can print from red plum and smart source but not brick or coupons.con .help .please. thanks diane

    • Tiggzzz says:

      IF you have a friend that can print them out for you then use them, if not, go to the library and print them there, it may cost 10 – 15 cents per page, but in the long run you save…

  14. Stacey says:

    The question that I have I read that it is illegal to copy coupons. This doesn’t not apply to printing coupons that are found online. Could someone let me know if I am correct or not thanks just learning about coupons and wanted to learn for awhile taking the plunge.

  15. Diane says:

    I use a coupon clipping service, you order the coupons you want and you can order multiple coupons they charge a small handling fee usually 8-12 cents

  16. Brittany Wagner says:

    I am new to couponing and I was just wondering how to i get started??? Please let me know thanks.

  17. Markie says:

    Some one please teach me your ways! 19 year old in desperate need of learning your tips

  18. Alyssa says:

    I live in South Florida near Tampa I can not find any stores that double coupons, or even take more than one coupon per item! Please help, I really want to start couponing because I can’t afford to spend all this money on groceries every week!

    Thank you!

  19. Russell Matthews says:

    Does anyone know of any online grocery stores that accept online coupons?

  20. garcinia cambogia extract where to buy says:

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  21. Michael Clement says:

    you blogged, “Stores like Safeway, do not allow “stacking” coupons.” this is INCORRECT you CAN “stack” a (MC) with a SAFEWAY in-ad (SC) according to Safeway coupon policy: Stacking Coupons Policy

    • Safeway will allow customers to use a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon on the same item.

    • Safeway does not allow a customer to redeem two or more manufacturer coupons against the same item in a single transaction.

  22. tahn lee says:

    I want to learn to coupon I am in Stamford is there any body around here that can help me I am from south Africa so I would like to save some cash

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  25. eve says:

    love your lastly comment!!! will never pay full price on tooth paste again!!! :)

  26. Liz L says:

    Is there a # to call and complaint about a store not accepting a manufactures coupon when it states in their policy they accept all manufactures coupons. (and this was the store manager refusing it!)

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  28. http://www.couponcashin.com/ says:

    I do respect coupons, they can really save money

  29. allmodern promo codes says:

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  30. carrie says:

    I have a coupon you buy 2 get a 1.00 off how do I get it for free

  31. Ashadieeyah says:

    Hey im new to coupon but I have been getting coupons for the last week I have also 100 of them next month is when all the coupons I have expire so ima use them befor then but I have alot of questions & I need help please someone help me my email is ashadieeyahcoupons@gmail.com

  32. ryan thompson says:

    ok if you have one coupon for 1.00 off and you get free toothpaste does that mean you could get 50 things of toothpaste free with one coupon

  33. Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thank you
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  34. Andrea says:

    Hi! I am new to couponing and was wondering if it’s possible to use to MC on one purchase if the coupon amounts are different? For example I have a printable MC coupon for Huggies Pull Ups at $2.00 off and then I have a coupon that came with a potty I bought for the same product at $2.50 off

  35. BOB says:

    This site did not answer the question “how to find a coupon for a particular item”, did I miss something? The question seemed straight forward enough, and the search engine seemed to think your site had the answer – any suggestions?

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