Extreme Couponing: Coupons! Coupons! Coupons!

 

This part of the new Extreme Couponing Series is about where to find coupons, the Anatomy of a coupon and most importantly: Coupon Ethics.

Internet Printable Coupons:

:: Print coupons from home
:: Download software
:: You can print 2 coupons per computer
:: Once you print the first, hit backscreen 3x to print a second
:: Or go back to the homepage

Best sources for Printable Coupons:

Coupons.com
Redplum.com
Smartsource.com

E- Coupons:

Coupons added to your shopper card.
Accepted at Ralphs, & Vons.
Albertsons – Avenu.

Sites to load E-Coupons:

Cellfire.com
Shortcuts.com
Pgesaver.com

Other Places to get Coupons:

Newspapers
Store booklets
Blinkies
Peelies
Samples
Facebook
Company website
E-bay or coupon clipping site
Magazines
Friends, family, co-workers, coupon train

Anatomy of a Coupon:

Expiration Date:
All coupons have an expiration date. (it is fairly rare that you will not find an expiration date)
If the coupon’s expiration date is 12/6/2011, you can use the coupon until 11:59 pm on 12/6/2011.

Value:
How much will be deducted from your purchase.

Terms:
How you know what the coupon is for.
If the coupon says “save on ANY xyz product” then it truly can be used on any, not just what is pictured.

Image:
The picture can be useful if you have never heard of the product, and can help you locate the item on the shelf.
Advertising for the manufacturer.
The picture is NOT what is important.
The manufacturer’s generally put the newest or most expensive product in the picture, obviously hoping you will buy that product.
As long as you follow what is in the wording of the coupon, you can usually get the lowest priced product which is generally the better deal

Fine Print:
Information for the retailers including the coupon redemption address.
There are usually one or two lines that are intended for the consumer. Limit one coupon per purchase? Coupons typically have some version of that statement.

Limit one coupon per purchase:
Each product in an overall transaction is considered one purchase.
If the coupon is for $1 off 2 boxes of cereal and you buy 2 boxes, that is 1 purchase.
If you bought 2 more, that is another purchase and you can use another $1/2 coupon.  You can not use 2 coupons on 1 product.

Limit one coupon per transaction:
This indicates that only one like coupon may be used in a single transaction. Each transaction is concluded with a receipt.

Limit one coupon per day/visit:
You can only use one of those coupons per store visit.

Limit one coupon per person/customer/household:
You can only use one of these coupons.

Not valid on travel/trial size:
This means the coupon cannot be redeemed on a trial size item.
If it does not have this verbiage, and does not specify a size, then any size (even trial) is applicable.

Do not double:
The do not double wording is the one exception to the terms.
Coupons that specify “do not double” will still double if the first number is a 5.
The store is offering the discount on the doubled portion.
If the barcode starts with a 9, the coupon will not double automatically.

Coupon Ethics:

“Coupon Fraud”:
Knowingly misusing coupons.
You cannot photo copy coupons! This is a federal offense. It would be just like photocopying actual money.
Coupon fraud is a very expensive cost to manufacturers who issue grocery coupons.

Use coupons ONLY as stated:
Read the fine print.
If it reads, “good for the products pictured above,” don’t use it on other products – even if it will scan at checkout.
If the coupon states “limit one per household,” it’s just that. One per household.

Use coupons within store policies:
Know your store’s coupon policy.
Ask questions if you are unclear.

No obnoxious, overly aggressive coupon tactics:
While this is subjective, I think we can all agree asking a cashier to do 30 transactions back-to-back for you is obnoxious.
I think we can also agree buying all 50 of a store’s brand X shampoo is obnoxious (because now no one else can do the deal).
I’m all for stockpiling, but there are polite ways to go about doing it (such as contacting the store ahead of time to see if they can order extra stock).
Be considerate of others.

When to use your Coupons:
Don’t use your Coupon Right Away:
3 – 4 weeks.
Wait for rock bottom price.

Stacking Coupons:
My favorite coupon secret!
1 Manufacturer Coupon and 1 Store Coupon on 1 Item!!
Target, Albertson’s, Vons, Ralphs, Walgreens, and Rite Aid (to name a few) all have store coupons and allow them to be stacked with a manufacturer coupon!
You can never use 2 manufacturer coupon on 1 item.

Double Coupons:
Ralphs & Vons.
First “like” coupon.
$0.50 off coupon will become $1.00 off.
Matching coupons following will be held at face value.
A coupon over $1 will be held at face value – no doubling (unless the store has a promo).

…Stay tuned for the crazy “lingo” behind coupons!…

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

Comments

  1. motherfish says

    First of all, thanks for bringing up ethics with couponing. It has been hard for me to figure all this out and make sure I’m doing the right thing.

    Please tell me your opinion about coupons like the recent $2 Silk coupon. When I went to print it, I think it said, “one per person”, although the coupon software allowed two prints. Do we only print one, even though we could print two? And what does “one per person” mean? We have seven people in our family, three adults, and three computers to print on. Does it mean one per each person in our family? One per adult person?

    I have been in an ethical dilemma about this and other coupons because when I started out couponing three months ago, I decided that what would guide my decisions about coupon use is to use the coupons as the manufacturer intended them to be used, not just what I could get away with. Coupons are a financial transaction between you and the manufacturer, and I want it to be a fair trade.

    • Josie says

      If you saw this in the fine print on the coupon the “one per person” to me would mean one coupon per person during the transaction. If it stated that before printing the coupon on the website then I suggest only printing one per person.

      There are no real written rules when it comes to coupons. So going with what you feel is right is what I suggest. My opinion is only that…an opinion. I have simply laid ideas down for you to follow. Hope that helps! :)

  2. Brandon says

    Isn’t getting your coupons from clipping services or eBay considered coupon fraud since most, if not all, say “Void if copied, transfered, or sold?”

  3. Giselle says

    So let me get this straight, anything over a dollar will not double but a $1 coupon will double? $1 is the limit? Sorry, I am new at this.

    • Josie says

      Hi Giselle!

      A $1 coupon will not double. A .50 coupon will double to $1..a .25 coupon will double to .50..etc..Hope that helps :)

  4. Kendra says

    I just think its a little weird that Coupon clipping sites say they don’t charge for the coupon but just for the clipping and shipping but the better, more popular coupons are at a higher price than the not so good coupons. I’m pretty sure every coupon take the same amount of time and effort to clip and It makes me think that they are charging more for the coupon they know everyone wants. I have been wanting to buy from clipping sites but can’t bring myself to do it because of this…if they were charging the same amount for all coupons not matter what the coupons value is or popularity was then it would be more legal in my eyes but they are not. Just looks weird to me.

  5. Roland says

    You didn’t mention Sunday newspapers, which are the #1 way to get coupons. How could you forget this?? You might also mention that you can find coupons as part of a package or inside a package.

    Another item you need to correct is where you say all coupons have expiration dates. This is not true. Some coupons, especially those located on or inside packages, have no expiration date.

    Finally, to clarify Ralph’s policy: They will double all coupons up to and including $.50 coupons. All other coupons from $.50 to .99 will be automatically raised to $1 (assuming they are otherwise eligible).

  6. Rhoda says

    hi! I’m really having a hard time doing the this. Is there any classes that you offer? or anyone lives near Moreno Valley area?

  7. Tanya says

    Hello Josie, first off I love your website! This is my go to site for couponing in the inland empire. I’m still confused how doubling works. Does it mean that if I were to buy 4 like products from Von’s and use coupons for .50 off each, does this mean the first coupon equal $1 while the rest stay .50 off? Or will they all equal $1? I’ve shopped at Vons with multiple coupons and never seen any doubling. I hope I’m makin sense. Thank you and keep up with the awesome updates :)

  8. ivonne says

    hi i am new new to this and i was reading on the topic of how to get coupons now im wondering how do i go about getting coupons from the company website.. i was told i can email them so they can send me coupons but how do i go about this?? do i just go to the store website n email them saying hey can you send me some coupons???. im very new at this i dont understand anything really but hopefully i can catch on quick. thank you.

  9. Porsha says

    Hi, I need help! I have 3 coupons each stating $1.00 off purchase of 3, does not state only 1 coupon per transaction nor does it state can not be combined with any other offer. Can I use 3 similar coupons while buying only 3 of the items?

  10. Sandy says

    If you look at the Von’s coupon policy you will see that No Von’s will double coupons anymore.

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