Important Facts You Should Know Before Using Coupons | Living Rich With Coupons®Living Rich With Coupons®

Important Facts You Should Know Before Using Coupons

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With the new shows such as Extreme Couponing,  there are a lot of new coupon users out there.  With so many people trying to save an “extreme” amount of money,  sometimes you could, inadvertently,  use a coupon incorrectly.  Using them incorrectly may, in time,  cause stores to adjust their policies.  So, I wanted to take a moment to address some important facts.

1. Do Not Copy - This is a very big NO-NO.  You can not copy coupons.  This is actually against the law and is considered fraud.  In most cases, you can print 2 per computer.  If you need more, see if friends or family members can print for you as well.

2. Unique Codes: A lot of people email me telling me that their store would not accept their coupons because the UPC codes were the same on their like coupons.  If you are using more then one  “like” coupon, your UPC codes WILL all be the same.  They are coded to work for each product and dollar amount.  However, there are numbers on the coupons that will change with each one printed.  This is how they insure that they are not getting ones that are copied..  Here is where you can find those numbers on your coupons:
Coupons.com Coupons: There is a small barcode located under the expiration date.  There is a different number for each one printed.
Smart Source Coupons: On the left side there is a pin number.  There is a different pin number for each coupon printed. Update: Some of the Smart Source coupons may have the pin number located around the perimeter.

3. Fraudulent Coupons: If you received a coupon from a friend in your email or spotted one online and you are not sure if it’s legitimate, you can head over to Cents-off. They have a list of coupons that have been reported as fraudulent.  If you have received a fraudulent coupon, DO NOT use it.

4. Use The Coupon How It Is Intended: Be sure to only use the coupon how it was intended to be used.  If the coupon is for $1/1 off Maxwell House International Delight Coffee, don’t try to use it on Maxwell House Regular Coffee.  If it states “any Maxwell House Coffee” then you are free to use it on any of the Maxwell House products.

Also, pay attention to the size restrictions on the coupon.  If there are no size restrictions or it states “on any”, you can use it for any size in that product including trial or travel size.

5. One Per Purchase: A lot of consumers and cashiers think that this means you may only use 1 coupon per shopping trip.  What this actually means, is that you can use one coupon per item purchased.  So, if you were buying 4 Cheerios, you can use 4 $1/1 Cheerios Coupons.

Occasionally you will see coupons that are 1 per transaction.  In that case, you will only be able to use 1  even if you purchased more then one of those items in your transaction.  There really are not too many of these coupons around.

Some coupons, like P&G coupons, allow you to only use 4 “like” coupons per transaction.

6. The Value of The Coupon:  Another thing to pay close attention to is the value of the coupon.  If it states $1/1, you can use it to take $1.00 off 1 product.  If it states $1/2, you can use it to take $1 off 2 products.  So, for the $1/2 coupon you can only use one  for 2 products.

If you use your coupons exactly how they were intended to be used and if you have a better knowledge of them, it should make for a better shopping experience for you and the store.  If you are not sure how or when you can use a coupon, please ask.  I am always happy to answer any of your questions.

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  • http://facebook.com/CouponCrazyInKy mona p

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been sharing coupon info with people for a couple of months and this is great information to share!!

  • http://roses2rainbows.blogspot.com Linda

    I am a couponer, too, and that is excellent advice, well written and straightforward. We should all coupon responsibly.

    • http://livingrichwithcoupons Betsy

      I just read everything and I am eager to try this but really not sure how to begin, please if someone would help me out on learning this I would be sooo grateful, I did try and I didnt come out like some of you , I found Dawn dishwashing liquid on sale at CVS and had a .50 cent off coupon , well , I paid 1.90 something , I guess what Im trying to ask is how do I get things free or lower priced?? Should I have goten more bottles then it wouldve brought the price down?? I kinda dont get it! I am disabled and I am raising four young grandchildren of mine and living on a fixed income is just horrible at times,, I see things we need and I cant get them or the kids want something and I always say the same thing that I know they are use to me saying,, wait till later!! Any advice is welcomed even if you wanna tell me Im a dummy cause Ill except that, but, if I learn and you help me out with it ,, Im sure youd be blessed because we struggle!! Let me say thank you for atleast reading and I hope someone emails me back , I really want to know how to master this!! I think I may need a tutor lol!

      • Dorota

        I am new to couponing myself but one thing i learned is to look at all the stores that are around me at their weekly circulars to get the best deal also i look at this site and there is another one that i look at which is thekrazycouponlady.com both the sites are similar but i have learned a little something from each plus the other site will break it down for you what store has what sale what coupon to use and at the end of the page they have people posting their shopping trips also they break it down by posting what they bought at what store what coupons they used and how much they paid i really hope it helps best of luck and God Bless

  • Donna

    Very thorough. Thank you Cindy.

  • Jeanne

    This is GREAT! I just shared it on my facebook wall!

  • mandee

    well i wish I had this the other night when I was shopping at price chopper, I got into it with the male cashier over a coupon. Most of the time we get into with the cashiers because they are stating we are trying to rip the store off ,well not in this case I was buying the small steps napkins that are on sale for $1.29 each and this week I wanted to use the $1/2 thats in I think 1/2 ss and we have the dollar doubler store coupon so I would had gotten them for $0.58 for 2 well I was doing two transactions do to I was also doing a 2rain checks for last weeks sale that I could only do one per trans well I messed up and only put up 3 of the 4 napkins for the first order and I did not catch it in time due to the craziness of the rain checks(he had no clue how to do them) so when we did the 2nd order I seen I only had one of the napkin and I knew I needed two to do the deal so I asked him to scan the one 2 times and I was sending my son to get the 2nd. he told me no you don’t need it the coupon works on just one but it will not double it because the item is not $2 so because the item is only $1.29 you get it free. I told him the store will not get paid for that coupon if they can not show they sold 2 with that coupon and he can get in trouble he kept telling me no its fine even after I showed him on the coupon it said $1 off 2 pks of napkins and he did not want to scan the 2nd that’s when I had to raise my voice and say PLEASE SCAN THIS ONE I WANT IT TOO!! and he got realy mad,it is cashiers that are like this that are going to mess couponing up for us honest ppl!!! Oh and I know this is not right but I did not go and fix the first order do to let him get into trouble I got the 3 packs of napkins free. and I was not trying to be a hog I only wanted 4 pks of the napkins 2 for me and 2 for a family member. but now I have an extra pack for my camper if this nasty snow ever stops!! lol

  • Gayle

    How does doubling coupons work? No stores in my town double unless it is a special promotion and they they print a coupon that must accompany the coupon that you want to double. Does the store pay the doubled amt? Why do some coupons say “Do not double”? I’ve always thought that the store submitted the coupon for the face value to the manufacturer and then ‘ate’ the cost of the double. If this is the case, why does a manufacturer care if the coupon is doubled?

    • Cindy

      With most stores that double coupons on a regular basis, the coupons automatically double at the register. No other coupons are needed. However, all stores are different and if they don’t always double coupons, their registered may not be programmed to do so and may require an extra coupon or something else to trigger the double, as you stated your store does.

      Yes the store pays the double amount of the coupon. You can read my article on the Mystery of the Do Not Double Coupons. . That may answer some of your questions.

      • Gayle

        Thank you Cindy. This article and the double couponing article have helped so much. I’ll never be a super couponer as our stores don’t double and I don’t get enough coupons in the paper to make it worth my time. I cut out the $,75 and above if it is for something I need, but I forego the $.25/3. Probably wasting a lot of money, but my time is worth something too.

        Thanks again. I love this site!

    • Tiffany

      Honestly I get a little envious when I hear ‘doubling’. Stores here in California don’t double at all.

  • Julie

    This is a huge help – thank. Now I have a ?? for you. I have a BOGO for splenda, and it doesn’t have a 14 or 01 as the 10th/11th digits. It has a 00. This is the number: 5 22776 10000 0
    So, how do I know if I can use another coupon? Or, since it is 00, could I possibly use two coupons?

    Thanks, Cindy!!

    • Cindy

      Most likely that coupon will be so they can manually put in the dollar amount. You can use another coupon with that.

      • Julie

        Thanks! I was just getting ready to go to the store and would have only used the BOGO, but I also have a $2/1! You save me so much money!!!!

  • Lindsay M.

    I have had the arguement over 1 per purchase with some Target employees. I was in line for a young, friendly cashier, but they called me over to the old, cranky lady. I had all of the Good Life Recipe cat food coupons to make them free, but she insisted that 1 per purchase means I can only by one at a time. After explaining it to her, another coworker, and the manager, they finally let me use them, reluctantly though.

    Is there a better way to explain the purchase versus transaction issue?

    • Jay

      “One per purchase means I can’t buy one item and then use 5 coupons on it.” They’ll agree with that, of course.. very sensible rule. Anyway, sometimes if they can understand what the rule really does mean, they’ll let go of their incorrect version..

  • Laci

    Very good. I learned something new…I didn’t know the “code” with BOGO. I see people post about using 2 coupons, and think…I don’t think you can. Now I know!
    Thanks!!

  • Jil

    I had a cashier that accused me of copying coupons because the Offer # and the Barcode # matched. I am new to couponing so I got confused as to what she meant (and a little miffed that she accused me of copying the coupons, I would never do that!). Anyway, I completed my purchase minus the coupons, went home, reviewed my coupons and quickly found that there was a 3rd number (pin #) and they did not match one another. I went back to the store and they were nice. Refunded my money and took the coupons. Now I know!

  • Robin

    Rite aid wouldn’t let me use two coupons that said one per purchase, even though I was buying two items, bogo. First the clerk said it, then the manager. Is that written somewhere, so that you could show them?

    • Cindy

      It’s in the Rite Aid Coupon Policy

    • Kristina

      Just check out the rite aid coupon policy. It clearly states you can use two coupons on a bogo transaction.

      • Diana

        I am having the same issue at CVS. They won’t let me use more than one coupon that says “One per purchase.” Where can I show them that I can use these two coupons on two items?

        • mary killion

          I would call corporate with the store number and ask them for help. Tell them you want to continue to shop there but won’t be able to if this continues. See if you can speak to a regional manager…….. Be nice, but firm that retraining needs to be done where coupons are concerned.

  • Lynn

    Thanks for this posting this was a lot of help. Because I always wonder what all those numbers stood for.

  • Tara M

    What do you mean when you say the 10th and 11th #’s are the value of the coupon? The coupon for Deer Park Water for example has “76″ as the 10th and 11th #’s, but the coupon is for $1 off.

    • Cindy

      The numbers are coded. Those 2 numbers stand for the value of the coupon. 76 happens to be coded for a $1/1 off coupon. We really never need to worry about anything else but the BOGO coupon coding so we know if we can use another coupon on the other product we are buying. Any other code we see doesn’t matter because the amount of the coupon is the amount of the coupon.

  • Kim

    Thanks for the tips about the BOGO coupons. I was not aware you could double up with some coupons. Will Target and Shoprite allow me to do this? The Shoprite I go to has gotten really strict with their coupons lately and Target only lets me use one of their Target coupons per transaction.

  • patti

    What great information you’ve given us here. Thanks so much for helping me understand coupons a little better (okay, a lot better!).

  • Kristoffer

    Thank you for clearing up the one per purchase statement on coupons with #6! Not sure why that is so confusing for stores/cashiers (and me too) but now it makes perfect sense.

    • http://www.fallbreeze@blogspot.com Connie Brannen

      Hi.Can you explain the #6 code for me on one per purchase please and thank you.

  • Peggy Ann

    Has anyone had problems using printable coupons that do not include a web address? My local ShopRite told me if a coupon does not have a web address they are counterfeit and would not be accepted. This was for the French’s mustard and International Delight that were printed from manufacturer’s websites. One coupon even had a Smart Source logo on it. If we are getting coupons from legit sources how can they be counterfeit??

    • karen

      i had this problem w/my shoprite a couple of months ago (summer time?), and i stayed away from using internet cpns at shoprite. but recently, the cpns were too good to pass up and i’ve been happily printing cpns and shoprite has not given me any problems.

  • jamie

    what about coupons that bring up the printer prompt asking how many i’d like to print? (the pennsylvania dutch coupons were this way.) is it okay to print as many as i’d like on those?

    • Cindy

      Jamie, yes those are PDF coupons and can be printed multiple times. They are put out by the company that way. So, they either have no clue how to regulate their coupons or they don’t care how many are printed. But, the PDF coupons are sometimes not accepted by stores so just make sure you know if your store will take them or not.

  • Ana B.

    I am new to the whole coupon world. When a manufacture coupon states “cannot be combined with any other coupon” can I still use a “In-store” coupon with the manufacture coupon?

    • Cindy

      Yes you can use a store coupon. They are referring to another manufacturer coupon.

  • http://www.Free4Realz.com Kathy

    Cindy,
    I love this post and you hit all the important topics right on the nose.

  • Tara

    I am a beginner. I came across your website and am learning a lot. I am excited to start saving money. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
    I do have a question – What are “like” coupons?

    • Cindy

      “Like” coupons are coupons that are exactly the same. So, if you bought 4 Tide Laundry detergent and you used 4 $1/1 Tide Laundry detergent coupon, then that is 4 “like” coupons.

  • Tara

    thanks!

  • Rose

    What about the buy 2 get one free coupons? I see most of mine end in a 16. Does that mean I can or cant use it with another coupon?

  • Melody

    I have a question, If I have a B1 deoderant and Get free body wash and that coupon ends with the 01, and I have another coupon for a bogo for 2 body washes and have a $1/1 deoderant coupon, can I purches the Bogo body washes and attach the other coupons with it to make it 2 free washes and adollar off the deoderant? it would be like I buy the body washes and then get one free then buy the deoderant and get a wash for free and use the free one as the first one I purchesed and get another $1 off? this is all confusing me. There must be more to what I am undrstanding to all this, If someone can go in the store and buy $600 worth of groceries for $6.00 then someones is holding back some great info….. I go to the store and only buy bogo sales and use coupons and am only saving 50%….. I wanna save more already! LOL. And I am wondering why cant I use 2 totally diff coupons from seperate weeks on one item??? It doesnt make sence.. I mean the store will get paid full price back from the manufacture anyways…. Im so confused! Please help me understand more since I really need to save money quick since I am living on a very low fixed budget and can’t work yet because of a broken foot and have no insurance, I really need to understand this quick! So I dont look silly at the checkouts like I have been. I am getting a bit better especially after saving over $16 on a small purches tonight at win dixie!! I had 2 $2/1 voila coupons and they were on sale 2/$8 and I also had coupons for 2 free bags of birdseye veggies AND had another coupon for $1.50 off 3 birdseyes steemables so I purchesed another bag making a total of 3 and so I paid only $5.13 for all the food!!! That made my night since I had a bad day. lol. I am also looking forward to going to CVS to get the 5/$5 deals on tooth paste and mouth rince and melt aways and toothbrushes that I have coupons for all of them and will spend a total of $5.75 on 20 products that I know we will use!!! So any other help would be great esp in the food area since I have a hungray man over here:) and he loves to cook too! Thank you so much for your help and also this websight! It helps, I feel silly that I may not understand it all yet, But Im not affraid to ask questions and look silly! LOL . Im just confused especially with the BOGO’s and the B2G1 free as well…. Please help!!! Thank you so much! And God bless!!!

    • http://Livingrichwithcoupons.com Kelly

      I love this website and all the knowledge I am gaining as to the Extreme Couponing. However, I am glad Melody brought that up because, I too, don’t understand the system and/or how one can do a full shopping order and after all the coupons the shopper only owe like $5.00 or the store owes the shopper money…

      Cindy, you have helped me so much with this site and all the feedback, therefore, I thank you and can now save more then I was prior to reviewing you site.

      With that being said, and I am a single mother on disability and have been trying to figure out the extreme couponing as Melody and I have referenced above. I understand that it may take more time, etc., but I am will to do so if you can help me to understand how. thanks so much..:)

  • Bonnie

    Hi,
    I am just starting to coupon…really green at this. I cannot get any coupons to print. I am forever getting error messages. Any info on these problems? Solutions would be appreciated.

  • karen

    I would like to know if anyone on this site lives in South Jersey? I live in Williamstown, so I would like to find someone close to me that is involved in couponing and can give me some tips on what I am doing wrong? I still spend a lot of money each week, even with a ton of coupons! any help would be greatly appreciate, the sooner the better!! thanks

    • Yvette

      I’m in the deptford area and pretty good at the couponing thing(thanks to Cindy (: ) what kind of help do u need?

  • KFlan

    I have a question about doubling coupons vlaues… If my store doubles up to $0.99 of the value of the coupon, but my coupon is for $2/1, will it not double? Or do I get the $2 plus an additional $0.99 so I get a total of $2.99? I hope this makes sense.. my next shopping trip could change drastically depending on the answer…
    thanks!!

    • Anonymous

      Hello..

      Ironically I just called the only store that doubles in my area and I asked the exact same question. They double up to .99 as well.. But if I have a 1.00 coupon I will only get that 1.00 off… not the 1.99. cuz i thought the same thing since it won’t double to the entire 1.00 will I get up to the .99. But the answer was no! Say I have a .75 off.. that doubles to 1.50.. but that is about it.. or if a rare coupon is for .99 off.. then i get the 1.98! Good luck :)

  • Anonymous

    what is a “like ” coupon?

  • jen

    what is a “like” coupon?

  • Patty C

    When a coupon says $1.00 off when u buy 2, can I use
    Two coupons

    • Yvette

      No

  • Patti

    I have a coupon that said buy 2 old spice deod. and bodywash save $1.00. I also have a free bodywash with purchase of deod. Can I use both of them.

  • Genevieve

    I went to Walmart today with the $3 off 2 boxes of tampax pearl. the cashier would only apply the coupon to one of the boxes. my understanding from reading the websites was that it would apply to both boxes. I’m really confused and didn’t know what to do. Please help
    thank you

    • Vanessa

      Hi Genevieve,
      The $3.00 off comes from the total price of the two boxes combined not of each box. Whenever you have a $ amount off of “x” items, the money is subtracted from the total. I know sometimes these coupons can be alittle confusing but you will get the hang of it :)

      • Genevieve

        i just saw this response. thank you :)

  • Tracy

    Ok, I am trying to learn all the coupon lingo. I am a bit confused though by the Target Deals for week of 6/5/11. You have deals where you say to stack Target coupons with Manufactured coupons for items like Magnum bars, Kraft Cheese, and A1, but the Target coupons say limit one coupon or offer per transaction. I thought this means you cannot stack another coupon with it?? Please explain?
    The information you have on this site is GREAT! Thank you for taking the time to inform us beginners (though I have used coupons for years, but now I know I have been cheating myself of even more discounts).
    Thank you,
    Tracy

  • Nicole

    I am new at couponing and I was just wondering about the codes on BOGO coupons. Where is the “01″ or “14″ located at on the coupon? Thank so much!
    Nicole

  • Amber

    Could someone please explain a “like” coupon in detail please.

    • dfenton

      It means the same, not “like”…I dont really get that myself, why dont they just say you can only use the same one x amount of times…im sure they like it confusing though lol

  • Karie

    New to couponing! So I am trying to learn everything about how to use coupons correctly. I have a question if someone could please help me on it. What if shampoo is on sale .88 cents. You have a coupon for buy 1 shampoo and get 1.00 off. The product is only .88 cents. So will it let you take that 1.00 off or will it not scan?

    • Anonymous

      it depends on your store’s policy. You should ask the store manager for a copy of thier coupon policy. Some stores will only take the .88 cents off, while others will let you have it as an overage to use on the rest of your purchase.

  • Sherry

    I am new to couponing, I am so glad you have this website and share with us all of your knowledge. Today I went to Walmart and got Zyertec 5ct. and Benadryl itch relief stick, and with the coupons I found on different websites I only paid $. 55 for these two items. The cashier at Walmart rung up my purchase and then took off my coupons, then looked at the total to tell me how much I owed, he said $.55 then he said WOW!!

  • Jo

    I just shared your website link with ALL my facebook girlfriends and shopping husbands. It would have made me feel like a bad friend if I did not! I have over 300 friends who may “stop in” thank you so much!

  • Miss Ginny

    ty this is a big help.

  • tori

    So i’m a little confused about a coupon. I have a B1G1 free coupon for deodorant and the barcode has a “01″. After reading the article above, i understand that i can use another coupon with that transaction. So am i able to use a $1/ 2 items coupon (will the coupon attach to both items as well) or can i only use a coupon for $1/ 1 item coupon??

  • Ann Martinez

    So when you get an coupon that says this does it mean you cannot combine with any other coupon.

    Void if altered, copied, sold, or transferred or where prohibited or restricted by law. One coupon per purchase of specified product(s). May not be combined with other offers. Consumer pays any sales tax. NOT SUBJECT TO DOUBLING.

    • tori

      The statement means, you can ONLY use (1) coupon per product that you are purchasing. Say you go to the store and buy (1) box of diapers, you may only use (1) dollar/cents off coupon. And if you decide to buy (10) boxes of diapers, you may use (10) dollar/cents off coupons. Also, if the store has a B1G1 sale on a product, you may use (2) dollar/cents off coupon. For example, their is a B1G1 sale on deodorant, you may use (2) $1/1 coupon or (1) $1/2 coupon for that item (the coupon attaches to both products). Hope that helps!!

  • Melanie

    I’m new to couponing and I’m not sure if a was cheated out of using a coupon or not. I recently bought Arm & Hammer laundry detergent that was on sale for BOGO at Giant Food Stores and I had a coupon for $1/2. The cashier said I would actually have to BUY 2 to use the coupon. (I would have had to get 4 laundry detergents to use the coupon). Being new to couponing, I’m not used to stockpiling yet, so I didn’t use the coupon. Was I cheated? I tried to look on Giant’s coupon policy but couldn’t see anywhere that it referred to this situation.

    • tori

      I also shop at Giant Food Store on a weekly basis. Last week they had the same BOGO on Arm and Hammer laundry and I used the same coupon. So you CAN use a $1/2 coupon on their BOGO sale!! So next time that happens, make sure you talk to a manager because obviously the cashier doesn’t understand how coupons and store sales work. One time at Giant, a younger cashier told me I was unable to use a coupon on one of my products so i told her to just scan it anyways and lets see what happens. And here to find out, the register accepted the coupon. So don’t second guess yourself. If you know the coupon can be used, tell the cashier it would make you happy if they would scan the coupon. The worst that can happen is the register denies it.

  • http://www.livingrichwithcoupons.com/2011/01/important-facts-you-should-know-before-using-coupons.html#respond HELEN

    Hello,

    You stated p&G allows you to only use 4 “like” coupons per transaction.
    Does this mean I can use 4 of their coupons on 1 item?/
    Thanks

  • http://www.livingrichwithcoupons.com/2011/01/important-facts-you-should-know-before-using-coupons.html#respond HELEN

    Could someone explain the LIKE coupon details. Thanks

  • Jasmine

    I started to get interested in this when i started working as a cashier. For the store theres a great difference between people who know and understand the coupon process vs people who don’t. But its a pleasure and i’ve even come to admire those who use them to their limit.

  • http://www.fallbreeze@blogspot.com Connie Brannen

    May GOD BLESS YOU forever and ever,till the end of time for teaching us dummies that other people keep the secrets hid from us.We all just love this site.A heartfelt Thank You from Millons of us learner’s so that we can spread the word to othe,s in need and reall knock the hunry families down to tiny in number rather that the very very many that are out there.We love you and wish the very best for your family and household.Thank You Again from all of us.

  • tina

    Hi Cindy. I want to ask you where I can print off something “OFFICIAL” for the BOGO rule (with the 01 barcode difference),so I can take it to my local Walmart and use my bogo coupons,plus a $1 off coupon on my two items.I thought about printing your page ,but they would not trust in it.. Thank you. Tina

  • Audra

    Hello,
    Thank you for all the information you have provided here. I Am just researching/learning how to coupon. I have a family of seven and it would really help me. I have some questions. I just watched the show extreme couponing are they doing something wrong? I just got cable after years of no tv. Do I call my local store and ask about there coupon policy? Thank you very much

  • michelle

    yes its very good advice but what if you clip a coupon froma penny saver and the first number is 4 a number other than 5 or 9… and if a store only lets you have one coupon for one item how can you save money if you cant double it…

  • michelle

    yes i agree with audra do we call the store, and wh is the youngest extreme couponer and how old is this person becuase my 12 year od duaghter really is obbsessed with extreme couponing and wants a stockpile…and do you think hat is a good idea.

  • Teresa

    Could you help me with getting coupons off the internet…and understanding the web sites….too many bunny trails once you log on….Help

  • jill

    I feel silly asking this…so when a coupon says $1 off when you buy two does it mean you must buy two to get the $1 off? or can you buy just one and get the $1 off ?

  • alaina

    I find this interesting but im cerious how they do it. when i look at most coupons it says dont double

  • Traveler

    Tnank you for a very detailed explanation. That’s the best I found on the web! Do you know how to tell if the coupon will double on not with the new long bar-codes? They don’t start with neither 5 or 9. The one I recently used didn’t say DND, but it wasn’t doubled. It would be nice to know it in advance. Thanks!

  • angela

    I watch all the extreme couponing shows where do they get all their high value or free item coupons? Maybe i’m not looking in the right places , and can you really get tons of groceries free ? I saved 178.00 dollars in coupons this month but i still spent about 700.00 dollars . I want to extreme coupon too…..

  • Kelly

    If you’re buying two of a certain item, (ie: 2 boxes of Ziploc bags), and have a $1/2 coupon and two .70/1 coupons, can you use all three?

  • Marl

    what does “double” couponing means?

  • carrie couponer

    thank you so much for all you wonderful info…

  • john

    I tried a couple of coupon codes on a website, and one of the codes gave me a 100% discount. Can I get in trouble for that

  • Christopher

    @ john (above) – what kind of trouble would you get into exactly? It’s not like they are going to send the cops out to arrest you. I would think the worse that would happen is that the order gets cancelled. The best that could happen is you get stuff for free. Some people would consider this stealing, others would blame the store for having a ‘free’ coupon code out there.

  • Amy

    Thanks for this awesome information, I’m new to couponing and I want to do this right, one thing that has always held me back is not knowing how to properly use coupons, it can get a bit confusing!

  • Crystal

    Cindy!! You’re the best ever!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience! Please help me to become more savey! I went to RiteAid, CVS, and Eckerds, today. I used to be able to use fillers in order to use multiple coupons. They changed the policy. Any suggestions??

  • Lori

    Crystal, What do you mean they changed their policy? What happened? I was at Rite Aid tonight and bought 2 items, used 2 coupons + 2 Up Rewards with no problem….what issue are you running into?

  • carly

    could you use multiple coupons on one product if they are for different amounts? For example, $.50 off granola bars and $.60 off granola bars or $1 off cereal and $.50 off the same cereal?

    • Anne

      In a nut shell. You may use only one manf. coupon per item. If you are in a store that has it’s own coupons, ie CVS, Target you may also use one of theirs as well for the same item. That is stacking!
      FYI always look at and print the store coupon policy…it can clear up any problems the uninformed cashier/manager has!
      Good Luck! Be patient it takes time to figure it all out!

  • ashley

    Ok…. i have a stupid question. Where can i go to get/print these coupons???

    • Anne

      smart source, red plum, coupons.com and many more…look at the home page. Also sign up at brands you use ie kellogs, P&G, and they will email you coupons.
      If you are having trouble printing… some want you to install their toolbar. You can always uninstall the toolbar later and your coupons will still print.

  • erica

    I have a question…I just don’t think I’m understanding how this works. For example, this week I see this:
    Cascadian Farm Fozen Vegetables Broccoli Corn, Peas, or Edamame 10oz. – $2.00
    $0.85/1 Cascadian Farm Product printable
    $0.75/1 Cascadian Farm Product printable
    $0.75/1 Cascadian Farm Cereal printable
    $0.85/1 Cascadian Farm Product printable
    $0.85/1 Cascadian Farm Product printable
    $0.85/1 Cascadian Farm Product printable
    $0.75/1 Cascadian Farm Product printable
    as low as $0.30 each after coupon
    If these are all manufacturer’s coupons, I should only be able to use one, right? So then, how do we get down to .30 each? I don’t get it!

    • Anne

      because some stores double coupons so .85 will double to 1.70 the balance is .30

    • Ana

      Cindy lists all the coupons that are available for the product underneath them. We then check our binders(or the links to print out) to see which ones we actually have. Then if a store fully doubles, $.85 doubled becomes $1.70 off.

  • Kim

    Thank You for your help with all different kinds of information.It really helps in many ways. Sometimes I will buy extra Sunday paper coupon books,but still watch,you bid on these coupons. You can even get 20 coupons of the same product sometimes for 1 dollar and only 50 cents shipping. Some sellers ship
    free.There also is Military coupons.

  • Tiffany

    i got some coupons from some site and the barcode doesn’t have a 5 or 9. How can you tell if the coupon is fake or is there such a thing? im new to the whole couponing thing. just trying to save money since im a 19 yr old living on my own. but this was very helpful so far. your posts are brilliant! (:

    • kabby

      Tiffany…a while back new coding symbols were introduced to coupons…so many do not have the numbers under the “upc code” to read…just be sure to read the coupon if it states “do not double”. Welcome to the great world of couponing…make sure you have read the “Ask BOGO couponing for beginners”..located at the top of the page(next to the little cartoon of the dog)it will be very helpful to get started. Good Luck!!!

  • jacqui

    ok so im 15 and im starting to coupon to help my folks out and i got a lot of coupons but i get confused when it somes to matching up with the deals. like if i have a coupon a 1$ off and its on sale for 2/5$ does that mean it will be 4 dollars or something HELP!

    • Laura D.

      Hi Jacqui, that’s awesome!
      If the sale is 2/$5 and you have coupons for $1/1 ($1.00 off 1 item) you may use 2 coupons (one for each item) and pay $3.

      Now, if the sale is 2/$5 and you have coupons for $1/2 ($1.00 off 2 items) you can only use 1 coupon and pay $4.

      Couponing is VERY specific. You are off to a great start! I would suggest to keep going over the Beginners section (click on the dog BOGO at the top of this page). Stick with it and don’t get discouraged, and start building your family a stockpile. Before you know it you’ll be a pro!

  • Alicia

    I just started looking into the world of couponing in the last couple weeks and I find it incredibly interesting but extremely overwhelming. Thank you so much for breaking things down in such a laidback tone. I especially liked your idea of focusing on one store at first while building up your coupon binder. That seems a lot more doable than I expected. Thank you and can’t wait to keep exploring your site :)

  • Sarah

    My #’s above the barcode start with 0 not a 5 or a 9 :( what dose this meen HELP ME

  • Rannette

    Hello Cindy I was a little confused about the 5 and 9 under the barcode. Are you saying that some coupons start with a 5 or 9 because i have a few that start with 5, but some that’s neither a 5 or 9. Thanks:)

  • k

    Can i use coupons i have clipped along with stores digital coupons?

    • Anne

      It depends on the digital coupon. It it is a store coupon you can stack it with a mfr. coupon.

      Also to keep in mind is if you live in an area that doubles coupons electronic coupons will not double. So I only load coupons of a dollar or more, ones that wont double in my area.

      About those 5 and 9 numbers ppl keep asking about. Some coupons have them still but many don’t anymore. So for that I say just read the coupon if it says it won’t double don’t count on it.

  • Jada

    Im starting to coupon. I bought a sunday news paper an got the coupons i needed. How do you girls make it so cheap? & how do you find out if theres a price drop/deal

    • kabby

      Click on the store you wish to shop at….LRWC will have matchups for items on sale and a list under them showing coupons available…the ones highlighted in red are links that direct you to printable coupon. Make sure to read coupons for beginners at top of page..very helpful. Good luck!

  • Kou

    Hi. On my last shopping trip to target, my cashier act like she knew everything about coupons. She argued with me that where it states ‘one per purchase’ ment I could only use 1 coupon for all 4 items because they were the same product. I told her that she has to read what comes after the ‘one coupon per purchase’ because it makes a huge difference. It says something like ‘one coupon per purchase of product or item’ . Wouldn’t that mean that if I bought 4 items, I would be able to use 1 coupon each for each item? And I’ve been couponing for a couple of years now and target has always let me use 4 like coupons in 1 transaction and 1 coupon for each item. I contact corporate but they just tell me to have the store give them a call when I’m shopping there. I kinda want to take an English teacher there and have him/her interpret what the coupon really means so I can rub it in her face! Trust me, the cahsier was rude! But what else can I do besides arguing ?? Target policy does state that they can refuse the coupons correct?

  • Don

    I am curious about what you had shared in regards to coupons being able to be doubled even if it says it can’t be doubled. I just got the coupon ad in the mail for places like King Soopers and Albertsons. The issue I am seeing is that the coupon code starts with a “1″ for the King Soopers ad and for the Albertsons coupons don’t have any numbers below the bar code. Is it safe to say that those just can’t be doubled?

    • LRWC – Cindy Livesey

      If you are referring to the stores coupons, those do not double. However, King Soopers and Albertsons stores don’t double manufacturer coupons anyway.

  • Don

    Thank you for the response Cindy. So, silly question… Where should I start? I get the red plum ad in the mail but other than that I don’t get any other coupons and don’t get the newspaper. Maybe I just need to figure out which sites are good for print at home coupons?

    • Rocky

      Don, your best bet is to regularly visit this site! Cindy posts deals and coupon notifications throughout the day, every day! And, the coupons are from various coupon sites, so, you don’t need to go to each one separately. On this site, you hardly ever have to figure out anything on your own (grin)!

      If you haven’t printed any coupons from any of the various sites, yet, the first time, you will be instructed to load their software. Just follow the instructions given, it is only usually a step or two.

      In the meantime, if you want to get an idea of what is available now, hover over the Coupons tab above, on the toolbar, then click on Coupon Database. In the Search field, type in “printable” and hit Enter. It will bring up pages and pages of printable coupons. Warning, though, it is VERY tempting to start printing and printing! Be judicious to start with, print a few for things you are pretty sure you would buy, anyway, to get started. When you are on the first page, you may have use the scrollbar to get to the bottom of the page. There, you will see a “Next” clickable link. That will bring you to the successive pages.

      Then, be sure to follow the posts throughout the day, as you can. You will learn that some coupons are fairly ‘hot’ and should be printed as soon as possible since some of them have what is known as ‘print limits’. The manufacturer only allows a certain amount to be printed and then it is withdrawn. You will learn which these are by reading the full post, or, the comments associated with it.

      And, another thing to note: this site has the most helpful readers you can imagine! We all help each other out with questions/answers, hints and tips and you WILL learn a lot, including the lingo! Good Luck! HTH (Hope this helps)!

      • Rocky

        Forgot to mention that most coupon sites (including brand websites since many go through the various coupon sites) will allow you to print two copies of a coupon per computer. So, if you see some deals referencing four of a particular coupon it is because many folks have more than one computer at their disposal and can print multiples. On occasion, you may come across a coupon that only allows one print and if you try again, it will tell you that you have reached your print limit.

  • Don

    That is all very good information and I appreciate it! So upon looking at things like the King Soopers site and adding the coupons to my card. They are not necessarily very good deals since King Soopers doesn’t allow double coupons and stuff right?

    • Rocky

      Don, sorry, I know nothing about King Soopers, so, can’t advise you, there. However, my personal opinion is that using ANY coupon (even if it doesn’t double) is ALWAYS preferable to not using a coupon at all!

      So, if you shop there (or, actually, anywhere you shop) you should always also load ecoupons to your card that they make available to you. And, keep in mind, no store’s ecoupons double. They are one time use (almost always. I seem to have heard something about some stores possibly allowing multiples for their ecoupons, but, can’t place the source, right now), for ‘face value’ only.

      The key is to try and combine them with sales and other coupons to get the best bang for your buck. But, until you have tested and know whether or not they work properly for you, I wouldn’t advise counting on getting that ecoupon savings in your OOP (out of pocket) calculations, just yet.

      Now, if you are asking if it is preferable to go to King Soopers, since they don’t double, instead of another store, I would almost always pick the store that doubles, as long as you have done your due diligence and have found that you can get good deal values. However, if you do not have any stores near you that double, just count on the face value of your coupons, combine them, wherever possible, with store coupons, make sure your ecoupons are clipped and loaded to your card, and, just get started!!! You have to shop, anyway, right {wink}???

  • Don

    Thank you very much Rocky! I am definitely learning about all of this completely from scratch and just trying to make sense of it all. I think I definitely need to look around first and find out which stores around my area have the coupon policy that I am looking for and see how I can benefit the best from doing some couponing before I really get started. And I definitely agree that any coupon is better than nothing and that is generally what I do currently but it is easy to watch the Extreme Coupon shows and get a bit overwhelmed and even confused on how they save all of that money and then start attempted to do some of that yourself and get a bit discouraged when I just don’t seem to find near those good of deals in my area.

    • Tracer

      Don,

      Please dont base your success with coupons on THAT SHOW. What they do on there is strictly made for TV. The stores have admitted to breaking their own policies to accommodate the shoppers/producers of the show. So, for the most part, what they show you is fiction.

      Now, you can save A LOT of money using coupons. Just keep following this site and plug away at it. You wont build your stock pile overnight, but it will happen. HTH

      • Anonymous

        yes, this website is a much, much better example of reality than “the show which shall not be named” :)

      • Rocky

        Ditto! That show drives me crazy! And, gives us a bad rep!

  • Don

    That is good to hear and that is what I was thinking as well given the old saying that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. LOL! With that being said I do agree that I can still save some money and get some great deals and I will definitely continue to read through everything on this site and take it one shopping trip at a time for sure!

  • Kay

    I’m new to extreme couponing, please help me. Please HELP ME!!! PLEASE! And thank you.

    • Anonymous

      Do you have an exact question? I would suggest you spend some time reading all the information for new couponers…then read all the posts….start with one store to perfect your skills, CVS is a good one because you can get really great deals with ECB, savings loaded to your card, and the magic coupon machine.

  • Megan

    I am new to couponing and so overwhelmed right now!!!! I am trying so hard to save our family on groceries, but I feel like everything I need to buy at the store doen’t have a coupon! is this normally true? Plus I am so confused on how many coupons i can use and when to use them. Don’t know why couping boggle my post pregnancy mind so bad!

  • mark

    e coupons from shoprite are the good on unlimited number of items?

    • kabbysteve

      Shoprite ecoupons can only be used once…then it is gone, you cannot reload another one..hope that helps.

  • corrinna

    I am new to this site and I am just starting to figure out how to become an extreme couponer. and I have a question what do the double zero’s mean at the very front of the bar code in the coupon mean? A lot of my coupons that I printed from coupon.com and that I cut out from my paper have them. You only mentioned 5 and 9′s.

  • Lupe

    how do u no what coupons u can use together?

  • Eva

    What if the number at the top of the code starts with a 0 ? I’m assuming that they don’t double?

    • Stu

      The coupon you pictured has the new style barcode with databar. I don’t recall a discussion on whether there is a sure fire way to know whether the coupon will double or not. Most of them will double of course (if less than $1.00). Some coupons have small print that will state “do not double” or “not subject to doubling” but most of the time these coupons will still double unless it is read by a cashier and they choose to overide the doubling. What I personally do is to pay attention when the coupons are scanned and see if there are any that do not double. If there are then I will point it out to the cashier (if there is no “do not double” jargon) and mention that it’s their store policy to double. These instances are few and far between however.

      For the old style small barcodes that do start with either a 5 or 9, the rule is as stated in the posting. The 5′s will double automatically (if less than $1.00), the 9′s will not.

      • Eva

        Thank you!

      • kate

        there is the double coupon checker app available free for apple devices

    • misterbill

      The barcode at the top (starting with 0333) is a unique identifier for the coupon so that it can be validated but I don’t believe it is intended to be scanned at the register.

  • fernie

    hi I am a beginner…I bought 5 sunday newspapers today and I don’t kno how to start. there is a lot of coupons that says “limit one per customer per transaction”. how do I go about doing that? also, I have a lot of red plum coupons and I see items I like. for example the loreal products- it says save $1, $2 and $3…how can I get all these loreal coupons and get the items for less or free :) what do I need to do?

    • Stu

      I don’t think is really an easy answer to your question as the art of couponing to save the most money can at times get a little complicated. My advice is to start slow to begin with. You probably have 1 or perhaps 2 grocery stores that you frequent together with 1 or 2 pharmacies. My suggestion is to visit the match-ups posted on this website for the stores you visit and see how the deals work. You’ll then get an idea of how to save lots of money. You’ll need to also be aware of other coupon savings available such as catalina’s, saving star, cellfire, etc. Take your time to review “your” stores and the flyers. Don’t worry about using every coupon. Most of the coupons I used to have I ended up throwing away as a lot are $1.00/2 or similar and they just didn’t work out to be good savings.

      My personal opinion is that it is a waste of time and money to buy multiple newspapers. A waste of time certainly if you clip all of the coupons thinking you may use them which was something I used to spend a couple of hours a week doing. 95% of the coupons I now use are printables. If there are any good printed coupons out there I will order these from a coupon clipping service. You can see what coupons are coming up weekly with Cindy’s Sunday Coupon Preview (usually posted on a Tuesday or Wednesday I think). I take time to review that as it lists that weeks upcoming coupons. If there are any I want then I’ll just make a note and order these online. I personally use coupondede. There is a $ order limit but it is low and standard shipping is reasonable. What I order every 4-6 weeks certainly costs me less than 16-24 newspapers and I don’t have to do much cutting!

      As for the specific lingo on coupons, these of course must be adhered to. I do not personally recall that many coupons that state “limit one per customer per transaction”. In a case like that though you can either make another visit later in the week or take a friend/family member with you to do a 2nd transaction.

  • Eva

    okay, so my mom’s friend gave her these coupons to use and I was looking at then when i noticed that none of their barcode #’s were changing. (see pic attatched) and im pretty sure they’re supposed to change if they weren’t copied. I know copying coupons is a no go so i just wanted to get another opinion before i throw these away

    • http://livingrichwithcoupons.com/ Cindy Livesey

      They are fraudulent coupons. Please do not use them. They are not copied copies but coupons that are completely fake. Never, ever buy printable coupons from any one.

      • Eva

        Thanks !! I knew something was wrong.

  • misterbill

    This photos in this article should really be updated with the new style barcode and other stuff that can show up on a coupon. It’s rather dated with just the old style barcode.

    • http://livingrichwithcoupons.com/ Cindy Livesey

      We are redoing this entire beginners section after the holidays.

  • DAVID

    So question on number six. Ive been able to print out 10 of the $1 off sierra mist coupons. It states “limit one coupon per customer”. So if im understading this right, I can still use 10 coupons on 10 bottles of the Mist??

  • david

    K question on number 6… im a newbie so bear with me. So I have a coupon that states one coupon per customer…. I have 10. there the $1 off sierra mist from cvs. . so if rule 6 is true I can use all 10 coupons on 10 2 liters of mist??

    • Stu

      Store policies vary of course. If you visit the CVS website and read their actual coupon policy you’ll see they have a rule that states: “CVS/pharmacy accepts multiple identical coupons for multiple qualifying items as long as there is sufficient stock to satisfy other customers, unless a limit is specified. Management reserves the right to limit the quantity of items purchased.”. A limit of 4 like (i.e. same) coupons is often specified on manufacturer coupons but there are exceptions to this. Unilever for instance has a limit of 2 like coupons per transaction.

      In the case of the Sierra Mist coupon you referenced, this is actually a CVS store coupon. Now, I don’t think there is any written policy that specifically states that you are only allowed 1 like store coupon. It seems to be an unwritten rule. There may be some out there who know better but I have just read the policy again when posting this and failed to spot a specific mention regarding like store coupons.

      If you do try to use more than 1 like store coupon then the additional coupon will beep and most likely you’ll be told you can’t use more than 1 store coupon. Hope this helps.

      • david

        very helpful thank you much!

      • david

        Even if the coupons have different UPC’s? Guess I gotta find a store with manager and clerk willing to ring up one bottle at a time?

        • Stu

          Well it seems to be a gray area. I am actually calling corporate tomorrow to complain about my horrible store experience today so I may mention CVS store coupons to them depending how the conversation goes. If I do, I’ll post back.

      • misterbill

        You can only use one of the same CVS store coupon per transaction. The register will beep on any others. Multiple transactions are fine, although the cashier or manager could stop you after a few.

        • david

          okay cool. This will be my first attempt at small free “haul”. I now have 20 coupons thanks to family and friends. Cool part is is that there are 4 CVS’s on my home from work. So im hoping I wont have a problem using them all. . . Now is that a pretty standard rule for most store coupons? and as far as manufacturer coupons go im guessing using multiples of those just varies from store to store?

          • Stu

            I would say it is standard for 1 like coupon per transaction for all stores. The reason I mentioned it being an unwritten rule for CVS is that it isn’t actually spelled out clearly in their coupon policy or mentioned on some of their store coupons (unlike Shoprites store coupons for instance).

            As for manufacturer coupons, the policies vary greatly store to store. Shoprite is 4 like coupons (unless specified on the coupon ~ as I mentioned previously, Unilever coupons are usually limit 2). Stop and Shop is limit 16 coupons per item but they’ll only double the first 4 and you could only use that many unless they decide to stop you (which they may do on there being enough stock to satisfy other customers). It’s just best to familiarize yourself with the policy of the stores you frequent. Don’t try and do them all at once otherwise you’ll get your policies confused. Once you know them, they do tend to stick.

  • Mercedes Perez

    Hi I am new at couponing and i am trying to firgured things out. So my store has an Item for 2/$5 and i have 2 coupons 1/$1 can I use both of my coupons for this item?? Please help

    • Stu

      You can only use one coupon per item so if you are buying one item at 2/$5.00 it will cost you $2.50 and you can use 1 $1 coupon. If you buy 2 items you can use 2 of the coupons.

      • Mercedes Perez

        Thank you, it helps a lot to understand how all this works.

  • Maria Dudley

    I want to say thank you so much for this site. I am new to this whole coupon community and I really need to be efficient with this. I have six children and only one income. You’ve truly made me believe I can do this and make it work successfully for my family.

    • Rocky

      Hi, Maria, welcome to this site! I am go glad you found it. Check it every day, throughout the day, to find great deals and savings. I am sure that won’t necessarily be easy, with six children (!), but, maybe you can get one of the oldest ones to help you! You will find many great tips and hints just within the posts by reading the comments section. We all try to help each other out, so, you are in a great ‘community’ here. Good luck and happy couponing!

  • Abril

    I am so surprised that couponing isn’t as hard as what people make it out to be! I have been doing research and I am a very organized driven so to find a site that can offer this much help is very appreciated. The only thing that I have noticed is that there’s not a lot of information on any websites about Brookshier’s. If anyone can offer any help it would be very appreciated. In the mean time if anyone could help explain what this means..”Offer applies only to manufacturers’ cents-off coupons for items we carry and not to free coupons, Brookshire’s store coupons or other retail food store coupons.” and, “Limit four double and/or triple coupons for any particular item. Additional LIKE product coupons will be redeemed at face value only.” if anyone could help I would be grateful I’m trying to stick to a very small budget for my 5 month old son.

    • Rocky

      Hi, Abril, welcome to this site and the vast world of couponing! I can’t help you regarding info about Brookshire’s, sorry, since I am located in the northeast, New Jersey and surrounding areas locale and I believe they are located in the Texas/Louisiana area. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your couponing questions and general knowledge here! So, I’ll try to touch on a couple of things for you: Only one manaufacturer’s coupon can be used on one item, however, many stores have a policy whereby you can use only up to four of the same, identical coupon in one shopping trip. So, if you have, say, an insert coupon that is $0.50 off 1 (aka $0.5/1) jar of Barilla pasta sauce, they will double it and you can buy up to four jars in that trip that will then be doubled. IF you buy 5 jars, that fifth one that you are using the same coupon on, will not be doubled. They will take it, but, you will only get face value (0.50). Note, though, that within that store criteria, you also have to check the manufacturer’s stipulation for using that coupon. Some manufacturer’s limit you to only two of the identical coupons in one shopping trip, like Unilever (Lipton Tea, Hellmann’s Mayo, Dove beauty products, etc.). So, you have to factor in everyone’s rules while planning out your trips, and, may have to do multiple transactions in order to follow all the rules, and, get the best values for your money! Keep reading this site because Cindy, who runs this site, is a wiz at this! And, you will find all sorts of helpful info within the comments sections. Good luck, Enjoy your deal hunting!

      • kabbysteve

        That is how I read that statement…can use 4 like coupons to be doubled but the 5th,6th..etc will be deducted only at face value and not double.
        Abril also stop into your customer service desk and ask for coupon policy…if you get the right person he/she can easily give you an example of their store policy…good luck and keep asking questions.

  • Miss Maudi

    thank you so much, I was a bit confused about the one per purchase I greatly appreciate the help.

  • Adriel Tapia

    I have a ? One time i try two use a coupon on one makeup product and it was save $? On any lorel product and the cashier said it has to be on the picture that certain product. Is that true?

    • barbara

      It goes by the wording on the coupon , Not the picture they can not put a picture of every product they make on a coupon. If it said any l any L’Oreal product then you should be able to use it on any . If it says any lip product then only use it on a lip product. But you as the user must read the coupon to make sure you are using it correctly.












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