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Learn How to Stack Coupons

Extreme Couponers Get Free or Nearly Free Food by Stacking Coupons

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Stacking coupons is a popular money-saving strategy used by couponers to save the most money at the grocery store. The basic principle behind stacking coupons is simple. It is when you use two coupons on one item, most often the two being one manufacturer's coupon and one store coupon.

What is a Manufacturer Coupon?

A manufacturer coupon is issued by the manufacturer. You can find manufacturers' coupons many places including on or in product packaging, magazines, online, mailers, and on coupon machines (blinkees) and tear pads inside of stores.

Manufacturer coupons will always have "Manufacturer Coupon" printed on the coupon.

What is a Store Coupon?

A store coupon is a coupon that is issued by a store for use in that store only unless otherwise stated on the coupon. They are distributed through the newspaper, on store websites, store booklets (such as Walgreens) and mailers.

Sometimes you will see an online coupon with a store name on the coupon. This is often just for advertising and it does not mean that it is a coupon just for that store. It is actually a manufacturer coupon. Here is an example of this type of coupon.

Where Can I Stack Coupons?

  • Supermarkets
  • Drug Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Outlet Mall Merchants

What Resources Do I Need?

Arming yourself with the Sunday paper will be your overall best resource for figuring out where you can get the best deals by stacking your coupons. There are also several online websites that list items by store that can be stacked.

Stacking Discounts at the Supermarket

  • Browse the Sunday and weekday paper for sales on food and grocery items.

  • Match up your coupons to the sale items.

  • Match up your coupons with the store coupons.

  • When possible, shop at the store on the day that they offer to double coupons to maximize your savings.

Stacking Discounts at Drug Stores

Many drugstores offer monthly coupon and weekly sales books and ad inserts inside the stores and in newspapers. Browsing these publications will keep you alerted to the products being reduced. Use your product coupons with the weekly sale merchandise. This is the best time to stock up on staple items. After doing this many times you will find that you buy things like toothpaste when the price is right avoiding the higher prices that come when you buy out of need.

Stacking Discounts at Department Stores

Department stores often run extra discounts if you shop on a specific day or during particular hours. This is a great day to hit the final clearance racks! Also, if you pay for your purchase with the in-house credit card you may also receive an additional discount on your entire purchase.

Example:

Recently I found a pair of Antonio Melani shoes marked down from $79.99 to $39.99. The store was aggressively discounting end-of-the-season merchandise to make room for the new season. They ran a special 15 percent off on all purchases if you shopped on a specific day. I had a $10.00 off "come-back-cash" coupon from a previous purchase that was good on any merchandise. I also would receive an extra 10 percent if I used their credit card to pay for the purchase.

I ended up paying -

  • $39.99 for the shoes - (50 percent off.)

  • - $6.00 (15 percent off for shopping on the discount day.)

  • - $3.50 (10 percent off for charging it on their credit card.)

  • - $10.00 (bounce-back coupon.)
Total - $21.49 or 73 percent off!

Note: Make sure to pay your credit card balance in full or you will risk giving back the 10 percent savings plus more in interest.

Outlet Malls / Malls

More and more malls and especially outlet malls have frequent buyer clubs that you can join that give you bounce-back dollars every time you spend money at a store in their mall. They also offer coupon books for coupons being offered at various merchants at the centers. When you sign up for the clubs you get announcements on special shopping days for additional savings. By coordinating your shopping trip with the special shopping days, the coupons from the coupon books and utilizing your bounce-back dollars that you have earned with the individual merchant final clearance items you can maximize the discounts on the items you purchase.

Example:

As a club member at the local outlet mall, I earned a total of $20.00 in bounce-back dollars for a previous purchase I made. They were offering a $5.00 bounce-back for every hundred spent and I was in the market for a new rug for my study. I found the perfect Oriental rug marked down to $400.00. By purchasing it at the outlet, I received the $20.00 bounce-back dollars.

A few months later I received a postcard inviting me to shop on a particular weekend and save an extra 10 percent off on my purchase.

I headed out to the mall on the day specified and shopped only the marked-down racks. I also had the current coupon book for the different merchants. Even though it was 90 degrees outside, I was looking for Christmas presents.

My purchase - A winter robe for my sister for Christmas.

  • $24.00 - (Marked down from $59.00.)

  • - $4.80 - (The store was running an extra 20 percent off all sale merchandise.)

  • - $1.92 - (Mall incentive of 10 percent off for shopping on the specified weekend.)

  • - $20.00 - (Bounce-back coupons from previous purchases)
Total - +$2.72 - Back in cash! (Because it was under $5.00 in the money I was getting back I was given cash back instead of a credit.)

Reminder: Remember to check the disclaimers in sale advertisements and on coupons. Many times stores will not compound discounts. You may have to put off your shopping trip until you find the right combination that gives you the best return on your money. Good bargain shoppers are patient shoppers. We know how to wait for the best bargains.

More: Top 10 Most Popular Grocery Store Coupons Tips

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