Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reader Question~Coupon Stacking

So you can use multiple coupons for the same items? Or am I looking at this wrong? I am just trying to figure out how to get my grocery bill down like this. ~ Christy

Christy~Great question!  Can I just tell y'all, I'm loving the fact that there are those out there willing to ask questions.  I don't know what I need to explain if no one asks questions.  Christy, thank you very much for this question.  I will do my best to explain.

You CAN use more than one coupon per product at certain stores.  For example: if you get a Publix "store" coupon and you have a manufacturer coupon for the same product, then you can STACK them to save even more PUBLIX.

 This is a Publix store coupon.  If you look where the blue and purple arrows are pointing, there are no bar codes.  There aren't any bar codes on the back either.  These coupons are only good at Publix and they are found in Publix booklets most of the time.  On occasion I have seen them in the Sunday paper.

This is a manufacturer coupon (mani Q).  There are 2 bar codes on it, see the red arrow is pointing at one and the yellow arrow is pointing at another.  One bar code is used at the store so the computer (cash register) recognizes it and takes off the correct amount.  The other bar code is used at what is called a "clearing house".  The clearing house is where all the coupons are sent so that the store (Publix, CVS, Kroger, RiteAid, Target, etc.) gets reimbursed for accepting the coupon.

If the Publix store coupon above and the manufacturer coupon to the left were for the same product, you could use BOTH of them on ONE product, giving you a very nice discount.

This is a Target store coupon that was printed off the internet.  The green arrow is pointing to the Target logo and the pink arrow is pointing to the Target bar code...notice there is only ONE bar code.  That is an indication that it is a store coupon and NOT a manufacturer coupon.   You would be able to use one of these coupons AND a manufacturer coupon on the purchase of one product.  This is called stacking coupons.  Target coupons are valid at Target Stores and if your Publix considers Target to be a competitor, then at Publix too.  If you are not sure who your Publix considers to be a competitor then the next time you are in the store, stop by Customer Service and ask the manager or call and speak to the manager.

Here is where it sometimes gets tricky and this is why we, as coupon users, need to pay attention.  This is a manufacturer coupon.  Even though it has the Publix logo on it, it has TWO bar codes and clearly states to the right of the yellow arrow "Manufacturer Coupon" on it.  See the pink arrow is pointing to bar code #1 and the yellow arrow is pointing to bar code #2.  You can use this coupon almost anywhere.  CVS does not accept them because of the Publix logo but I've used these or coupons like them with Kroger logos on them at Target, RiteAid, etc.  It is a manufacturer coupons and, for the most part, should be accepted anywhere that accepts coupons.

An example of stacking is the Scrubbing Bubbles example from an earlier post.  There is a $5 mani Q and a $3 Publix store Q.  One Scrubbing Bubbles spray kit is $7.99.  Use the $5 mani Q PLUS the $3 store Q and you are looking at a free Scrubbing Bubbles spray kit (but you will pay the tax)!  The great thing is, a couple of days ago there was an internet printable coupon (ip Q):  Buy 1 Scrubbing Bubbles starter kit, get a refill Free.   Here's how it would look if you did the transaction:

1-Scrubbing Bubbles Starter Kit $7.99
1-Scrubbing Bubbles refill $3.99

1-$3 off Scrubbing Bubbles starter kit (Publix store Q)
1-$5 off Scrubbing Bubbles starter kit (mani Q)
1-Buy 1 Scrubbing Bubbles starter kit, get Refill free (mani Q)

Total out of pocket spent:  $0+tax

Total before coupons:  $11.98+tax

I will talk about stacking coupons at Walgreens, CVS, and RiteAid in another post.  Christy, I hope this helps as you work towards that goal of reducing your grocery bill!

Standing on His promises,
Mrs. Bubba

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