5 Things you MUST know before Couponing!
There seems to be an expectation when starting to coupon. Everyone seems to think you can just dive in head first using multiple coupons and go from paying $1000.00 to $0.59. Maybe this used to be possible but now stores are putting limits on items and of course, the coupons have limits on them. So it is still possible to save big but make sure you are using those coupons correctly.
1. Do Not Copy – You cannot copy coupons! PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE! This is actually against the law and is considered fraud. In most cases, you can print 2 per computer. If you need more, try to ask friends or family to print for you as well or you can use multiple devices such as Ipads, Phones, etc.
2. Unique Codes: Many 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 ensure 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. Some of the Smart Source coupons may have the pin number located around the perimeter.
3. 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 Jimmy Deal Frozen Products, don’t try to use it on Jimmy Deal Sausage. If it states “any Jimmy Deal Products” then you are free to use it on any of the Jimmy Deal Frozen 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.
4. 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 Huggies Diapers, you can use (4) $1/1 Huggies 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. Some coupons, like RMN (Retail Me Not), That now limit 2 “like” coupons per transaction or P&G coupons that allow you to only use 4 “like” coupons per transaction.
5. 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.