Clipping and using coupons can save you a whole lot of money, but what if you could double your savings? That’s called doubling your coupons, and although finding stores that will accommodate it isn’t always easy, it’s also not impossible for the diligent couponer to swing double couponing. Let’s go through the things you can do to get started with this money saver.
Some Stores Will Double Coupons
The first thing you need to know is that there are stores that double coupons. However, it’s hard to generalize. Even stores within the same franchise may have different coupon policies. That means we can’t really give you a list of names and say: “Here’s where!”
You’ll have to do your sleuthing, but once you find a store with a favorable coupon policy, you’re sorted. Now you can take a coupon that offers $1 off, for example, and actually get $2 off.
You might say “So what, I saved an extra $1. Is it worth the effort?” but if you double a whole lot of coupons over the course of a month or a year, it can add up to big savings. You can even sometimes get stuff for free!
What’s in It for the Stores?
Right now, you’re probably wondering why on earth stores should even consider doubling coupons. The point is, they know that there are a lot of people out there who make couponing a habit. By doubling coupons, they lure a lot of shoppers, and not everything they buy will have a matching coupon.
They get more customers, and you’re happy because you’re paying even less for the items you had coupons for. It’s a win-win situation. If it’s a manufacturer’s coupon, the manufacturer gives the store the face value of the coupon back, so the store only has to cover the doubling.
However, some stores don’t go for double couponing. Instead, they hope that their loyalty cards will provide a big enough incentive to encourage folks to support them.
Check Your Coupon Barcode
You can get a good idea of doubling potential by checking the coupon bar code. If the first digit below the barcode is a nine, it will never double. If it starts with a five, on the other hand, it will be up to the store to decide its coupon policy, and if that includes doubling, you just hit the jackpot.
Your chances of finding a coupon with a five at the start of the barcode are best in the Sunday newspaper supplements. Online coupons and those offered in store are more likely to begin with a nine.
You’ll often see the DND (Do Not Double) tag on a coupon, but it doesn’t apply to you. It’s just the manufacturer’s way of telling the store it’s up to them, and if they do double, the store carries the extra discount.
Store Coupon Policies
Here are the different ways that stores use (or don’t use) doubling:
- Never double coupons.
- Occasionally double coupons, for example, certain coupons or certain days.
- Have periodic coupon doubling events a few times a year.
- Double coupons, but only up to a certain value.
- Set a limit on the number of coupons per customer that they’re willing to double.
- Set a minimum purchase value for you to qualify for doubling.
- Require membership of store loyalty clubs before qualifying for doubling.
As you can see, there are a lot of options, so the trick will be to find out, either by contacting the store or visiting its inquiry counter.
How Smart Shopper Use Double Coupon Discounts
If the promo ad says that coupons can be doubled, bring the whole advertisement along in case you need to show it to the cashier. By the way, some stores will do price matching, so it’s worth finding out if they will honor (and possibly even double) competitors’ coupons. Again, bring the ad as proof.
Be organized and alert at the checkout. Hand over coupons with the products and check whether you are being credited with the right amount. If a coupon that qualifies for doubling isn’t doubled, you’ll see right away and can ask for the extra discount to be entered by hand.
One little proviso: if the store that doubles coupons is way more expensive than the one that doesn’t, you may not save anything. Know your prices and shop the smart way.
Finding Double Coupon Stores
- Ask: As we’ve seen, individual stores often decide on their own coupon policy. But finding out whether stores in your area are willing to double (or even triple) coupons is just a matter of asking. Because not all cashiers will know about it, it’s a good idea to get the coupon policy in writing.
- Track: When stores have regular double coupon days, it’s easy to plan your shopping around that, but those who make the offer less frequently can be difficult to keep track of. As with so many other special offers, double coupon event notifications are one more reason to sign up for store newsletters.
- Check with the head office: If your favorite chain store tells you it never doubles coupons, it could be worth checking on group policies with the corporate head office. If double couponing is in that policy, you can ask them to intervene.
- Be flexible: Armed with your knowledge of prices and coupon policies, you may find that you need to change your shopping habits to get the most out of the double coupon concept.
- Don’t ignore the smaller outlets: Just because a store is an independent, small outlet doesn’t mean it won’t double your coupons. Again, there’s no harm in asking about coupon doubling.
- Check the Ts and Cs: Some stores’ coupon policies will apply limitations on how many coupons you can double or the value of the coupons that qualify for doubling. The fewer limitations there are, the bigger the potential savings. When in doubt as to where you’ll get the best deal, compare coupon policies.
Verify Information from Third Parties
Information on individual store policies can become outdated pretty fast, so always double check with the store itself. After all, you don’t want to end up arguing with a cashier only to find that the coupon policy information you got from a friend or 3rd party websites is out of date!
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