Coupons 101: Rules of the Game

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As you become more comfortable using coupons, you will learn that there are certain rules to follow.

Here are a few tips to remember as you become a savvy shopper and a knowledgeable couponer!

Coupon Rules

  1. Stack 1 manufacturer coupon with 1 store coupon per item
  2. Use coupons by their expiration date (YMMV)
  3. Read the fine print on the coupon; don’t focus on the picture
  4. You can stack a BOGO with another manufacturer’s coupon (only $/1, not $/2 coupon because you are not buying 2)
  5. If you have a BOGO coupon and there is a BOGO sale, you get 2 FREE!

Money-saving Tips

  1. Don’t use all of your coupons just because you have them
  2. Don’t print every internet coupon out there (ink/paper cost $$$)
  3. Drugstores will reward you with gift cards/certificates for transferring prescriptions
  4. Coupon & sale cycles run every 3-4 months – not once in a lifetime!

Printing Coupons on the Cheap

  1. Print high-value coupons when they become available
  2. Wait on printing other coupons until there is a sale – most expire 1 month after printing
  3. Hit the cancel print button once the coupon has printed (ink-wasting ads often print on the bottom)
  4. Print on both sides of the paper when possible
  5. Most websites will print 3 coupons per page
  6. Set the printer to print only in black/white
  7. Recycle ink cartridges at Staples (receive $2/cartridge) and use the rewards check to buy more ink
  8. Refill ink cartridges at Walgreens

Save it for a Rainy Day

  1. Take advantage of rain checks – you can purchase the item for the sale price when it is back in stock
  2. Make sure the rain check does not expire before items are restocked
  3. Rain checks do not work for promotions (spend $20, save $10 instantly)
  4. You can’t receive a rain check on clearance prices
  5. When redeeming a rain check, inform the cashier beforehand

By Emily Browning

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