Welcome back to to Beginner’s Coupon Guide series. If you missed the first two parts, Where to Find Them and Coupon Lingo, be sure to go catch up! This week we will be going over knowing store policy. Each store’s coupon policy is slightly different. Sometimes the wording is confusing or just knowing what different stores allow can get mixed up in your brain. Let’s go over how to make sense of a store’s coupon policy.
Coupon Guide – Knowing Store Policy
Interpreting store policy
Go to your favorite stores’ websites and look for their coupon policy. Most likely there will be a link on the bottom of the page or under a coupon section. Take a look through and see what it has to say. One of the store where I shop says no use of competitor’s coupon, not even a catalina. Basically that means if it says for use at Shaw’s or was a catalina coupon printed at Shaw’s, I cannot use it at Hannaford. Whereas Shaw’s doesn’t accept coupons for other stores but does accept other store’s catalina coupons as long as it is a valid manufacturer coupon and they carry that specific item.
Some stores accept printed coupons for free items, some do not. Some stores allow coupon stacking (using a store and a manufacturer’s coupon on the same item), many of the ones near me do not allow this. Each store is different in what it does and does not allow. Read through all the policies and make note of anything that doesn’t make sense to you. You can talk to a customer service rep at your store (step up from cashier but less than a manager) but sometimes they do not understand their own coupon policy as it does not come up every day. A quick Google search might be more helpful unless you have super coupon friendly and knowledgeable staff at your local stores.
Keep the policy with you
I’m not the best at this as I should be. Take the coupon policies from your local stores and either print them or paraphrase them and put them on an index card. Whatever method works for you. I suggest copy and pasting to a document and changing the font size if need be so you can have them all on one piece of paper. Much simpler. Why do you want to do this? So if you have a question while you are shopping you can reference it. It’s also handy when the cashier doesn’t know the coupon policy very well.
Also keep your policy sheet with you when you are looking at sales flyers and making your shopping list. It makes it so much easier to know if an item will be a great deal or not as you know how that store’s coupon policy will affect your bottom dollar.
Memorize when you can
This one just comes with time. As you do more couponing, you’ll start to remember what policies your store has. Eventually you’ll be able to look at a sales flyer, know that you have a few coupons for a certain item and know that they will double making the item free. But don’t stress about getting to that point. That’s what your policy sheet is for. Right now, your job is finding coupons, learning how to understand coupon lingo, and interpreting your store’s coupon policy, not knowing it by heart.
Knowing your store policy isn’t just memorizing a bunch of rules. It’s understanding what store allows what so you know which stores can save you the most money. It’s also understanding the rules enough so that you don’t have any issues at checkout. Next in the Beginner’s Coupon Guide series we will bring all the parts together to learn how make the most out of your coupons.
Need to catch up on past parts?
Part 1: Where to Find Coupons
Part 2: Understanding Coupon Lingo
Part 3: Knowing Store Policy
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