Couponing 101


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Just some very basic concepts for beginners.

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Couponing 101

  1. 1. Couponing Basics 101 Easy ways to save money and increase your buying power for every budget.
  2. 2. Ways to Save• Store Sales Advertisements• Manufacturers Coupons• Peelies/Blinkies/Tear Pads• Store Loyalty Cards• Store Coupons• Price Match Guarantees
  3. 3. Other Ways to Save• Rain checks• Catalina Coupons• Printable Coupons• Green Bag Tag
  4. 4. Coupons• Coupons are discounts that are issued by the manufacturer in an effort to advertise and promote their products.• Coupons are not “just for poor people”. Using coupons shows that the person is intelligent and deals wisely with their money.
  5. 5. Why Coupon?• ”An average coupon user saves approximately 12% per year on their grocery spending, which translates to roughly $12 per week for the average household.
  6. 6. Why Coupon?• An organized coupon user will spend about 30 minutes per week managing their coupon savings, which is the equivalent of earning at least $24 an hour (after taxes) for pretty easy work• An organized couponer can save $100’s - $1000’s of dollars per year.”
  7. 7. Coupons are like money =
  8. 8. Don’t be a Money Trasher!
  9. 9. Price Matching• Some stores price match each others advertised prices. (The price needs to be in the advertisement, and you must bring it with you.)• Each store is different, but my favorite is Walmart because they price match most stores. They even price match grocery stores such as Stater Bros, Vons, Ralphs, etc…
  10. 10. Price Matching• Target will price match if the store promotion does not require you to be a savings club member. They won’t price match CVS, but will price match Walgreens, or Superior because currently they don’t have a savings club.
  11. 11. Price Matching• Electronics stores price match electronics• Staples/Office Depot/OfficeMax price match other office supply sales, even for a Walmart/Target/CVS Advertisements.
  12. 12. Discounts for Prescriptions• Most stores want you to fill prescriptions there. They offer coupons for $25 gift certificates on a new or transferred prescription.• Make sure you ask your store if they will accept a prescription coupon from a competitor. Often they do. Such as CVS.• Each store has the ability to accept a price match or not. Hence some CVS wont, but down the street, some will.
  13. 13. Most Stores allow you to use one manufacturers coupon per item. In addition many stores have store coupons which can be used in conjunction with a manufacturers coupon to increase your savings. Two weeks ago Tide was on sale for $5.49 each. There was a manufacturer’s coupon for $2 off the purchase of 2. Also there was a CVS Coupon for $4 off any $8 Tide purchase. $5.49 + $5.49 $10.98 - $4.00 CVS CRT (coupon) - $2.00 Manufacturer’s Coupon $4.98In addition the promotion was that if you bought $30 of specially marked itemsyou got a $10 gas card. Buy buying these products I had made $10.98 towardsthe $30 necessary.If I distribute the savings over the deal, it means I reallypaid around less than $2 for two of the tides!!Also the mail in Rebate for PG products was $5 if you bought $25 worth of products. SoEssentially Pennies!!!
  14. 14. The easiest way to save is to sign up for online coupons that go directly to your store card• Load the coupons to your card before you go to the store. Make sure you check reciepts to make sure they came off, if not let the cashier know.• Vons, Ralphs• Text Alerts, and smart phone coupons• Additional Savings from SavingsStar
  15. 15. Where to get coupons • Sunday Papers and Saturday Preview – LA Times Best coupons – OC Register – sometimes high value coupons missing – Press Enterprise – sometime a little cheaper ***Always remember to check your paper for Coupons before you buy it! Sometimes they don’t have them or are removed.***
  16. 16. Anatomy of a Coupon
  17. 17. • Online Printable Manufacturer Coupon sites – – – – – Grocery store websites – Individual manufacturers websites such as,,,,
  18. 18. Where to get Store Coupons – Grocery Store Advertisements – – – In Store Flyers – Tuesday mail out circulars
  19. 19. Newspapers• Usually contain 2-3 sets of coupons by 4 main companies: – Smartsource – Redplum – Procter and Gamble – Vlaasis Coupons sections don’t come out on long weekends. List of upcoming and current coupons at or other sites Label is always on the front spine of the first page
  20. 20. How to read a deal posting$5 ECB wyb 2 of these Jergens Natural Glow, Frizz-Ease or Bioreproducts (excludes clearance) Limit 1John Frieda Frizz-Ease 1.69-12oz, Biore cleanser 5-6.77oz or Jergens NaturalGlow (no prices)John Frieda Frizz-Ease Frizz Eliminators, Stylers or Finishers, excludes trial$5 on 2 (9/15/12) SS 8/19/12 <--- use only if store turns ad on earlyBiore Free Cleanser up to $7 wyb any Pore Strip (9/30/12) SS 8/12/12
  21. 21. Common Abbreviations• SS – means the coupon is out of the smartsource ad• RP – means redplum• VS – means Valassis• PG – Procter & Gamble• Q – means Coupon• BM – means Brick and Mortar (real store vs. online)• ECB – means Extra Care Bucks (rewards)• CRT – means Cash Register Tape coupon• Catalina – special coupons that print out at registers that are from Catalina corp, a company that makes coupons for different stores.
  22. 22. CVS Extra Bucks• Sign up for all 3 of these: – Beauty Club, – Diabetes Club – Online Offers• Beauty Club will save you an additional $5/$50 that prints out 3 days after purchase.
  23. 23. CVS Extra Bucks• Check your online account for special discounts that don’t print at your store.• Scan your card at the Red Scanner every time you go in. Scan it twice, or until the machine says “no more coupons today”
  24. 24. Sign up for Double Rewards Now!• You get 2% cash back as extra bucks for every $1 spent. (there are exeptions to this)• You get $1 for every 2 prescriptions filled.• Everything is given quarterly as Extra bucks to be used in the store.• You can use ECB’s for everything except gift cards, prescriptions, alcohol, stamps.
  25. 25. Target• Go to and print out target store coupons. You can use them in conjunction with a manufacturer coupon to reduce the price.
  26. 26. Rite Aid• Sign up for ad perks to get the most rewards, sometimes they give you a coupon if you watch a video for the product.• Up Rewards print out at the end of the transaction.• Single check rebates must be mailed in.
  27. 27. Walgreens• One Coupon per item so need a filler sometimes.• They print as Catalina Coupons that expire in a week or so.• Can’t use a Catalina from a deal you earned to buy the same product in order to get another catalina. But you can roll your money over.
  28. 28. Taxes• Taxable items are anything other than food.• Riverside and OC have only 7.75% sales tax vs. LA County which is 8.75% sales tax.• In CA you pay tax on your precoupon amounts.• When doing a deal at CVS anything that is a store coupon that shows on the receipt as CVS coupon will reduce the tax amount. Ex. Like a sale. It includes Extra bucks. If it rings up as a CVS Manufacturers coupon ex. a printed cvs coupon then it does not reduce your tax and you will pay tax on the full price of the item you are buying.
  29. 29. Always be polite to Cashiers, eventhe ones who are not well trained in their store policies. Check your coupon, and if you really feel that you are correct, ask a manager tomake sure, or save it for next time. Another cashier another day may know better.
  30. 30. then again…
  31. 31. Game Plan1. Purchase a Sunday Paper/Sunday Preview $2.00 or $2.50 (its an investment, but sign up for a Sunday subscription its cheaper.) - LA Times has better coupons2. Don’t throw away coupons you don’t think you will use. Put it in a file or basket, you may use them later to make a deal work.3. Get a system in place4. Sign up for store clubs
  32. 32. Don’t Forget• Coupons cannot be photo copied. It’s fraud and punishable.• Check the expiry date of the coupon.• Make sure you have fulfilled all conditions.• Only one Manufacturer Coupon and one Store Coupon per item.• Some Coupons limit how many “like” coupons per customer or transaction.• Did you buy the right size/style variety of the product?• Pictures may be incomplete, so always go by the wording of a coupon.• Get your coupons from reputable sites as I’ve suggested.
  33. 33. Pay attention to online blogssometimes they do all the work figuring out a deal for you. • • • • Tip: Read deals carefully, if you see something written online that seems wrong, check with others and find out the individual stores policy. At times people who don’t know post stuff to, and we want to save, but do so honorably and within the rules.