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Today's works 4 me post is inspired by Sarah. (Thanks Sarah!) If you're new to "couponing" it can be quite overwhelming. I suggest you go back and read through the older works 4 me posts to help guide you. One area in particular that can be extremely confusing and frustrating can be the coupon policies of different stores. Therefore, today I want to just take a few minutes to highlight the policies of the stores I feature on my site and a few general guidelines as well.
General Couponing Guidelines:
1) 1 coupon = 1 item. If the coupon states that you can use it to save $0.55/1 item then you can use a coupon for every like item. For example: If you have (3) $1/1 coupons for Glade candles you can buy 3 Glade candles and use (3) $1/1 coupons.
2) Stacking: Some stores will let you use a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon. The manufacturer's coupon will say "manufacturer's coupon" on it. And the store coupon will have the name of the store on it. You can use one of each for every like item. (see above)
3) Doubling: Stores that double the value of the coupon are the best bang for your buck! I try to use my highest value coupons at these stores. But beware, some coupons state directly on them: DO NOT DOUBLE and cannot be used this way. (Although sometimes you'll find a cashier that ignores this rule...)
4) The important parts of a coupon that must be in-tact in order to redeem it are: the expiration date and clearly scannable bar code. If you're printing coupons be sure that the bar code is clear. If you're cutting coupons be careful not to cut off the bar code or expiration date.
5) Most stores do have a coupon policy that comes from their corporate headquarters. Often you can print this from the Internet. You SHOULD print these and carry them with you in your coupon binder. This way you have back up if you are questioned about an item. However, some stores do not have a corporate policy (Weis is one of them). Therefore, if this is the case it is left to the store manager to use his/her discretion in regards to coupons.
6) Coupon etiquette: As a couponer you should know your rights when it comes to using coupons. Know the store's coupon policy that you frequent. If you're questioned remember to be polite and ask to speak with a manager. Often the cashiers questioning the coupons are not knowledgeable on their own store's policies. Carry the coupon policy with you as your "back-up." And while it may seem like a fantastic idea to buy 20 free toothbrushes because you have 20 free coupons, please be courteous of the other shoppers and couponers and always try to leave some for others. =)
Store Coupon Policies:
Weis Food Stores:
Weis has a similar policy to that of Giant, except Giant will only double the first like coupon. Weis will double up to 4 of the like coupon. Each store varies though so ask the manager for a copy of their store's policy.
CVS: (Does not list their policy on their website so here it is....)
CVS accepts a number of different types of coupons. CVS stores accept the following types of coupons:
1. Manufacturer Coupons (this includes both coupons from newspapers / magazines / other print sources ans well as manufacturer online printable coupons)
2. Store Coupons (this includes CVS store coupons found in their weekly fliers , CRTs and purchase based coupons)
3. Competitor Pharmacy Coupons (they do not, however, accept any other type of competitor coupon)
4. Extra Care Bucks (called ECBs for short, they are like a Catalina from the grocery store that is printed out at the cash register)
CVS allows a shopper to use one manufacturer and one store coupon per item. In addition, the shopper may also use Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) since they are treated by CVS like a gift card, not like a coupon. Since a shopper can use three types of discounts on a single item, this makes for some great deals each week.
The official CVS coupon policy is that if an item is on sale as a Buy One Get One Free (BOGO), you may use two manufacturer coupons when making the purchase.
CVS does not allow overages. That means that you will not be able to get cash back (although you will be able to earn money with their ECBs). If something $0.95 and you have a $1.00 off coupon, the CVS register will make a nasty beep. When this happens, the cashier simply need to override the coupon and bring the amount down to mach the product price (in this case $0.95). Most cashiers are very familiar with this, but it’s good to know if you happen to get a new cashier and you can prepare yourself for the beep if you know that you will have an overage.
These are the most up to date 2010 CVS coupon policy that we are aware of. This current CVS coupon policy is pretty well established and we assume that it will continue as the 2011 CVS coupon policy as well (we will update if there are any changes in the 2011 CVS coupon policy when that time comes).
Walgreen's also does not have a printed policy but this may help...