Did you know you can use more than one coupon for a single item at the grocery store? You can. It’s called “coupon stacking,” and it’s a technique seasoned coupon clippers use to double or triple their savings. In some cases, they even walk out of the store with items they got for free.
Here’s how it works. First, you need to distinguish between manufacturer’s coupons (MQ) and in-store coupons—coupons that stores like Meijer, Kroger, Target, CVS, and Walgreens print in their weekly ads and publish on their websites. You can even get in-store coupons from Catalina, or “custom coupon,” machines.
(In case you missed it, Catalinas are custom coupons that print from Catalina machines at checkout. You trigger the printout when you buy items the store is promoting that week. Catalinas typically offer a few dollars off your next purchase at that store, but sometimes they offer you savings on products instead.) When you combine one of these in-store coupons with an MQ for the same item, that’s coupon stacking.
Let’s say you’ve clipped a coupon for $1.50 off two boxes of General Mills cereal from your online coupon source. By itself, that’s not much of a savings. But what if you could combine that coupon with a catalina that printed at your last trip to Meijer or Kroger for $1.50 off your next purchase of two boxes of Cheerios? You can use both coupons for the same two boxes of Cheerios for a savings of $3.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of rushing to the store immediately, hang on to those coupons until Meijer or Kroger advertises three boxes of Cheerios for $5 in their weekly ad. Each box of cereal would cost you roughly $1.66 without the coupons. When you add your in-store coupon and MQ, you save an additional $3. That’s one box of Cheerios for free and a second box for just $.32! (Remember, you usually don’t have to purchase all three boxes to get each box for $1.66, either. Typically, each box automatically rings up at that price no matter how many you buy.)
Even the most hesitant coupon clipper can use coupon stacking to double or triple their savings. I guarantee, the first time you walk out of the store with free items in your cart, you’ll be smiling all the way to your car knowing how much money you’ve saved.
Have a great savings strategy to share? Leave it in the comments section below!
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