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Couponing Basics

Learn To Save Thousands At The Grocery Store

Couponing doesn’t require spending your Sunday cutting newspapers into tiny squares. But, for beginners, couponing can be overwhelming to dive in without having a plan. Even those who’ve used coupons for a while can benefit from a more organized approach.

It can seem a bit complicated. After all, things like tracking down or trading coupons—and figuring out how to stack manufacturer and store coupons—can become a part-time job. But don’t let that scare you away from this money-saving tactic. If you’re determined to learn, please see the How To Get Coupons page

When To Use Coupons

  • Use coupons when prices are lowest.
  • Items run on "Sale Cycles" which means that popular brands take turns promoting their items. Typically, each competing brand will be one sale for one week per month and that is when prices are lowest.
    • Example: General Mills cereal on sale one week,
    • Kellogg’s cereal the next week. If you make a point to look at your local store ads, you’ll start to pick up on when the brands you buy go on sale.

Types of Coupons

  • Manufacturer's Coupons - Coupons issued by a manufacturer to use as an incentive to buy their products
  • Store coupons - Stores also put out special coupons to promote select products
  • Catalinas - Catalinas are those awesome coupons that print after checkout - usually it is from buying certain items that give you money off your next order, but there are other types. Store Catalina coupons may be used along with MFR and other Store Coupons. You can "roll" money-off coupons by splitting transactions. This is usually done at drugstores (but also can be done in the supermarket). Please see the Drug Store Couponing Page.

Stacking Coupons

You always want to stack (combine) coupons but you can only use one of each type. To understand how many types of coupons are combine-able, please see The Savings Sandwich Page.

Coupon Fraud

Never copy printable coupons or be a part of any other type of coupon fraud. You can go to jail or be fined up to $200,000. Avoid buying coupons online unless you are using a (legitimate) coupon-clipping service where you pay for their time to cut and ship coupons (See the How To Get Coupons page).Never use expired coupons. If you ever have questions about use of coupons, speak to your local store's front-end manager.

Coupon Doubling

MOST major supermarkets double coupons up to .99 cents (except Brooklyn Shoprite stores). Example: Your .75 cents off coupon will double to $1.50, your .99 cents coupon will double to $1.98 but your $1 coupon won't double. Please check the coupon and your local store's coupon policy.