Resourceful households have been saving money with coupons for decades to reduce the price of groceries and household goods. An Inmar report found that coupon usage increased by 34.6 percent since 2006, and the number of American couponers continues to grow each year.
With the economy at a standstill, shoppers have turned to even more strategic methods of couponing, including coupon stacking, in an effort to cost-cut at the register. Not all stores permit coupon stacking, but savvy stackers have identified a handful of stores that welcome this frugal approach, revealing how to stack coupons successfully at certain retailers.
Best Stores for Coupon Savings
ILoveCouponMonth.com shares that consumers saved a total of $3.7 billion from using coupons alone in 2010. With so much money at stake, refining savings tactics like shopping at select stores can be what keeps households comfortably in the black month over month.
These five stores are renowned among coupon stacking aficionados and can be found nationwide.
At Target, customers are permitted, per the store policy, to combine one manufacturer’s coupon and one Target-issued coupon toward a single item.
For example, Coupon Diva shares that a $1 off of two identical items coupon from Target can be stacked with a $0.50 manufacturer’s coupon for each item. In this case, shoppers have essentially used three coupons total for two items for a combined discount of $2.00.
Target’s coupon stacking policy also permits customers to use this coupon stacking when using a buy one, get one free coupon. Shoppers can then use a coupon to buy one item and get the second item free, and still use a manufacturer’s coupon toward the first purchase for even deeper discounts.
2. CVS Pharmacy
Saving money with coupons doesn’t just come in the form of saved cents. At CVS Pharmacy, there are many ways to save my stacking coupons of an actual dollar value.
Extra Care Bucks can be found at the bottom of cash register receipts. These cash-off discounts either go toward specific types of products like cosmetics or CVS items, or can simply go toward a deduction in shoppers’ next purchase. Coupons values, for instance, can be for $3 off any $10 CVS brand purchase or $5 off a future purchase of $15 or more.
With these CVS coupons in hand, coupled with manufacturer’s coupons, shoppers should always think twice before visiting the pharmacy without checking for manufacturer deals first. When stacking coupons with CVS Extra Care Bucks, keep in mind that these usually expire within the next few days of receiving them.
3. Victoria’s Secret
The Victoria’s Secret online shop is a coupon stacking paradise, as they make saving money with coupons easy to do. Shoppers can use up to three online coupons upon checkout, which can reduce the cost of purchases considerably.
The best time to take advantage of Victoria’s Secret coupon stacking is during their fall Semi-Annual Sale (the fall sale is rumored to have a wider selection than the summer sale). During this event, products are already discounted 40-70 percent off the regular price.
Victoria’s Secret does have percentage-off coupon codes on sale or clearance items every now and then, which can be used during a Semi-Annual Sale purchase. Add in a free shipping code and even a coupon code for a free item — typically for a free pair of underwear, a tote bag or sample perfume — and shoppers are looking at markdowns of up to 80 percent or more.
Grocery aisle bargain hunters have the opportunity to double their savings with Albertsons’ Twice the Value Coupons (TTVC). Customers who bring in a manufacturer’s coupon valued at $1 or less can use TTVCs to double the value of the manufacturer’s coupon. Customers who bring in a maximum value manufacturer’s coupon can save up to $2 on an item.
The best part is that even if the manufacturer’s coupon says, “Do not double,” the grocery store still will honor the TTVC.
Kohl’s department stores have many coupon stacking savers in a frenzy over their percent-off coupon deals. The retailer offers both percent-off discounts on individual items, as well as percent-off total purchase reductions.
Frequent Kohl’s shoppers know how to stack coupons with $10 Kohl’s Cash coupons, that are given to shoppers for every $50 they spend. This event is typically advertised in the company’s mailers and on the Kohls.com website. With the Kohl’s Cash, shoppers can stack a percent-off coupon to gain added savings.
When shopping with this coupon stacking attack, keep in mind that Kohl’s systems automatically process the Kohl’s Cash coupons first.
How to Stack Coupons
When gathering your coupon stacking discounts, don’t forget to pay attention to the fine print. Often, stores only accept stacking when it’s done with one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon (not two store coupons or two manufacturer’s discounts).
Also, note whether the coupon is specific to a product type (such as regular cottage cheese versus low fat cottage cheese), and be aware of any quantity requirements that may end up making you spend more money than you had intended.
Stacking coupons can be a rewarding budgeting habit, but always be wary of focusing too much on the discount rather than whether you really have a need for the discounted items. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for you.