How to Coupon
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How to Coupon

Tips For People Who Are New To Couponing

Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023 at 3:30 pm
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A brand new year is a good time to start couponing. Doing so could save you some money on the things you purchase. Here are some tips for people who are new to couponing.

Reader’s Digest pointed out that couponing has been updated in the digital age, and knowing how to coupon is an ever-evolving process. You can still clip coupons from a printed publication, but you can also benefit from loading coupons onto a customer-rewards card linked to your favorite stores.

Store Coupons are created by the store to increase shopping, and they work only at that chain of stores. For example, Kroger coupons are usually honored only at Kroger stores, including Ralph’s, Smith’s, City Market and Pick ’n Save.

Manufacturing coupons are made by individual brands to encourage shoppers to buy specific product or brand and are usually honored at most stores. For example, Procter & Gamble often send out coupons for Crest toothpaste, which it manufactures. You can redeem manufacturing coupons at Target, Walmart, or another store.

Here are some places where you can find paper coupons:

Store Circulars and Mailers: These are mailed out weekly to customers in a geographic area, though you can usually pick them up at the front of many grocery stores.

Register Coupons: Some stores print out individual paper coupons with your receipt to encourage you to return.

Receipt Coupons: Check the bottom and back of your printed receipt for coupons, points, and other discounts. If you’ve ver come across those comically long CVS receipts, you’ve encountered this type of coupon.

Store Aisles: You will find some manufacturer coupons attached to a display with the product or to the product packaging itself.

ValPak and other mailers: Manufacturer coupons often come in a bundle of ads. Sometimes, businesses, like retailers, will send out coupons attached to their mailers.

Newspapers: If you still get a print newspaper (or have a neighbor who does and is willing to share), you can find coupons to cut out. The Sunday paper has the most.

Here are some places where you can find digital coupons:

Store apps: Many retail chains have their own apps, which include both store and manufacturer coupons. “Clip” them by checking a box.

Brand apps: Some brands offer loyalty apps that include coupons, rewards, and rebates when you buy their products.

Coupon apps: Apps like RetailMeNot and Honey are a jackpot for savings. Flag the deals you want and then show a barcode or QR code on your phone at the register. You may even find budget apps that cover a range of brands centered on a specific type of product.

Savings websites: You can find coupons for some of your favorite stores right here at

Browser extensions: You can install Ibotta, Rakuten, or another couponing extension on your web browser, and they’ll automatically search for coupons as you shop various sites. They may also give special rewards, like cash back, for using them regularly.

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Americans Are More Interested In Couponing During Inflation

Posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 at 7:00 am
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U.S. News & World Report provided information regarding inflation and consumer’s shopping habits. In short, when prices go up – people try to find ways to lower that cost. This appears to involve people becoming more interested in couponing.

A survey was done by U.S. News and World Report in July of 2022. They surveyed 2,002 U.S. adult consumers ages 18 and older to learn more about their online shopping habits. The survey provided insight on coupon usage, the tools people use to save money while shopping online, their thoughts on the upcoming holiday season, and more.

One of the things the survey showed is that Americans’ interest in couponing is growing during inflation. 76% of Americans have searched for digital coupons while grocery shopping. 58% look for coupons at least once a week. 51% follow couponing blogs and social media accounts – of that group, 87% have used couponing advice from those platforms. 25% look for coupons at least once a month.

The survey also showed that American shoppers are not very interested in clipping paper coupons. Instead, they seek out coupons in the same place where they are shopping – online. In other words, they strongly prefer digital coupons to paper ones.

Why is this happening? Some people started getting their groceries delivered to their homes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it is very easy to select groceries online and have someone else pick them off the shelves and bring them to you. It is possible to find BOGO coupons (Buy One, Get One Free), or offers to reduce the amount you spend on products from a specific company.

The survey also showed that more than half of U.S. consumers (51%) follow a coupon blog or coupon social media account. Nearly one in three people (30%) follow at least one couponing blog and one in four (26%) follow at least one coupon Facebook page. Roughly 40% of Gen Z (teens and young adults) rely on TikTok or Instagram over Google when searching for couponing information.

In times when people are struggling, couponing becomes more important. Most appear to favor digital coupons over paper ones. Those who have trouble finding digital coupons should visit some of the coupon blogs for advice on how using coupons can help stretch a dollar.

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Why Coupon Etiquette Is Necessary

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022 at 7:00 am
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Coupons can help you save money on the things that you need to buy. While many of the people who use coupons understand what coupon etiquette is, others choose to break the rules. There are many reasons why coupon etiquette is necessary.

Breaking coupon etiquette is not illegal, but it will make you very unpopular with fellow couponers and store cashiers. The Coupon Information Center (CIC) provides helpful information about what you shouldn’t do with coupons.

Coupons are intended to provide a large number of consumers with a discount. They are not intended for a few individuals with the opportunity to strip the shelves of more product than they will ever reasonably need. Shelf stripping causes stores to place limits on the number of coupons an individual can use.

Do not exceed store limitations and be considerate when shopping at stores that don’t currently have any coupon related limitations. Buy only what you need for your personal use, including enough for future use.

Coupons in the store should be used for your personal needs only. Leave the rest for other shoppers. Taking an entire tear pad is inconsiderate to other couponers. Do not take a peelie coupon off of a product unless you intend to purchase that product.

From time to time, shoppers may want to divide their purchases into multiple transactions. This is a courtesy that many stores provide and very helpful when picking up a few items for your friends or items needed for work or similar situations.

However, buying a massive amount of product in one shopping trip, and then breaking up the “sale” into multiple transactions to use extra coupons or obtain extra discounts bends the rules and is inappropriate.

Take the time to get your coupons organized before you enter a check out line. This not only makes it easier for you to use specific coupons, but also saves time for the cashier. Being prepared is also a courtesy for the shoppers who are in line behind you.

The Coupon Information Center recommends that people who are heavy coupon users consider shopping during off-peak hours. What does that mean?

It means you should shop at times when the store will have the fewest number of customers in it. Options may include visiting the store in the early morning hours. It might mean shopping during the day when other people are at work. Avoid using a lot of coupons on holidays or weekends.

In short, coupon etiquette is about being aware that other customers who use coupons should be able to obtain the products they are seeking a discount on. It means only taking what you can reasonably use before the products expire.

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CIC Makes It Clear Why You Shouldn’t Use Counterfeit Coupons

Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 at 7:00 am
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The Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) is a not-for-profit association of consumer product manufacturers dedicated to fighting coupon misredemption and fraud. It was founded to encourage integrity in connection with the redemption of manufacturers’ coupons and participation in other programs.

One of the things the CIC is doing is tweeting articles about people who were (allegedly) caught using fraudulent coupons. Here is one example:

The CIC tweeted an article from WNTV NBC15 titled: “DA: Bogus coupons at Monona Walmart added up to $20K in illegal discounts”.

According to the news article, a 54-year-old woman was accused of trying to use counterfeit coupons at a Walmart last year. The woman spent nearly three months passing similar bogus coupons at that Walmart and walking away with tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise after paying a small fraction of that amount. Over the course of 13 visits, starting last August, the woman allegedly spend just over $1,000 dollars, but took home more than $22,000 worth of merchandise.

It appears that this woman got caught by the Walmart Loss Prevention Officer who called the local Police Department. The detective who signed the complaint explained that the pattern of purchases, including quantities being purchased and that they were name brands, were often linked to retail crime.

The CIC has a Suspect Coupon Checker App, that can be used by retailers to determine if a coupon is valid or fraudulent. The retailers can use it to instantly identify known counterfeit coupons, and it is available to retailers free of charge. It does not need any expensive or time-consuming infrastructure modifications, and it doesn’t touch the sensitive systems that retailers use.

All of this is to point out that you shouldn’t use counterfeit coupons. People who have been caught using them have been arrested, and retailers now have a tool that can quickly identify the fake coupons that a person is trying to use.

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Walmart Makes Grocery Shopping Easier

Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at 7:00 am
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Walmart announced something that can make your shopping easier. It is called Walmart Voice Order. It will be rolled out to more and more customers over the next few weeks.

Beginning this month, customers can say, “Hey Google, talk to Walmart” and the Google Assistant will add items directly to their Walmart Grocery cart. Best of all, customers can be extra confident that Walmart can quickly and accurately identify the items they are asking for with the help of information from their prior purchases with Walmart. The more you use it, the better it will get.

Let’s say that your family likes the Great Value (Walmart Brand) 1% milk. After you use Google Assistant to add items to your Walmart Grocery cart long enough, it will learn what you like to buy. After that, when you tell Google Assistant “add milk to my cart”, it will know that you want it to add a gallon of Great Value 1% milk.

Google Assistant is available on more than a billion devices, including Smart Displays like Google Home Hub, Android phones, iPhones, watches and more. Customers can manage their shopping carts while they’re at home or on the go.

Walmart has learned that when using voice technology, customers like to add items to their carts one at a time over a few days. They don’t complete their shopping list for the week all at once. The “Hey Google, talk to Walmart” skill is capable of allowing customers to add items to their Walmart Grocery cart a little at a time.

Walmart is kicking off this service with Google Assistant, but is planning to add others to the mix as time goes on. If your family buys the same foods, from the same brands, every week – Google Assistant can help you save time while filling your Walmart Grocery cart.

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Use Your Applebee’s and IHOP Coupons Now!

Posted on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Applebee's LogoTwo well-known restaurants are about to close in several locations. This means your local Applebee’s, or IHOP, may not be there for much longer. Both restaurants are owned by parent company DineEquity Inc., who may open more of those restaurants outside of the United States.

USA Today reported that 105 to 135 Applebee’s restaurants will close. The original estimate was that 40 to 60 Applebee’s would close. In addition, 20 to 25 IHOP restaurants will close. The original estimate was that 18 IHOPs would close.

DineEquity says that it is planning to open up 20 to 30 more Applebee’s, mostly outside of the United States. DineEquity also revised its plan and says it now plans to open 80 to 95 IHOP restaurants (mostly in the United States). Originally, the plan was to open 75 to 90 IHOP restaurants.

There doesn’t seem to be any information that points out which individual Applebee’s or IHOP restaurants will close. There also isn’t any information about the locations where new ones will open. The Chicago Tribune reported that, worldwide, there are 1,968 Applebee’s locations and 1,752 IHOP restaurants.

Now would be a good time to use whatever Applebee’s or IHOP coupons that you have. Check the website of the restaurant before you go. It’s a good way to find out what special offers they are currently running. Find out if the Applebee’s you want to visit is holding a “Happy Hour” that night, and if so, what time it will be held. All of these offers could save you some money on your order.

The Chicago Tribune, in a second article about the closures, notes that Applebee’s is changing it’s menu. It is removing a turkey sandwich with siracha chile lime sauce and a pork-ham-bacon sandwich from the menu. Applebee’s will replace them with “old favorites” – but hasn’t given any further details about that.

IHOP could be beefing up its online ordering capabilities. This could mean it will enable customers to place an order online first, and then drive out to the IHOP to pick it up. It probably doesn’t mean delivery from IHOP, but it’s hard to be certain about that. It is also possible that IHOP will open smaller restaurants than typical, in rural locations and also in pricey urban markets.

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Coupon Industry Analysis Shows How Consumer Use Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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stackingcouponsInmar Inc. applies technology and data science to improve outcomes for consumers and those who serve them. An analysis by Inmar shows how consumers use coupons. It also revealed what consumers who use coupons are expecting from grocery retailers.

Consumers redeemed more than 1 billion coupons between January and July of 2017.

Shoppers want coupon offers that are easy to acquire and that can be used wherever they shop. In other words, they want coupons that can be used either in the store or on the store’s website. Or, it could mean they want coupons that are “universal” and not restricted to any particular store (such as how manufacturers’ coupons work.)

Shoppers like to drift between retail channels for their grocery-item purchases. In other words, people are regularly shopping at more than one grocery store (and switching off between a few different stores.) This includes brick-and-mortar stores and websites.

At the same time, shoppers are demanding more digital coupons than they have been receiving. In response, grocery retailers have increased the amount of digital coupons that they offer. Inmar suggests that retailers make an effort to ensure that relevant offers get to their target audiences through the channels that the shoppers prefer.

A total of 72% of the coupons used in 2016 affected purchase behavior. For the most part, this means that shoppers that had a coupon for a specific product not only purchased the promoted product sooner, but also bought more of that product.

The analysis showed that 69% of shoppers are making shopping lists before they visit a store. In other words, they are going into the store with clear intentions about what they are going to buy. Among the shoppers who created lists before they shopped, 41% of them used coupons.

Coupons that are found in Sunday newspapers accounted for 89.8% of all coupons distributed between January and July of 2017, and 34.2% of all coupons redeemed.

Coupons are particularly effective incentives for getting shoppers to try new products. Research for the Shopper Promotion Impact Report found that 65% of shoppers say they would try a new product if they had a coupon, while 58% say they would switch from their normal brand if they had a coupon that makes another brand cheaper.

Free-Stand Inserts (FSIs) dominated both distribution of coupons and redemption of coupons between January of 2017 and July of 2017.

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Things to Know About Pharmaceutical Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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pillsThere are coupons for just about everything you can think of – including prescription medications. Pharmaceutical coupons (also called to as “drug coupons) are produced by companies that make medications. The company tells consumers that the coupon will lower the cost of the medication they need. But, that’s not exactly correct.

There are two kinds of pharmaceutical coupons. One gives the consumer a discount on a specific brand name prescription drug. This type of coupon is distributed by the manufacturer of the medication. People who are uninsured cannot use these coupons.

The other type is a copayment coupon. This coupon is distributed by a third party coupon vendor – not the person’s health insurance company. When the consumer uses that coupon at a pharmacy, he or she won’t have to pay their co-payment.

At a glance, it sounds like both of those types of coupons will save you money. But, that’s not always true. For example, let’s say a person uses a drug coupon to buy his name brand prescription medication. The coupon will allow him to buy that drug for less money than it typically costs.

There are many brand name drugs that have generic versions. Usually, the generic version costs less than the name brand does. The drug coupon for the name brand might save you money on the name brand – but you might save more money if you purchase the generic version and skip the coupon.

What happens if a consumer uses a coupon in place of their copayment? The consumer doesn’t have to pay their copayment. They save that money. But, that’s a short-term way of looking at it.

According to Modern Medical Network, these kinds of coupons actually end up costing consumers more money overall. “As coupons increasingly shift spending toward pricey brand-name drugs, the net effect is greater pharmaceutical spending and higher health insurance premiums, which hurt those same consumers.”

In short, these types of coupons might save you a little money right now. But, you will end up spending more money on higher priced pharmaceuticals and health insurance premiums later on as a result.

There is another thing to consider. Some states do not allow pharmaceutical companies to offer coupons for brand name drugs. California has a bill going through state congress that would prohibit these coupons. Market Watch says that federal health programs are barring those they insure from using these kinds of coupons.

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How Amazon’s Purchase of Whole Foods Affects Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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rsz_1whole-foods-logoWhole Foods CEO John Mackey announced that his company had been purchased by Amazon. In general, when one company buys another – some changes are made. How will Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods affect coupons? We won’t know for certain until the partnership is completed – but some speculation can be found online.

The Herald Whig newspaper reported that Amazon has made a habit of collecting information on customers. It seems that industry experts think that there may be some crossover in higher-income customers who patronize Whole Foods as well as Amazon Prime.

There is speculation that perhaps, sometime in the future, there might be special discounts on items from Whole Foods that will only be offered to people who have an Amazon Prime membership. Those who frequent Whole Foods might be tempted to get an Amazon Prime membership for those extra deals.

Recently, Amazon began offering a Prime Membership for $5.99 per month or people who have a valid EBT card. The Amazon partnership with Whole Foods could result in helping people who have very low incomes to purchase organic food at an affordable price.

CNBC reported that there is the possibility that Amazon will choose to lower the prices at Whole Foods. If so, that could mean shoppers would have less of a need for coupons. After all, the main purpose of using coupons is to lower one’s grocery bill.

In the same CNBC article, there is the implication that Whole Foods might stop issuing coupons entirely. The reason is not one you might have guessed. Grocery stores tends to offer weekly promotions and manufacturer coupons to entice customers to shop there. Amazon has sold food online for quite some time, but it has never functioned like a typical grocery store would.

It might be possible for customers who shop at Whole Foods to be able to use digital coupons. There are some apps that provide users with digital coupons that are not directly connected to one, specific, store. It might be best for people to call their local Whole Foods, and ask about their new coupon policy, after the merger with Amazon is complete.

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Burger King has been Sued Over BOGO Coupon

Posted on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Burger KingBOGO stands for “Buy One, Get One Free”. When a customer uses a BOGO coupon it means that they must purchase one item in order to get a second item for free. A woman in Maryland sued Burger King because their BOGO coupon allegedly wasn’t being rung up correctly.

The woman filed a class action lawsuit about the Burger King BOGO coupon. A class action lawsuit is one where a person sues not only on behalf of themselves, but also for others “similarly situated.”

The Burger King Coupon says “Free Croissan’wich with the purchase of a Croissan’wich Sandwich.” The woman who sued used that coupon. She alleges that Burger King charged a higher price for the Croissan’wich sandwich that she had to pay for in order to get a second one for free.

The woman’s lawyer argues that a consumer who used the Burger King coupon would have the expectation that “they will pay the same regular price for two identical Croissan’wiches as they would pay for a single Croissan’wich.” Wording in the lawsuit alleges that customers who used the Burger King coupon “unknowingly are forced to pay an inflated price for the first Croissan’wich they purchase in order to receive the second one for ‘free’”.

It is unclear what the result of the lawsuit will be, or how long it will take to get through the court system. Burger King does not appear to have made any public statements regarding this lawsuit.

What can consumers learn from this? It is a good idea to do the math when you use a BOGO coupon. Pretend you didn’t have a BOGO coupon and wanted to buy one item. What does that one item cost? When you use the BOGO coupon, pay attention to the amount of money you spent. If the math doesn’t add up, it is time to ask some questions.

It is also a good idea to read the fine print on the BOGO coupon. Make sure the coupon has not expired. Check to see if the coupon has limitations on it. Can it only be used on certain days? Can you use it at any time, or only during a specific few hours of the day? Can the BOGO coupon be used if the item on the coupon is currently on sale?

Find out of the BOGO coupon can be combined with other offers. Many of them cannot. For example, if Burger King had a special deal going on that allowed customers to buy a Crossan’wich for $1, that doesn’t mean that the price of the Crossan’wich for people who used the BOGO coupon would be $1. Those are two, separate, offers.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.