Coupon clippers are always looking for additional ways to save money, and double couponing is no different.
What is Double Couponing?
Double couponing is when the coupon’s face value is doubled.
For example, if you have a coupon that reads “$0.50 off”, a store that doubles coupons will give you $1.00 off (if you’ve met the coupon terms).
The coupon terms state what items qualify for the discount, what size(s) you need to purchase and the date the coupon expires.
O.k., so I’ve got another 50 cents off. Big deal…
Savvy shoppers that combine our Smart Coupon Strategy with double couponing can save up to 100 percent on the cost of an item.
For example, when a shampoo bottle that’s normally priced at $3.50 goes on sale for $2.00, you can double a $1.00 manufacturer coupon and get it for free!
Why do grocery stores double coupons?
Grocery stores double coupons as an incentive to drive traffic into the store. When the store decides to double the amount on the coupon, it’s the same as if the store is discounting the item by the amount they double. The manufacturer will reimburse the grocery store for the face value of the coupon, but the store ends up having to pay for the amount that they’ve doubled. This is why some stores will double while others won’t. This is also why each store has different limitations to doubling coupons.
How do I know if a coupon will double?
First, you’ll have to find if your favorite store double coupons. Even if it does – not all coupons will double.
- A Manufacturer Coupon with a bar code starting with #9 will never double.
- A Manufacturer Coupon with a bar code starting with #5 will automatically double, even if the coupon states “DO NOT DOUBLE”.
Many Sunday paper coupons start with #5, meaning that they may double, depending on store policy.
Most of the coupons printed off the Internet and those which are found from the Blinkie dispensers in the grocery store starts with #9 – meaning that they will never double even a a store that doubles.
Why do they put out coupons that read “DO NOT DOUBLE” (DND) but end up doubling it?
Coupons that double are Manufacturer coupons that you can find mostly in Sunday papers and for some extent also online.
The Manufacturers state that the coupons “Do Not Double” in order to limit their liabilities to the retailer (i.e. this is their way to tell the retailers that whatever they do – the manufacturers will pay only for the face value of the coupon).
It’s the Retailers prerogative to double/triple/quadruple the coupons – at their own expense. This is why each retailer has its own policy for doubling.
Are there any limitations to double couponing?
With double couponing being a store initiative, every store set its own rules:
- Some stores will not double coupons. Others will. Some may even triple.
- Some stores may do it occasionally.
- Some stores may hold double coupon days or week events a few times a year.
- Some stores may limit the face value they will double (i.e. if they state that they double up to $0.50 and you have a $1.00 off coupon – the register will ring up a discount of $1.50 rather than the $2.00 you would expect)
- Some stores limit the amount of coupons (either identical or not) that they will double.
- Some stores enforce a minimum purchase that is required for the coupons to double.
- Some stores require shoppers to join their “member” program before using double coupons.
What if there are no stores in my area that double coupons?
While it’s true that double couponing is a great way to save money, it’s certainly not the only one. The fact that there are no stores in your area that double coupons doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t exercise extreme couponing.
You can still get many items for free by applying the Smart Coupon Strategy (applying coupons on top of already reduced sale prices) and refining it by Stacking Coupons (using a Manufacturer Coupon and Store Coupon on the same item).
Anything else I should know about double coupons?
- Always bring along the promotional ad that mentions double coupons, as not all cashiers are aware of the promotion or policy. Having the ad save time and arguments.
- Bring along the competitor’s promotional ad as well. While some stores may not double coupons, you may find that they will match the near by competitor’s advertised prices. Take advantage of it if your store does price match. Always carry the advertisements with you as proof of what items and prices you expect them to match.
- Some stores may also accept the near by competitor’s coupons just to keep your business with them. It’s well worth asking if they do.
- Be organized at the checkout lane. Put all like items together and have the coupons for them ready. Immediately after the cashier rings these item up, hand him/her the appropriate coupons. That way you can detect immediately if a coupon that should have been doubled or stacked rang up as such. In the event that it didn’t – have the cashier apply the discount manually.
- Most importantly – always compare prices. Have your Price List ready at hand and compare prices. Buying at a store with everyday low prices can be cheaper than buying at a store with high prices, even if it will double a $0.39 off coupon.
What about Taxes?
You should be aware to the fact that even if your item is free after coupons, depending on jurisdiction – some registers will still ring up the total tax due.
O.K, I’m ready to double coupon, but how do I know what stores do double couponing?
Perhaps the easiest and most reliable way to tell if your local store will double is to ask. Not all stores that double coupons advertise that they do so.
To help you out we’ve compiled a list of Stores That Double Coupons by State with help from our readers.