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There may have been a point in time where you rolled your eyes as the shopper in front of you placed coupon after coupon in the cashier’s hand. I remember dreading my mom pulling out her file box of coupons and scissors each Sunday because I knew we were in for hours of clipping.
But those days are over. They have now been replaced with an eagerness to save money, which of course means learning how to become the professional couponers you didn’t understand before.
Perhaps you’ve dabbled in discount shopping and electronic coupons at your favorite stores. But you haven’t really utilized the full benefits of coupons until you have tried stacking them.
Coupons can be combined with a multitude of other savings from other types of coupons to discount earned through loyalty programs. Once you gain a basic understanding of coupon stacking by reading this guide, you’ll be able to make this new savings strategy work for you.
How is Coupon Stacking Different?
Coupon stacking is a strategy meant to maximize your discount. Any time you use more than one coupon on a single item or purchase, it can be considered stacking. But shoppers who get the most benefit from coupon stacking, don’t stop at two. They layer coupons on top of coupons to get the biggest discount they can.
Stacking coupons is harder to master. It’s all about the fine print, which by its very nature, is meant to be difficult to understand. In addition, not all stores treat coupon stacking the same. Every store has their own policy, what works at one may not be allowed at another. To really take advantage of coupon stacking, you have to know the rules.
What Types of Coupons can you Stack?
All coupons can be boiled down to two types: manufacturer coupons and store coupons. And coupon stacking usually involves using both a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon. Though these two categories can be broken down to many subgenres, for the ease of understanding, we’ll talk about all of the ways to stack the main two.
Manufacturer coupons come directly from the brand selling the product. The company that produces the item, creates discounts to push inventory. These coupons can be used across various stores, depending on where the product is sold.
Store coupons are limited to the place you are buying the product from. Major retailers like Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond attract customers with coupons so that they will buy from them exclusively.
At times these two paths cross, and manufacturer coupons may only be redeemed at a specific store. Coupons like these, though they come up less often, teach the value of the most important factor in stacking coupons: reading the fine print.
How to Master Coupon Stacking
If you’ve read our Extreme Couponing Guide, you’re familiar with the importance of being organized. Before you head out to the store, go through your coupon binder to figure out which products you want to buy, and match them with their discounts.
If you’ve been clipping print coupons and bookmarking electronic ones, now is the time to look for multiple coupons that match with the same product. Once you have located your coupons, carefully read through the fine print. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Limits per transaction/per purchase/per person: limitations are set to ensure that customers do not buy up all of product while it is on sale
- Expiration date: make sure that the coupon has not expired
- Redeemable locations: sometimes coupons read “may be redeemed at” or “redeem only at.” If so, you can only buy the item at the specified location
- Cannot be combined: these are the dreaded words for pro coupon stackers. If you see this message, the this coupon must be used alone
Once you know the rules, you can start taking advantage of your stacking options. The best coupon stackers not only combine multiple coupons, but they combine them with other types of discounts.
For example, coupons can be combined to purchase items that are already on sale, with rewards you received from signing up for loyalty programs, or in addition to benefits offered by rebate sites. To become a pro coupon stacker, you have to remember all of your options when it comes to saving money.
Here are a few common saving options to consider before you mix and match!
- Manufacturer coupon
- Store coupon
- Items on sale
- Rewards or loyalty programs
- Rebate sites and apps
- Using a store credit card that racks up savings
- Taking advantage of earning points
How to Make Coupon Stacking Work for You
Though coupon stacking requires some extra research, the savings is definitely worth it. Before you grocery shop, for example, look for the items that are marked on sale. You should also make a habit of collecting coupons from mail outs and websites that offer printable coupons.
If you shop at stores frequently, look into whether they have a rewards program that will allow you to acquire points or money off when you spend. And of course, don’t forget to browse through rebate websites like RebateKey to look for additional promotions offered on items that you need.
Once you master the method of stacking coupons, the benefits will follow. It will get easier to do the more you practice, so stick with it! What you save today could easily be doubled tomorrow.
Don’t wait to start saving! Sign up for RebateKey and get up to 100% cashback rebates on a range of items.