Posted: May 16, 2011
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Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

What is a Double Coupon?

First, let’s start with what double coupons aren’t.  I have heard people think you are using two manufacturer coupons on one item.  That is illegal and it not what double coupons mean.  Second, I have heard people think it simply means coupon stacking (when you use one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon on one item).  Stacking is valid and legal at many stores, but this is not what double coupons mean.  There is no such thing as a “double coupon”. What there are, however, are stores that allow you to double a coupon.

You use the same coupons you find in your local Sunday paper or print online.  Certain stores will let you double the value of the coupon.  When you redeem the the coupon at your local store during a double coupon promotion you will get twice the value of the coupon taken off the one item. If a coupon on a package of Huggies is $.50 off, you’ll get $1.00 off your package of Huggies.

Some coupons say “do not double” – read my post on Do Not Double coupons, why they say this, and why you can still double these in most cases!

When a store “doubles a coupon”, the store still only gets refunded the value of the coupon from the manufacturer.   They take the extra amount they doubled out of their own pockets, as an advertising expense.

You can use double coupons to get high value items free!  If a razor is normally $8, but is on sale for $4 (or on sale for $8 and is BOGO free), and you have two $2 off coupons, and your store doubles up $2, they would take off $4 for each razor, and then you would get both razors free!

Do you have a list of which stores double coupons?
Some stores don’t advertise that they double- so make sure to ask!   Other stores only double on certain days of the week, every week.  Kmart doubles randomly, and sometimes it is up to $.99 and other times it is up to $2.00, they just advertise it in their weekly circular.   Please leave a comment and let us know which stores in your area double, so we can create a master list.  Here is a list of over 20 stores and whether they double or not is listed on their policies page.

Know the rules of your store before you shop:

  • The store may limit your total coupons used to no more than 75 (or another number) per transaction or visit.
  • Stores may limit you to no more than 4 coupons for the purchase of 4 of the same items.
  • Each store doubles to different amounts; some stores double coupons $.50 and under, other stores double coupons up to $2.00.
  • Some stores won’t let you double coupons on clearance items.

Sharing is caring: Don’t go crazy and buy 100 of an item and clear the shelf.   If you know a great deal is coming, ask your store to order you extra of the item.

Tips for making your trip less stressful for you (and the cashier):

  • Bring the stores circular ad that advertises the double coupons. Some cashiers don’t know about their own stores promotions.
  • Have your coupons out and ready to scan before you get to the register. Put the same items together when checking out, and have your coupons in the same order as your products are being scanned.  Sometimes when items don’t match-up and the cashier has to scan the register tap to find them, this will make it easier for them to find the coupons and products because they are in order.
  • Hand the cashier each coupon one-at-a-time so that you can verify that non stick together and you are getting all your savings.

Do I have to pay taxes on items I get for free?
This varies by store but most registers will still ring up the total tax due.

This is part 4 of a 26 part “ABC’s of Couponing” series

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