Posted: January 26, 2017
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This is part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

How to Stack

This topic dives deep and stores policies may vary; I can’t guarantee your experience will be exactly as outlined when working with Buy One, Get One Free coupons and sales, but at least I can help inform you on how they should work.

Common question:

I’m confused by the BOGO sales when they are matched up with BOGO coupons, how do the items come out free?

Let’s start with the background info on how stores work.  As I explained in my first ABC’s of couponing post, stores get paid the full price of a scanned manufacturer coupon. But if a store has a sale or coupon that it releases, this is called a store coupon.  This coupon doesn’t get reimbursed – it is a form of advertising for the store.

If a store has a BOGO free sale (or store coupon), they are “taking the loss” so to speak on the free item.  If you hand them a manufacturer coupon for a BOGO free item during their BOGO free sale, it doesn’t affect the amount of money the store makes.  Because the manufacturer reimburses them for the coupon.

True BOGO Free Sales:

At most stores, if a sale is buy one get one free, you purchase one and the other is free.  So if you use a BOGO free coupon on top of the sale, both products end up free. The store gets reimbursed for the manufacturer coupon and the transaction is still profitable for the store! Even though you didn’t pay money out of your pocket.

However, not all stores ring up BOGO free store sales (or store coupons) this way.  Some insist that you must pay for one item in order to use your BOGO free coupon. Rather than giving you both items for free, you buy one and then receive two free (one free for the coupon and one free for their sale).

Rite Aid and Walgreen’s are store that do not take a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale, but CVS will!

Non-True BOGO Free Sales:

Certain stores have BOGO free sales, but you don’t have to buy 2 to get the sale price.  You purchase one, and it rings up half price.  Some examples of stores that work this way are Publix (except Florida locations, which are true BOGO sales), Bi-Lo, and Harris Teeter to name a few.  If you use a BOGO free coupon with a BOGO free sale at these places, you will pay half price for one item and get the other item free.  YMMV – do not count on working, but if it does then you can be happy!

purse

Can I use two BOGO Free Manufacturer’s coupons for two items?

No – if you have two BOGO free coupons, you’d have to purchase 4 items to use them both.

Can you use two manufacturer coupons on a buy one get one free store promotion?

Yes!  Even if the store is giving one away for free, you can still use a coupon on it! So if you have two $1 off one item coupons, you could use both of them on a BOGO free sale! You just couldn’t use two BOGO free coupons. Exception:  you can’t do this at Rite Aid and Walgreen’s.

piggy

 

How does using a BOGO free coupon on BOGO half off sale work?

If you purchase two items that are $4, the store would ring up one item as $2.  Then when the cashier scans your BOGO free coupon, it may only take off $2 for the cheaper item you bought.   Other stores will take off the full $4.  It depends on how your cashier rings you up.

Can I use a BOGO free coupon and a $1/1 off product coupon on two products?

Short Answer: No.  Not at most stores.
This is the most tricky question of them all!  If you have  a BOGO free coupon, but you have another coupon for $1/1 on the same product, can you use the both coupons?  If done on certain coupons, this is called “piggybacking” and is not how the coupons were intended to use.  Now I don’t promote coupon decoding (the practice of using coupons on items they weren’t intended to be used on) so I won’t go into too much detail, but you can tell be the coupons codes whether you can use a BOGO coupon with another coupon or not.  Most of the time you can not – if the number 14 is in the area circled in the barcode below, the coupon is attached to both products. You can’t use another coupon on your purchase for either product.   If the numbers are different, some stores will let you use a BOGO free coupon and a $1/1 product coupon when you buy two items.

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  • rebecca shockley(becca33)

    I have learned so much from your postings and videos today, my head is starting to hurt, lol.

  • Rebekah S.

    Thank you this is very helpful. This is what I had orginally thought but the lady at Walgreens told me this was coupon fraud. Thank you for the information.

  • Gena

    Here is another question, may sound dumb but…..
    Say you have a coupon for $4 off the purchase of 2 of item x.
    You also have a coupon for BOGO Free on item x.
    Can you use BOTH coupons?

    • deidre

      If you have a coupon that is $4 off of 2 items, then those two items have a coupon “used against” them and no more manufacturer’s coupons can be used on them.

  • lisa

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful

  • Patricia Mohl

    I’m finally getting a better understanding of BOGO stacking. Free stuff who would imagine?

  • Liz

    One of my friends was just asking about this the other day. I will have to send her the link to this post, so helpful!!

  • Cheryl K

    I love your helpful posts. For people who have been doing this even for a little while some things seem so much clearer after reading the way you lay it out. Many thanks for helping out during these difficult economic times.

  • ceis8009

    Wow, you can understand how a cashier or even a store manager might get confused.

  • lisa

    walgreens was having a buy one get one half off on razors, i had a buy one get one free coupon, I didn’t know how it would work so i tried it, i got the first one free and the second one half off. I had two more coupons like that, so the cashier called the manager and he said that she did the first one right so i got to use all three coupons like this, had to be on seperate tickets, but it was a great deal

  • April

    hi I have a quick question, if i want to purchase an item that comes in a 2pack (axe deodorant), can I use my bogo coupon on this item? ultimatly getting 4 for the price of 1?
    thanks for the info!

    april

  • ingrid

    hi
    i have a question too –

    What is the difference between:

    Can you use two manufacturer coupons on a buy one get one free store promotion?
    Yes! Even if the store is giving one away for free, you can still use a coupon on it! So if you have two $1 off one item coupons, you could use both of them on a BOGO free sale! You just couldn’t use two BOGO free coupons.

    and this:

    Can I use a BOGO free coupon and a $1/1 off product coupon on two products?
    This is the most tricky question of them all! If you have a BOGO free coupon, but you have another coupon for $1/1 on the same product, can you use the both coupons? If done on certain coupons, this is called “piggybacking” and is not how the coupons were intended to use. Now I don’t promote coupon decoding (the practice of using coupons on items they weren’t intended to be used on) so I won’t go into too much detail, but you can tell be the coupons codes whether you can use a BOGO coupon with another coupon or not. Most of the time you can not –
    ****************************************
    I’m still pretty new to this, so I apologize if it’s a dumb question :) If I have a BOGO on hot dogs, can I use one BOGO coupon and a $1.00 coupon as well? I tryed to do that at CVS on an item and the cashier said I could only use the BOGO because the other item was “free” so I couldn’t use a coupon on a “free” item.

    Thanks in advance for any clarification you can give me on this :)

    • deidre

      the difference is the first one – using two coupons on a BOGO store promotion is that you aren’t using a BOGO coupon at all, the store is running their own promo for BOGO free. Most of the times, you can’t use a BOGO coupon and another coupon on two items.

      • ingrid

        thanks! makes total sense now

  • Lucy

    What about B2G1? Can I use two coupons in addition to a B2G1 coupon? Three items three coupons, but I’m just not sure how that works.

  • Anne

    Can you use a Manufacturer’s BOGO coupon and a Store coupon?

  • shelly

    I cant wrap my head around this one. I have a coupon for bygo on candybars,the store sale is buy 2 get 1 free. How many am i paying for,how many are
    free

  • Wenjie

    Thank you for a very well defined explanation. It happened to me at Ralph’s where i used a BOGO and a $1/2 which i got from one of the blog and i will get it for free. So I went to Ralph’s and did use 2 cpns but i tried 1BOGO and 1 $1/2 first since i am not sure if this will worl and sure enough it didn’t work like that blog explained it. I am happy i tried it first coz I have 23 cpns of BOGO and the $1/2. Reading here made sense now why it can’t work. Thanks so much.

  • Raescje;

    In responce to the exerp below at Tom Thumb they will not allow you to do this. The Register will beep at you and tell you no. :(

    Can you use two manufacturer coupons on a buy one get one free store promotion?
    Yes! Even if the store is giving one away for free, you can still use a coupon on it! So if you have two $1 off one item coupons, you could use both of them on a BOGO free sale! You just couldn’t use two BOGO free coupons.

  • Katherine

    Hello! I’m kind of new to couponing and have a question I hope someone can answer for me!
    I have a coupon from P&G that is “buy one pro glide cartridge receive a pro glide shave prep free”

    Ok…So…does that mean I can use another manufacturer coupon for the cartridges since technically the coupon is being used to on the shave prep to get it for free? The numbers on the bottom of the coupon don’t end in “14” btw.

    Please help…this has been bothering me for a while and I can’t find the answer on the internet.

  • Tambra Coons

    so much info!!

  • Morgan

    Whoa! I had no idea! That’s a super helpful tip and will come in handy when I question if I can use the two together! And… Bookmarked…

  • Catrina

    Thank you :)

  • Lisa Moffett

    I never knew that the bar codes could determin the use.

  • Helen

    This is so helpful. I will spend a lot of time reading and studying this information. I need to save as much as I can because I’m retired and want to be able to help my kids and grandkids and the area shelters and food banks. I would love to start a couponing club in my area. Any suggestions on how to do that?

  • Cathleen

    Safeway refused to let me use 2 manufacturers coupon on BOGO item. I had 2 $1 off manufacturers coupons, bought 2 of the item and the cashier did not let me do it. Now prior to this cashier i was doing it. He called the manager and they said I’m already getting it for free. I said that’ the point, one coupon per product. I went home and checked their coupon policy and it is on their website not to accept a coupon for a free item. So check the policies. Maybe i’ll just stay away from this cashier!

  • Debs1956

    I’ll try and explain the question I need to ask and hope you will understand it. I have a BOGO FREE coupon for Hershey’s Air LIght candy. At Giant Eagle they have them for 3/$2.00. How many BOGO Free coupons can I use towards this one purchase?

  • Debs1956

    Hope I can explain the question Im about to ask.
    I have a BOGO FREE Hershey’s Air Light candy coupon. At Giant Eagle they are on sale for 3/$2.00. How many BOBO FREE coupons can I use on this one transaction?

    • Chicora76

      I hope I can explain the answerer.

       You would buy 4 Candy bars use 2 BOGO Coupons = 2 free and (2) $1.34 OOP (.67ea).

  • Beautifulthang81

    ok will i’m new on couponing how does this work… I have a manufacture coupon says buy 1 facial cleanser and get 1 body wash free can i still use a manufacture coupon for the facial wash??

    • no you can’t, that coupon “covers” both coupons and not other coupons can be used on them that are manufacturers coupons

  • Aca_36

    cvs is having a buy 1   get 1  50% off on razors ..i have (2)   $3/1 coupons  can i use both coupons if i am getting 2 ??? if they are $4.19 reg price    how much would it be  oop ?               tia

    • Sid

      Yes, bc you are buying 2 items, so 4.19+2.08=6.27-2cpns=.27 for 2 items. Now idk if they will let you for sure bc if they apply the cpns separately then you would have overage. So it could look like this if they adjusted it to the item price: 4.19-3=1.19+0 bc 2.19-3(adjusted to 2.19)=0 so 1.19 for two

  • TANIA

    YES YOU CAN…I JUST BOUGHT 2 RAZORS AT B1G1 50% off AND USED 2 $3 off…PLUS I GOT UP REWARDS (RITE AID)…SO IT WAS FREE.

  • cecilia

    what it means BOGO COUPONS ??

  • jackie

    Im completely new to couponing ( i opened my first insert last sunday haha) if I have a coupon that is save a dollar on 3 boxes of an item, can i use one coupon per box? or is it one coupon per 3 boxes?

    • HelperJen

      One coupon per 3 boxes.

  • tinabee

    I went k-mart the other day and found razors B1G1 and I had a coupon for B1G1..the cashier rang up the items and the coupons and there was a balance due..she said it was the tax on both items…does this sound right?

    • HelperJen

      Yes, you still have to pay tax even thought the items ring up Free.

    • yes, you will still have to pay taxes

  • Stephanie Baier Gunn

    can you use a b1g1 at cvs or walgreens when they have b1g1 items already so it would make it free?

    • HelperJen

      Yes, here’s the wording from their policy:
      Buy One, Get One Free promotions may be combined with Buy One, Get One Free Coupons. Customers are responsible for paying applicable tax
      Example: Suave Shampoo is on sale for $2.00 BOGO and customer has a MFG coupon for Suave BOGO. Customer will receive both items for free but will need to pay any applicable tax.

  • twins mom

    If a sale was 2/$7 could I use 2 b1g1f coupon nd a $3/2 coupon since im saying 4

    • No the BOGO free coupon “covers” both items so you can’t use other coupons with it

  • tesni

    hi. target had a deal with hot pockets b4g1 and I had a coupon b2g1. how many would the coupon work on and how many were supposed to be free?

    • HelperJen

      Buy (7) Hot Pockets
      One will be FREE w/Target promo
      Use (2) B2G1 Coupon (each coupon covers 3 products)
      Two will be FREE w/coupons
      Final Price: You pay the cost of 4 packages and get 7

  • Bonnie

    went to walmart yesterday and pm publix dog food BOGO and on the 2 bags there were $1.00 off 1 bag, so I handed the cashier the 2 coupons and she told me I could only use 1 coupon cause the other one was already free. Do you know if that is walmarts policy

    • I don’t know what their policy is on this, but my walmart won’t even price match BOGO free items.

  • Miss T

    Hi I have a question. My store is getting ready to run a BOGO on soap but I have a B2 Get one Free coupon how do I work that coupon when my store rings up BOGO items at half price.

    • You’d buy 6, get 3 free from store promo and use 2 coupons and get another 2 free, so paying for one total

      • Miss T

        Okay…I get that but my fear is that the cashier will have to manually make the change because my store rings up BOGO items at half price it would be so much simplier if they rang up one full price and zero the others, because they dont how do I explain it so it makes sense to the cashier? Because I am a little confused by it.

        • They may scan and take off only half price for the free ones since they rung up half price, so it really will be up to the cashier to manually adjust them or not.

  • Brenda

    If CVS has a body was for buy 1 get 1 for 50% off and I have a coupon for the same body was and the coupon says Buy two get One free. how many coupons can I use? Or how would I use the coupon with the sale.

  • Jodi Luzio

    How would this work with a B1G1 for a penny sale?

  • Kristi Thompson

    Wow! This is excellent information. Thank you!

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