Know a store's coupon policy before you shop
QUESTION: How do you determine the best grocery store to shop?
ANSWER: One of the most important things I consider when picking a grocery store is its coupon policy.
While there are many other factors to consider, a store’s coupon policy can make a difference in the amount of money you are able to save.
Coupon policies can be detailed and include a great deal of information. They can be confusing to decode, so the best thing to do is ask specific questions to determine what is allowed and what is not.
By knowing the policy, you can plan shopping trips and be sure you are using coupons to the best of your advantage.
If you are unsure about what questions to ask, here are a few sample questions.
You can always meet with a customer-service representative in the store or via telephone.
Keep in mind there may be regional variations or even differences from store to store within the same chain.
• What is your store’s specific coupon policy?
• Where is this policy located for customers to view and print if needed?
• Does your store double or triple coupons?
• Is there a limit on the number of total coupons that you will double or triple?
• Do you limit the number of duplicate coupons you double?
• What day does your circular come out, and where can I find it?
• If the circular is available in the store, what day can I get a copy?
• What day of the week does the new sale cycle start?
• What is your store’s buy-one-get-one-free policy?
• Do you accept competitors’ coupons? If so, what stores does that include?
• Is there a limit on the number of competitors’ coupons that can be redeemed per transaction?
• Do you accept manufacturer’s coupons that have another store’s logo printed on them?
• Will you substitute your house brand for a competitor’s house brand?
• Do you match sale prices? If so, what are the guidelines?
• Is there a limit on how many coupons you can use per transaction?
• Is there a limit on how many sale items can be purchased per transaction?
• Special sales such as 10/$10: Do I have to purchase 10 to get the $1-per-item price, or can I just purchase one?
Make yourself familiar with the answers to these questions and you will be able to shop with more knowledge. This will save you money.
For more tips on saving money, go to time2savework shops.com. Email time2save firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www. shns.com.