Whether you clip your coupons from the Sunday paper, or you’re all about the digital codes and rebates, we are all looking for the same thing: to save money. And coupons are one of the fastest and easiest ways to save when shopping.
Coupons come in many forms – paper and paperless, digitally in codes, through loyalty programs and in newsletters. It’s difficult to keep track of what to use and how to use it, let alone where to find all of these discounts. That’s why we’re breaking down the most common types of coupons for you to make it easy to shop and save.
On a basic level, coupons can be broken down into two categories: manufacturer coupons and store coupons.
Manufacturer coupons come directly from the source. They are discounts, usually percentages off, offered by a brand selling products. You can think of these as promotions from the company, as they reimburse stores that allow you to use them.
Store coupons are offered by a specific shop. These are in-store discounts, which typically are offered as dollars off of a specific item, for a limited amount of time. As hinted at by the name, you can only use store coupons in one location, as opposed to manufacturer coupons, which can be redeemed wherever the product is found.
Both types of coupons are offered in print and online. They also can be easily combined with other coupons, and are commonly combined with one another. However, you cannot double them up. For example, you can use both a store and manufacturer’s coupon when buying Pepperidge Farms bread if it qualifies. You cannot, however, use two store coupons together to get the double the discount on your bread.
In this list you’ll gain a baseline understanding of each type of coupon you come across every week. Each has their benefits, so it’s up to you to decide what fits best with your shopping routine.
The name Catalina makes this type of coupon sound much fancier than it is. We guarantee you’ve come across these savings without even knowing it!
Catalina coupons are the paper, receipt-like coupons that print out at the register after a transaction. They are like grocery store lotto tickets that you receive from the cashier whether you want them or not. Catalina coupons can be manufacturer’s or store coupons. They are worth glancing through because some of the general coupons offer money off your next order, without requiring you to purchase a specific item.
Newspaper coupons are exactly what they sound like. These discounts, which are typically from manufacturer’s, can be found in the brightly colored ads folded into your mail. Newspaper coupons are print only, and may be found in general advertisements or specific store catalogs.
You will encounter printable coupons most commonly on websites either for a specific brand or store. These coupons require you to print them out and present them at the register.
It is common for websites to also have digital versions of their coupons, offered via their website and/or app, so that customers can simply show it on their phone.
Many companies promote digital coupons on their social media pages as well.
In addition, there are larger couponing sites that allow you to search for products and stores and find both digital and printable coupons to use.
Blinkies are coupons that come out of machines directly in the aisles at the stores. Their name derives from the blink on the machines used to get your attention. Many stores still offer blinkies, though they may be strung up along the product or directly at the register. Peelies
Peelies are stickers that can be found directly attached to a product. To redeem your discount, simply pull off the sticker and scan it at the register.
To get the most out of your new couponing knowledge, you must also be aware of the rules and fine print.
There are various types of limits imposed on coupons, that each mean different things. Per purchase, means that you can only use one coupon per item. So you cannot use two identical coupons to get a discount off of the same one item. If you buy two items, however, you could use two coupons to get the discount off of each item.
Per transaction is a little more strict. You can only use that coupon once for your whole transaction, even if you are buying multiples of that item. In the case where you do need to buy multiples of the same item, and want to use the coupon for each, you’ll have to ask the cashier for separate orders.
You may also see a limit to the number of items you can use the coupon on. Companies usually limit products so that one person can’t empty the whole shelf.
Manufacturer’s coupons sometimes include the phrase “available at (store name)” by the item. Though this is a helpful hint on where to shop to receive your discount, this does not mean that the coupon has to be used at that store. However, if the word available is replaced by the word “redeemable” that’s a different story. Coupons with the phrase “redeemable at” or “only at” printed on them must be used at the specified store.
Stacking is a popular couponing tactic where you can use more than one coupon per item, sometimes covering the entire cost. Many coupons can be stacked together if they are different types. For example, a Catalina coupon can be used with a manufacturer’s coupon on the same item. Stacking is generally not accepted when using the same type of coupons, so manufacturer’s coupons cannot be combined, neither can store’s, etc. Some coupons also include the phrase, “cannot be combined with any other coupon” in the fine print, so don’t try stacking in this instance either.
In addition to traditional couponing, companies are constantly offering other options to save. When shopping online, you can get the value of a coupon simply by using a coupon code. Companies also offer short-term promotions to new customers when you sign up for emails.
If you frequent any store or have a favorite brand, research to see if they have a loyalty program to join for continuous savings.
There are also websites dedicated to couponing, making it easy for you to simply search a brand, store, or product and have a list of all of the possible coupons to use. In addition to getting discounts via coupons, you can also get cash back from the products you buy when through rebate programs. Sites like RebateKey make it easy to find products you want and submit your rebate code after receiving them to earn your discount.
There are very rare occasions when you have to pay full price. When in doubt, take a little extra time to search for coupons and discounts that will help you save money.
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