FAQ/Basics

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JUST GETTING STARTED?

IMG_21012014_181203We were all new to couponing at one time or another and I can remember just feeling overwhelmed in the beginning. But I hope this page helps to explain things a bit more and gets you started on the road to keeping more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Saving money by couponing goes way beyond simply clipping a coupon and using it on something you need. The best way to maximize your savings is to wait to use your coupons against a sale or a special deal and to buy several of the item if the price is right.

While I do maintain a stockpile, I don’t believe in letting my stockpile overtake my house. Sales usually cycle around every 3 months, so purchasing enough to last you through to the next sale is a good bet, especially if you are short on space. Be patient- building a stockpile takes time, it does not happen overnight, but little by little you will find yourself being able to grab something from your stockpile when you normally would have to run out for something.

FINDING COUPONS

coupon-insertsNEWSPAPER COUPONS: One of the most popular resources are the coupon inserts that can be found in the Sunday Newspaper. There are 4 main types- the PG- usually put out once a month by Proctor & Gamble, the RP or Red Plum insert and the SS or Smart Source Insert both usually found in most papers every Sunday, and the GM or General Mills which can usually be found every 4-5 weeks.

Every Friday I post a Sunday Newpaper Insert Preview with highlights of what will be coming in the Sunday paper and I also list resources for obtaining inserts and coupons that come from them. You can go HERE to check out the most recent preview with a list of Resources.

PRINTABLE COUPONS:Another popular way to get coupons is to print them. There are several sites that consistently offer printable coupons: coupons .com, Red Plum, Betty Crocker, & SmartSource are good places to start. Lots of manufacturer’s sites also offer coupons and a good way to check and see if there is a printable coupon for something you need is to check My Coupon Database. If there is a printable- there will be a link provided to lead you to where you can find the coupon.

OTHER COUPONS: Coupons come from many many sources. Many manufacturer’s place Hangtag Coupons or Peelie coupons found on products on the shelves or Tearpads usually located on a display or shelf near the item.You may even spot coupons in magazines or at the office of your doctor, dentist, pediatrician, vet and more. Once you start looking for these valuable little pieces of paper, you will be surprised at just how many places they turn up!

COUPONING LINGO

We couponers use lots of abbreviations and terms, and you will catch on soon enough, but if you are just getting started- here’s a few terms to familiarize yourself with…

$1/2 etc: One dollar off two items. (1st # = Discount/2nd # = Quantity required for discount)
B1G1: Buy 1 Get 1 FREE, or B2G1: Buy 2 Get 1 FREE and so on
PSA: Prices Starting at
PC: Price Cut (Temporary cut in Price- can vary by region but you can see a current list HERE)
GC: Gift Card (Target offers Gift Cards as a reward for buying specific items, see Special Deals Page for extended Gift Card deals)
ETS: Excludes Trial Size or , or ESS: Excludes Single Serving
MIR: Mail In Rebate (You can check my Rebates Page to see current offers available)
TMF-Try Me Free. Another form of a rebate or sometimes a satisfaction Guarantee
OOP: Out of Pocket. The amount you actually spend.
Q: Coupon, MQ: manufacturer coupon, TQ: Target Coupon
WYB: when you buy
YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary-this means that it may or may not be the case in all instances.
x: Expiration Date of a coupon

ORGANIZING YOUR COUPONS

IMG_21012014_181500There are several different ways to keep your coupons organized so you can easily find them. Many people use a binder method- where you can split up your coupons into pages with pockets and organize how it works best for you. Sometimes people organize by item type- ie Frozen, Snacks, Canned, etc, or some prefer to alphabetize. You have to do what works best for you. Some people like to just grab baseball card type album sleeves and grab a plain binder. Or you can get a bit more stylish and try out something like the Coupon Clutch- which also offers whole packages to get you started. A binder is very nice in that it’s a way to have your coupons with you at all times which comes in handy for Target Clearance- it can be a time-consuming method- but wonderful if you can keep it up.

You can also use a filing system for your inserts. You can use either drawers or a filing box meant to hold the complete insert and file them by date. Since I and other sites you may start to follow usually list where you can find a coupon- it is just as easy to go find what you need and cut when you are ready to shop. So for example – if I list the following coupon as a matchup-

-$1/3; .50/2 Campbell’s Microwaveable Bowls or Soup At Hand 1-8-12 SS x3/15

it means it can be found in the January 8th Smart Source Insert. The different amounts in the front mean that some areas will have a $1 Off 3 and some areas will have gotten a .50 cents off 2. The x followed by the date is when the coupon expires. But finding the best way to organize is a process – and you may go through several different ways before you figure out what method works best for you.

TARGET COUPONS

multi_coupon_nobleedTarget can be a great place to save money in several different ways. For starters- Target allows you to stack coupons- this means allowing the use of one manufacturer’s coupon AND one Target Store Coupon AND one Cartwheel Offer on EACH item. Target Coupons can be found in a variety of places….

TARGET INSERT COUPONS: Target store coupons can sometimes be found in the regular Sunday inserts on occasion, and usually around 3-5 times a year Target will put out a complete insert on their own. Target Insert coupons are always regional though and not everyone will get them.

PRINTABLE TARGET COUPONS: Target Web Coupons are the most prevalent type of printable store coupons and found on Target.com. Not all coupons found on Target.com are Store coupons, but I do maintain a Target Coupon Page with a list of the available Target Coupons with matching manufacturer’s coupons you can stack. You can also check out my post HERE to see how you can tell the difference before you print yourself. Occasionally coupons.com and the RedPlum Site will also offer printable store coupons- though they are usually few and far between.

Mobile-QMOBILE TARGET COUPONS: Mobile coupons are Target Store Coupons that can be sent to your phone to be used for in-store purchases at checkout. You can pull them up on your phone’s screen and the cashier can scan the bar code. These coupons are meant to be used only once but can be stacked with manufacturer coupons. You can sign up to receive Target Mobile Coupons HERE. You will need to have an internet-capable phone in order to retrieve the coupons. Keep in mind- text messaging & data charges will apply depending upon your phone’s plan.

SHOPKICKTARGET SHOPKICK COUPONS: Shopkick is a free downloadable application for iPhone or Androids that automatically recognizes when you go into participating stores, restaurants and more. You earn points called “kickbucks” for anything from entering the store to scanning select bar codes while there that you redeem for different rewards including Target Gift Cards. You will also get scannable Target Coupons which you can redeem at checkout. Once you download the app, you can add Target to your Faves list, and once you do you it is quick and easy to view and redeem your Target Coupons. Be sure and wait until you are at the register to use the coupons- they expire 12 hours after tapping the word “use”. Once you are the register- tap the word Use, and up will come a coupon & bar code for the cashier to scan.

cartwheelTARGET CARTWHEEL OFFERS: There’s also a savings program called Cartwheel by Target offering even more opportunities to get great deals! You can get as much as an additional 30% off, occasionally even higher, on items at Target including grocery, health & beauty, baby, clothing and much more. You can redeem all offers on your Cartwheel in one transaction and an identical offer can be applied up to a maximum of four times in a single transaction. You are allowed one Cartwheel offer with one manufacturer’s coupon and one Target coupon for triple the savings! You can sign up thru email or your Facebook account and you will need a smartphone to redeem savings in stores although you can bring a printed barcode with you in lieu of a smartphone. For more information, see my post HERE.

IMG_21012014_181327OTHER TARGET COUPONS: You can also sometimes find Target coupons in all kinds of magazines like Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, American Baby and many more. Target also sends out various mailers with coupons – home mailers are random – there is no 100% fool-proof way to get one. Sometimes having created a baby or wedding registry may help, or spending on a REDcard helps, or filling a prescription, and the list of theories goes on. But none of these things are a 100% guarantee you will start receiving them and unfortunately there is no definite mailing list to get on. When you check out at the register you can check the coupons that print from the Catalina machine that you get with your receipt. Sometimes they are Manufacturer coupons, but sometimes they are Target Coupons!

You can always see a complete list of ALL Types of current Target coupons on my Target Coupon Page.

CASH BACK REWARD PROGRAMS

cash-rewardsThere are a couple of great savings apps out there for both iPhone and Android users to earn cash back for shopping in-store. The first one, ibotta, is a fun & easy way to earn extra money while shopping for buying products that most likely you were going to buy anyway. Plus, the Ibotta app offers lucrative Bonuses. The second one, Checkout 51, is also a fast and easy way to earn cash back on the brands you love, yet it also has some unique features and… you do not need to have a smartphone to take advantage of this great app! Watch the blog for new offers and matchups to be posted, plus you can read about each of them in more detail as follows…. for more info on ibotta, go HERE and for more info on Checkout 51, you can go HERE.

GIFT CARD & SPECIAL PURCHASE DEALS

IMG_21012014_180857Another way to save at Target is by taking advantage of their Gift Card Deals where a Target Gift Card is awarded at checkout in return for buying a specified product or products. Gift Cards cannot be used in the same transaction you earned them, however they can be rolled into the next transaction. If you do more than one Gift Card Deal in a transaction you WILL receive both Gift Cards. There are usually several Gift Card Deals in the Target Ad every week, that usually only last that week. However sometimes quite a few Gift Card deals remain unadvertised and extend for longer periods of time.

Target also offers Special Purchase Deals. These are usually a B1G1 Free type of deal or instant savings when purchasing 2 or more of a specific product. Again several of these are advertised each week, but some are not and last for 2 or more weeks. I do my best to keep track of as many unadvertised longer-term Gift Card & Special Purchase Deals as possible on the Special Deals Page. On that page you can find the details, coupon matchups and some Deal Ideas so be sure to check it out.

TARGET’S LOW PRICE PROMISE

Target has a price matching policy which they refer to as a Low Price Promise. This can be another way to save Gas, money & time, since Target will honor local competitor’s ads, however there are quite a few rules and restrictions. You can view Target’s official price matching policy HERE.

TARGET COUPON POLICY

You can find the official Target Coupon Policy HERE. It’s always a good idea to print it out and keep with you when you shop.
Target will accept printable coupons with a scannable bar code except one that is for a FREE item when no purchase is required. Target does not accept competitor’s coupon or expired coupons.

387211_10151581781563120_690736138_nTarget does not give cash back – if the coupon is for more than the value of an item, the coupon amount may be reduced to meet the cost of the item. Target also has specific rules about using B1G1 coupons. You can check out this post HERE for more details and examples.

MORE QUESTIONS?

I hope you have found this page helpful, but if you have more questions or you have a deal you would like to share with me, you can contact me at kerry@totallytarget.com. You can also ask questions, trade coupons, share deals and more on the TotallyTarget forum!

 

598 Responses to “FAQ/Basics”

  1. Kerry says:

    HI Kristin- no you can only use a moble coupon once. hth

  2. Gena says:

    Hi! Smiths mailed me some coupons with Smiths logo at the bottom but says manufacturer coupon. I was wondering if you know if I can use it at Target. Thanks alot.

  3. Kerry says:

    Hi Gena- as long as they do not say redeem “only” at Smith’s you should be able to redeem elsewhere, including Target. Ultimately it’s a ymmv- but most stores will accept. hth

  4. Ashley Hall says:

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you could help me with a problem. I recently upgraded to windows 8 and I cannot get the Catalina coupon printer to install. Do you have any ideas on how I can fix this? troubleshooting just says it is not compatible.
    Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

  5. Kerry says:

    Hey Ashley- have you tried installing using firefox? I have windows 8 on my laptop and use FF to print TQs. If you’ve tried using FFto install- then try IE. hth

  6. Ryan says:

    Is it true that when target offers a gift card u can only use on coupon with the offer. I bought the kids aqua fresh toothpaste which was buy 3 get a 5.00 gift card. I tried to use 3 coupons and was told because I was getting a gift card I couldn’t use my other coupons. I could only use one.

  7. Kerry says:

    Hi Ryan- not true- you should be able to use three. there is nothing in the terms or conditions that prohibits the use of coupons on a gift card deal. hth

  8. Gena says:

    Thanks a lot Kerry! One thing I am still confused with the “maximum of 2 identical coupons” limit. Does that mean I can use 2 internet printouts and 1 newspaper insert?

  9. Kerry says:

    Hi Gena – yes- you could use 2 of printable & 1 of insert- you just cant use 3 insert or 3 printable if they have a limit of 2

  10. Gena says:

    Thanks a lot Kerry! I’m just new to couponing and I really find your site very helpful!

  11. Cindy J. says:

    I love getting Target mobile coupons, but am not sure how to see which ones I have used. Can you tell me how I refresh the page or whatever I need to do? Thanks!

  12. Jessie says:

    Did the target gift card and coupon policy change? I was told that I can’t do both coupons and get the gift card when there is a gift card deal. I was told that I can either use the coupon to lower the amount or receive the gift card for that deal but that I couldn’t use coupons and then get the gift card as well. Was pretty bummed out since today was the first time I’ve heard of that at target.

  13. Kim N says:

    How can I figure out if my Target allows a MQ on a free item?

    Ex:
    DEAL IDEA: Buy 3 Tone Body Wash 18 oz PSA $2.99 = $8.97
    -$2.99 (one will be FREE with deal thru 6/14
    -$2 (use two $1/1 Tone Body Wash 18 oz+ or Bath Bar 6-pack+)
    = $3.98. ******If your store allows an MQ on the freebie,****** use 1 more
    -$1/1 Tone Body Wash 18oz+ or Bath Bar 6-bar pack+
    = $2.98 for 3 or .99 cents each after coupons and freebie

    Thank you for all that you do… This site is amazing and helpful.
    I have always loved Target but you guys make me love it more :)

  14. Kerry says:

    HI Kim- tysm – glad you enjoy the site. re your ?. You can ask ahead of time- or you can just hand the coupon over at the register and see if they will accept it. hth

  15. amy says:

    Hi All, buying a crib from target for over $200 for a friend on her registry, any tips on how I could get a coupon for it?

  16. Kerry says:

    HI Jessie- I would have asked for a team lead. What you were told s not described anywhere in the coupon policy.

  17. Suba says:

    Could you please tell me the reviews about paypal account ?so that I get my cash in ibotta using paypal.

  18. Suba says:

    Could you please tell me reviews about paypal account ?so that I get my cash in ibotta using paypal.

  19. Kerry says:

    Hi Suba- I have been using paypal for over 10 years- its basically a way of paying and receiving money without having to use a credit card. You need to sign up for an account and then link it to your bank account by identifying 2 small deposits they will make into your bank. Paypal does not draw funds from your bank though unless you actually transfer the funds yourself. You can only spend what you have in paypal. Once you get paid by ibotta into your paypal account- you can then transfer the funds to your bank account thru paypal. hth

  20. Suba says:

    Thank you so much Kerry…

  21. Melissa says:

    If the ad says buy 3 personal care items and receive a $5.00 gift card, is there a limit? Can I buy 6 and get two $5.00 gift cards?

  22. Kerry says:

    @Melissa- yes you can
    Target has the right to reserve quantity- but the register will allow it if they do
    just keep in mind T has a limit of 4 identical coupons per shopping trip. hth

  23. Yas says:

    How does totally target know the preview for Target weekly ad? How do you get to know the inside info so early?

  24. Monica says:

    I was told at my local Target store today they they do not accept coupons.com coupons because they have trouble getting reimbursed. The cashier took the coupons but said in the future they won’t. I’ve used then there all the time so I asked her when that changed and she said it’s always been that way just a lot of cashiers didn’t know so they took them. I don’t see this in the coupon policy but do see they have the right to refuse any coupons. They were legitimate not copies our anything like that. Anyone else had this trouble? I don’t want to go back because I’m afraid I’ll have to abandon a cart of groceries if they refuse my coupons.

  25. Magali says:

    I went to target today and used 2 Dove B1G1 coupon, and gave the cashier the $5 off $15, and he said I can’t use the target coupon with the 2 coupons, but I’ve used MQ and TQ together before with no problem.

  26. Jenny says:

    I am looking to price match a stroller from Amazon.com at Target. Do you know if I can PM even though the Amazon and Target don’t carry the same colors? The product is the exact same, the color choices are just different. Thanks!

  27. Kerry says:

    Hi Jenny- it’s supposed to be the identical item

  28. casey says:

    Does anyone know if target will accept a $5 off $30 coupon if the item purchased is $29.99?

  29. Kerry says:

    Hi Casey – the register needs to see $30 if you are going to use the coupon- add in a pack of gum or something small to use it. hth

  30. Chrissy D says:

    Any idea why Totally Target Facebook doesn’t show up in my newsfeed?

  31. Ray says:

    Hi me and my wife use coupons and combine them with gift card deals to save more. Been doing more than one transaction for months and out of nowhere today we were told that the gift card cannot be used on the same day or next transaction and that it is store policy. I need help in showing in black and white that there is no such policy or is there? Pls help thank you in advance…

  32. Kerry says:

    Hi Ray- it is nowhere in black and white and the register will allow it- so prevention is purely human intervention. The only thing the register won’t do is allow you to use a GC in the same transaction you earned it in but it doesn’t sound like that is what you are trying to do. If you have already discussed this with the store manager and he/she has put this policy into effect- you can inquire as to why and call corporate. But even then I cannot guarantee they will be able to change your situation. hth

  33. Ray says:

    Thanks Kerry so much for the info i appreciate the reply

  34. jadi says:

    Does anyone know if the mobile coupons or even cartwheel will allow you to buy 2 like items and receive the discount on both items? For example if i have a deoderant mobile coupon for .25 and cartwheel has 5% off, can i use those both if i buy 2 deoderants? Thanks for clearing it up for me?

  35. Kerry says:

    Hi Jadi – mobile coupons only apply to one item, most cartwheels will apply to up to 4 of the same item in one transaction. So the mobile would apply to one and the Cartwheel would apply to both unless the cartwheel states a lower limit. hth!

  36. Tricia says:

    In what order should you use stacks? Does it matter if you use man q’s first or should you use mobile or cartwheel?

  37. Stacey says:

    I noticed you stack printable Target coupons that are no longer available in this week’s weekly ad matchups (Market Pantry lunchmeat, for example). How do you figure out what to print ahead of time? Do you just print them all? How do you know when new ones come out so you can get those but not reprint all the others?

  38. Debra Young says:

    I need to know where to enter for the giveaways.

  39. Michaela says:

    Hello,
    I was wondering if Target would be doing a B3G1 on up & up like they had last summer? I started doing Target bargains last year and am hoping this is a yearly deal.

    Thank you,
    Michaela

  40. Kerry says:

    Hi Stacey- unfortunately I have no idea what will disappear and what won’t – but I include in my matchups for those who printed. I do print them all – but only for the sake of being able to list details for readers. But personally I always print the ones I know I may use for things I like. For example we love the market pantry string cheese around here- and I always print my max. Ibide my time – hoping for a sale while they are still valid. hth

  41. Diana says:

    I was wondering in order to get gift card with $30 purchase can I get it if total is $29.98 before tax & coupons or does it have to be = or > $30.00 thanks!

  42. Kerry says:

    HI DIana- has to be $30. hth

  43. Skyla says:

    is there a way I can registar for this page so they can send me emails. if so how?

  44. James says:

    Wasn’t sure where to post this, but my store had small piles (5-10ish) of coupon booklets at open registers this morning. Store was the Columbia Heights store in DC.

    All q’s expire 8/9:

    $1 off fresh vegetable purchase of $1 of more

    $1 off fresh fruit purchase of $1 of more

    $2 off fresh meat purchase of $20 of more

    $1 off Archer Farms or Market Pantry purchase of $2 or more (excludes dairy items)

    $1 off Simply Balanced purchase of $2.99 or more

  45. Kerry says:

    Hi Skyla- you can register for my daily e-mail here
    http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=905955
    hth

  46. Katie Haupt says:

    Hello. I have a question… I don’t know if I completely understand the coupon policy. I know that one Target coupon, one manufacturer’s coupon, and one Cartwheel offer can be combined per item. What if I have a mobile coupon? Does that count as my Target coupon, or can I use it with a paper TQ, MQ, and Cartwheel? Thank you!

  47. Lizzie says:

    Can I do more than one of the same
    Gift card deal in 1 transaction?

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