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, Savings.com, & 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. While you can print most Target Coupons twice, most have a limit of one per guest in their terms. Occasionally some will state a limit of 4 coupons in their terms. This is nice when this happens, because if you have two computers you can use up to four of these Target coupons in the same transaction. 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.

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 bar code with you in lieu of a smartphone. This bar code never changes, no matter what you delete or add to your cartwheel, so if you laminate it or find some other way to protect it, you can use it over and over. 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 & OTHER 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.

SHOPKICKSHOPKICK: Shopkick is a free shopping app for iPhone or Androids that automatically recognizes when you go into participating stores, restaurants and more. You earn points called “kicks” for anything from entering the store to scanning select bar codes while there that you redeem for different rewards including Target Gift Cards.

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!

 

 

630 Responses to “FAQ/Basics”

  1. Monica says:

    I’m trying to get the tide deal right now and they’re out of tide 75oz so I’m wondering if anyone knows when they restock or get more in store by??

  2. Kerry says:

    Hi Monica- did you try another p/u location?

  3. rachel says:

    I’m wondering if it’s possible to stack Target printable coupons and mobile coupons, or are they both just considered Target coupons?
    The scenario I’m hoping for is like this –
    Buy a bunch of crayola products to be able to use the $2/$10 printable coupon twice
    Buy a couple of other school supplies products to bring total up to $25 (including a couple of manufacturer coupons and carthwheel offers, but I’m not worried about those)
    Use the Spend $25 on school supplies, get a $5 gift card mobile coupon.
    Do you think this would work?

  4. Kerry says:

    HI Rachel- they are both threshold coupons and cannot be combined that way- you would have to spend $35 to use both coupons. hth

  5. Sarah says:

    Hi I was wondering how many target coupons combined with manufactured coupons could you use per transaction

  6. Kerry says:

    HI Sarah- if you are talking about identical coupons- there is a limit of 4 unless the coupon states otherwise. many TQs limit you to one identical per guest- so in that case you would be limited to one. hth.

  7. Nancy7 says:

    hello i wanted to ask on how to use my coupon.
    i have a coupon that is buy two and save $2 and the store has a deal of buy one get one free i want to know how many items do i get to make my coupon count?

  8. Kerry says:

    Hi Nancy- it will be a ymmv- meaning there is no set rule in black and white- so as long as it is an MQ – your store may allow you to just buy 2 and use the Q, some stores may make you buy 3- so if they do you are better off buying 4, getting 2 free and using the Q on the 2 you have to pay for. hth & makes sense.

  9. Tiffany says:

    can you tell me if i have a target mobile coupon that says $2/1 product and I want to purchase 4 of those will it deduct $8 ($2 for each product) or will it only allow me to use the $2/1 coupon once?

  10. Kerry says:

    Hi Tiffany- only once. Mobile coupons only have a one time use. They apply to one item and only one time.

  11. Ashley says:

    Hi, I understand most Target q’s are only allowed to be used once. Does that mean once per transaction, once per day or something else?

  12. Amber says:

    I work for Target. We get trucks Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Sometimes we get Saturday trucks, but not every week, until Christmas time anyways. I can’t remember what day the food trucks get in though. I think it’s the beginning of the week, maybe Sunday or Tuesday but I’m not positive and that may be different store to store.

  13. Christy says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you know when Target usually starts to put their back to school items on clearance? Thanks?

  14. Amiee says:

    I bought some bounce sheets and I forgot to use my target mobile coupons. Can I go to customer service ans get it adjusted? Thank you

  15. Kerry says:

    Hi AImee- many stores will let you do what’s called a missed coupon if you bring you receipt and the coupon up to guest services. But most will only do if it is within 3 days. hth

  16. Lela says:

    Hi Kerry, I printed the Cartwheel barcode that can be used to purchase 4 Room Essential lamps but only purchased 2 lamps today. The cashier gave me back my barcode printout. Can I purchase 2 more lamps tomorrow with the same Cartwheel barcode?

  17. Lela says:

    To clarify, I meant Cartwheel discount of 20% off Room Essential lamps. I want to buy 2 more lamps to get another 20% off tomorrow if the Cartwheel discount is still there.

  18. Kerry says:

    Hi Lela- you can use the same cartwheel up to 4 times in one transaction up to 6 times a day, every day. So let’s just say for ridiculous example you want to buy 96 lamps. You can buy 4 lamps in one transaction and use your cartwheel. you can then buy 20 more lamps that same day, doing 5 more transactions buying 4 lamps in each transaction. You can then repeat this same scenario every day for the next 3 days until you have purchased 96 lamps total. hth & make sense

  19. ERIN says:

    Hi Kerry, are we able to select and print a list from the Cheap Finds page?

  20. Kerry says:

    Hi Erin- look for the little print icon- looks like a tiny green computer- it will bring up a list that you can just delete what you don’t want off of it. hth

  21. Diana G. says:

    Hi. If I redeemed a mobile coupon, will it keep track? I thought I used one before and it said redeemed, but I think there is a coupon I’ve used, but it’s not showing as redeemed. Thanks!

  22. Megan says:

    Looking at the tidy cats deal. Where do I get the $10.00/$40and $5.00/2 coupons. I looked in my inserts. I am confused.

  23. Z says:

    Hello all,
    I was wondering if someone could help me.
    I wanted to buy herbal essences shampoo yesterday morning with the bogo coupon that expired yesterday, but the shelf was already cleared by the time I got there.
    And I keep hearing rumors that although target corporate policy states that they do not accept expired coupons, some stores have begun to accept them within a reasonable time frame (usually 7 days). Does anyone know if there is any truth to this?
    Could I still use the coupons today if they have more shampoo in stock? Is this a ymmv?
    Thanks in advance from San Antonio, TX.

  24. jolita says:

    Hello,

    Which coupons should be scanned first, the target or the manufacturers? I’ve been given a hard time about certain coupons because after using the manufacturers my total didn’t meet the required amount for the target coupon. My understanding is that it has be the correct total before any coupons are scanned and that target coupons should be scanned first because store discounts are applied first. Just need clarification.

    Thank you.

  25. Sally says:

    How can I print my shopping list? I usually have to print the Target list from pocketyourdollars.com because they have a box to check after each deal and then prints just the deals I want. I use your site everyday and would like to print it from your site. TIA

  26. Kerry says:

    Hi Sally- look for a print friendly icon (looks like a little green computer) icon in the very bottom right corner of each post. You can click on that and then just click on the things you want to get rid of to print any post. hth

  27. Sally says:

    Thanks for reply Kerry. So do I have to print each individual post or can I do a bunch of them?

  28. Kerry says:

    Hi Sally – You’ll have to print each individual post. On the best deals of the week posts and individual price cut posts I do offer the list feature though where you can check a box. so for example you can take a look at this post here
    http://www.totallytarget.com/2014/10/04/the-best-target-deals-for-the-week-of-105-1011/
    hth

  29. ana says:

    hi i have a coupon that says limit 1 per purchase and max of 2 identical. so would that mean i can use 2 identical coupons for 1 item.

  30. Kerry says:

    Hi Ana it means you can buy 2 identical items and use a coupon on each item. only one MQ per item hth

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