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 RMNE or RetailMeNot Everyday 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 Saturday 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
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

There 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 fitted into a binder to keep them organized. 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. Target Insert coupons are always regional though and not everyone will get them. I do maintain a Target Coupon Page with a list of the available Target Coupons with matching manufacturer’s coupons you can stack.

MOBILE 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 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. We don’t see many of these any more, but you can see a current list on my Target Coupon Page HERE.

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 50% 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.

IMG_21012014_181327OTHER TARGET COUPONS: 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.

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.

387211_10151581781563120_690736138_nTarget 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.

Target 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 [email protected].

680 Responses to “FAQ/Basics”

  1. Carolyn says:

    When it says to “leave a comment on this post,” how do I do that?

  2. Zoua says:

    Was denied price matching on the recent Crayola Pop-Art Pixies kits because it was on a promotion. Got several managers involved but they all agreed that I shouldn’t get the price match AND the gc. They pulled a guide book to look up this info and says that it stated price matching wouldn’t work when things were on promo.. but when asked if I could see it in writing, they said it was “secret” and that they weren’t allowed to show consumers this info. Of course I am taking it up with target relations online.. but even they say that my purchase wasn’t entitled to price matching.

  3. rachel says:

    I need help do i put target coupon first or manufactor coupon first when stacking coupons?

  4. Kerry says:

    Target coupons last is how I do it

  5. Denise says:

    Had a problem at target today, I bought 3 Tide and had 3 1.00 off coupons. The cashier said they are only allowed to take one coupon now and not mulitples of the same in a transaction. I doesn’t say that in there policy. They coupon itself said limit 4 of the same coupon in a transaction. Got home called the manager, he was rude, said as long as it doesn’t say one per transaction then its ok. But he said i have the right to not accept any or a certain number, which is fine I guess if you want to lose business. The thing that really got me was he said if it say limit on per transaction then you can only use one and your not allowed to do multiple transaction at all???? I shop there alot and never had a problem but no I don’t know what to do or how to even use coupons there now???

  6. lois hughes says:

    sorry i’m new to the computor how do i find where to comment on post?

  7. Pat Rogers says:

    not sure if the is the spot where I am to enter for the giveaway of yhe pixps and paperoni…..but this is a I could find
    Like you I had a good day of 75% buying…….Toys and shoes. I was so excited……I am on Social Security and when I can buy for my grandchildren like this it and I love it.

  8. Francisco says:

    Hello,

    I just have a question. What do you mean when you say “target coupon mailer”. I’ve been to the target stores and I can’t seem to find the target coupon books. How can I get those?…

    Thanks for your help!

  9. Gregoria says:

    I have printed out several online Target coupons in the past with no problems. Lately when I have tried to print some new ones, they are not printing with the dollar/cents off amount. All that shows is the picture and name of the item. Also there are no numbers underneath the scan code. Can you tell me what the problem might be, because I am wasting both paper and ink and I hate to waste anything.

  10. Barbara says:

    Quick Question: You mention a printable TargetQ for $1.50/1 Finish Quantum 10 ct. but when I click the link it’s not there. Is it already gone? Are they region specific? Could you please explain the Target coupon specific thing, I’m new to them and don’t quite get it yet. THanks

  11. Kimmie says:

    The Finish Quantum Coupon disappeared from the Target site a few days ago… they aren’t region specific, but Target takes them down without any pattern. Sometimes they will come back or “reset”, but so far that coupon hasn’t. Hope this helps!

  12. serena says:

    just got home from Target:
    register beeped with almost every coupon (4 of 5)
    all were items on sale but nothing else unusual about my purchases…
    except for the Solo “bare” disposable items … manager said coupon could not be used on a clearance item
    I disagreed and he let it go thru as a ‘courtesy’ but I am pretty sure he was wrong.

    Is there an official policy on this??

    sheesh.

  13. danni says:

    Not sure where the best place for this question would be, BUT any idea when snow pants are going to go on sale! Coats have been put on sale, but for some reason they seem to be waiting on the pants..

  14. Deb says:

    I had one manufacture coupon and one target coupon per item. And I also had a peelie from the item, they would not let me use the peelie .Is this right? I thought that they also took the peelie.

  15. Kerry says:

    they were right – using the peelie would be using a 2nd MQ or 2nd TQ on the same item. goes against their policy of 1 TQ and 1 MQ per item

  16. Janet B says:

    I have a Target coupon for a free $5 Target Gift Card with a grocery purchase of $50 or more. Does this mean the $50 spent has to be on items they list on the receipt as “grocery” (i.e. no bathroom cleaner which they classify as “cleaning supplies” or shampoo which is they classify as “health/beauty”) or could these other categories be included as well?

  17. Kerry says:

    Hey Janet- everything SHOULD qualify but I am not positive.

  18. Janet B says:

    Hi Kerry – just got back from Target. My items deemed “grocery” even with tax were under $50, but the “health/beauty” and “household” items pushed my total over $50, and the gift card voucher was scanned with no problem. Woohoo!

  19. Kerry says:

    yay- glad to hear it Janet 🙂

  20. Rhea says:

    Can you use a catalina and a manf coupon??

  21. Kerry says:

    If the catalina is a Target Store coupon. If it is a manufacturer’s coupon then no. hth

  22. Sarah says:

    Do I need to use more than one target coupon if I am buying more than one item?

  23. niichole says:

    I would like to know how to get red plum inserts in my mail.

  24. GeeGee says:

    Hi!
    Question about target coupons. If a target coupon states “$2 off with purchase of 2 degree deodorants”, can I use 2 manufacturers coupons with the target coupon, if I purchase 2 of the products indicated?

  25. Kerry says:

    yes you can if they are each $/1

  26. Jackie says:

    Hi, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! Ive always liked Target over other stores, but felt that there everyday prices were a little bit higher than others, but with the “stacking” of coupons and other deals it ends up being sooo much cheaper! So thank you for all of your advice and help! Now…my question 🙂 When I print a Target web coupon Ive noticed if I print more than 1 they have the SAME bar code number! Am I supposed to only print 1? I know Ive read on here somewhere that once you’ve reached your limit it will not appear anymore, but I’m still hesitate to take multiple coupons that look identical. I just want them to think that I copied it…Thank you again for everything! P.S. I hope your lil man is feeling better!

  27. Sheliana says:

    Quick question does Target accept other store catalinas like walgreens or Jewels??? can anyone answer me that question i read all the info here but I didnt see the answer to my question in specific….Thank you!!!

  28. Ember says:

    I’ve just experienced something trying to print Target coupons that I haven’t in the past. When I tried to print the coupons it told me “you have exceeded your household limit”. Do you have any idea what this household limit is or when it resets? Thanks

  29. Sheri says:

    I really hate the Target receipt. It is very difficult for me to tell if my coupons are there and just hard for me to decipher altogether. I used 38 man Qs on the frozen food deal and it only shows 35 on the receipt. I saw each one beep at the register so I thought they all went through fine. Any suggestions?

  30. Chris Kepner says:

    How do I know which coupons are Target and which are manufacture before I print them from the website?

  31. Felizia Pinelli says:

    I just came back from target and am pretty annoyed. I tried to use the $5 off jeans coupon on a pair of clearanced jeans that were 4.98. The cashier looked at the coupon and said it couldn’t be used because it’s more than value of the jeans. I told her it was a target coupon and she still refused to even scan it. Is this right?? I didn’t have time to get a manager involved but if what she said goes against policy then I’m going back there today! Anyone have any info?

  32. Kerry says:

    according to their publshed on line policy a coupon for more than the value of an item can be adjusted down to meet the cost of the item. From th ePolicy: “Coupon amount may be reduced if it exceeds the value of the item after other discounts or coupons are applied.” I always reccomend printing the policy and bringing with you to the store. it can be found here: http://www.target.com/b/?node=2223357011

  33. felizia says:

    thanks a bunch!! i’m going there tomorrow.

  34. Tiffany says:

    I went to target today and was very annoyed. I was told they will only accept 4 target and 4 manufacturer coupons a day for the same item. I emailed corporate before because I had the same problem and showed it to the manager. The manager looked at the email and said that they limit the coupons, gave me his card and told me I can email them with his information. I am going to do this becuse it is annoying. Do they expect me to go to the store every day for a good deal? So annoyed that I really don’t want to shop there right now.

  35. Ashley says:

    Hi Kerry! I couldn’t find a “contact me” link or anything. I have no idea how to email you. BUT, I noticed at Target today that Cheerios has a $1.50 Pampers Diaper coupon on the back of the box. It doesn’t expire until 2013. I thought you and your readers would like to know! Love your blog! Thanks for all your hard work! 🙂

    Ashley

  36. stephanie says:

    Hi Kerry,

    this is just a quick note to say that i look at your site multiple times a day and wanted to thank you so much for all that you do! I live in NYC and there are 2 target locations that i frequent and both take about 1/2 to an hour to get to by subway. My income is limited so i depend on TOTALLY TARGET tips, matchups and other readers imput to get the most bang for the buck. I also have noticed that both my Target’s prices are slightly higher so even though I may have to shell out a little more than most, it still makes a HUGE difference in the end. It is with great satisfaction that i can check out at the register and have an amazed audience of the cashier, other shoppers and sometimes even a security guard who ask me how I just did that.. “TOTALLY TARGET – check it out” is what i say… thank you again!!!!

  37. Cindy says:

    I went to target today. I handed over my manufactories coupon first. Then she told me she could not accept my target coupons or the other coupons I printed online. I asked why she and she called the manager. The manager told me I copied the coupons. I pointed out the number were different in the upper right hand corner and she continued to say the ones across the bottom were the same. Then she left to and called over the security guard who noticed the coupons all had different numbers. He asked if they scan through and she told him she had not tried. All the coupons scanned because I never copy them. Please advise what I should do in this situation. Should I call the corporate office or how should I handle a situation like this? I didn’t appreciate the manager telling me I copied coupons when I never do that.

  38. Kerry says:

    Cindy that is just crazy that the security guard handled the situation and the manager did not. It is sad that team members are not taught the simple way to tell when a manufacturer’s coupon is copied. Call corporate and report the store. I can’t promise you anything will be done about it, but if you have the energy to pursue it- I say call. You can also call the store first if you choose to ask to speak to another member of management. Let them know that you plan on calling corporate but that you thought you would check with them first and express your concerns about returning to the store. jmo of course- pursuing this is up to you.

  39. Jennifer Jones says:

    Kerry, I have a photo to send you from my recent shopping trip for the Knorr Report. How can I get it to you?

  40. Debi Boyd says:

    I got those ‘ Free” Jeggings when there was the $5.00 off any denim purchase, and the jeggings were on clearance for $4.98…..well, I’m not really a jeggings wear-er but I repurposed them into a scarf/vest and skirt outfit. I really was fairly simple…especially the scarf part. If anyone was interested.

  41. Elaine says:

    Great $10 coupon in today’s SS for Chef Michael’s dog food to go along with the gift card deal.

  42. Julie says:

    Can I print and use more than one Target coupon in the same purchase( example, 3 TQ for 3 of the same items)?

  43. Bobbi says:

    Hi- thanks for all of the updates, and the hard work you do!

    I have a question- If there is an in store deal for a gift card (buy 2- get a $5 GC), can you use a TQ that says buy 2 get a $5 GC and still get both? TIA!

  44. Kerry says:

    in my opinion yes- a coupon should be it’s own deal unless it says that it can not be combined with in store offers or some such verbiage- if it coincides with a store sale imo- so be it. In some stores’ opinions no. unfortunately it will be a ymmv.

  45. katie says:

    What’s the target Mobile coupons?

  46. Michelle Martinez says:

    HI, I went to target to use a price match on some oranges. The oranges at target were sold for .54 cents each and the add was 7 lbs for .99 cents. The customer service told me they could not do this because they were not the same item since they sold the oranges by each instead of by lbs. Do you know if this is true or if there is a policy on this?
    Thanks-Michelle

  47. Beth says:

    I need to know what to do in order to get signed up for Target mailers (not email). How do I go about this?
    Thanks!

  48. Kerry says:

    We all want to know that Beth. 😉 There is no sirefire way to get a mailer – lots of hypotheticals no 100% proven method though unfortunately

  49. Aimee Soto says:

    Hi Kerry,
    I wondered if you could tell me what the Taget coupon policy is in relation to B1G1 free items. Tonight, I tried to purchase to Axe shower gels at $3.26 each and they woudn’t allow me to use the B1G1 with the a $1 off manufacturer’s coupon. I thought Target allowed one MC per item. Also, I asked if Target was offering a B1G1 deal and I had a coupon for the same item for B1G1 would both items be free and the manager said no.
    I see nothing in the policy relating to these situations. Any info you could give me would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Aimee

  50. Kerry says:

    Hey Aimee- there is no statement in their coupon policy addressing this issue so unfortunately you are at thhe mercy of the store on whether they will accept it or not. I always try to note it since many Target stores feel a B1G1 applies to 2 items not just the 1 you are buying. hth Oh and you will have the same situaation on the B1G1 againstt a B11 sale or using a coupon on an in-store freebiee from a sale or deal- again nothing is addressed in their policy so it is luck of the draw. Some stores are fine with it some are not.

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