FAQ/Basics

PrintFriendly and PDF

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. Lisa says:

    I tried to price match today and they told me since it was a Dominicks ad and it said “Card Price” since you would need your dominicks card to get the price they wouldnt take it. I am so confused…I understood it as a club card like Sams Club or Costco.If anyone can clarify that would be great!

  2. Kerry says:

    @Lisa- no it’s any store where if you did not use your card you would not get the price- CVS, winn dixie etc all cannot be PMd unfortunately

  3. Nancy C says:

    Kerry
    Have information on a $5 Target GiftCard in Real Simple Magazine November 2011 issue. How do I get it out to your readers? It is a Mail-in proof of purchase. Spend $15 or more on the featured products at target and get a $5 Target GiftCard by mail from Real Simple Magazine. I’m new to your website. Love target and shop there weekly. Love the insider info…..

  4. Kerry says:

    TYSM Nancy! I found it! :)

  5. Kerry says:

    @Ethan’s Mom – Target reserves the right to limit quantities as they see fit. I hear many stores are limiting to 3 or 4 items now. hth

  6. Kerry says:

    @Sarah- you can only use mobile coupons 1 time ever. unfortunately. hth

  7. Marnie says:

    Not sure where to post this-couldn’t find an email address. I went to Target and got a blouse for $.74!! I used the $3/1 Target coupon!!! Thank you so much!! http://marniescouponarama.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-shopping-trip-this-week-total-289.html-to see the picture!! Thank you it is because of your site. I know you get tons of people writing, but because of your site I learned about using coupons at Target. I have told all my friends and they didn’t know you could do this. We appreciate the education!!!!!!

  8. Ashley says:

    I recently did a transaction for Q-tips and was told (checking out at customer service–long story) that I could not use my Target coupons for the product on a deal involving receiving a Target gift card in return. Is this true?

  9. mom of 3 says:

    I went to my supertarget today with one manufacturer coupon of buy one get one free and a Target coupon of $1 off. I was told they couldnt accept both it had to be one or the other. Is this policy?

  10. Linda says:

    Hi Kerry,
    I am new to couponing and love your site. But I am having problems leaving comments. I tried tonight in reply to your Curel giveaway. It states my comment is awaiting moderation. Why aren’t my comments going through?
    Thanks
    Linda

  11. Toni says:

    @Mom of 3
    Per the Target policy ‘If a Manufacturer BOGO coupon is used, one additional Target coupon may be used on the first item’ If you search for “Can’t Find the Target Coupon policy” on Totally Target, the post will direct you to the Target coupon policy. I would read it, learn it and lastly, always carry it with you. There are times we have to teach cs and cashiers what their policies are :)

    My copy & paste isn’t working or I’d post the link for you. HTH

  12. Annette says:

    My target now carries fresh groceries and b/c of this they sent me target coupons $off meat/apples/salad. Last time I shopped @target I received a $3 off $25 or more on grocery purchases. Can I combine these together? If I can combine these will the $3 off $25 have to be after coupons? or before coupons? Thanks!

  13. lisa says:

    I have a question. How many times can you print out coupons from target.com and or coupons.com.
    Like could i print 3 out for phila creme cooking cheese and buy 3 in one transaction? Thanks so much!!!

  14. Dawn says:

    I am planning a trip to my Target on this Friday. I want to buy some Up & Up products ie the ibuprofen. Can I buy two in the same transaction with two Target coupons? I know this is ok with MQ’s but not sure if that works with target web coupons.

  15. Cindy says:

    I like to know if Target would price match Walgreen price after Register Reward?

  16. Jennifer says:

    I loved this post and thought it would be good to post it here too

    http://www.totallytarget.com/2011/10/23/how-to-tell-which-are-target-coupons-before-printing/

  17. Katrina says:

    This will be my first Christmas season shopping with coupons. Will Target web coupons be honored on Black Friday?

  18. Kerry says:

    @Cindy- no you can’t PM after a register reward unfortunately

  19. Shasta says:

    Kerry,

    Yesterday I checked the clearance in the baby section and found Banana Boat Kids 50+ marked down to $1.86. I still had my coupon for $4/1 Banana Boat item exp 11/20, it made the sunscreen free, plus Target’s computer didn’t change the value of my coupon, it took the whole $4.00 off times 2 since I had 2 coupons.

    Also, they had 1 load (.97) and 6 load (2.99) tide in the travel section. The coupons from this months P&G dont exclude trial sizes, and again, the register didn’t change the value of my coupon, so using the $2.00/1 coupon on the 1 load made it free plus overage.

  20. Ann says:

    I went to Target today to buy some Hungry Jack pancake mixes ($0.99). I had about 5 to 8 of each of the three flavors. The cashier began checking me out and the front end supervisor comes along and explains, quite rudely and in a demeaning tone, that I can only buy 4 of each item. Feeling uncomfortable, I didn’t argue the issue, and let them return the extra amount. She stated that the coupon policy changed in September to reflect a family quantity amount. Now, I had the coupon policy with me, that I had printed out on November 17th and it makes no mention of this at all. I guess I’m having two issues: the first being her demeaning attitude (even the cashier apologized to me), and the other being this phantom coupon policy she was mentioning. Should I have pointed out that I had a copy of the policy with me (and risk further embarrassment)? Or was she right, and each Target store has their own policy regarding coupons? This is the first time I’ve ever run into this issue at a Target store. I know that I will not be returning to her store, ever. I will just travel to a different location (where I had no problem buying the pancake mixes previously). I hope you can clarify for me.

  21. Kerry says:

    @Ann – Things thatt are not covered in the policy are left to the stores discretion. Target does reserve the right to set limits and states so in their ad- since the policy does not mention limits- it is up to each store to set the limit as they see fit. More and more stores are setting limits like these to prevent a bare shelf. hth

  22. Lynsy says:

    Are you allowed to use a manufacturer’s coupon that was printed at walgreens and has their logo at Target? Thanks!

  23. anna says:

    Can we use coupons on gift sets?

  24. andrea says:

    Got a coupon for a $10 target gift card with any transferred prescription in the mail on Saturday. I just signed up for the target check card and a few days after the card came in the mail, I got the coupon! Since my prescriptions are on the $4 generic list, I will make $6! WHOOHOO!

  25. Kim says:

    Not sure where to put this but I went to Target last night and they have lots of Tyson Anytizer wings, Chicken patties, chicken nuggets ect. marked down to 1.99. I came home and found 1.00 off anytizer wing coupons and .75 chicken strips. (I think the strips were 2.99) still a good deal after coupn. Also Jimmy dean cooked sausage links and patties are a 1.00 and there is a printable .75 off coupon. Great deal. I couldnt believe all the mark downs. Tyson meals are 1.99 too and even biggest loser dinners (some of them) 1.99.

  26. Christine says:

    I don’t know if this is part of the Target coupon policy. Today I tried using my print out Target coupon for a clearance item and the cashier at Target told me I couldn’t use the coupon since my item is a clearance item. Is that true?

  27. Elsa says:

    Do you know if there is a way to print out coupons from the target website using an iPad? I do have an eprint printer. I have tried everything, however no luck. I even called target’s web tec and that individual was clueless. Thanks.

  28. camille says:

    my redplum coupons dont print. how do you update java? the site did not ask for me to update.

  29. Rachael says:

    If there is a gift card deal offered in the ad on an item will they honor that deal online too?

  30. Ashley says:

    I went to Target today and used the $1/1 oral-B floss coupon on floss that was .97. I had no problem with my cashier except she didn’t know how to mark down the price of the coupon to match the price of the floss so her manager showed her how. My mom was with me and was trying to do the same thing at another register but the guy said he couldn’t use the coupon since it was more than the price of the floss. My mom then went through a different line and that cashier had no problem doing it. My mom decided to go back to the guy and try it with one more coupon but he wouldn’t budge. She asked him to get the manager and she told him he could do it but then he said their policy changed while she was on vacation. I came home and looked at their policy online and it says that they can mark down the coupon price to match the price of the item. It seems other people are having the same problem. Doesn’t every store have to follow the policy that is on their website? I am confused as to how he was aware of the so-called policy change but the other cashiers were not and let us get the floss for free. I think this is poor management skills on Target’s part. I was able to get 10 free floss and have one coupon left to try. I hesitate to try it though because others have said they printed off the policy and showed it to cashiers and they just ignore it. At least now I know who’s line to avoid if I want anything free!

  31. Betsy says:

    Why do some of the coupons from the target coupon website say manufacturer coupon? Can i still use it with another manufacturer coupon?

  32. Lily says:

    Betsy, you can’t stack 2 Manufacturer coupons.. if you look at the Target Coupon page on Totally Target you will see how Kerry has them all listed out : ). hope this helps!

  33. motherfish says:

    I just noticed that the fine print on some of the Target coupons read, “Limit one coupon or offer per guest.” or “Limit one coupon per transaction.”. Is this a new policy? I’ve been in some stores that allow four “like” coupons per transaction. Should we go by what the coupon says or what the store allows? All this is very confusing, and I just want to do the right thing about it.

  34. charlene de costa says:

    this is regarding the http://www.target.com/survey. i shopped there on 1/11/12 and attempted to answer the survey today, but unable to access it,

  35. Alicia says:

    I wanted to know what state you are located? Just wondering for clearance items etc. I love Target and also your site! Thanks so much for all the information that you provide!

  36. Kerry says:

    @Alicia I am on the West Coast of FL outside Tampa- Kelley is outside Baltimore MD- but readers from all over the country submit clearance finds- they don’t always tell me where they are from. hth

  37. Kristina says:

    I See comments about a target coupon mailer, is there a place to sign up for this?

  38. kblnana says:

    I don’t shop Target, too far to travel. But recently I made a list with all my coupons to match the Target printables online. I took my time to match all items together. Well, the cashier was so confused and made me feel terrible holding up a line, etc. After I was done, I had the hardest time reading and understanding the receipt. I later was told by the front manger Target only accepts one coupon, either theirs or the manufactured. It was pointless to argue, so I left defeated. Ex: got 2 milo w/mq and tq. wouldn’t accept mq, jello b3g1free, only used the mq and not the tq. What gives here? I am so hating Target but always read of everyone’s super deals!

  39. Krista says:

    When I went to Target today, the cashier said their new policy was that each coupon needs to be presented with the item it is being used on. It was a bit of pain trying to match the coupons with the items on the belt, and caused quite a back up. Has anyone else experienced this? If it is just my store (Bellingham, WA), I will drive another 25 miles to the next store. Already drive 25 miles, what is another 25?

  40. Tina LaMarra says:

    Thank you soooo much!!!! This is so helpful to me as I’m new at this and know nothing!!!! :)

  41. Tarri says:

    @Krista- I have gotten that at my store, then I will go back again and another person does not request that. It is a pain, one time it took the person like 20 mins to check me out because of having to match the coupon to the items and on top of that she was on the phone with someone, it freaked me out, started thinking do they think I am doing something wrong. I went back in and asked and she told me no, that AP(Assets Protection) told them they have to do it this way. I still have it happen here and there but not all the time.

  42. Molly says:

    I am wondering about the coupons that are printed off the Target website. The coupons all state ” Limit one offer per guest.” Even though I can print 2 can I only use 1 per visit? So confused! Thank you.

  43. Leah E says:

    Just curious, where are you located? It seems the prices at your Target are often much lower than mine.

  44. Steph says:

    I am not able to print the target coupons from the printer due to something on my computer blocking the site… but I signed up for the coupons to be texted to me.. anybody use it does it work the same?
    Do you load it like the Kroger Card?

  45. dette says:

    Can I use black and white target coupons ???I ran out of color ink and I want to print my coupons before they’re gone???Help

  46. stacey says:

    I recently bought a swimsuit that was a daily deal. I need to exchange it for a different size. Is there any way of doing this if it’s an item that is not carried in stores?

  47. Susan says:

    I just purchased the Keurig 2 days ago.Tomorrow it will be offered with a $25.00 gift card. If I take in my receipt, will Target offer me the gift card? I know that many times they will honor a sale price if item is purchased within the last 7 days, but not sure if that applies to gift card offers

  48. Linda says:

    I tried using a Target web coupon for $1 off “L’Oreal cosmetic item.” The picture on the coupon showed a bottle of foundation and a mascara. I wanted to use the coupon for a L’Oreal pressed powder that was in a compact. The cashier would not accept it as it was not in the picture. She then called a manager (?) who told me the coupon was only for what was pictured.

    I stressed it said, “L’Oreal cosmetic item” and that pressed powder was indeed a cosmetic item.
    The manager(?) told the cashier to “just accept it this once,” then turned to me and said, “Starting next month you won’t be able to do this anymore.”

    Do you know what she was talking about? Do the purchases have to match the pictures exactly?
    Thanks!!

  49. becky says:

    Hi
    I noticed on the Target coupons that I printed from the Target website states ” limit one coupon or offer per guest”. I was able to print more than one…. am I able to use them in one transaction or will they allow me to do more than one transaction.

    Thanks,

    Becky

  50. Kerry says:

    No – the wording on coupons is what they should be going by. Frustrating I am sure- esppecially with the manager basically agreeing. :(

Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Target.com or Target, nor am I employed by them or compensated by them to publish content found on this site.
Technical support provided by Coupon Dad over at Lucky Dad Media