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. Melissa says:

    Hey Kerry, my name is Melissa..I have been a huge fan of your site for almost 2 years now. I am unsure how to contact you other than here. I have 2 YouTube channels, a beauty one (30plussome) and I have recently started a household channel (30plussomemore). I just finished my first video on “how to coupon”. I am doing a series for the household channel. I am writing to ask your permission to show your site on one of my videos so that I may walk my viewers through how to read the match-ups. I would not dare do this without your permission. I just want to teach them what you have taught me….and send them your way. If not, I will respect that decision. Thank you for your consideration. Melissa Pinkelton mnv645@yahoo.com

  2. Teri says:

    How do you get on Targets mailing list to get coupons mailed to your home. Like Back to School booklets etc…

  3. allison says:

    I would like to know how to get on the target home mailer list. Does anyone know how?

  4. Kathy says:

    I don’t know if this is the right place to leave a comment about the Rfizer rebate form, but I am hoping it is. I acutally had the form, purchased the products and was going to fill it out and mail in, but I can’t find it anywhere. Since finding this sight, it has literally changed my life. I am spending more time researching and working on saving $$. I have one kid in college and another will be there next year. Your sight has helped me so much, I can’t even tell you. Again, I hope this is the correct place for the comment. If not, can you tell me where I might get a copy of the rebate form?

  5. Cherise says:

    Last night I was at Target and was told by the cashier that every Target coupon states “Limit one coupon or offer per guest”….so I wasn’t able to get two of the same item using Target coupons. From all of the coupons I printed out from Target…it does seem to say that it is ‘one coupon or offer per guest.’ But the coupon policy states there is a limit of 4 identical coupons per household, per day unless otherwise noted on the coupon. Can you help explain this since this sounds confusing….

  6. jayme says:

    The Digornio coupons don’t work and I tried all of them…can you help? You click on the link and it doesn’t bring you to the coupon.

  7. Kerry says:

    Hey guys- I am trying to verify whether DiGiorno are gone- but it’s not letting me change the zip at the moment. I’ll keep trying and update the post

  8. seana says:

    I don’t know where to post this. I was at Target today. Men’s Degree Dry Protection Deodorant (2 pack) was on sale for $3.80 (only the sport scent). It had a 1$ off peelie on the 2 pack making the each $1.40.

  9. Kallie says:

    I was wondering if anyone else was having the problem of printing off target coupons and there not being an expiration date? Also my coupons never want to print! :(

  10. ann says:

    i also noticed that some target coupons are not printing their expiration dates. cashiers won’t take them either.
    i think this is a glitch on targets end. hopefully they will realize it and fix it.

  11. Terry T says:

    Anybody Reporting getting TEXT messages to their phone stating their entry from last month has WON and to go to TargetWinner.com and enter a winning code? My internet search on this shows that it appears to be a scam. I don’t know if this is something you might want to alert your followers about? Just thought I’d pass it on as I received one of these text messages about 15 mins ago.

  12. Jillian says:

    I had a question about the Target coupons. If the coupon says “$2 off Tidy Cats Litter”, with a picture of a jug of tiday cats litter, does the coupon have to be used on the jug, or on any tidy cats litter product? The coupon doesn’t say a specific size, just the picture.
    Please help and thank you!

  13. Kerry says:

    Hey Jillian- to me wording ALWAYS trumps picture – ie they cannot possibly provide pictures of all different products in some brand families- so you follow the wording on the coupon. if there is no type, size, weight, specifics etc- it shoul dbe valid for ANY Purina Tidy Cats Litter. hth

  14. Jenny says:

    Hi, I’m a big fan of the site. It’s been really helpful to me since I’m a new couponer. I have a question, which is probably something obvious, but I’m not sure what. I was looking for Starbucks k-cup coupons in the data base and found some that have (IE) on them. What does that mean? I printed one and it just looks like a regular coupon to me, but I want to make sure I’m not missing something. Thanks for all you do!

  15. Kerry says:

    Hi Jenny- IE just means internet explorer- and it’s a suggestion that perhaps they may only print in IE for you. hth

  16. Diane says:

    I posted this on the A Look at Target’s Low Price Promise page, but it doesn’t appear you may have seen it over there, so thought I’d bring my question over here instead. Thanks!

    Went to one of my local Target’s a few days ago to price match the sale that HT was running on Capri Sun, plus I had a Target Q for the item as well (which still would have made it more expensive than the HT sale price.) Anyway, CS at this particular store said they weren’t allowed to price match an item from a store that you had to use a “rewards” card to get that sale price. I didn’t know any better, so thanked her and went on my way. Went I got home, I looked up their policy, and the exclusion actually refers to “Paid membership club or paid loyalty programs (e.g. prices that require a club or loyalty card that is associated with a membership fee,)” like BJs or Sams, I’m assuming – we don’t pay for our rewards cards at HT, FL, Kroger, etc.

    I printed out their policy and went to a different Target to see what would happen, policy in hand, but this time CS honored it (plus their Target Q) no problem. Their policy doesn’t appear to include exclusions for places like HT, FL, Kroger, etc. in respect to free loyalty/rewards cards, so not sure where that came from.

    Kerry, have you run into this yet?

  17. Courtney says:

    I was at Target the other day and was wondering if anyone else had a similar situation with target lately.

    I went into target i had 2 $3/2 right guard body wash mfr coupons and 4 $1.50/1 right guard body wash target coupons. The lady at the register said “sorry we can only accept 4 coupons in one transaction for the same product” Then i said “but their not the same coupons 4 are target and 2 are manufacture they’re different im not exceeding my 4 coupon limit” so she called the manager over. manager says “actually you can use any of these coupons they are all counterfeit” I THOUGHT MY HEAD WAS GOING TO EXPLODE, THESE WERE NOT COUNTERFEIT! so i asked “why do you think these are counterfeit?!” she said “because coupons are like money the barcodes are all different and all of these barcodes are the same” so i said “the barcodes are supposed to be the same, its the QR codes that are different (which they were) and i pointed them out to her (except target coupons do not have QR codes)” she proceeded to call me a fraud and told me to leave. I believed this was completely uncalled for. I was only buying 4 items LEGALLY i am a good person. I called managment right when i got home and he didnt seem to care at all; he (word for word) said “well, what do you want me to do about it”. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER shop at target again. Being treated like a criminal for using a coupon is UN CALLED FOR.

  18. Marge says:

    Over the past couple of months only part of my target coupons print an expiration date. This will happen on the same page too (2 coupons print with expiration date and 1 will not.) Anyone else have this issue and know a fix for it? I have a MAC and thought that it might be an issue even though I have updated everything. Frustrating when you have a great coupon and need to throw it out because they won’t take them.

  19. tom says:

    Kerry, i was wondering if it was possible (and if so, how) to use a target gift card on target MOBILE. This is the extension of target centered around cell phones.

  20. Skylar says:

    What is your email? I would like to send ou a picture of my finds for today!! Please respond. Thanks!! Skylar

  21. Kerry says:

    kerry @ totally target .com (spaces removed)

  22. Leah says:

    Hi there, Just started looking at your site and love it. Was just wondering what area you’re in. I’m in the San Diego area and went to 2 different Targets today, but they did not have the price cut for the Rogaine you have posted. From what the salesperson said, it sounds like the price cuts are a YMMV type of thing. Thanks in advance!

  23. Kerry says:

    Hey Leah- Thanks! I am in Tampa Florida. Sometimes PCs can vary by region yes most seem to be nationwide- althogh sometimes price cut prices & regular prices can vary too. But I am cusrious if you or the associate scanned to be sure? Althogh it is possible your area is not participating- sometimes it can just be a missing sign. hth!

  24. Leah says:

    Thanks for responding so quickly! Yes, I scanned it. I’ve learned to scan everything at Target, I’ve often been pleasantly surprised :) I plan to check another one tomorrow.

  25. Kerry says:

    well that’s good you scanned bad full price but I will cross my fingers for you! I hope you find it at the other store!

  26. Leah says:

    Thanks! Do you know if they would ever price match another Target store?

  27. Kerry says:

    Hey Leah- no they won’t do another store- only target.com & Ive already checked for you and it is not sold online (that particular product). However-Target stores will also price match certain online competitors including amazon. The price can fluctuate rather quickly- but right now amazon has same pack listed for $39.97 – so not too bad- only $2.xx more than the PC- heres the link to the product on amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/Rogaine-Regrowth-Treatment-Minoxidil-Packaging/dp/B0012BNVE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357791079&sr=8-1&keywords=rogaine

    if you aren’t familiar with PMing at Target- can see my post here..
    http://www.totallytarget.com/2013/01/07/target-now-price-matching-online-competitors/
    hth & good luck!!

  28. Leah says:

    oh my goodness! that’s awesome! thank you so much!

  29. amanda bennett says:

    HI Kerry-

    Question, do you know Target’s policy when you forget coupons? In the past, I’ve been able to go back up to (within a few days or so) with my receipt and the coupons I forgot, and they give me cash for the amount of coupons. I tried this the other day and was told I have to return within 24hrs of the original transaction.

    Aso, I haven’t been able to find clarification on the mobile coupons. They are NOT the same coupons as the printable coupons, correct? Target makes it seem like they are (instead of printing just bring your phone), but only 4 items come up on my phone which made me think they are not all the same coupons.

    Thank you for your hard work!

  30. Do all the printable Target coupons show up as mobile coupons? I am unable to print the target coupons and I installed the target app and signed up for mobile coupons but only a handful showed up. I need the other ones too. Any ideas?

  31. Melissa says:

    Do all clearance items drop down to 70% off? I know toys and clothes do, but what about baby items and cleaning supplies?

  32. sara says:

    Hello :) i’m not sure if this is where I would ask a question or not but here it goes. I’m new to couponing and printed some target coupons out. one says “limit one coupon or offer per guest” does that mean I can’t join it with a manufacturer coupon?

  33. Kerry says:

    Hey Sara- no it means you can only use one of that particular coupon. hth

  34. Debra says:

    I have a seemingly silly question. if a coupon says it expires on, say, March 8th…does that mean it can be used on the 8th or only thru the 7th? I have adjusted my shopping days in the past to be sure I can use my coupon. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  35. Kerry says:

    Hey Debra a coupon is good up til the end of the day that it expires on. So if your coupon expires March 8th, then you have thru 11:59 pm on March 8th to use that coupon. hth. PS not silly ? at all imo :)

  36. monica says:

    So I know in previous trips to Target, I’ve used my Target coupons for 2 of the same (like 2 body washes). But when getting ready for this Target trip, I noticed they say “limit 1 coupon per guest”. Are they not supposed to be accepting the extra coupon then? Or are they following the “up to 4 identical coupons” that’s stated in their policy? Maybe this is a silly question, but I feel confused.

  37. Kerry says:

    Hey Monica- target printables have actually always said some sort of version of that statement. YOu may just not have noticed. That is why you see me only use scenarios with 1 target coupon. Re policy- the policy actually states limit of 4 unless otherwise stated. so if your coupons dont have a limit oyou can use up to 4, but if they do- the wording on the coupon trumps policy. hth

  38. Annette says:

    Is anyone else having difficulties downloading the new coupon savings printer exe? It keeps saying my security settings won’t let me download it. I have read their recommendations to try to change my settings and it still won’t let me download the new upgraded version. Anyone have any recommendations?

  39. Allison says:

    Hi Kerry, I need your help please or anyone that knows. How does returning a product at Target work if I bought the item with a coupon? I recently returned an item but only got back the amount that was taken off after the coupon. I figured I would have gotten back the amount of the coupon also, since Target would be getting reimbursed for the coupon. Am I right? Please help, thanks so much.

  40. Kerry says:

    Hi Allison- if it was a Target coupon- then you will not get that coupon value back since store coupons are not reimbursed to the store. If it was a manufacturer’s coupon then yes you are supposed to get the coupon value back because Target will be reimbursed that coupon value. hth

  41. FaLonda says:

    Hi Kerry, I’m a big fan of the site and have been viewing for about 2+ years. I have a question, I have the bounce coupons to stack in order to get the sheets for free but all of the Target stores in my area are out? Is there another way to use these coupons to get the bounce fabric sheets for free? Please advise and Thanks for all you do!

  42. jeanne says:

    Hi Kerry – In regards to the Biotene gift card deal that you posted, I noticed on the Biotene.com site that there are 2 coupons – one for $2.50 off of 2 and another for $1.00 off of 1. I was able to print both of them 2x

  43. FaLonda says:

    Does Kerry answer questions on this page? I left a question on March 14th and did not get a reply…unless I am looking in the wrong place. Someone please advise.

  44. aletra says:

    I attempted to print about 12 coupons last week the process was taking so long I gave up. The next day I noticed 1 page had printed with 3 coupons. I attempted to print the remaining coupons but that are all marked “coupon already printed”. Is there a way to fix this. Also why is the expiration date not provided before you print?

  45. Amy says:

    I was told today that some cashiers will not accept two Target coupons in one transaction – for separate items. (This was when I bought two pairs of flip-flops and used the two $2 off sandal TQs). Have you heard of this?

  46. Ev Iddings says:

    Unable to load new Catalina printer that is required to print coupons. very upset about this. Have tried on multiple computers by multiple people. What’s up with this? Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

  47. Sarika says:

    Hi,
    I have a question I just downloaded target mobile app and signed up for mobile coupons , i want to know do all the printable Target coupons are available on mobile too as mobile coupons as i can see only few of them on mobile?

  48. Eric says:

    where can i get the catalina coupons? i searched for it but it always led me to some other website?

  49. paige foster says:

    i was wondering is the motts apple juice still 1.99 at target, can someone tell me!!

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