Couponing questions

couponing Questions

How To Coupon

A Tip Resource reader asked about Military Only Coupons:  I have one question about commissary q’s. I went shopping @ the commissary today and noticed that they have military coupons just for the commissary or “military use only” and I also noticed a manufacturer’s coupon, too.

I was buying Cherrios Dulche de Leche cereal and I had a manufacturer Q for $1/1 Cheerios Dulche de Leche cereal.  And there was also a tear pad of “military only”  Q’s for $0.50/1 any General Mills cereals.  Would I be able to stack these or is a military Q the same as a manufacturer’s Q?

Let me answer this the best I can:   There are many coupons found in the commissary, some will read “military only” or “for commissary use only” on them somewhere.  These are manufacturers coupons.   They are  label as “military” simply because the manufacturer wants them distributed & used on base only.  So, in this case you cannot use both coupons on the Cheerios since they are both manufacturers coupons.

However, recently it has been verified with Walmart that they will accept “military only” coupons.  But they will redeem them by reducing  the price of the item you are buying as a “price match” and not actually scan the coupon.  As with any transaction at Walmart – your mileage may vary (YMMV)!

For additional help on commissary and military shopping click on the “Military” section at the top of the page. 

Do you have a “How to coupon” question you would like to have answered?  Leave a comment below or send your questions through the “contact” area.


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Readers Couponing Questions Answered

Angela from Oregon asked:  “I appreciate when you share the latest coupons or good deals, it helps me know what coupons to print.  I don’t shop at Walmart and on many of the coupons you show that Walmart is a good place to use the coupon.  Will you show more options for other stores? Oh and I see the Walmart logo on some of the coupons, can they be used anywhere else?

These are great questions!

Why Walmart?   Actually I don’t shop Walmart all that often.  For me the Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Las Vegas are usually the only Walmart I generally shop  instead of the super centers.  I found the prices at the Neighborhood Markets are the same as super centers.   The reason why I often use Walmart in the coupon deal scenarios is because Walmart is a good measure of what a sale price you can expect to see at other stores.  Of course – it’s for the Walmart shoppers, too.   Walmart is a good gauge of sorts to know what a good price would be to pay when using a coupon.  The bottom price after coupons represent a good price for stocking up.  When an item is on sale at another store, I do always try to include that in the deal scenario.

Walmart Logo On The Coupon, now what?:  Many time the logo you see on the screen on the printable coupons (usually only on will show on the SCREEEN ONLY and not print on the coupon.  Mr. Cameraman would say “Walmart is buying braincells”.   If a coupon does print the Walmart logo on it you will see it several ways.  1) Shows Walmart logo only 2) prints “redeemable at Walmart” or “found at Walmart” 3) And the rare occasion “Redeem at Walmart Only”

1) Shows only Walmart Logo, redeemable at Walmart or found at Walmart printed on the coupon.   These coupons can be used at any store, they are a regular manufacturer coupon that Walmart paid to have their name printed.  It is up to each stores discretion if they want to take them.  I personally have never been turned away from using these coupons at any store.

2) Redeem at Walmart Only:  Then that is the “rule” for that coupon, it can be used only at a Walmart store.  This is very rare to see printed on the coupons.  As with any coupon that prints a store name and the wording “only” it is restricted to that particular store.

The exception is if a store wants to use their “Price Match Policy” and they choose to accept competitor store coupons.  ie: Walmart does accept other stores coupons.

For more information be sure to check out the coupon 101, coupon terms & acronyms and other 101 help.


Do you have questions about coupons, savings, an area you want to save in but need help?  Send the questions to me and I will help answer them.  Use the “Contact” button on the top bar and send on over your questions! 


Couponing Questions Answered

9:45 am

by Jennifer Freeman

couponing Questions

How To Coupon

“I just started couponing and I’m not saving as much as I thought I would be saving. What am I doing wrong?”

We had a GREAT and common question get emailed recently.  This is asked A LOT! So let’s break this down.

1. Get enough newspapers for your family:

The first question I ask is how many Sunday newspapers are you getting? (Get some awesome discounts right here!)  It’s critical to match the number of Sunday papers to the total number of people in your house. And yes even young ones — don’t leave anyone out!    I got five papers because there was always something I could stock up on for my husband and I (household and personal items) AND I also stocked up on diapers and baby items when they hit rock bottom prices. Take advantage of low prices when they come around because prices are not going to go down any time soon. The deeply discounted price you get for the Sunday papers is WELL worth the investment and it will pay for itself real quick.

2. Savings will be slow until you are stocked up

In the beginning, your needs are real high because you need many products. All products go through a sale cycle and will hit a rock bottom price sometime within the year. Most products hit a rock bottom price more often than others; however, some only hit a rock bottom price a few times out of the year. Each week different products will that low price so that’s when you take advantage and buy as much as possible (the reason to get one Sunday paper for each person in your house). Keep in mind, some weeks will be better than others based on the products you need. Don’t get discouraged; keep at it! Once you are stocked up on particular items, you stop buying those, thus saving that money! Also understand that those of us in Las Vegas and California don’t have stores that double coupons so if you’re saving on average 50% off your bill, you’re doing GREAT! That’s why your savings may seem a bit slow in the beginning.

3. Inserts and expired coupons

When I started using coupons, I would flip through each week’s inserts and say, “I don’t use any of this stuff!” and I actually ended up quitting using coupons because I didn’t see the point. I learned a valuable lesson when I understood the value of coupons and the proper way to use them. There are certain weeks that I don’t use any coupons out of a particular insert. There are other week’s it looks like the insert went through my shredder because I used SO many coupons. The point is, don’t base one week’s coupons in the inserts on the bigger picture of what you’re trying to accomplish: save money for your family. Honestly, I don’t even look at my inserts week to week. I date and file them away waiting for a sale. What about expiring coupons? I don’t worry about them. Most coupons that expire will be back; maybe at a different value but another coupon will be issued at some point.

I encourage you to always go back to why you are doing this. To save your family money, spend more time with family and friends and to help others. By keeping in mind the bigger picture, being patient and consistent, you WILL be successful and reach your goals! Thank you for a great question!

Be sure to read the Couponing 101 –  it will provide you with a great deal of insight!

How To Coupon


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Get Gift Cards with Added Bonuses

Since we will be seeing gift card deals coming very quickly because of graduations happening.  The strategy of buying up gift cards at this time of year saves us a bundle of money everyday through the year. I share my strategy below and I want to make sure you know about how to get great deals and gift card promotions.

How to Get Gift Card Promotions And Deals:

Recently, Tip Resource reader Jennifer E. asked a great question.  She asked “Do you know of any stores doing promotions for buying gift cards? I need itunes, visa and barnes and noble gift cards.

Find a deal on everything you buy!  I love Jennifer’s question because when buying anything – and I mean anything always find a bonus, a deal, a discount or savings –that’s how you can start to live an “Almost Free” lifestyle like we do in our house.

So where do I find gift card bonus promotions to stretch my money?

Let me answer her question about where to find those bonus gift card deals.  I shared a Gift Card Bonus post that gives you some details, so check it out.   Have you seen the gift card sections in the drug stores and grocery stores for all kinds of major companies?  When  purchasing a gift card at certain times the store will give some additional freebie when you buy selected gift cards.  Generally, the freebie is in the form of a “free” dollar amount to spend in the store where you purchased the gift card, called a catalina.  Usually it is for $10 – $20 bonus!

Find current gift card offers & catalina offers. Follow this link (Coupon Network) and look under the “Your Bucks” Tab there will be a listing of all those current deals!

You can get to this link easily by looking under the “coupons” tab above and looking for Coupon Network link.

Strategies for more savings when buying gift cards.

Extra Reasons To Buy Gift Cards and Why! I buy gift cards for birthdays, graduation, baby showers and weddings, but I try to buy these when there is a bonus deal.  It makes my gift giving frugal and gives me a chance to give a bigger gift card because of the savings.

Buy gift cards for Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon, iTunes etc!  This is my fav way to get a discount or bonus on things that never go on sale or have a coupon…like the filters for my refrigerator.  For example:  My fridge filters are $44 at Lowes.  If I buy $100 in Lowes gift cards and get a $20 bonus catalina it’s like paying $80 for $100 value!  That makes my filters 20% off!!

For an added bonus, when redeeming the $20 catalina at the store where you purchased the gift card & offering the bonus, use the catalina coupons toward your shopping order after using coupons to reduce your total first.  This savings strategy gives an even greater savings!!  Turning that $20 into a $40 or more savings depending on how low you can get that total using coupons!

The secret to turning around your families finances to a positive number — get bonuses and savings in areas you never even dreamed!!


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Couponing Question:  How do you break down this deal?

Reader Carla Asked:  “I have a question about a Rite-Aid Deal and coupon. It’s the Loreal deal. I don’t understand how to get the deal.  Could you give me your breakdown explanation please. Thank You”

Great question Carla!   Couponing can be confusing at first.  It is like learning a new language. Let me breakdown how the drugstore deals are written.  To get the Loreal deal shown below from Rite Aid you are stacking coupons.  To learn more about stacking, what it means and other basic coupon terms, check out the coupon terms page and also the Rite Aid 101 section.


Here is a Rite-Aid Loreal Deal:

L’Oreal Preference or Feria Hair Color – 2/$17.98
Use $5/2 In Ad Coupon
And use $3/1 L’Oreal Preference Printable (click to get coupon when active)
Or use $3/1 L’Oreal Feria Printable (click to get coupon when active)
Final Price: $3.49 each

Basically, you are stacking a STORE (Rite Aid) coupon and a manufacturer coupon to get the total price. To get this deal, use the coupon that comes in the Rite Aid weekly ad and stack it with 2 of the $3 Loreal printable coupons listed.

You will  Buy 2 Loreal products at $17.98 each
Use 1 $5 off 2 items coupon from Rite-Aid circular ad  (-$5.00)
And use 2 of the $3 off coupons, 1 for each item purchased (-$6.00)
Final Total Paid is $6.98 when you buy 2 or $3.49 each.


Another way you will see a drugstore deal written:

L’Oreal Advance Therapy Shampoo or Conditioner – $4.99
Use Rite Aid store coupon  $1/1 L’Oreal Advanced item (RA Video Values, Jan)
And stack $2/1 L’Oreal Advanced Shampoo or Conditioner, exp. 3/2/13 (RP 01/06/13 #2)


The store coupon is coming from watching the Rite Aid video values and the second coupon (RP 01/06/13 #2) means Red Plum newspaper insert from January 6, 2013 (and there 2 Red Plum inserts from that day)



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Where do you get Free Item Coupons? Couponing Question

Reader Jennifer V Asked:   “Recently I have been watching your videos on youtube and I would really like to know how you get free item coupons from manufacturers saying “FREE ITEM”… where are you getting those coupons from?”


Great Question Jennifer!  Let me help you out on free item coupons that you see me use on some of my videos on youtube.

I love shopping with Free Item Coupons from manufacturers!  These free item coupons aren’t as elusive as most people think. Here is how I get them.  I write companies that I can give honest feedback to either positive or negative experiences or thoughts about a specific product.  Many times the response includes a free item coupon.  Last year I did an entire campaign in the Extreme Couponing Campaign to help my readers potential get more free item coupons.  Check it out.   This is a list of companies you may want to contact.

Next, I participate in “get a free coupon” request offers I find through a manufacturer website and especially on facebook.  Companies love to run campaigns for free item coupons for new products and more.  Most of the time they limit coupons to the first 10,000 people who request it.  Watch Tip Resource and I will alert you anytime I come across those promotions and jump on them quickly because they don’t last long.

Also, I send away for “try me free” offers given by companies.  It can be try this product and we will send you a Free Item Coupon when you return a rebate form.  Rebate forms can be found in the Free Coupon Database – just sort by the “category” on the advanced search.

And, I join reward programs for products I buy.  Like the Loreal program that is ongoing to get free item coupons.  Check out the Loreal Free Item Coupon details.

And I also join groups like How to get free item coupons. Many times through the year they offer members free item coupons for their latest products coming out.

The newspaper inserts offer free item coupons from time to time.  Last year I had free cat treat coupons, free health bars and several others.

The truth is to get free item coupons it is just a bit of effort for a big reward of freebie shopping.  Those are the secrets to getting free item coupons — but a word of caution, don’t buy them from anyone online those are most often counterfeit and I would run from that plan!

I appreciate you asking the question and I hope this gives you some insight on how to get free item coupons.