Money

8 Expert Coupon Tips to Save Big on Your Next Shopping Trip

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Coupon fraud has led manufacturers and retailers to change their policies-and new rules, uses and ways to find them seem to pop up every day. Here’s how to navigate the changes and save money with coupons during your next shopping trip!

Score register printouts online.

“Catalina coupons, the full-color, long paper coupons that print out with your receipt at the supermarket checkout, are triggered to print when a cashier scans a UPC code from a qualifying product that you’ve bought. It used to be that if you lost or trashed them, the deal was gone. But now you can get replacements by visiting Support.CatalinaMarketing.com within three days of shopping. You simply fill out a form that asks for information, like the day you went shopping, what store you shopped at and the promotions you’re missing. It’s worth the 5 minutes it takes to fill out the form — I’ve saved 45 percent just by using a Catalina!” -Joanie Demer, co-founder of TheKrazyCouponLady.com

Match coupons here.

“Coupon matching is almost obsolete because some stores worry about fraud and others want to cut back on delays at checkout, but a few big stores still honor others’ coupons-with new rules. For example, each Publix store has a list of competitors’ coupons they’ll accept, based on which ones are nearby. So if you find a better coupon for an item offered by a local store, simply ask customer service if they’ll honor it.” -Kati Kiefer, money-saving blogger at TrueMoneySaver.com

Buy circulars for $1.

“Clipping coupons can still help you save big, and the best place to score them is still in the Sunday paper, where you’ll find deals from RetailMeNot or coupons from Procter & Gamble. To get the most bang for your couponclipping buck, buy your Sunday paper on Monday for a reduced rate! Simply check discount stores like Dollar General, where you may find Sunday papers for just $1.” -Star Smith, coupon coach at CouponWithStar.com

Print two this way.

“To deter mass photocopying of a printable coupon, many now have unique codes-they differ for each coupon. But in my experience, most of the internet printable coupons are generated from Coupons.com — and they allow you to print two per device per household. You simply print one and then go back, then print the next one. If you think you could use more, you can ask a friend, neighbor or co-worker to print two for you. That way, you get the same multiple print benefit — without going against the rules.” -Joanie Demer

Zero in on regional savings.

“Some manufacturers don’t offer coupons in specific regions — meaning you won’t find them in Sunday circulars-if there have been high incidences of coupon fraud in the area. So if I hear about a really valuable coupon not available in my region, I visit a coupon-clipping site, like SamsCouponClippingCenter.com, and search for the one I want, then pay a small fee to have it sent to me. For example, a coupon for $5 off two boxes of Clairol hair color costs just 24 cents to ship. They ship the coupon via First Class mail, and it arrives in two days!” -Star Smith

Know the new lingo.

“As coupons evolve, the verbiage changes-they’re so much different than they were 10 years ago. For example, words like ‘Limit of one coupon per purchase’ once meant per transaction, but now means per product that you purchase-meaning it’s perfectly safe to buy two items and use a coupon for each. Or if you see ‘Redeemable at Walmart,’ you may think it’s usable only there. Not so! Retailers pay manufacturers to market their store on that coupon, knowing people will assume they have to purchase and use the coupon at that store, when in reality, it can be used anywhere.” – Luellen Marfoe, coupon expert at SavvyCouponShopper.com

Offer your opinion to nab these coupons.

“After you leave any big-box retailer like Walmart or Dick’s Sporting Goods, check the bottom of your receipt. Many of these retailers offer instructions on how to take an online survey to give them feedback on your experience there. It generally takes two minutes, and you’ll receive a coupon to use on your next visit to the store.” -Stacy Caprio, money-saving expert at DealsScoop.com

Check out at the pharmacy.

“Everyone knows about the pages long CVS ExtraCare receipt coupons. But what you may not know is that since CVS Pharmacy became the in-store pharmacy at Target, simply using the CVS ExtraCare card when you shop at any CVS can now net you Target coupons too! For example. you’ll get a $5 Target coupon for every 10 points earned by refilling prescriptions, adding prescriptions to a CVS.com account, signing up for text alerts and more, making shoppers eligible to receive up to $50 in coupons per year. Other stores that offer high-value coupons just for using their pharmacy? Kroger, HyVee and Ralph’s.” -Jennifer Burg, blogger at TheSuburbanMom.com

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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