Monday, January 1, 2007

Grocery Store Information

First time reading The Wandering Peanut? Welcome! If you're new to "couponing" things may seem a little confusing. Here's some general information to get you started:

Q: What is couponing?
A: Using coupons to get products for free or really cheap!

Q: Where do I find coupons?
A: The best place is your Sunday newspaper! Smartsource, RedPlum and Proctor & Gamble publish coupon inserts weekly or monthly. Additionally, you can visit a number of websites which offer printable coupons. I have a list of these sites here.

Q: What is a coupon matchup?
A: Each week, I use the weekly Stop & Shop circular and look for matchups. I find items that are on sale which also have a valid coupon and match them up. You would see a matchup listed like this:
(ex: Tropicana Orange Juice 2/$5
$1/2 from 5/10 SS = 2/$4)
This would mean: Tropicana Orange Juice is listed in the weekly circular as being on sale for 2 for $5.00. There is also a coupon good for $1.00 off 2 from the May 10 Smartsource newspaper insert. The final price for this item after sale and coupon is 2 for $4.00. If a coupon can be doubled, that is reflected in the final price listed for each matchup.

Q: How do double coupons work?
A: Many stores have a double coupon policy. This means that they will double the face value of a coupon up to a specific dollar amount. For example, the Stop & Shop stores in my area will double any manufacturer's coupon worth $.99 or less. If you have a coupon for $.75 off, it will become $1.50 off. Doubling usually happens automatically at the register. Usually, you don't have to do anything to use a double coupon.

There are some exceptions! Some coupons say "do not double" on the front. These coupons cannot be doubled. Many (but by no means all) printable coupons say this. Some stores do not double coupons. Big Y, for example. These stores occasionally will have special vouchers in a circular which can be paired with a coupon to double or triple its value. These vouchers generally have lots of fine print so make sure to read all the details.

Q: How do I find out my store's coupon policy?
A: Every store can have a different coupon policy. Even stores within a chain may have different policies. For example, most stores here in Connecticut will double manufacturer's coupons valued at $.99 or less. Some stores elsewhere will double $1.00 or less. Some stores will not double at all. I urge you to call the customer service department of each store that you frequent to find out what their policy is.

Here's some other general information about my posts:

Each week I write up coupon matchups for Stop & Shop. The items I list are sale items from the current week's circular which also have current coupons available. I do not list every sale item, or every good deal. I only list those sale items that also have a coupon. I urge you to look at the weekly circular and decide for yourself which deals are the best.

I live in Connecticut and use my local circular to write up the weekly matchups. The deals in your area may be different. Also, please keep in mind that coupons vary depending on what area of the country you live in.

If you are unfamiliar with any of the abbreviations or lingo I use in my posts, I have a list of definitions in my sidebar to the right.

In general, items that are free after coupons are listed in red. Great deals are listed in purple. All other deals are listed in black.

If you see any errors or know of a deal not listed please leave a comment on that week's post!

There are a few store specific things to keep in mind which are listed below:

Big Y

1. Big Y does not double coupons.
2. Don't Forget about your coins! You can use a coin and a coupon if applicable. Click Here to see the current coin deals.

Stop & Shop

1. Stop & Shop doubles manufacturer's coupons up to $.99! Final Prices listed reflect doubling where applicable. This is true for the stores in CT but may not be true in your area.
2. They will give you $0.05 back for each bag you bring back to reuse.
3. At participating stores, earn 1 point for every dollar you spend. Get $0.10 off each gallon of gas for every 100 points you earn. These points are cumulative. Use them on up to 20 gallons. Click here for details and a list of participating locations.

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