Home Budget How to Coupon (for Beginners!) Pt. 2

How to Coupon (for Beginners!) Pt. 2

written by The OklaHomeMaker January 18, 2016

Hey there! Welcome to part 2 of my 3 part series on How to Coupon (for beginners!). In my last post, we talked about the basics including where to shop, where to get coupons, and when to buy. I also shared a few fantastic resources for beginning couponers so if you haven’t read that post yet, make sure you go here and check it out!

Today we will be talking about the different types of coupons available, and how to “stack” them. I’ll also be breaking down a few different deals for you can you see the magic happen for yourself & hopefully this will all start to make sense!


Types of Coupons:

There are three different types of coupons: manufacturers coupons, store coupons and category coupons. Don’t know how to tell the difference? It’s easy. Look for a box somewhere on your coupon, usually at the top:

curad coupon

As you can see, this one has a green box at the top that says “Manufacturer’s Coupon”.


Similarly, this one has a black box at the top that says it is a Target coupon. Coupons that say “Redeemable at” or contain a store logo are not necessarily store coupons, so it’s important to read the coupon carefully!


This is an example of category coupon. Since it doesn’t apply to one single item, you can use it in combination with other coupons as long as the items are all within the “Baby” category. Coupons that say things like $5 off a $25 purchase, etc. work the same way! Since it’s also a Target coupon, it can only be used at Target stores.

Coupon Stacking:

Now that you know and understand the three different types of coupons, lets take a look at how they can be used. Most stores will let you use one of each type of coupon on any single item, this is referred to as “stacking”. When combined with an already low sale price, coupon stacking is the most effective way to save money by couponing. Here’s an example:


This is a manufacturer coupon for Buy One Get One Free Herbal Essences shampoo (my favorite!) When this coupon came out, Herbal Essences shampoos were on sale at Target for $4.99 and they had a special running that if I bought four I would receive a $5 gift card after checkout. I also had a category coupon for $5 off a $15 beauty purchase at Target. When I combined these deals, I walked out of Target with 8 FREE bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Here’s how it worked:

I bought 8 at $4.99= $39.92
I used 2 $5 off $15 beauty coupons (-$10.00)= $29.92
I used 4 BOGO coupons (-$19.96)= $9.96 (paid this +tax out of pocket)
AND I got back $10 in Target gift cards to use on groceries, orrr that new scarf I had my eye on. 😉

Pretty awesome right?! Let’s try another one! This deal is called a money maker because I actually got back more money in gift cards than I spent! I don’t have  a photo of the coupon, but it was a manufacturer coupon for $2 off a Swiffer duster starter kit like the one pictured below.


Target had the kits on sale for $3.99 each, and ran a special that if I bought 3 I would receive a $10 gift card after checkout. I made $4.03 off this deal! Here’s how it worked:

I bought 3 Swiffer duster starter kits at $3.99= $11.97
I used 3 $2 off one Swiffer duster starter kit coupons (-$6.00)= $5.97 (paid this +tax out of pocket)
AND I got back $10 on a Target gift card! YAY!

As you can see, coupon stacking is the key to getting AMAZING deals! Check your circulars for sales or promotions, and follow your couponing blogs closely so you don’t miss any match ups! When you find a match up, calculate your price and check it against this stock up price list from Passion for Savings to make sure it’s a good deal. Then write it all down on your shopping list, organize the coupons you need, and double check your math. These three steps are so important to a successful shopping trip! The couponing world moves quickly, and it takes some work and dedication but it is SO worth the effort!

Come back Thursday for the 3rd and last post in my How to Coupon (for Beginners!) series. We’ll talk about a few apps that will help you on your couponing journey, as well as some reward and rebate programs you can use to maximize your savings!

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