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How to Double Coupons

How to Double Coupons

You may have heard of double coupons and how they can get you the stuff you buy everyday for much less, or even for free, but do you know what they are? Simply explained, double coupons are the same coupons you find in your local Sunday paper or magazine for everything from beauty supplies to food and diapers. When you redeem them at your local retailer during a double coupon promotion, the retailer will give you two times the face value of the coupon off the purchase of that item. So, for a coupon on a bar of soap for 25 cents off, you'll get 50 cents off your purchase of the soap. Mostly any coupon can be doubled, assuming that it is a legitimate coupon and the words "Do Not Double" aren't printed at the top. (You can usually find any doubling restrictions next to the expiration date.)

It's quite possible for the savvy shopper to save up to 100% on the cost of an item. A great example of this would be a bottle of shampoo that's normally priced at $3.50. If the item happens to go on sale for $2 during the double coupon promotion, you could use a $1 off coupon to get it for free!

How Can You Find Stores that Double Coupons?

Perhaps the easiest and most reliable way to tell if your local store will double is to ask. My local grocery store has been doubling for years even though it doesn't advertise this practice. Only after I redeemed coupons for the first time did I notice that I was given twice the savings on my receipt. It turns out that they have always done that, but didn't promote it well.

Other stores (your local Mom and Pop store, for example) may have a doubling promotion on certain days of the week , and large chain stores, like Kmart, frequently hold a week's worth of double coupon events a few times a year. These double coupon promotions are often advertised in their weekly circulars or on their company website, so sign up for email updates from stores where you shop frequently to be sure you stay in the savings loop. Another way to find out about the next doubling promotion is to check online message boards and blogs that cover your retailer exclusively.

Tips for Shopping with Double Coupons

Keep in mind that you are not the only shopper out trying to score the best deals. Chances are good that if you've spotted a deal for getting free merchandise with double coupons, so has someone else. It's always a good idea to go early, have a list of the best deals in hand, and hit those items at the beginning of your shopping trip. (Stores have been known to keep a limited stock of their best deals to entice shoppers into the store. They are hoping that you spend the bulk of your dollars on their regular, higher-priced merchandise.)

The key to getting the best deal with your double coupons is to try and get an amount off that's as close to the price of the item as possible without going over. Stores cannot often honor coupons that, if doubled, will exceed the price of the item. They can, in some cases, type in the savings up to the price of the item, but in most instances they'll reject the coupon altogether. If you have a high-value coupon that will give you a discount that's over the price of your merchandise, it's best to save it for a time when coupons aren't doubling.

Image by: Cameron Russell