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Monday, January 18, 2010


When couponing policies seem to vary by store and sometimes by cashier within the same store. We have had readers tell us that they can combine double coupons with store coupons and some readers have not been able to. So what do you do?


We keep getting this question about combining double coupon and store coupon. Today I decided to read the fine print a little closer. The double coupon fine print seemed open to interpretation, but the store coupon was pretty clear. Now I can see why some of your stores are telling you, you can not combline the double and the store coupon.

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Julie said...

Interesting. I admit that I hadn't really read it. My store has been letting me do that, so I did get two of the Tillamook cheese that they had on sale with the $1 off any cheese coupon, and they did let me double that one. Just lucky I guess! I just keep in mind that it's like a game and you have to keep up with the rules.

Heather said...

Hey atleast you get to double, down here in Vegas, there is no doubling and we have to hit the catalina price AFTER coupons, not before.

heatherlf said...

Its so hard to plan when each store is so different and day to day changes

Sara S. said...

It is very clear that you can't double a coupon when you are already using a store coupon (such as the Tillamook cheese.) I have tried it in the past (naively--I really wasn't trying to pull a fast one) and the cashier's have always politely referred me to the fine print. HOWEVER!!! The "double" coupon vs. the Albertsons "Twice the Value" coupon has me all sorts of confused. I have asked several cashiers at the Albertsons store I shop at and they have all told me that they accept "Do not double" coupons with twice the value coupons, because that's not what the manufacturer means. The manufacturer simply means that they won't reimburse the store for double the amount. Is that true? And if so, do we have any contact with actual manufacturers to find out exactly what they mean? And isn't there some way to get all store managers (especially in the same region) on the same page and interpreting things the same way?

Monica said...

Heather- If we had not doubles and had to get catalinas after coupons I think I would no longer coupon at Albertsons! That stinks!

Sara S- You bring up some great points. I wish I had the answers. There has got to be someone in charge of all the managers right?
I did not think that there were any stores left that would double the DND's. It seems like they have all been going away from it. Although it does not make sense and the twice the value coupon says nothing about DND's.

Monica said...

Anyhow, I just wanted to point out the fine print b/c we will be following that from now on!

Martha said...

I don't see a problem with doubling DND coupons if a stores manager is willing to do that. As far as I understand it, it's not the manufacturer who is losing the $1, it is the store and they're the ones who put out doublers anyway. It shouldn't matter to the manufacturer...in fact I think they would like a store to double because it gets people to buy their product and the store loses the $1, not them.

I'm actually fine with all stores not being uniform. If they were, it would make it a lot harder for me to shop because my store is fabulous about their coupon policy's, better than any others around. They didn't use to be that way, but they have tried really hard and succeeded at educating their checkers and store employees about coupons and not it is so fun and easy to shop there. Never a frustrating visit anymore! However, just this week they had to change some of their policies because of a certain customer who kept complaining to other stores about this store and why couldn't they all be the same. In doing that, this store had to change some of their policy's and it has made it harder to coupon there than it was before. I say find the stores you like to shop, whether it is because of their customer service, policies, whatever - and stick to it. Don't try to change others stores policies or complain about them...it's up to each store and their managers how they want to run it If you want to shop around, great, but know that not every store is the same because they all have different managers.

Money Savings In WA said...

My two cents on the whole matter.

I'm looking at my Albertsons flier from Sunday and it also states that it cannot be combined with any other offer. Some Albertsons will not allow the coupon to be used with a manufacture coupon despite this being a store coupon. Unfortunately, Albertsons is one of those stores without a coupon policy on their website and so the policy varies from store to store.

HOWEVER, if you're lucky to live near an Albertsons that DOES allow the combination of the store coupon with a manufacturer coupon then you can save money that way BUT you still won't be able to use the doubler coupon (aka Twice The Value) because the other store coupon specifically states you can't use both.

The cashiers and customers both need to remember one thing. These are STORE coupons that CAN be paired with a manufacture coupon UNLESS otherwise specified in the fine print.

When in doubt, call corporate.

Amber said...

A few months ago there was a lot of chatter in the coupon blog world about the DND restrictions. Curious as to what the companies producing the coupons had to say, I called the corporate offices of Unilever and Conagra. I got passed around and transferred all over corporate until I was finally able to speak to reps in the advertising departments at both companies.

They both told me almost the exact same thing. With a troubled economy comes an influx of couponing and stores trying to compete for that business. When producing coupons, they wanted to make it quite clear to the stores that they would not reimburse for double or triple the coupons value, regardless of what promo the store was running.

It was information that we already knew, but I had to hear it first hand before I contacted Albertsons corporate office. Armed with the info from my phone conversations, I spoke to a few different individuals before being put in contact with Mike Brown. He is over about 8 Albertsons in the Treasure Valley.

I asked him why many locations had begun to refuse the use of DND coupons in conjunction with the Twice the Value coupon, when Albertsons would make the exact same amount on either coupon. The DND label did not affect the Twice the Value promo, because either way, Albertsons was eating the dollar they doubled. Regardless of whether a $1 coupon stated DND or not, Albertsons would be paid $1 (plus 8 cents for handling).

He agreed and said after much consideration he had decided to make it a policy at his 8 stores to enforce the DND restriction. When I told him that made no sense he explained that Albertsons had seen a marked increase in coupon users. Without coming right out and saying it, he eluded to the fact that by refusing to double DND coupons, it was allowing them to keep the amount of money they were losing on doublers in check.

From a couponers standpoint, it is frustrating. From a business perspective it is brilliant. Since that conversation, I have never again attempted to use a DND with a doubler. I find ways to use my doublers on items with coupons that can be doubled. I am grateful they offer doublers, knowing full well they lose money in doing so. So if they choose to implement policies that seemingly make no sense to us, it stands to reason they have an objective. My phone call verified that.

Maryhelen said...

Amber, I'm glad you got a response! Two phone messages and three emails were never returned from this same Mike Brown guy.

I think the fact that Albertson's instore coupons cannot be combines with TTV's, proves our point that TTV's are STORE coupons and mfg coupons are not, and therefore SHOULD be subject to combining.

I know it's an argument that has already been fought, but it's still incredibly frustrating when it goes contrary to all rational coupon thinking.

Thanks, Amber, for your comment!