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Grocery Geek Presents: Q & A

This week, the Grocery Geek, Yours Truly, is going to start fielding couponing questions. I am not a deals blogger, but couponing is a huge part of my “life as mom” as I try to put food on the table and stay in the black. I think it’s one way that we can increase our family’s resources without getting a second job.

I am in no way an expert. And there are many deals bloggers and other frugal bloggers who could probably answer these questions better than I. But, I know from experience, repetition helps us learn. Furthermore, unless you read everything in a blogger’s archives or follow for a long time, it’s hard to acquire all the information you might need or want.

Question:

Lately I have been reading on your blog and others of similar content about a DOUBLING COUPON. What is this? I know that my Vons and sometimes my Ralphs will double a coupon up to a dollar in value, but not beyond. What is a doubling coupon, and where do you find them?

Also, it sounded like you used your doubling coupon on a $1.50 coupon to get it up to $2.50 or $3? How does this work?

Thank you so much for your time,
Yvonne

Answer:

Yvonne, great question! And the answer depends on where you live and where you shop. And it’s a multi-part answer, so bear with me. In the best scenario, “doubling a coupon” means that the store will take off twice the amount named on the coupon.

Not all stores do this in all locations, so you will need to inquire what your store’s policy is. Since you named both Ralphs and Vons, I’m going to assume you live in Southern California or a similar market. My Ralphs and Vons will double one coupon of a kind per order, up to $1. That means that

  1. If I have a coupon for $0.50 off Cuties, the store will take off $1.00 (unless the coupon states “no doubling.”)
  2. Even if I have 10 coupons, they will only double one of them for my order. So, I can be satisfied on getting $0.50 off the other nine bags or I can come back to the store 9 more times.

Vons puts an additional stipulation on their coupons:

  1. You may only use one printable coupon per shopping trip.
  2. You may only use two insert coupons per shopping trip.

Read the fine print on all coupons

In my instance a few weeks ago, I was actually shopping at Albertsons where they normally do not offer double coupons. However, twice in the last 4-6 weeks, they have issued “double coupons” in the Sunday paper. This meant that  if you brought those 3 Albertsons coupons with you and used three other coupons, they would double those three other coupons, up to $1. $0.50 would become $1; $1 would become $2; and $1.50 became $2.50 as they would only take an extra $1 off. There was some fine print, though. Only 3 double coupons could be used at one time. So, even though I had nine, I could not use them all.

In states other than California, grocery stores are a little more generous with their doubling. I’m not sure if California is more apt to fraud, but that is the way it is. But, that doesn’t stop me from curbing our grocery budget to about $500-600 a month to feed a family of 8.

Double coupons are great, but not having a store that doubles shouldn’t hinder you from getting great deals.

If you’ve got a question about couponing and frugality in general, you can submit it in this survey.

What’s your experience with double coupons?

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Comments

  1. I am new to your site and I totally love all of your tips and tricks. I still have yet to try the OAMC, but I am building up the courage. I am presenting you with a blogging award. Stop by my blog
    http://mylifeadventurebyme.blogspot.com/ anytime to pick it up. Thanks, Shelley :)

  2. Wow. I must say I’m glad I live in Central Indiana. To me, double coupons means that I can take however many coupons I want (no limit) to Marsh (a fairly local store) and can double all of them up to $.50.

    So if I have 10 $.35 Blistex coupons, I can take all 10 coupons when Blistex is 10/$10, all 10 coupons will double to $.70 and I can get 10 Blistex for only $3.00 ($.30 each). Any coupon up to $.50 will double like that… Now, I know better than to clear the shelf but the store itself does not have a limit on how many coupons I can use or how many coupons will double.

    Kroger, on the other hand, says it will only double three like coupons (although I have never had it limited…the machines always double). Their policy states that only three coupons, up to $.50 will double.

    I sometimes wish I was in a place where $.55 would “double” up to $1.00 or $.75 would “double” up to $1.00 but alas, I have to be thankful that I can take a bazillion (or a more reasonable 30 – 40) coupons into the store and have them all double (if they are less than $.50). :)

  3. I live on the East Coast, and most of the grocery stores near me double coupons and don’t have many restrictions on the number or kind you can double per trip. I used to shop almost exclusively at Walmart or Target most of our snacks, cereal and so on. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I started reading blogs like this one. Now, I have learned that I can get much better deals at the grocery stores (like Safeway) by combining sales prices and double coupons.

  4. WOW – I consider myself lucky. I live in NE Ohio with Giant Eagles. They double ALL coupons up to $0.99. So you could potentially get $1.98 off an item. I always get FREE frozen veggies when they go on sale for $1 and I have a bunch of $0.50 off coupons. I never pay for frozen veggies!

  5. No doubling here in South Texas. :-( But I love to hear about all the amazing deals you other ladies get!

  6. Double coupons would be really nice! And triple coupons would be amazing! Alas, the stores here don’t do that. So, while I miss out on the “free” deals that I so often see posted online (that people get when their stores double coupons), I can still, by using a pricebook and coupons, and buying loss leaders, feed my family well for less. It may not be as little as many of those do with double coupons, but for where I live, it’s awesome!

  7. Jacki Hamilton says:

    Our Kroger quit doubling and tripling :_(

  8. I’ve yet to find a store in Central Florida that doubles – really makes me miss California!

  9. In our area, most store double up to 50 cents with a limit of 2 per transaction. So that means if I have 2 .50 coupons I can get $1 off each of two products. If you have more coupons you just do another transaction.

    I’m pretty thankful our stores do this because it allows me to save a bundle when combining with a sale. Recently I shopped at a store that didn’t double and I was just floored! It really made me think about how much we save by doubling.

  10. Hey! I live in Western NC and we have good coupon policies here! Our local Ingals will double coupons up to .50 all the time. Restrictions are that they will only double up to 3 coupons per $10 oder. Also, our local Lowes Foods doubles up to .75 all the time and I don’t believe they have any restrictions on that. We can get some pretty good deals around here!

  11. I live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. There are NO grocery stores around me that double coupons! I’m always very jealous when I read about double coupon days. :)

  12. My Giant store in Central PA doubles coupons up to a $1. So, I can get $2 off a lot of items. However, the one drawback is that only one like coupon per trip doubles up to a dollar. So, if we really like something that is on sale (like V-8 fusion juice :)), I have to swing by several times to get multiples of the item. Luckily, is pretty much on my way home from school…

  13. I am in SO CA and we didnt get the Albertsons Double Coupon. Is there a reason for this? LIke, is it unadvertised? How do you know if a coupon doubled?

  14. I’m in the good ol’ south and loving the fact that Publix doubles up to $.50 and BiLo doubles up to $.60!

  15. I’m in Northern Virginia. Most grocery stores double coupons here up to 99 cents. So .50 cent coupons become $1.00. .75 cent coupons become $1.50. There is no limit at most stores on how many you can use.

    Giant Foods which is big in the DC area also sometimes prints 4 “doubler” coupons in their circular for $1.00 coupons. Harris Teeter limits the number of coupons to 20 per transaction. But they often run special triple coupons up to .99 cents or “super doubles” which means they will double $1.00 coupons (again up to 20 of them). Harris Teeter limits the like-coupons to 3, I think. But none of the stores in this area place limits, I don’t believe.

    Guess I should count my blessings here! Of course rent is $1300 for a one-bedroom apartment, so it’s not all good. ;-)

  16. I’m also fortunate that my area of VA has 2 stores, Farm Fresh and Harris Teeter, that double coupons up to $0.99 everyday. Both stores impose a 20 coupon limit. Farm Fresh limits 2 like coupons per transaction and has double dollar Wednesday’s to make the savings even better. As Michele said, Harris Teeter also limits to 20 coupons per day. There is a limit of 3 like coupons (2 like internet printable coupons) per transaction.

  17. I live in MN. Here Rainbow Foods, a major chain, doubles only on Wednesdays 5 coupons up to $1.00. So $1.00 coupon would become $2.00 but a $1.25 coupon would not double at all. Recently they added Saturday as a doubling day for a limited time so that makes it easier if you want to do multiple trips. Occasionally, like last week, they allow you to double up to 10 coupons so you have a potential savings of $20! I love these days, especially since you have to have a $25 purchase in order to double. I usually get many free items this way.
    I also have a small store in my town, Radermacher’s, that will always double up to $.50 with no restrictions. Again, $.50 would become $1, but $.75 would not double at all. I usually do not take advantage of this doubling though because their prices are high enough that even with coupons I can get better deals at the major chain stores.

  18. For quite awhile here in Arizona Safeway has had a “all coupons are worth a dollar” promotion. Of course if you have a coupon valued at over a dollar, it is worth the higher amount although nothing is added. My two boohoos about that are the number of coupons that say “Do not double or triple” although I can’t for the life of me figure out why they care since I’m pretty sure the extra amount is a “gift” from the store, not the manufacturer. The other is the number of coupons that are $1/2 so I can’t double them and only get the 50 cents off each item.

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