The First Cuts: How to Save the Most with Your Coupons

Now that we know where to find coupons, and how to organize them, let’s work on how to use them! If you have missed any of my “The First Cuts” posts check the Beginners tab at the top of the page!

Store Sales and Coupons

This is the biggie folks! The way to save the big bucks!  You can’t just use coupons; you have to match them with the store sales.  That is how people walk away with such big savings!

Think about it!  If Ritz crackers are BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) for $3.99, you are getting 2 boxes at 50% off.  Now, add 2 $1 off Ritz Cracker coupons.  You just snagged 2 boxes of crackers for $1.99!  Those same 2 boxes of crackers would have cost you $7.98 if they weren’t on sale, and you didn’t use coupons! You saved 75%!

You guys are lucky because you have the use of tons of amazing websites that take all the work out of coupon matchups!  For Publix, visit I Heart Publix!  Michelle does an amazing job of listing all the coupons that go with the sale items!  For other stores visit my links page.  There are tons of blogs that cover the different stores.  If you can’t find one for your local store shoot me an email and I will help you out!

What if what I need isn’t on sale? Well, that is where stockpiling comes in!  Another day… Another post!

Basically you purchase items that are on sale while they are on sale.  Store them in the pantry or freezer until they are needed.  That way you get them for the lowest possible price.

Also, look for the coveted $10/$50 and other $/$ coupons!  These are big savers! Oh, and coupon overages can help you save big bucks!

Coupon overages

What is a coupon overage? When you buy and item for $2 and you have a $3 off coupon you will get an extra dollar off your other groceries.

Some stores are not overage friendly!  They should be.  They are getting reimbursed the face value of the coupon plus a handling fee.  So, they are making money off you couponing!  If a store wants to mark your coupon down, or not give you face value, in my opinion they are committing fraud.  They are still collecting the full amount!  Doesn’t quite seem fair does it?!

My Publix allows overages, but Walmart and Walgreens do not! At least, in my area.  CVS is a hit or miss for me.  Target is sometimes overage friendly.  I have found it all depends on the cashier.

Store Policies

Each store has its own coupon policy!  Some even differ from state to state; like Publix. You can typically contact the company to find out their policy.

We are going to use Publix’s because I know it, and most of you shop there. :)

Publix accepts competitor’s coupons! This is huge! However, it is up to the store manager who they consider a competitor! You can simply call the stores customer service desk to find out! My store takes anyone within 5 miles including CVS and Walgreens!

Publix Stacks Coupons! What does stacking mean?  It means you can use 1 manufacturer’s coupon and 1 Publix or competitors coupon per item.  Still confused?  It looks like this!  Here is an example from the upcoming sale.

Hellmann’s Easy Out! Mayonnaise Real or Light, 22oz bottle, BOGO $4.69
-$.25/1 Hellmann’s product, any 16.5 oz+ – 05-23-10 RP
-$1/2 Best Foods Or Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Products, Any 15 Oz. Or Larger (Target Coupon) – 04-25-10 RP

Now when you purchase 2 Hellmann’s Mayonnaise your total is $4.69

  • You will use 2 -$.25/1 Hellmann’s product, any 16.5 oz+ – 05-23-10 RP (1 for each bottle)
  • You will also use 1 -$1/2 Best Foods Or Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Products, Any 15 Oz. Or Larger (Target Coupon) – 04-25-10 RP (it’s a competitor, so it stacks)

So, your new total is $3.19 for 2 bottles of Mayonnaise.

Here are a couple of important points.

  • You will need manager approval once you go over around 50 coupons (Yes, I have done this)
  • You will need manager approval if you have more coupons than items (Again very easy to do and very possible)
  • Publix customer service is typically so friendly I have never had an issue!

Store Coupons

Now I have you wondering how we find store coupons. Well, Publix makes it easy.  They offer 2 in store papers monthly the Green Advantage Buys paper and the Yellow Advantage Buys paper.  Both can be found in the turnstile at the front of the store.  If you don’t see them ask at customer service.

The store coupon is different than a manufacturers.  It should say right on it store coupon or Publix coupon.  It will also have a different type of UPC code or won’t have one at all.

You can always keep your eyes out at the turnstile and throughout the store for seasonal coupon booklets.  These are sometimes huge money savers!

I also check other grocery stores sale papers.  They sometimes contain coupons.  Walgreens is a great source if your store considers them a competitor.  They release a monthly coupon book!  Target offers online printable store coupons (again if they are considered a competitor.)


These 4 letters hold some of the greatest meaning in the coupon world.  YMMV means Your Mileage May Vary.  No one’s coupon results will be identical.  Every store is different.  Every sale is different.  The coupons in your local paper are different.

You may find a clearance item, have a coupon, and get it for free.  My store may have the same item full price, or my manager may not accept that competitor’s coupon.  It’s really all situational.

Stay tuned for the next “First Cuts” post! I should have it up on Thursday Night!


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  1. Becky Flynn says

    Thanks for the great tips and detailed instructions. I saved $45.01 at the grocery store today by combining manufacturer’s coupons with the weekly store flier’s deals. Thank you…Thank you…Thank you!

  2. Hutch says

    Your website looks great! I wanted to let you know that with Wal-Mart’s new coupon policy they now allow OVERAGE!!!! Yay!

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