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New month means it's time for coupon chores

It's April 1, which means it's time to do a few coupon chores. No joke.

If you haven't already, take a little time to purge your coupon organizer of all the March coupons that are now expired. I cleaned out my coupon binder Sunday while on an Easter Day road trip.

Next up....

Coupons 101: How to organize your coupons

Coupons 101 is an occasional feature on the Centsible Saver blog, giving you basic information on how to use coupons to your best advantage. Click on the Coupons 101 tab at the top of the blog to see previous Coupons 101 posts.

Getting organized -- and staying organized -- is probably the single best way to maximize coupon savings at the supermarket and drug stores.

After all, those clipped coupons won't do you any good left behind on the kitchen counter.

In my coupon classes,

A big welcome to new readers from Saturday's coupon class!

Thanks to everyone who spent their Saturday morning with me learning about coupons, rebates and frugal living. If this is your first time reading the blog: Welcome!

I really enjoyed meeting all of you and hope you will make the Centsible Saver blog a regular part of your day as you look for grocery deals, freebies and other tips on saving money and living a frugal lifestyle.

Look for new posts about savings opportunities seven days a week. And be sure to check in on Wednesday and Sunday mornings when I post the best sales and coupon matchups at the supermarkets and drugstsores -- all of them tailored to Triangle shoppers.

Coupons 101: How to use the Centsible Saver coupon database

A reader new to couponing asked me how to best use the Centsible Saver coupon database, which made me realize there are probably a lot of coupon rookies out there who would appreciate a little more information.

I update the database each week, logging each coupon we receive in the Sunday inserts contained in The News & Observer. A new version goes up early Sunday morning at 5, making it the most timely and definitive guide to coupons in the Triangle.

Coupons 101: A guide to calling corporate

When using coupons to save your family money, you may, from time to time, run into a sticky situation.

It's always best to try to resolve a problem or get a question answered on the spot while you're still in the store. That's part of a manager's job and he or she should be happy to help you.

But if you don't get satisfaction, the corporate headquarters of your grocery store or drugstore wants to hear from you.

So go ahead and give them a call.

Coupons 101: Links to official coupon policies

Updated: June 2013.

If you're serious about saving money at the supermarket and drugstores, you have to get serious about couponing.

And that means getting familiar with retailers' coupon policies.

For coupon novices, or those who just need a little refresher course, you can read my post on coupon rules of the road here, which includes summaries of those coupon policies.

But if you're ready to take your couponing to the next level or you just like going straight to the source, here are links to the offical coupon acceptance policies at all the major supermarkets and drugstores doing business in the Triangle.

You may want to print out these policies and keep them in your coupon organizer because, unfortunately, you will encounter cashiers and store managers unfamiliar with their own store policies.

Instead of arguing, or losing your deal, you can politely refer to the coupon policy.

Grocery stores:

Food Lion coupon policy

Harris Teeter coupon policy

Harris Teeter digital coupon policy

Kroger coupon policy

Kroger digital coupon policy

Lowes Foods coupon policy

Big box stores:

Target coupon policy

WalMart coupon policy


CVS coupon policy

Rite Aid coupon policy

Walgreens coupon policy

Coupons 101: Your guide to couponing at Triangle stores

If you want to maximize your savings with coupons, it's important to know the rules of the road at the supermarkets and drugstores you frequent.

Unfortunately, the rules are different everywhere you shop, which can make bargain hunting a challenge.

At some stores, a 75-cent coupon is routinely worth $1.50 and can be valued as high as $2.25 during a special coupon event. At other stores, that same 75-cent coupon is worth just 75 cents.

Some supermarket chains will accept coupons issued by competitors. Don't like Store X? No problem. Store Y and Z will happily redeem a Store X coupon for you.

And at one major national retailer, the store will pay you if your coupon value exceeds the price of the item you're buying. You read that correctly. If the item you're buying is $1.50 and your coupon is for $2, the cashier will hand you the difference in cash. There's nothing shady or extreme about it. I promise. It's all spelled out in the retailer's official coupon policy.

Why all the coupon fine print? A lot of retailers have tightened up their policies in recent years to keep in check those couponers who have adopted the extreme methods depicted on the controversial TLC show "Extreme Couponing."

At the same time, other retailers have actually loosened their coupon policies, hoping to lure customers looking for ways to trim their budgets during tough economic times.

In the Triangle, coupon shoppers enjoy coupon policies among the most generous in the country, thanks to lots of supermarket competition. Those little slips of paper can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the course of a year so it's well worth the effort to study up a bit.

For coupon newbies -- and those who need a refresher course - here's a roundup of the basic coupon guidelines at the major retailers in the Triangle, including all the information on the store that will pay you to shop with coupons.

Cracking the code of coupon lingo will help you save more

When avid couponers get together, the conversation might seem like a foreign language to the uninitated.

And a message on an online couponing forum can seem like complete gibberish -- nothing but alphabet soup to a coupon novice.

A typical back and forth might go something like this:

Question: IVDSO BOGO IP Qs on Cheerios. It's DH's favorite. PLMK.

Answer: No BOGO Qs, but have five Catalinas for 50 C/O. (DND). Will trade for BTFE or FARs.SASE.

Say what?

Here's the translation:

Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

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