Anne answered on 3.15.16:
Extreme Couponing 101: Walmart Edition
Learning the ins and outs of extreme couponing isn’t tricky, so let’s jump right into it!
1. Know the Walmart Coupon & Ad Match Policies
Before extreme couponing at Walmart, you should become familiar with the Coupon and Ad Match Policies. Not only will you know which coupons you can use, but you’ll also be able to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Here are the types of coupons Walmart accepts:
- Manufacturer coupons (e.g., those issued by Johnson & Johnson)
- Print-at-home internet coupons (e.g., what you would find at Walmart.com)
- Competitor’s coupons (e.g., those issued by Target)
- Soft drink container cap codes (e.g., found inside Pepsi-Cola caps)
- Checkout coupons (i.e., Catalina coupons, which are printed out at checkout when you spend a certain amount)
According to its policy, Walmart allows coupon overages, which means a coupon can apply to your entire purchase if it exceeds the amount of the item, or you can receive cash instead.
Let’s say you have a $1.50-off coupon for 1 Colgate toothbrush (which is typically priced at $2.84). Walmart could offer a Rollback price on the toothbrush and make it drop down to $1.20. After you apply the coupon, you’ll not only receive the item for free, but the extra 30 cents will be deducted from the rest of your purchase or given in change to you.
Before you head to the store, print out Walmart’s Coupon and Ad Match policies. If you’re not very familiar with the rules, having the policies on hand will help you avoid any confusion.
2. Follow Rollbacks & Pair Deals With Coupons
To maximize your savings, follow Walmart’s Rollback cycles and stay up to date on current coupons. You can scan through the Daily Savings Center and Weekly Ad to scope out the sales online. Once you’ve taken a peek at current Rollbacks, pair coupons with those deals.
For example, L’Oreal Paris True Match Naturale Mineral Foundation usually costs $11.97. During a Rollback deal, the item may cost $8.97. Once you apply a $3-off coupon on top of the Rollback price, you’ll purchase the foundation for just $5.97, with a total savings of $6.
3. Buy Smaller Sizes With Coupons
Shoppers sometimes save money when they purchase the larger size of an item because the cost per unit is often cheaper than it is for the smaller size. For example, a 17 fl. oz. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce bottle costs 11.6 cents per ounce ($1.97 full price/17 oz.=11.6 cents per oz.), whereas a 28 fl. oz. bottle costs 10.9 cents per ounce ($3.06 full price/28 oz.=10.9 cents per oz.).
However, purchasing a smaller size with a coupon often turns out to be a better deal than purchasing the larger size with the same coupon.
Let’s say you have a 50-cents-off coupon that can be applied to any Sriracha bottle size. If you apply it to the bigger bottle, you’ll pay 9.1 cents per fl. oz. ($3.06 full price-$0.50 coupon=$2.56 → $2.56 reduced price/28 oz.=9.1 cents per oz.). If you apply the coupon to the smaller bottle, you’ll pay just 8.6 cents per fl. oz. ($1.97 full price-$0.50 coupon=$1.47 → $1.47 reduced price/17 oz.=8.6 cents per oz.)
When you do the math, in this case purchasing the smaller size will save you more money in the end. It’s important to hash out the details before you get coupon-crazy at the store.
Hand Over Those Coupons at Checkout!
After you’ve done your calculations, you can check out and see your savings add up! There’s nothing better than ringing up your items and watching your prices go down. It takes practice and patience to become a couponing master, but with these tips you’ll get there!