Learn How To Coupon | Day 5: Stacking Coupons


Welcome to Day 5 of the monthly series: Learn How To Coupon!


In case you have missed what’s been going on, this series is to help walk you through learning how to coupon with the basics. We gradually build on what we have learned the day before, and by the end of the month, you should feel more confident in using coupons! This is also a great refresher course for coupon pros.


If you would like to go back and see what we have been talking about, then click the links below for more info:


Day 1: Anatomy of a Coupon


Day 2: Anatomy of a Barcode


Day 3: Types of Coupons


Day 4: Where to Find Coupons


Today’s Topic: Stacking Coupons


By now, you may have heard me mention the term “stacking” coupons. This simply refers to using multiple coupons on ONE item or product to get extra savings.


Before I go more into details, let’s talk about an important rule when using manufacturer coupons.

-Use ONE manufacturer coupon per item. This is usually a universal rule when it comes to Manufacturer coupons. That is also why you may see the wording “One coupon per purchase”. This is to prevent people from using multiple manufacturer coupons on ONE item.

So you may be wondering if I can only use ONE manufacturer coupon per item, then how can I “stack” or use multiple coupons per item??


Stacking is typically referred to when you combine (1) manufacturer and (1 or more) store coupons together on one item.

This is not aloud everywhere, but is most stores that offer store coupons will allow the addition of a manufacturer coupon as well to maximize your savings. To find if your store allows “stacking”, you can read their coupon policies, or just ask.


Some important things to know about stacking:

-The typical type of “stacking” refers to (1) manufacturer and (1) store coupon combined together. You will see below that some stores like Target use this policy, however some other stores like Rite-Aid allow you to use multiple (if available and applicable) store coupons and (1) manufacturer coupon together on one item. You can tell this when they say something along the lines of “We accept (1) manufacturer and applicable store coupons(s) per one item.

-Stacking is NOT the same thing as “doubling” coupons. We will talk more about doubling later, but doubling is when the value of the coupon is doubled. Stacking refers to using multiple coupons on one item to add savings.


Total Purchase coupons:

We will also be looking at how “Total Purchase” coupons come into play when trying to “stack coupons.”

These are coupons that are a certain dollar or percentage off of a certain amount instead of a specific product. Example: “$5 off $50″ or “$3 off $10.”

These are mainly offered through the stores themselves, and are usually “store coupons.”  But because these are off of the “Total Purchase” many of the stores allow these in conjunction with stacking. You will see below how some stores allow you to use these coupons in additions to others.


Let’s look at how stacking works at different stores:


Target: “Target accepts one Manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon for the same item (unless prohibited by either coupon).

Here’s an example of a Target coupon that you can stack with a manufacturer coupon:




Because Target accepts (1) Target coupon AND (1) Manufacturer coupon per item, here’s how a deal with these Pond’s Towelettes may work out (Pretend Scenario):

Pond’s Towlettes, on sale for $3.00

-Use the Pond’s Towlettes manufacturer coupon for $1.25 off

-Also Use the Pond’s Skin Care product Target store coupon for $1.50 off

-(total taken off = $2.75)

Final Cost = $0.75¢ + tax Out of Pocket (OOP)!

CVS: “CVS/pharmacy accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable CVS/pharmacy coupon(s) per item, unless prohibited by either coupon


-CVS offers a few different types of store coupons.

-They have a “coupon center” located in the store where you can scan your ExtraCare card and it will print out CVS store coupons. Here’s an example of what one looks like:

-They have an online printable coupon center which has both manufacturer and store coupons.

-You can sometimes get store coupons in your email when you sign up with CVS to receive offers.

Here’s an example of what stacking looks like at CVS (pretend scenario):

Cheerios on sale for $3

-Buy (1) Cheerios = $3

-Use $1/1 Cheerios manufacturer coupon

-Use $1/1 Cheerios CVS Store coupon printed from CVS machine

Final Cost = $1!

*Some things to note about stacking manufacturer and store coupons at CVS:

-ExtraCare Bucks (or ECBs) are rewards that CVS pays you after you make certain purchases (we’ll get more into that later), but these are considered like a “gift card” or “cash” to the store. So don’t get these confused with “store coupons”.

-Also from time to time you may get emailed promotional coupons like “$5 Off $20″ or what’s called “Total Purchase” coupons. CVS also allows you to use one (or more depending on your total) of these in conjunction with your other coupons and store coupons. If you use one of these, you can apply it BEFORE coupons which is great!

Walgreens: “When purchasing a single item, Walgreens accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable Walgreens coupon(s) for the purchase of a single item, unless prohibited by either coupon offer”.

-Walgreens also offers many types of store coupons:

-They have “in-ad” coupons that are located in the sales ad.

-They also have “coupon booklets” or “instant value coupons” that are located near the ads.

-You may receive Total Purchase coupons from time to time for Walgreens. Walgreens is a little different in the way that they accept coupons. If you did have a Total Purchase coupon (let’s say $5 Off $15), then you would have to give this over AFTER all coupons have been applied. As with CVS and Rite-Aid, it’s BEFORE coupons.

-Many people have problems “stacking” at Walgreens and trying to use their store coupons with manufacturer coupons. You can use (1) manufacturer coupon with any applicable store coupon(s). Here’s a pretend example:

Cheerios on sale for $3

-Buy (1) Cheerios = $3

-Use $1/1 Cheerios manufacturer coupon

-Use $1/1 Cheerios (in-ad coupon)

Final Cost = $1!

Here’s an example of where Walgreens was actually promoting using the Instant Value Coupon AND a manufacturer coupon:

(Thanks for the pic WildForWags!)

*Another problem that people run into is with trying to use a manufacturer coupon,  an “in-ad” coupon AND an Instant Value “IVC” coupon. It’s pretty rare that there would be a coupon for the same item in both the ad AND the coupon booklet. But it does happen. Like we talked about above, the wording coupon(s) means that if you did have any other store coupons, you could also use those. Your mileage may vary on doing this, but we will talk more about “how many” coupons to use at Walgreens later, because they do have special requirements in their coupon policy.

-Walgreens “Register Rewards” can also be used in conjunction with these coupon deals, but they are NOT like CVS or Rite-Aid. The Register Rewards (RRs) are considered a “manufacturer” coupon. We will look at this later, and how you can use these in scenarios :)

Rite-Aid: “More than one coupon can be used on the purchase of a single item under the following conditions”:

-All coupons match the items being purchased

-The total of the coupons is equal to or less than the selling price of the item before sales tax.

-No more than one “48” Rite Aid Valuable coupon, one “49” Rite Aid Manufacturer coupon, and one “5” Manufacturer

coupon can be used on a single item.

-Rite-Aid also offers multiple store coupons:

-In-Ad coupons. These are in the ads, and some may say “manufacturer” on them, but they clearly say “Good at Rite Aid” or some wording like that. They also have a unique barcode that usually begins with “RC49″. That’s why in the coupon policy excerpt above, they mention the “49″ Rite Aid Manufacturer coupon.

-Valuable coupons. These coupons can also be found in the ads or on Video Values. These are usually an “X” amount off any item. They begin with a UPC of “RC48″

-Video Values coupons. These are coupons that are also labeled at “manufacturer” coupons, but are really Rite-Aid store coupons. You can go to Video Values to sign up to watch short advertisements on products and get store and manufacturer coupons. These coupons usually begin with an “RC49″.

-Total Purchase coupons. As we talked about above, you may sometimes get a Total Purchase coupon. With Rite-Aid these can come from ads, your receipts, or through the Video Values program. These begin with an “RC48″. But what’s awesome about Rite-Aid is that they allow you to use your Total Purchase coupon BEFORE coupons. It’s limited to one per transaction. Here’s the coupon policy excerpt about the Total Purchase coupons:

- Rite Aid may feature total purchase coupons which discount the total purchase amount based upon meeting specific
requirements. For example, $5 off a $25 purchase price threshold coupon.
-These coupons are accepted under the following conditions:

-The coupon is valid and in date; only one total purchase coupon per transaction.
-Total purchase equals or exceeds $25 before tax (before any coupons are applied).
-Coupons for individual items can also be used including another “48” coupon that is tied to an item in the
-Provided the total of items purchased is equal to or greater than the purchase requirement, other coupons can
be used in conjunction with the total purchase coupon.

*So all in all, you can use (2) store coupons: (1) “48″ coupon, and (1) “49″ coupon + (1) manufacturer coupon one ONE item! THEN if you had a Total Purchase coupon, this could be applied as well!!

*One other thing is that Rite-Aid has a rewards program (which we will get into later) called +UP Rewards. These are VERY similar to CVS’s ECBs. These can also be applied to the total and are considered like cash to the store or a gift card. These come on your receipts. These are not counted as “stacking.”

-So let’s do an example for Rite-Aid (this is a pretend example):

Cheerios on sale for $3, and you need to buy a box of diapers which is $17. Here’s how it works:

-Buy (1) Cheerios = $3

-Buy (1) Box of diapers = $17

= $2o sub-total

-Use $5 Off $20 Total Purchase coupon (that begins with “48″) that you received from watching Video Values.

=$15 Sub-Total

-Use $1/1 Cheerios manufacturer coupon

-Use $1/1 Cheerios in-ad coupon that begins with an “RC49″

-Use $1 Off any item coupon also found in ad that begins with “RC48″

Final Cost = $12 for Cheerios and a Box of Diapers

*You could have also used coupons for the diapers, but I just kept it simple here.


Walmart only allows (1) coupon per item. They don’t typically have any “store” coupons, but you may find some. If you did, the coupon policy states that you can only use one coupon per item.

Walmart does have some great perks to shopping there though, like accepting competitors coupons and giving overage! We will talk about Walmart later on.

Grocery Stores

Many grocery stores also have their own store coupons. In their policies, it will stat whether you can “stack” coupons or not. Most that have these store coupons should allow it, so check and see.

Electronic Coupons (E-Coupons)

Electronic coupons are coupons that are downloaded onto your shopper loyalty card and either taken off at the register OR deposited into an account after you buy that item. These are also coupons. They are considered manufacturer coupons.

There are many programs that offer E-Coupons that we talked a little about in our Day 4: Where to find coupons.

Sometimes you will find that you are able to find an E-Coupon for the same item that you have a paper manufacturer coupon and a store coupon for. While the store might allow you to stack the paper and store coupon, using the E-Coupon as well is technically against the manufacturer’s coupon usage agreement. This is because these E-Coupons are also considered manufacturer coupons. And while the store might not know that you also used an E-Coupon, most of these E-Coupon sites frown against using them in conjunction with other paper manufacturer coupons.

If you had a store coupon, then they are okay with you using the E-Coupon with the store coupon usually.


Stacking is a wonderful way to increase your savings drastically! Combining sales, manufacturer coupons, AND store coupons can get you cheap or even free items at times! The only thing that may take some learning, is learning each store’s coupon policy. This is necessary because as you can see each store has different policies on how they handle manufacturer AND store coupons. We will definitely be going into more detail on specific stores in this series!


Stay tuned for Day 6!






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