Reader Question: Can I Stack That?

Coupon stacking.. seems to be a confusing concept – even for the cashiers. So when can you stack?

Jennifer H says: stacking coupons, especially using the printed ones with the ones from the paper.

Each store has its own policy, but I am going to show you when you can’t stack – ever. You cannot stack 2 manufacturer coupons on the same item. To keep it simple, we are going to use a printed coupon and a newspaper coupon as an example.

These two coupons are both manufacturer coupons.  Even though one is an internet printable and one is a insert coupon, you cannot combine them.  These coupons are the same coupon, in fact they have the same bar codes on them!

Why? The manufacturer is paying (reimbursing) for both of these coupons.

Can I use $.50/1 and $1.00/2 on two products?

No you can only use $1.00/2 – think of it like this -each coupon attaches to an item.

Are there some hints to when a coupon is a manufacturer coupon?

These hints are true 80% of the time. There are some crazy coupons that don’t fit the mold.

1. They have a barcode that starts with 5 or 9.

2. They have a remit to address spelled out.

3. They are not specific use at one store.

When can I stack?

There are lots of stores that have their own coupons, i.e. store coupons, that are not being reimbursed by the manufacturer.  They are more like store discounts. I will cover some specific store stacking in a separate post.

Why do you list 4 or 5 coupons under one grocery item in your matchups?

This is to give you options. Since we don’t all get the same or have the same coupons, you can pick the one you have.

What are some of your questions about stacking?


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  • tina

    Can I use a Safeway Catalina that says mnfr coupon with a mnfr coupon from the newspaper or is it that you can only stack a catalina if it is -$xx off your next purchase?

    Also the Targets in Sacramento do not adjust down coupons. I’ve tried them all. Does anyone know if this is against corporate coupon policy? Sometimes the will take -$1 off of a .99 cent trial item and sometimes they won’t. It drives me insane

    • Shannon

      @tina,

      Tina, Right you can only stack the $$ off $$.

      Also Corporate policy does not say they have to adjust down at Target. Some just wont do it.

  • Busy Mama

    The Kroger e-coupon will come off in addition as the mfr Q – this is a great way to get items free or with overage. It’s like getting a triple coupon, after the paper coupon doubles. However, the coupon is only valid on one item and you are unable to load it again until it resets.

  • Nicole Pulliam

    I’m seconding Lori’s question…with an additional bit. How can we possibly know if the electronically loaded Q’s are manufacturers or store coupons?

  • Nicole Pulliam

    I was doing just fine with this until Target.com started combining with the regular coupon posts. Not too long ago, every coupon posted on Target site, was a store coupon (SIGH)

  • Nalu Penny

    Thanks for posting this! Short, Sweet and to the point!

  • Alice

    Every place i’ve gone you can stack a manufacturer and a store coupon. If you had tried to used a publix and a target with your manufacturer coupon it wouldn’t work because Publix and Target are both considers store coupons. Only allowed to use one or the other at a time.

  • brandy

    i’ve been able to use a BOGO and $$ off of one of the items…99.9% of the time I have no problem.

  • Lori

    My Big ? Is: Coupons the you load to a card, ie, Kroger. I’m referring to the Kroger ecoupons (not ones like cellfire). This has had me so confused. If you’re familiar with the Kroger card, there are tons of items available up to 150 (with expiration dates) that you can add to your Kroger card when you register & sign on. Now, when I go there with my mfr Q, will they both come off or is it one or the other?
    THANKS for your Patience!!! :)

    • Shannon

      @Lori,

      Hmm good question – I am going to say that they will come off – however, this is one of those gray areas. Let me ask one of my friends who is very familiar with Kroger.

  • Julie

    What about the coupons from the CRT at grocery stores? I am guessing not as they do say manufacturer coupon and the barcodes appear to begin with a 9. I was just wondering because they are store specific i.e. for purchase at Weis or Giant only and it would be great if I could use those in addition to a regular coupon.

    Thanks for all the info!

    • Shannon

      @Julie,
      They are manufacturer coupons :)

  • Megan

    I had an issue today, i’m not sure if it’s stacking or not but they told me it was combining offers. At Shoprite I bought 2 Jack Daniels BBQ sauce and had (2) .55 manufacturers coupons and then had a $1.00 off of meat when you buy 2 Jack Daniels BBQs. The register didn’t allow it and the manager said that I couldn’t do it because the coupon is from Jack Daniels and I’d already used a coupon on those. I thought that the coupon was being used for a different item, the meat, so it was okay. Have you run into this before?

    • Shannon

      @Megan,

      It could be that the coupon attached to the Jack Daniels – so you could not use another coupon since you had used 2.

  • carrie c

    for a bogo coupon, can you use two $x off coupons for each of the products as well?

  • Dee

    The only stacking that confuses me is when you have a coupon for Free wyb xxx and whether or not you can use a coupon on either of those items (like the gillette or old spice in the inserts in June). Or those coupons that say xxx free wyb 2. I think I have figured out the rest, it is just these that confuse the hell out of me. Thankfully there aren’t too many of these!

    • Shannon

      @Dee,

      These are a topic of much debate. This is referred to as piggybacking coupons.

      Here is what I have found – its totally YMMV as to whether or not it will
      a. work with the register due to coding.
      b. your cashier will allow it.
      c. how you look at it — is the coupon attaching to an item that already as a coupon.

      is that clear as mud :)

  • Shalena

    My question is related to Publix. I was told that I couldn’t stack a Publix coupon with a Target coupon. I know you can stack manufacturer coupons with the Publix coupon but why not the Target one, it is considered a competitors coupon. Please help me with my confusion.

    • Shannon

      @Shalena,

      Isn’t it considered another store coupon and not a manufacturer coupon?