Understanding Coupon Matchups | Learn to Coupon

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There are many different ways that blogs do coupon matchups.  You might not see the same format on each blog.

There are several items that you will find in most matchups:

  • The Product
  • The Price of that Product
  • Coupons you can use with that product
  • The price of the product per unit you will pay for that product after your coupon
Product: Breakstones Cottage Cheese
Price: Price on sale is $2.50
Insert: This is where you will find the coupon. The SS stands for Smart Source and you can find it in the May 22nd, 2011 insert.
Expiration Date: This is the date the coupon expires.
Price after coupon: This is the price you will pay after coupon




An example with a printable coupon:
coupon matchups
Product: San Giorgio Pasta
Price: Price on sale is $1.00
Printable Coupon: This is a coupon you will print online.
Price after coupon: This is the price you will pay after coupon

To help you get a better idea of what a matchup means, here are some common matchups:

Example A:

Starbucks Bagged Coffee – $6.99
Use $1.50/1 Starbucks Bagged Coffee, exp. 6/30/11 (SS 04/17/11 #2)
$5.49 after coupon
Example A shows a straight forward matchup. It has one product listed with one coupon listed. This coupon matchup is telling you:
You would purchase (1) Starbucks Bagged Coffee at a price of $6.99. You will use one coupon for $1.50 from the 4/17 Smart Source. You will pay out of pocket (OOP) $5.49 at the register.
Example B:

Stonyfield Organic Milk Half Gallon – $3.49
Use $0.50/1 Stonyfield Organic Milk printable
or use $1.50/1 Stonyfield Organic Milk printable
or use $1/1 Stonyfield Organic Milk Half Gallon printable
or use $0.50/1 Stonyfield Organic Milk Half Gallon printable
as low as $1.99 after coupon

Example B shows a coupon matchup with multiple coupon options. This type of matchup is not suggesting you use all of the coupons. The OR USE means you may choose one of the coupons. The as low as is the lowest price you would pay. You would pay this amount if you used the highest value coupon.

You would purchase (1) Stoneyfield Organic Milk at a price of $3.49. You will use one coupon. If you choose the $1.50/1 printable coupon, you will pay $1.99 after coupon.
Example C:

Nature Valley Granola Bars – $2.50
Use $0.50/2 Nature Valley Granola Bars, exp. 6/25/11 (SS 05/01/11)
or use $0.50/2 Nature Valley Granola Bars, exp. 7/16/11 (SS 05/22/11)
$2.00 after coupon

In example C, there are multiple coupons shown. You would choose one of the coupons. Because the coupon requires a purchase of two, the price shown is each, when you buy 2. The coupon is also doubled {per the stores doubling policy}.Once the coupon is doubled, you get $1.00 off the purchase of two, making them $2.00 each.
Example D:

Hamburger Helper $1.00
use $.75/3 printable coupon
Get $2.00 OYNO Catalina wyb 3
Free after coupons & Catalina

In example D, there is a catalina involved in the transaction. The coupon requires you to purchase (3) Hamburger Helpers to get $.75 off. The coupon will also double to $1.00.

Your transaction would look like this: Purchase 3 Hamburger Helpers. Use $.75/3 coupon at register. You would pay $2.00 out of pocket (OOP) at the register. You would receive a $2.00 OYNO Catalina, making your total effectively free.

Example E:

Morningstar Farms- $2.99
Use $1/1 Morningstar Farms Product printable
and use $1/1 Morningstar Farms Target Coupon
$.99 each after coupons

In example e, you are using two coupons together, one store and one manufacturer.  When you see use and use , this is suggesting that you can use BOTH coupons on one item.  You will purchase (1) Morningstar Farms for $2.99. You will use both $1.00/1 manufacturer coupon and $1.00/1 Morningstar Farms Target Coupon. You will pay $.99 at the register.


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  • cheryl

    What is a catalina

  • Meagan

    Where do I find extra inserts?

  • Bobbi Jo

    How do you know a head of time what the catalina coupon will be or even when one will print?

  • deborra

    is their any kind of notice on sales & coupons that can ?be sent to my e-mail

  • Katie

    Hi everyone!!

    I’m new to this site. It looks like there are lots of wonderful savings available. Can someone help me out with this site and where to begin? Just drop me an email.

  • Sherry

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post this has been very informative. Thanks

  • Danielle

    I write the date in permanent marker on my inserts top left outside cover. I file them with the newest date on top and then clip as I need them. Makes life sooo much easier since I started doing that ; )

  • Amber

    I always wondered how the heck to tell what date a Smart Source or Redplum was from. I try to cut my inserts up and file them as soon as I get them, but that rarely happens. What usually happens is I end up with a stack of inserts three inches high!! When a deal came out, I would pull every smart source out of the pile and leaf through it to find the coupon. BUT, I just discovered (by reading another poster) that the date is actually listed in tiny, tiny print on the spine of the insert. So- readers if you are unsure of the date on your insert check the spine!!! This has helped me soooo much. Now I don’t feel a ton of pressure to cut them all up now either!!!

    • I have an expandable file folder that I put each date worth of inserts in a section. That makes it easy to find the right one, too. I will write the date on the front with a Sharpie if I remember so I don’t have to look at the tiny print. :-)

    • Anonymous

      if you look on the outside edge of the insert you will find the date.