By ERIN TURNER
It has been a winning week in my house!
First, our family’s beloved Dallas Cowboys (no nasty comments, please!) started the week with a superb win, my oldest son’s Little Grizzly football team won yesterday, and finally, we all rooted the Grizzlies. To top it all off, I got the news that there were Albertson’s double coupons in the paper this week. What a winning streak!
Many of you die-hard couponers know the value of Albertson’s double coupons and take advantage of this opportunity when it rolls around every couple of weeks or so. However, many of you don’t know how to draw up a game plan and execute a winning deal with doublers. So, I decided to devote this week’s blog to explaining the basics of double coupons.
Unfortunately for us in Missoula and the surrounding area, Albertson’s is the only grocery store offering double coupons. Albertson’s offers these coupons which are actually called “Twice the Value” coupons (also called Double Coupons or Doublers) in the local Sunday paper. They no longer offer them at the door so you need to be sure to get extra copies of the Sunday paper on the weeks the double coupons are available.
Double coupons are exactly that: They double the amount of the value of any manufacturer coupon up to $1.00 (any coupon amount $0.01-$1.00). So, if you have a coupon valued at $1.00 off one item, Albertson’s will take $2.00 off instead. It is as dreamy as it gets for a super couponer!
But if you have a coupon for $1.01, they will not double it. This is an Alberston’s promotion and they are paying for the extra discount. The manufacturer still gets the original value of their coupon while Albertson’s covers the additional amount. There has been some controversy over whether or not you can use a coupon which states “Do Not Double” in this promotion.
In fact, my dear husband and I even had a “lover’s quarrel” over this in an aisle last year—can you imagine?! There we were, standing in the cereal aisle, and he says, “Erin, you can’t double that coupon because it says Do Not Double at the top of the coupon.” Wanting to be appreciative that he wants to coupon with me, I gently say, “No, it’s alright. We can use it.” He disagrees again about the coupon. Really?! Is he really questioning ME about couponing?!
Well, suddenly our Couponing Date became ugly. Lucky for us, a nice young fella was quietly stocking shelves next to us and he hesitantly leaned over and said, “Umm, yeah… it doesn’t matter if it says Do Not Double. We take them all.” I have to admit the truth, despite teaching my kids to always be gracious winners, I failed that day at being a good winner and yup, right there in the cereal aisle I did my own little version of the touchdown dance!
Okay, back to coupons – The only other basic policy you need to know about double coupons is that Albertson’s only takes 3 doublers per transaction. But they are kind enough to let you do up to 3 transactions at a time. (Learn more about Courteous Couponing.) Out of respect for the clerks and fellow shoppers, I chose to only do 2 transactions at a time.
This usually means I have 3 items in the first transaction and then 3 more items in a second transaction. You can come back to the store multiple times during the promotion if you have more doublers. Typically, these double coupons are valid from Sunday to Tuesday, although I have seen them show up in their Wednesday ads, too.
To show you how to score some winning deals using double coupons, I have put together a few match-ups based on this week’s sale and the coupons I have clipped.
Granola Thins–$1.88 each when you buy 5
Use 3 double coupons with 5 manufacturer coupons (from the GM insert Sept. 11) for 75¢ off one box. Three of the boxes will be 38 cents each while the other 2 will be $1.13 each. Averaged out, each box will cost 68¢ each!
Yoplait Yogurt—10/$6.00 (or 60¢ each)
Use 1 double coupons with 1 manufacturer coupons (GM insert Sept.11) for $1.00/10. After doubling, pay 40¢ each!
Arm and Hammer Laundry Detergent–$3.99 each (Buy 3)
Use 1 double coupon with 1 manufacturer coupon for $1.00/3. After doubling, pay $3.32 per bottle!
Better Oats Oatmeal–$1.25 (Buy 3)
Use 1 double coupon with 1 manufactuer coupon for $1.00/3. After doubling, pay 58¢ each box!
I could list 100 more match-ups but I’ll spare you! I was so overwhelmed with all the coupon inserts in this Sunday’s paper that I was literally bouncing in my chair as I was matching sales up to all those coupons. Then to throw in doublers was even more exciting!
In order to get the most out of your double coupons, you need to spend a little time researching the weekly sale and finding the coupons to match with the sale. Then be certain you are buying the correct amounts (e.g., in the General Mills sale this week, you must buy 5 items). Also, if you are buying other items with coupons and want to use the doubles for specific items, be sure to indicate to the clerk which coupons you want doubled.
Super Couponers recognize double coupons as a significant way to reduce their weekly grocery budget. By taking advantage of Albertson’s double coupons, you can save 75% or more. I usually use double coupons to get all my pasta noodles, ketchup, plastic bags, mustard, and soy sauce for free. If you haven’t tried using them, I really encourage you to try it this week – it’s the perfect week to start!
Double coupons are like any good football team; with some good coaching, lots of practice and a definite game plan, you will be ready to score some great deals and come home a winner. Go Team!
Enjoy this blog? You might also like Erin’s previous posts on Blessing Bags of Love for Missoula’s Homeless, Back to School Budget Meal Planning, or Back to School Shopping on a Budget. AND, be sure to check out the “Missoula Save it Club” on the MakeItMissoula homepage (see the Daily Missoula Fix buttons in the left navigation bar) for savings updates throughout the week!
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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.