Couponing 101: How To Properly Shop Using Buy-One-Get-One-Free Coupons!

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Recently, I came to the aid of a newbie shopper at my local grocery store, who was having trouble using buy-one-get-one-free coupons, in conjunction with store promotions. Her problem seemed basic, but I thought that it would be a great blog tops, or refresher piece for others on my blog. As the phrasing on these deals is so lengthy, so I will refer to the offer thereafter as B1G1 or BOGO coupons! So, here is the correct way to use them:

1) Buy 1, Get 1 Free Coupon:

When a coupon states “buy 1, get 1 free”, it means can use the one coupon to buy 1 item and get another item for free.

Example:

Palmolive Dish Soap @ $2 x 2 = $4
B1G1 Free Coupon
Final Price: $2 for 2 bottles, which would then be $1.00 for each bottle!

2)  Buy 1, Get 1 Free Coupons for 2 Items:

In this model, you will be stacking deals with savings coupons, both a manufacturer and a store promotional weekly deal. Each B1G1 Free coupon attaches itself to 2 products, and because of this, you could in theory receive two free items, or two truly discounted items, as the example below shows:

Palmolive Dish Soap @ $2 x 2 = $4
B1G1 Free Coupon
Final Price: $2 for 2 bottles, making each $1.00.

3) BOGO Coupon with a BOGO Store Coupon:

Mass Retailers, such as Kmart and Target, offer store coupons to their customers. These coupons are not offered by the manufacturer, but are stores; this information will be listed at the top of each coupon and you are generally allowed to print two per computer, per ISP address. You can use both 1 manufacturer coupon and 1 store coupon per item.

Example:

Palmolive Dish Soap @ $2 x 2 = $4
-Use (1) B1G1 Free Store Coupon
-Use (1) B1G1 Free Manufacturer’s Coupon
Final Price: 2 bottles for free, plus applicable tax (you will still pay tax on your free items)

4) Buy 1, Get 1 Free Coupon + Cents/Dollar Off Store Coupon:

Let’s say you are now looking to use a cent off of a dollar coupons, say a $0.50 coupon, instead of a B1G1 Free coupon. If your retailer allows this practice, you would then be allowed to use 1 manufacturer coupon, in conjunction with 1 store coupon for each item.

Example:

Palmolive Dish Soap @ $2 x 2 = $4
B1G1 Free Coupon
Stack your $0.50 Store Coupon
Final Price: $1.50 for 2 bottles, as you are paying $0.75 for each bottle.

5) Buy 1, Get 1 Free Coupon + Buy 1 Get 1 Free Sale:

In this example, which often confuses cashiers and managers (another reason to carry the corporate coupon policy for every store you frequent in your coupon binder), is when you combine a B1G1 coupon with a B1G1 store promotion to get 2 items for free; many stores including CVS and Walgreens frequently have this deal! Please note, you cannot preform this example at Rite Aid due to coupon policy changes implemented in 2013.  I have often had issues at Walgreens with this scenario, but I would suggest that if a cashier won’t let you do this deal, ask for a manager, and if that manager is less than ablidging, despite your coupon policy in hand, do not buy your items, and go to another of their stores!

Example:

Palmolive Dish Soap @ $2 x 2 = $4
Use (1)- B1G1 Free Coupon
Use (1) B1G1 Free Sale Promotional Weekly Offer; be sure to carry a copy of the weekly ad with you as well!
Final Price: 2 bottles for free, plus applicable tax, as you will have to pay tax on your free item as well.

6) Buy 1 Get 1 Free Sale + 2 Cents/Dollar off Coupons:

Let’s say a store is offering a B1G1 Free sale, where you can clearly use 2 coupons on the 2 items you are buying, even though 1 of them is free, you will be able to do this!  Always have your store policies with you, and remind cashiers that all stores will be reimbursed for the coupons they accept, at full value of the items,  not at store pricing, and then most will allow you to do this.

Example:

Dawn Dish Soap @ $2 x 2 = $4
Use (1)  B1G1 Free Sale Promotional Savings
Use (2) $0.50 Coupons, manufacturer or store coupons
Final Price: $1 for 2 bottle, making them $0.50 each, plus applicable taxes, even on free items!

7) Buy 1, Get 1 Free Coupon + Cents/Dollar off Coupons:

This was the example of the trouble the shopper I aided in-store the other day had, and it can be tricky! The woman was attempting to purchase 2 items, while using a B1G1 Free coupon,  plus a cents/dollar off coupon. The store insisted she could not use this method, and for some stores, this is true. However, at many drug stores, excluding Rite Aid, you actually can as in this scenario, the  B1G1 Free coupon attaches itself to 2 products, so if you also want to use a cents/dollar off coupon, and assuming its a manufacturers coupon (only if the coupon does not say it cannot be combined with other offers), you will not need to buy another products, and can use this offer. If stores like CVS, for example, often advertise store coupons which can be used in conjunction with this offer and other coupons. Some shoppers, and bloggers, will say this is unethical, but consider that the store will be reimbursed for three coupons, not just two, and will then be tripling their profit margin, and so this deal is a win-win for you both! Added to this, you can use store percentage coupons off items before coupons are even presented, thus you can add coupons to such transaction, as well as rewards points as well!

For example:

Palmolive Dish Soap @ $2 x 2 = $4
Use (1) B1G1 Free Coupon
Use Your Store Free Coupon
Final Price: Two Free Products, but you will have to pay applicable taxes on both products!

8) I also wanted to share this tidbit as well! When dining out, always try to use gift cards, which can be purchased online or at Warehouse Clubs on discount, and combine these offers with BOGO food deals as well!

Many bloggers like to pass judgment and say that BOGO offers and coupons cannot be combined as they will make stores lose money, and that this practice is an act of fraud toward the manufacturers, but I just wanted to set this theory straight, for as a law student I can honestly say, if stores profit margins were effected by the usage of coupons, they would not distribute them; store and manufacturer alike! The true savings to be found, is not in the use of coupons, nor in the stacking of coupons, but in the usage of coupons combines with shopping the weekly deals! Basic knowledge, skill, and mathematics makes for a happy shopper and stockpiler!

One thought on “Couponing 101: How To Properly Shop Using Buy-One-Get-One-Free Coupons!

  1. Pingback: The Lady Prefers To Save | Couponing 101: How To Properly Shop Using Buy-One-Get-One-Free Coupons!

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