July 11, 2011

The rules have changed...

TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” is changing the rules of the coupon game for the rest of us as retailers update their coupon policies to prevent consumers from buying hundreds of dollars of groceries for almost nothing. Here’s how some retailers and a manufacturer have changed their coupon policies. 

Rite Aid – Amended its policy to allow just one buy one, get one free (BOGO) coupon per pair of items. Previously, shoppers could combine BOGO offers to take home both items for free. The drugstore also limits shoppers to four of the same coupon, and managers can further restrict the quantities if an item is running low. No more 87 bottles of mustard for free!

Procter & Gamble – This manufacturer now limits consumers to four of the same coupon per shopping trip for P&G coupons. It’s counting on retailers to impose the new rule. That means you will have to make more trips if you have more coupons.

Target – Like Rite Aid, Target amended its policy to allow one BOGO coupon or sale per pair of items purchased.

CVS – Changed its policy to only accept one manufacturer’s coupon per item. CVS does not double or triple coupons. If you want to read its complete policy, you’ll have to requesting a copy via email as its policy is not online.

Publix – This grocery store accepts one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon (or a store coupon from a rival) per item. Previously, some locations had allowed “triple stacking” by using all three types of coupons.

Wal-Mart – This store is now by far the most coupon-friendly. It recently eliminated per-transaction coupon limits and will also offer a credit if the coupon value exceeds the item price. It also matches competitor’s prices. I wonder if more episodes of Extreme Couponing will be shot at Wal-Mart and if the chain will see an influx of hard core couponers.

Walgreens – This drugstore will begin cracking down on coupon bar code fraud. Some shoppers are using coupons on single items intended for larger quantities, one way to save a bundle. Walgreens is working to combat this fraud by adopting a new type of bar code that holds more data.

Albertsons – Effective July 17, Albertsons stores will no longer be offering its Twice the Value coupons in their stores at Customer Service. The only way you will be able to obtain these valuable coupons will be through the Sunday papers. Additionally, Twice the Value coupons will be discontinued for Montana and Wyoming.

Will these new policies restricting coupons (in most cases) change the way you shop? Or will hard core couponers merely make more trips, and get back in line more often?

Thanks Yazmin of Bargain Babe!

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