LJWorld.com weblogs Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie

When it Comes to Sales and Coupons, Know Before You Go


You would think after two years of rather intense couponing that I would learn to follow my own advice: Call ahead to make sure a sale is being offered at your location, read the fine print to make sure you know what you are doing, understand the stores' coupon policies.

I have copies of all the coupon policies available to me in my binder. I understand how the stores work - sometimes I can even help the new cashiers figure out what they are doing! So why would I try to work deals at a store without completely understanding changes to their policy? Yeah, I asked myself the same question.

Last week I posted about the deal on Juicy Juice at Target. It was a great deal! I went to great lengths to get myself, my kids, all of my coupons AND my Dillons sale flier to Target before Tuesday when the Dillons sale ended. This was all so I could price match. I bought my juice and headed over to customer service to have the price matched. I was rather proud of myself because the venture appeared to be going off seamlessly. What happened next was NOT amusing: They wouldn't match my price. It seems rather silly when you think about it ... there was only a 31-cent difference in price; but I had purchased eight, and then it starts to add up. The problem was in the fine print; both Dillons' and Target's. The "sale price" on the juice at Dillons read "With Card" ... meaning when you use your Dillons card. The fine print in the Target price matching policy, which I failed to read, states that sales using membership loyalty cards are excluded.

I could have saved myself so much trouble, waited an extra day and gotten the same deal. Why am I publicly outing myself for this coupon faux pas? To make the point that it really is important to prepare yourself before you shop. Read the coupon policies, pay attention to when changes are made and don't assume you know how something works.

I teach people to keep copies of the coupon policies for the stores they shop readily available. This is mainly for reference if you run into a cashier who doesn't understand and you need to back yourself up. It also serves to remind us that we need to know what we are doing.

And though it should go without saying, if there is a misunderstanding when you are working with coupons, whether on your part or the part of the store, remember that we are all human and mistakes are made. Be polite, be kind and work with the people around you. Everyone will have a better shopping experience in the end.


Julie Jacob 7 years, 9 months ago

Nice post Jenn. Now, can you get us a copy of the Dillons coupon Policy? I've asked and can never get a real copy....

SuperJenn 7 years, 9 months ago

I would LOVE to get you a copy but alas, it doesn't really exist. I've also tried and what I've been told is that the policy differs from store to store and it is really up to each store manager. Not much help, I know. Your best bet if you have a particular question is to talk to the manager on duty. They are pretty receptive to questions. Of all the stores in town, I've found the most helpful and "coupon-friendly" staff at Dillons.


fabian_zimbabwe 7 years, 9 months ago

Uh oh, cue AlfVenison and his predictable and tired commentary berating folks trying to save a few bucks. While I confess I don't clip coupons, I do appreciate the spirit and intent of this LJW feature.

LadyJ 7 years, 9 months ago

So has any noticed the Hy-Vee ad on Kraft Macoroni and cheese? LOL They have it in both the 2-day and the 4-day sale flier. In the 2-day sale (Thurs and Fri) it is $.58 and in the 4-day sale (Thurs thru Sun) it is $.39. So make sure when you go in you ask where the 4-day ones are and don't get the 2-day ones even though they are exactly the same. I assume they mean you can get 3 (limit) 4-day ones at $.39 and then 6 (limit) of the $.58 2-day ones. Ipm hope I said all that right, they have me confused.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 9 months ago

I finally got my 99 cent/lb ribs at Hy Vee last week (with Rain Check). I talked to the guys at the meat counter when they had that sale and they said they were wiped out clean and wouldn't get any more in for more for months. They weren't kidding. I don't think there was a limit on that sale. Wonder if people from Bigg's and Biehmers went in first thing in the morning that day and cleaned 'em out?

Since then, I think they seemed to catch on that some sales need a limit so there's enough to go around without people getting ticked when their shelves are bare.

I get those 'personalized' coupons in the mail from Dillon's. In my mind, the ones marked 'store coupon' have to be used at Dillons, but if they're marked 'manufacturer coupon', you can use it anywhere. Even if the coupon has the Dillons logo on it. So I take a few in to Hy Vee and I thought the young lady at the check out was going to stroke out. She insisted that they wouldn't 'work' because they were Dillons coupons. I told her to do me a favor and humor me and try to scan them and see what happens...sure enough, they scanned up just like any other coupon would.

Katara 7 years, 9 months ago

Hy-Vee used to take manufacturers' coupons with other stores' names on them but they changed their policy a couple of months ago. My favorite cashier told me they were told they could no longer accept any coupons with another store's name on it. He said that they will still scan because they are manufacturers' coupons but that the big wigs had decided not to accept them. He thought it could be difficulty in Hy-Vee getting reimbursement from the manufacturers with another store's name on it but said it was just his theory.

Katara 7 years, 9 months ago

That's too bad about the price match. I wonder if that was recently changed?

I was able to do the Juicy Juice deal without any issues. I've also price matched a couple of other items from Dillon's flyers but I don't do it often. I usually want to have a trip already planned for Target and have a TQ for the product + a MQ before I consider it. :)

That kind of bites and takes the purpose out of price matching. What good does it do to offer it if you are going to put tons of conditions on it?

Looks like Hy-Vee, Checkers & Aldi are going to be the stores you can price match at Target.

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