Today’s Thursday Thoughts is actually a Q & A session. I have received a number of questions via e-mail about couponing and other grocery saving techniques in the last few weeks so I thought I would share some of the questions and my answers. If one person had the question, my guess is that there are others who may have the same question as well. If you have anything to add to my answers, please share your thoughts. If you have a couponing/grocery shopping question, this is a good place to ask!
“Got a quick question for you. I received some awesome coupons from Conagra foods and Food Lion last week. On the coupons it has Food Lion's symbol and the MVP card logo. On the actual details on the bottom it doesn't say can only be used at Food Lion. Do you think I could use these at another grocery store? Thanks for your help.” - from Amanda
If the coupon has “manufacturer's coupon” written on it, then there are some stores that will take it - but not all. If it does not state “manufacturer's coupon”, and the coupon is for a specific product, nobody else will take them but Food Lion. Your mileage may vary on this one. Most stores do not take competitor’s manufacturer coupons for specific items if there is a logo of another store on it.
I spoke with both HT and Lowes Foods today and the HT customer service person said they will not take those types of coupons because they are considered competitor’s coupons. The Lowes Foods person said that is it usually up to the managers for these types of coupons. In the end, it’s best just to ask at the store.
FYI - HT and Lowes Foods take competitor's coupons from other stores for money off your total purchase (like $4 off a $40 purchase coupon).
“One of the software programs (and I think it is Smartsource) keeps telling me I have already printed my limit of a certain coupon (like the Tone coupon from your list this week) and I have never printed it.” – from Terri
If you are usually able to print Smartsource.com coupons, it is probably because they have run out of prints for this coupon. If you can never print from Smartsource, it is probably because your computer firewall is blocking it and you may need to lower security settings to print these coupons (if you are comfortable doing that). Here is some information from the Smartsource.com website:
Frequently Asked Question:
A message says I already printed offers that I didn't
Answer (from smartsource.com website): SmartSource coupons usually have a print limit of 2 times on any one computer. If you share a computer with other users, they could have used those prints already. Also, offers can expire if the total number that the manufacturer made available has been met. This can be the case with popular items.
“I know Lowes Foods will only accept 20 coupons per day. The question I have is: are the in-store coupons considered towards the 20 coupons, or only manufacturer coupons considered towards the 20 coupons?” – From Jason
Good question and you will love the answer! They will double up to 20 coupons per day - you can use as many as you want total, but only the first 20 that are .99 or less will double. The store coupons do not count towards the 20 because they are not doubled.
“I have been trying to find a good coupon website and just haven't had much luck. I do not receive a daily/weekly newspaper to clip coupons from the ads, so I was wondering, are any other good sources for coupons out there?” – from Lisa
There are many places to find coupons for the products you use. The Sunday newspaper has a good variety of coupons, but you can also get coupons from friends, neighbors and co-workers who have gone through their coupons, online at printable coupon websites, through coupon clipping services that charge a handling fee and by calling companies directly. Check out the article I wrote about finding coupons through the link in the box above for a number of other ideas on finding coupons for the products you use.
“Do you have a published list of what is a "good price" to pay for common grocery and personal care items?” – from Jessica
I do have a list of buy prices for commonly used products. It is located on the front page of this blog in the section with the 5 boxes of information. Click on the box that reads “Best prices for grocery items” to see the list. The link is also at the top of this post.
Thanks for your questions and keep them coming! As I always say, it's your money - spend it wisely!