Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coupon Policies: Chattanooga and Northwest Georgia

Knowing the coupon policies for your local stores is a must in order to save the maximum amount of money. Here are some coupon policies for stores in the Chattanooga and North Georgia areas. Don't see your favorite store? Let me know and I'll contact the store for their policy!
Publix stores in the Chattanooga area accept manufacturer coupons and competitor coupons. The stores consider competitors to be other grocery stores, such as Wal-Mart and Food Lion. Drug stores and department stores such as CVS and Target are not considered competitors. In Atlanta and other areas, some Publix stores consider drug stores to be competitors, but it is the store manager's discression to decide on this policy.

Publix will double coupons up to $.50, and will allow you to stack store coupons with manufacturer's coupons! In addition, Publix will allow you to use internet printed coupons (IPQ) in your transactions.

On BOGO (Buy one, get one free) items, two coupons can be used - One for the Buy one item, and one for the Get One item. Because these items ring up at half off, you only need to buy one item to receive the sale price, not two items.

Publix does not match competitor prices, but with accepting competitor coupons and doubling up to $.50, who could complain!?!?

Food Lion will gladly accept manufacturer and store coupons, provided they scan in the register system.

Unfortunately, they decline the use of a single-sided coupon offering a free product (ie an IPQ for a free product), a coupon that has a higher dollar amount than the value of the product, competitors coupons, or if the coupon appears to be computer generated (ie looks home-made or altered), copied, or reproduced. Unfortunately, Food Lion ONLY accepts one coupon per item. This means no stacking manufacturer coupons with store coupons. My tip? Since Food Lion won't stack, take them to Publix where they will take FL coupons AND stack!

Bi-Lo stores in the Chattanooga area double coupons up to $.60 as long as the coupon does not say, "Do not double". While the representative that I spoke with told me that they do not accept IPQs, I have never had any trouble with using them there. It never hurts to try, but just note that they may not accept them.

The stores do not allow the usage of competitor coupons, but do allow you to stack Bi-Lo and manufacturer's coupons. Currently Bi-Lo will not match competitor's sales prices, but that policy is under review and is expected to change soon.

In order to receive sales prices and money-saving coupons, sign up for the Bi-Lo Bonus Card at your local store. It just takes a few minutes to fill out the information and you can start saving right away!

Ingles does not accept IPQs, as it is difficult to differentiate the legitimate from the counterfeit. While they do not match competitor's prices, they do accept competitor coupons and will allow you to stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons.

Ingles will double coupons up to $.50, but there are restrictions. The store will double three coupons, up to $.50, for ever $10 that you spend (before coupons). For example, if you spend $30 you will be allowed to double nine coupons. The cutoff is $150, or 30 coupons doubled.

If you shop at Ingles, be sure to sign up for your very own Ingles Advantage Card so that you may enjoy their sale prices and receive store coupons!

Kroger (Dalton area) stores accept IPQs, but do not take competitor's coupons or match competitor's sale prices. The representative I spoke with confirmed that they will not stack Kroger store coupons with manufacturer coupons. I have been to some Kroger stores that will allow this, so it is best to check with your local store just in case!

Kroger doubles coupons up to $.50 with no limit on the amount of coupons you can use.

You can sign up a Kroger Plus card, which will allow you to receive sale prices, receive coupons, and even save money on gas at Kroger fuel centers!CVS will accept IPQs, but will not accept competitor coupons. Their Pharmacy will match competitor prices, but regular merchandise is not subject to price matching. While CVS does not double coupons, you are able to stack CVS coupons with manufacturer coupons.

The only way to receive CVS coupons, called ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) is to sign up for a CVS Extra Care Card. These ECBs typically print at the end of your receipt, after you buy the item listed on sale. ECBs are designed to be used on your next CVS purchase. If you use these just right, you can roll them over throughout many purchases to receive TONS of savings!

To find out which items will give you ECBs, look in your local CVS sales ad. Most items have purchase limits, which are tracked using your CVS Extra Care Card.

For more information on using ECBs, visit: KingdomFirstMom's CVS $5 Challenge or TheCentsibleSawyer's CVS FAQs.

Walgreens stores accept IPQs, but do double coupons, match competitor prices or accept competitor coupons.

They will allow you to stack Walgreens coupons with manufacturer coupons. Walgreens coupons can be found in two places. The first place to find their coupons is in their weekly sales ads. Secondly, Walgreens coupons can be found in their monthly savings books. A rebate section can also be found in their savings book.

Every so often Walgreens offers (RR) Register Rewards, which work much like CVS ECBs. The only stipulation is that if you use a RR on a transaction that would otherwise give you another RR. For example, say Walgreens is offering a $5 RR when you buy 2 Dove soaps, and a $4 RR when you buy any 1 Maybelline mascara. Say you buy the mascara and receive a $4 RR. If you use the RR on your next transaction, the 2 Dove soaps, you will not receive the $5 RR from the soaps. If you save the Maybelline RR and do NOT use it on the soap transaction, you WILL receive the $5 RR, leaving you with 2 RRs totaling $9. I hope that makes sense - it gets confusing!

Rite-Aid stores in the Chattanooga area will accept online coupons, but do not double coupons or accept competitor coupons. However, Rite-Aid will allow you to match competitor sales prices. You can also combine Rite-Aid Coupons with manufacturer coupons to further your savings.

Rite-Aid also has a monthly rebate book that you can pick up in-store, although there is a rebate limit depending on the item.

K-Mart coupon policy coming soon.

Target coupon policy coming soon.

Wal-Mart does have a corporate coupon policy (below), but I just want to point out that your Wal-Mart may do price matching. Not all of them do, so it is best to check on the one in your area. If they don't, find one that does and go there instead! Don't forget to bring the sales ads of the prices you want matched :)

Taken directly from Wal-Mart's site, Walmart's Corporate Coupon Policy:

Wal-Mart accepts the following types of coupons (see guidelines below):

  • Manufacturer coupons (Cents Off)
  • Free merchandise (or manufacturer's Buy-One-Get-One-Free) coupons
  • Store coupons
  • Pharmacy (Advertising and Promotional) coupons
  • Internet coupons
  • Soft drink container caps

The following are guidelines and limits:

  • Wal-Mart only accepts coupons for merchandise we sell and only when presented at the time of purchase.
  • Coupons should have an expiration date and be presented within the valid dates. Wal-Mart will not accept expired coupons.
  • Internet coupons should be legible and say "Manufacturer Coupon." There should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer and a scannable bar code.
  • Only one coupon per item is permitted.
  • Use of 40 or more coupons per transaction will require approval by Customer Service Manager.

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