DOUBLE COUPON: A store coupon that doubles the value of a manufacturer’s coupon
Double coupons are the primary way we are able to get free or almost free food and household items in the Pacific Northwest. You can only double a small amount of manufacturer’s coupons per transaction at any PNW store, so it is inevitable that you will be doing multiple transactions, especially if there is a fantastic deal running on something your family regularly uses.
When talking about double coupons, I’m always asked how many transactions someone needs to do. The answer: As many as you want and no more than that. It all depends on how much you want that item at that price, how much energy you have and, mostly for me, how much your children will cooperate (read more about how I make couponing work in my schedule).
Here are some strategies that I have used in the past to do multiple double coupon transactions:
- I sweetly as my cashier if I can do two transactions if there isn’t a line.
- I do one transaction, put the bag in my cart, grab another deal’s worth of items, and hit the register again. I’m a wimp and usually go to a different cashier.
- I shop with my husband and we each do a transaction or two.
- I go out after the kids are in bed or on a Saturday and do a couple of transactions at a couple of stores. I may do this a couple of nights during the sale, especially if the deal is really good.
- I send my husband off to work with a ready-to-go transaction in a Ziploc baggie (shopping list, coupons, doubles, and exact cash — usually $.32) and he does a deal or two while he’s out. The “list” usually consists of 4 items, so it’s really not complicated or time-consuming. Plus, my husband is pretty sharp and can handle doing a deal on his own.
- I errand trade with a couponing friend — one babysits the kids while the other does a few deals and then we trade.
- I keep my coupon box/pouch with me at all times and stop by a store if I happen to be kid-less or my kids are especially agreeable at the time.
There are two stores that double manufacturer’s coupons in the Pacific Northwest: Safeway and Thriftway.
SAFEWAY: Safeway offers double coupons in Oregon and SW Washington only. They do not offer double coupons in Western or Eastern Washington or Idaho.
The Safeway double coupon is found in Safeway’s weekly ad that is released on Wednesdays. There are always extra ads in a display at the front of the one of the entrances and/or the customer service desk. The double is located at the bottom of one of the inside pages and looks like this:
This one piece of paper is what we refer to as a “Safeway double coupon.” Here are specifics about Safeway doubles:
You may double up to 4 manufacturer’s coupons per transaction with this double coupon.
You may only use 1 double coupon per transaction.
Each manufacturer’s coupon may be doubled up to $.50. For example:
- A $.35/1 coupon will be doubled to an additional $.35 off = $.70 off one item.
- A $.55/1 coupon will be doubled to an additional $.50 off = $1.05 off one item.
You many not double “FREE” coupons, which includes BOGO coupons.
You may not double “internet” coupons. Some stores and some cashiers will double internet printable coupons without hassle. Just depends on your store (all Safeway store managers have final discretion over coupon policy, so if he/she allows it, go for it!).
You may not “make money” using a double coupon. You can get an item for free. For example:
Colgate Toothpaste on sale $1
Use $.75/1 coupon
Use Safeway double (-$.25)
FREE after coupon & double
In this scenario, the cashier is supposed to double your coupon to an additional $.25 off, not $.50 off. Otherwise, you’d make $.25 “buying” the toothpaste. Again, some cashiers will allow overage.
You cannot manufacturer’s coupons that state “DO NOT DOUBLE.”
THRIFWAY: Thriftway also double manufacturer’s coupons in Oregon for sure, not positive about Washington. Thriftway double coupons are located in the weekly ad and function similarly to Safeway double coupons.
Read more from The Ultimate Guide to Couponing in the Northwest here.
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