Wichita on the Cheap

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Coupons 101

Many readers of Wichita on the Cheap are interested in learning more about saving money with grocery coupons. I’d like to give an outline of the basic concept and address a few common questions here.
Stacking, Matching, and Stockpiling


Stockpiling is buying more of an item when it is really cheap. Experienced couponers think ahead and try to purchase a quantity that will last their families until that item goes on sale again (usually about 3 months). That does not mean you have to buy 800 bottles of sports drinks, unless your family all plays for an NFL team. You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to stockpile, and you don’t want to try to accumulate a stockpile all in one grocery shopping trip. You’ll go broke! The point is to save money with coupons.


Matching and stacking The best way to save with coupons is to match coupons with a sale. Sometimes buying a name-brand product with a 35¢ coupon is still more expensive than just picking up the generic version. But if that name-brand product is on sale AND you have a coupon, you could be getting a great deal. Keep an eye on the store ads to see what’s on sale each week, and browse the printable coupons here at Wichita on the Cheap to see if you can find a coupon to match.


Stacking means using two different coupons on one product–for example, combining a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon–to get the best price. The opportunities to stack coupons seem to be decreasing, but keep your eyes open. They do come around once in a while! It’s important to remember that just because you get a coupon from a store doesn’t mean it’s a store coupon. Some of the ones that print out at the register will say “Manufacturer’s Coupon” along the top. That’s not a store coupon, sadly.

Couponing requires a time investment. I’ve experienced seasons of my life where I’ve had to sacrifice some savings at the grocery store just to get everything done in a day. However, I’ve also met single moms who have 3 kids and 2 jobs and still find time to clip and organize and shop, so I know it can be done. 

Some frequently asked questions:

  • Does Dillons double coupons? They did, until August 20, 2013. Now they will accept coupons at face value, including Internet printable coupons. Their digital coupons and the smartphone app are real timesavers.
  • Does Dillons accept Internet printable coupons? Yes again! Your printable coupons have to be legitimate, of course, with the barcode intact and readable by their scanners. It does not matter whether they are printed in color or black and white. Managers have the right at Dillons to not accept any coupon they think is fraudulent, but I’ve used plenty of manufacturers’ printable coupons at Dillons without a single problem. They’re great about it.
  • Where can I find coupons? Almost anywhere, including the Sunday paper, magazines (especially All You), the manufacturer’s website (and its Facebook page), the store’s website, and right here on this page! I have only the major Internet coupon providers here, including the top three: Coupons.com, SmartSource, and RedPlum.
  • What are digital coupons? These are “paperless” coupons you can load onto your shopper’s card. They are great, but have two shortcomings: 1) They don’t double and 2) If you load a digital coupon onto your shopper’s card, you can’t use a paper coupon for that item. (One notable exception to this is SavingStar!) This is only a problem, however, when your paper coupon is worth more than the digital coupon. But more and more, people don’t want to bother with paper coupons and love the convenience of the digital coupons being loaded onto their shoppers card. Check out Saving Star for additional digital coupon savings.