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Welcome to the Couponing 101 for beginners series. Check out what you may have missed HERE.
Now Big Box stores are stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart. They are stores that sell food, pharmacy and just about anything else you can think of. Some people will use this classification for Sears, Kohls, Toys r us, Babies r us, and office stores too. For this post I will cover mostly Wal-mart, Target and Kmart and little of the other stores too.
Wal-mart’s sales are called ‘Roll Backs’. In some areas they will put a flier out of these sales and other areas wont. Also their prices vary GREATLY by region. One thing i can’t stand about Wal-mart is that they don’t honor their online coupon policy, but their policy doesn’t change by store BUT by manager on duty. So i suggest going to the store manager or email him/her and getting the coupon policy and use THAT one and if a manager on duty give you hassle tell them it came from the store manager, So-and-So (use his/her name). Some stores have no problems but more often then not i have seen this problem and this is the best way to fix it and get the great deals.
Now with that said you can get some OK deals here(nothing like grocery stores). Most Wal-mart stores will price match competitor ads. This means if their prices is $2.99 but store X is having a sale that week for $1.50 on that item they will adjust the price to $1.50 if you bring in the ad. You need to ask your store what stores they consider competitors this will vary by stores based on what stores are close. The normally will not honor a 25% off or Buy 1 Get 1 Free, or buy X get Y free sales.
Generally Wal-mart will not allow overage on coupons, where the item is $0.97 and you have a $1 coupon most stores will give you that $0.03 overage, where Wal-mart wont. They will adjust the coupons down, they will beep at the checkout telling the cashier to adjust the coupon. Wal-mart will NOT competitor coupons. They also don’t put out many store coupons and they do NOT allow 1 store coupon and one manufactures coupons per item it’s one OR the other.
Wal-mart is one of my favorite places to find discount holiday stuff. They have low prices on the decor to begin with and then after the holidays when it hits 90% off WOW! The down side is this stuff goes FAST! Now they go a lot of Christmas gift sets and you can use coupons on them! The Olay, Gillette, Old Spice Gift sets you are able to use their coupons for, even once they hit their clearance prices!
I know this past Christmas Gillette had a Gift set with their ProGlide razor, a full size Fusion shave gel, a full size deodorant and a few samples. To buy the items separately they were almost $20! There was a $4 coupon out for the ProGlide razor you were able to use. Once they hit clearance there were marked down to $4.99, use the coupon and people paid $0.99 for 3 full size products!!
If you are looking to buy a big item (furniture, large appliances ect) take a look at what they have in store, then check online, they don’t match their online prices and you can generally get a better selection, and cheaper price online and get free shipping by having items shipped to store and picking up in store.
Target is a more upper class version of Wal-mart. They have better customer service and better quality items and it comes a slightly higher price. Many Targets are now becoming Super Targets and offering grocery stores. If yours changes watch your mail, when mine changed it sent out a bunch of coupons for a month including free bread and produce!
One way Target compensates for high prices is offering Target Coupons on their website. You CAN use a a store coupons AND a manufactures coupon. On top of that they just added mobile coupons! Target puts out store coupons in the Sunday paper and in many magazines too!
Target also price matches, but you can NOT use a store coupon on a priced matched item.
They also offer several promotions each week buy X and get a $5 gift card. Example
Huggies or Pampers Jumbo-Pack Diapers and Training Pants $8.99
Buy 3, Receive $5 Target Gift Card
If you buy 6 packs you get 2 gift cards ect. You can use coupons on these deals to make them even better. The Gift cards are Target’s version of Catalina coupons but you get an actual gift card that doesn’t expire!
Target does Holiday sales as well and random toy clearances that they don’t announce so once word get out they are gone FAST!
Target’s customer service is nice and if you ever have a problem (snarky cashier or an issue not taking coupons) you can call corporate and they ALWAYS make it right!
Kmart has the least amount of deals out of the 3 but they do offer several double dollar coupon days a few times a year. They will double up to $1 most times $2 coupons.
They do offer store coupons in their ads or at the bottom of you receipt. They also have a ‘Shop Your Way Rewards Card.’ That can be used at Sears ect. You get a point for every dollar you spend and those points equal cash off a future purchase. This card is free to get and use.
Get more info HERE.
They only allow 1 coupon per item. You can NOT use a store coupon AND manufactures coupon. They do also have Catalina deals.
Office Supply Stores
These are stores like Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot. They all have their own members card and offer different deals.
They generally have some kind of reward for recycling your empty ink cartridges, i know staples gives you $2 to use per ink cartridge you recycle, max 10 per month and you get 1 coupon per quarter of how many you recycled to use on a future purchases. It generally expires in a month or 2.
These stores have the BEST back to school sales offering items for a penny, rebates and more! They do accept coupons on products they carry.
Other Big Box Stores
Clothing stores like Kohls offer name brand clothes at a discount and when you can find stuff can clearance with a 20% off coupon you can get some great deals.
Toys R Us and Babies R Us are run by the same company and you can often find them in the same store. During the Black Friday rush you can find some great toy deals. You can also get some great sales on diapers and baby food if you watch and match coupons.
All in all i don’t recommend doing you regular grocery shopping at stores like Wal-Mart and Target but they are great to get some deals at and a great supplement to you regular weekly shopping.
Homework: Find out what stores are in your area, which ones are closest to you and if it’s worth a special trip each week or if it’s a store you will visit only if you pass by. Get familiar with that store. If it’s a Target then take at look at their store coupons and get set up for mobile coupons!