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Reader Mail: E-coupons and Confused Cashiers

It's time to answer some questions from readers like you who are learning to Super-Coupon:

Dear Jill,

I never knew that I could stack a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon that I clipped from the newspaper. After picking up this tip I learned from you, I am already saving a lot! Here's my question. One local grocery store I like publishes its store coupons in the weekly flyer. Another store puts them on its Web site, which somehow transfers them to your store card. How does this work? Is it worth trying?

Dear Shopper,

Many grocery stores offer store coupons that can be electronically loaded to your store's shopper loyalty card. Here's how it works.

If your store offers electronic coupons, visit the store's Web site and look for the coupon area. You'll be prompted to input the number of your shopper loyalty card. If it's your first time visiting the site, you may also be asked to register for a free account. Once you sign in, a list of current coupons will appear.

At some grocery chains, the coupons that appear on your screen are tailored to you, based on your purchase history collected through use of your loyalty card. If you've purchased diapers in the past you might receive discounts on other baby items. If you've purchased pet food you may see coupons for pet treats and supplies. You also may receive discounts for a brand that competes directly with a product that you purchase regularly. At other grocery chains, all Web site visitors are offered the same selection of electronic coupons.

Regardless of how a store determines the assortment of coupons available to you, loading them onto your shopper's card is quite simple. Typically, the store's Web site either loads all of the available coupons to your card automatically or it will prompt you to click the specific offers you'd like to add. Once they're added, you're ready to shop! You don't even need to print the page from the Web site; the discounts will register automatically when your card is scanned at the register.

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