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Reader Mail: E-coupons and Confused Cashiers

Ready for the best part of electronic coupons? Because they're tied to your shopper's card they function as store coupons, so you can "stack" manufacturer coupons on top of them for even bigger savings. If you have a $1 electronic coupon for apple juice and add a manufacturer's 50-cent coupon you'll save a total of $1.50.

Dear Jill,

Do you ever have problems with cashiers? I went to the store yesterday with some coupons I printed from the Internet and the cashier told me they didn't take Internet coupons. But I printed the coupons right from the store's own Web site. Is there anything I can do?

Dear Shopper,

I've heard this question from other shoppers. I, too, have gone to the store with a fistful of Internet coupons, ready to slash my grocery bill dramatically, only to hear "We don't take Internet coupons." This can be frustrating to a shopper who knows that the store has always taken them in the past and, as you said, the store offers the printable coupons on its own Web site.

So what's a shopper to do? The answer can be found in the store's own coupon policy. Many stores publish their coupon policies online so that shoppers can read them before coming to the store. If your store doesn't have its policy online e-mail them and ask for a copy or ask for one at the customer service counter when you visit the store.

Coupon policies are a shopper's best friend. They outline almost everything you could ever want to know about coupons. Does the store double coupons? Does it accept Internet coupons? Are there limits on how many coupons a shopper can use? Armed with these answers, you'll be better prepared to shop at your favorite store. In many cases, you'll also learn what I suspect is true in your case - that the store does accept Internet coupons (especially if the store offers them on its own site!) It appears that your cashier was simply confused about the store's policy.

(c) CTW Features

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her Web site, www.super-couponing.com. E-mail your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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