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Double the Savings, Double the Fun

I've mentioned before that dollar sales paired with dollar coupons are one of my favorite ways to get free items at the grocery store. Another easy way is through double-coupon promotions.

Double-coupon promotions are exciting! Many stores will match a coupon's face value and pass the savings on to you, the shopper. Some stores double coupons every day, while others run special double coupon promotions certain days of the week or times of the year. In some cases, stores may even offer triple-coupon days. Regardless of how your stores handle double coupons, they are a great way to save even more money and get items for free.

Here's how coupon doubling works. If you have a 50-cent coupon, the cashier will scan it at the register and give you $1 off your item. Coupon doubling becomes even more fun when the doubled value equals the value of the item you're buying. Let's say you are buying a 2-liter bottle of soda that was on sale for a dollar. With a 50-cent coupon doubled to $1, your bottle of soda is free! The store matches the coupon's value of 50 cents and you pay nothing.

So what happens if your doubled coupon value exceeds the cost of the item? During a recent double-coupon sale at a major retailer I purchased a $3.50 bottle of shampoo. I had a $2 coupon; the store doubled the coupon's value to $4. Now, as I've mentioned in a previous column, many stores do allow what couponers call overage, when the value of a coupon exceeds the cost of an item. In the case of overage, the extra value is applied to the rest of your total. However, stores that double coupons typically do not give overage. In this instance, the $2 coupon would double to a $4 value, but since the item is $3.50, the store will "adjust down" the value to match the cost of the item, making it free.

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