When done the right way, discovering how to stack coupons can go a long way to helping you save on your household and grocery bills. What’s even more appealing is that you can use coupon stacking to get deals on hotels, flights, and entertainment.
However, finding coupons online and learning how to stack them appropriately can seem tedious, and you might get to save only a little. Understanding store coupon policies and what types of discounts to stack is what you need to know.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best ways to stack coupons and get the best deals.
What exactly is coupon stacking?
Coupon stacking is when you use two or more coupons to buy one item or multiple items in a single transaction. It basically involves using a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon. However, you can also layer rebates, loyalty program discounts, and gift cards to rack up your savings.
It’s worth noting that stacking coupons is quite different from doubling coupons. Doubling coupons is a store promotion strategy where the value of a manufacturer coupon gets doubled up to a certain amount under $1. For instance, if you have a coupon worth $0.50 and your local store lets you double coupons up to $0.50, you’ll end up with a coupon worth $1.00. This strategy mostly works at grocery stores, and it’s very regional.
Types of coupons
There are two main categories of coupons — manufacturer coupons and store coupons. Understanding how each works and where to find them is vital for knowing coupon stacking possibilities.
A manufacturer coupon is issued by the company that creates a certain product. You’ll always find “Manufacturer Coupon” written on the coupon itself. For example, Procter & Gamble (P&G) issues coupons for Pampers. When you buy Pampers diapers at a store and give a manufacturer coupon that reads “$3.00 OFF” to the cashier, you get the discount, and the store gets reimbursed that $3 by P&G.
You can find manufacturer coupons:
- Inside Sunday newspaper inserts
- On brand websites
- In retailer and brand apps
- On coupon websites
A specific retailer will provide a store coupon and can only be used in their stores. These coupons come with an indication for the store, such as a “CVS coupon.” Unlike manufacturer coupons, the stores absorb the cost of these coupons.
You should note that some retailers place restrictions on the number of coupons you can use on each transaction.
You can find store coupons:
- On coupon websites like CouponFollow
- When you register to receive emails from a specific retailer
- When shopping online or in-store
- In the Sunday newspaper
The basic rule of thumb is you can combine one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon to buy an item. However, you usually can’t use two store coupons or two manufacturer coupons on the same product.
Online coupon codes
When shopping online, you’ll likely see coupon codes that offer the following types of discounts:
- $X OFF codes: These coupons offer a fixed dollar amount off your order and can apply to a single product. (e.g., “$30 OFF”)
- X% OFF codes: These coupons provide a certain percentage off and can apply to select items or your entire order. (e.g., “50% OFF”)
- Shipping: You can get free or discounted shipping on your order with these coupons. (e.g., “FREESHIP”)
- Bonus item: These coupon codes add a gift to your order with certain purchases. (e.g., “FREESHIRT90” and you’ll receive a free shirt with a $90 purchase)
What’s different about stacking coupons online vs. in-store?
In-store coupon stacking has been around for a while, but it’s a new ball game online. Most sites have algorithms that discourage buyers from using more than one coupon.
Let’s break down what in person and online coupon stacking look like.
In-person coupon stacking
When shopping in person, these are the basic ways you’d stack coupons and maximize your savings:
- Use a store coupon + a manufacturer coupon
- Use a store coupon + a manufacturer coupon + store loyalty program discount
- Use a store coupon + a manufacturer coupon + rebate
- Use a store coupon + a manufacturer coupon + rebate + discounted gift card
You’ll want to make sure that you pay special attention to store policies when stacking coupons in person. Some stores may allow you to stack unlimited coupons — while others will place a limit. Do your research at the stores in your area to learn more about their couponing rules.
Online coupon stacking
When you’re shopping online, you should note that most stores don’t let you stack multiple coupons on a single product. You can usually use multiple coupons to save on a complete order.
Coupon stacking online depends on the retailer’s specific requirements when it comes to applying multiple coupons. You can usually use a coupon on a product that’s on sale, buy discounted gift cards, and use online loyalty points or rebate apps.
How to stack coupons online at these popular stores
To help you understand how to stack coupons online effectively, we’ll use these top retailers that allow you to use coupon stacking.
Kohl’s website lets you use up to four coupons per order. The combinations it allows include:
- One sitewide percentage-off coupon such as 15% or 30% off any purchase
- Any department-specific percentage-off or dollar-off coupons like 20% off kids’ clothes
- Any dollar-off coupons such as Kohl’s Rewards or Kohl’s cash
Gift cards and Kohl’s Merchandise credits are not considered coupons. They can be applied to your final order total, provided you redeem a maximum of four of either per order. Similarly, a free shipping coupon can be applied.
Note that this kind of coupon stacking can only apply to items that aren’t on the exclusions list. Be sure to stick to your desktop instead of your phone or app because you’ll only be able to stack two coupon codes on mobile.
The online coupons from Walgreens are usually related to photo items. It also allows coupon stacking to help you save on beauty and health products.
Walgreens allows coupon stacking if you’re applying coupon codes for different products, for instance, one coupon code for 33% off designer fragrance and one coupon code for 20% off Crayola. However, it doesn’t allow coupon stacking for products in the same category. For example, photo gifts and ornaments fall under the same category.
Walgreens also allows you to apply only three offers in the cart, including product credits and promo codes. You can use manufacturer coupons for your online purchases as well as in-app digital coupons. Note that coupons from the online Weekly Ad only get applied in-store.
Michaels allows you to stack online coupons, provided you apply only one coupon to the product. Consequently, you can only use one type of coupon per transaction, such as:
- One regular price item
- Entire regular price purchase
- Entire purchase including sale items
As of March 27, 2020. Michaels stated that it wouldn’t accept competitor coupons. It’s also worth noting that you can’t use coupons on your Bulk Buys purchases.
Banana Republic, GAP, and Old Navy
Banana Republic, GAP, and Old Navy have the same coupon policies and don’t allow in-store coupon stacking. However, their online shops allow you to use a maximum of five codes per order. For example, if you have a 30% off coupon and a free shipping promo code, you can use both.
You can stack coupons at LOFT online by signing up for their email newsletter and getting a coupon code worth $25 off instantly.
If you usually shop at LOFT, consider getting extra perks with the LOFT Mastercard or LoveLOFT. You’ll get a 15% off coupon and 15% off every first Tuesday of the month when you open an account. Get a $20 rewards card whenever you hit 2,000 points and a $15 promo code during your birthday.
At CVS Pharmacy, you can stack email coupons, app coupons, and manufacturer’s coupons. Consider signing up for the ExtraCare account before you start shopping to get cashback for your purchases and access to exclusive savings deals.
BJ’s Wholesale Club
You can stack one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon on any online purchase at BJ’s Wholesale Club. When you shop the WOW deals section on the website, you can get 20% off. You can expect these WOW deals on a weekly or monthly basis. Sign up for their email newsletter, and you’ll receive exclusive coupons sent to your inbox.
Dollar General allows you to use a maximum of two coupons per item — a manufacturer’s coupon and a Dollar General coupon. You have to download their app to get the digital coupons. Some coupons get posted exclusively on the Dollar General Facebook page, so follow them to get access. Dollar General also tends to send coupons via text, but these offers only last a day.
If you’re shopping for office supplies online, Staples offers coupons that provide a discount on your overall order and specific product coupons.
You can stack product coupons with other coupons provided the purchase requirement for each coupon is met. You can also use Staples Rewards online on any order.
Newegg offers discounts on electronics and computer hardware by allowing you to apply unlimited coupons per item. Newegg has sitewide coupons, but they don’t release them often. When they do, these coupons come with requirements plus maximum discounts. Most coupons apply to specific individual products, and you can only use the codes when you enter your email address.
Amazon allows you to use an unlimited number of coupons per order, provided the item you’re buying has a coupon code. Like Newegg, Amazon rarely offers sitewide coupons, but consider getting into Amazon Prime if you’re a regular customer. Prime offers free shipping, and there are coupon codes just for Prime members.
You can search for coupons by product category or by brand, and they get applied automatically. Amazon Music and Amazon Fresh also allow coupon stacking. Consider stacking coupons from third-party sellers as well to maximize your savings on Amazon.
You can save money and spice up your wardrobe at Victoria’s Secret by redeeming up to two compatible offers per order. You can’t use the Pink coupons online, but you can stack coupons with Angel rewards. If your order value is above $100, you’ll get free shipping.
Snapfish helps you save when you sign up for an account by giving you 100 “4-by-6” prints for free. You’ll also get discounts of up to 80%, and gifts start at $12.99.
Target allows you to combine one digital manufacturer coupon, one digital Target coupon, and one Target Circle offer per item. It limits using four identical coupons per household each day.
When it comes to using category and storewide coupons, Target lets you use only one category or storewide coupon per guest for a single item. If you want to redeem more than one coupon for different storewide or category coupons, you’ll have to meet the purchase requirements for each coupon.
You also can’t combine Buy One, Get One Free coupons on two items to get both for free.
Target provides the option to apply cartwheel offers for online orders if you go with the Order Pickup or Drive Up option at checkout. You can stack percentage cartwheel offers with manufacturer coupons and Target coupons. It’s important to check out the limits listed editions under every cartwheel offer.
Coupon stacking tips for the best deals
Here’s a couple tips to follow to make sure you get the most out of coupon stacking.
Make sure your coupon isn't a scam
Be sure you’re not falling into a coupon scam by ensuring that your coupon code has fine print. A legitimate coupon usually includes:
- An expiration date
- Exceptions to the sale
- The exact size of the eligible item — a beauty store may have a sale on a 16-ounce product.
Always read the fine print
Apart from ensuring that the fine print is there, make sure you read it. Some stores may impose restrictions on the types of coupon codes you can stack or even the order. Similarly, consider the number of coupon codes a store allows. Department stores tend to allow ten coupon codes, while grocery stores have higher limits.
Be sure to read the exclusions section to know when the coupon code won't apply to an item.
Register for rewards
Brands usually send coupons to those on their email list. Some of these offers could be single-use coupon codes. Sign up with multiple email addresses to get these unique coupon codes. For example, Kohl’s provides a 10% off coupon for anyone who joins their mailing list.
You don’t have to stop at one store. Join the mailing list of their competitors as well to compare deals and ask for price matching.
Keep your inbox organized by filtering promotional emails in a separate folder. This way, you’ll have all coupons in one place to compare deals and keep up with the expiry dates.
Leverage on rebate apps
Rebate apps help you earn cashback on your purchases for receipts showing proof of purchase for items bought. Unlike coupons that let you save small purchases as you buy, rebate apps reimburse you later with a lump sum for several purchases. What’s even more rewarding is that you can use multiple rebate apps and get more cashback.
Maximize your savings through coupon stacking
Combining multiple coupons on the same order helps you maximize savings. However, you need to know which coupons you can stack and how they can be applied to your purchase.
Be sure to use Cently, an app that automatically applies coupons for you to save you from having to do the tedious process of looking for coupons and comparing them. It also comes in handy if you forget to copy the code at checkout.