Save at the Supermarket: Know Your Coupon Freedoms

A couple of weeks ago, I bought 2 bottles of Juicy Juice apple juice for $1.79 apiece at Kroger as part of their buy 5 get $5 off event.  After I was finished checking out, a catalina printed out a $1.50 off coupon.  (Catalinas are the coupons or offers that print along with your receipt after you check out.) 

At first glance, I thought it was $1.50 off more Juicy Juice, so I made a mental note to go back to get this same deal and apply this coupon to get an even better per-item price on this apple juice.

But as I looked at it more closely, I saw that it stated that it was $1.50 off your next purchase, compliments of Juicy Juice.  I then looked at the top of the coupon and it said, “manufacturer coupon.” 

Here’s what this told me.  (1) off your next purchase means I don’t necessarily have to buy that item, and (2) manufacturer coupon means I don’t have to use it at Kroger, despite the logo being there.

So here’s what I did.  A few days later, I went back to Kroger and bought 2 more bottles of Juicy Juice (along with 3 other items in the Buy 5 Get $5 off event), and I did not use the coupon.  Why?  If I had used the coupon on the Juicy Juice, it wouldn’t have printed out another coupon (same rules as Walgreens Register Rewards).  After my purchase, it printed off another “$1.50 off your next purchase compliments of Juicy Juice” coupon. 

So what did I do? I used the coupons at my next Wal-Mart trip! And no, I didn’t buy Juicy Juice there.  I was simply able to apply this $3.00 to my Wal-Mart purchase.  They scanned with no problem because they were manufacturer coupons.

I basically got Juicy Juice Apple Juice for $1.04 apiece, which is far cheaper than even the generic brands.  It paid to know my coupons!

UPDATE: Today (6/25/12) I went to Kroger to get the same $1.79 deal on Juicy Juice. I printed a coupon of $1 off 3.  Even after using that coupon, the catalina printed off a $2.00 off your next purchase.  That ended up making the Juicy Juice $0.79 apiece! Even better!

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