Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Defining and Combining Manufacturer and Store Coupons

A manufacturer coupon is a coupon, which is issued from the manufacturer. Most of these come from the coupon inserts in the Sunday paper. You can also find manufacturer coupons in home mailings, internet printed coupons, blinkies, tear pads and peelies. You can easily identify a manufacturer coupon because the words ‘manufacturer coupon’ will be printed on the coupon, usually next to the expiration date. Manufacturer coupons also have a double, divided bar code.

A store coupon is a coupon issued by a particular store for use only at that specific store. Most store coupons can be found in the stores weekly ads, but occasionally you can find them in other places. Some stores, such as Food Lion will have store coupons you can print out online by going to their store website. The way you can identify these coupons is because they will say ‘store coupon’ on them and will have the store name on them. In addition, these coupons will have a shorter, single set bar code.

Now that we have clarified the difference between store coupons and manufacturer coupons, did you know most stores would let you use both store coupons and manufacturer coupons, together, on one product. Store coupons are kind of like a sale, except you need the coupon to get the sale price. An example would be that if your store has a coupon in their weekly flyer for Macaroni and Cheese for .69 cents and you have a manufacture coupon for .50 cents off macaroni and cheese – you could use these both together to get the box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for .19 cents.

There is always an exception to the rule and a Catalina is just that. Catalina’s are the coupons that print out with your receipt next to the register. Catalina’s will have the store name on them and usually say something like ‘redeemable only at ‘your store name.’ However, at the top they will also say, manufacture coupon. I have never quiet figured this out because if it were a true manufacture coupon then you would be able to redeem it anywhere, at any store. However, if it were a store coupon – why would it say manufacture on it? The barcode on a Catalina is also consistent with a manufacture coupon and not a store coupon. The downfall is (in my experience) that you cannot use a Catalina with another store or manufacture coupon. They can only be used alone.