Politics, Rules and Restrictions for Coupon Stacking in Canada

A typical shop for frugal Canadians would include using a few coupons on grocery items. Couponing has become a serious sport in the past twelve months with television shows, newspaper articles, & Facebook pages all promoting how to save more money with savvy tips and tricks. With Canada just recovering from the last recession, people are more aware of where their money is going, and are reluctant to dish out more than they have to. A common saying amongst couponers is “ Why pay for something, when I can get it for free?

There is almost a science as to how to get hundreds of dollars worth of house hold groceries for free.  Don’t be fooled by what some may tell you.. it does take time to understand, and learn how to coupon properly, and to get the best bang for your buck. Most experienced couponers know what a rock bottom price is, and will hold onto their coupons till they see the sales that they are long awaiting for. Most sales cycles are anywhere from 1.5- 3 months.

Over the past year, manufacturers have become more strict on the restrictive wording that is printed on their coupons. Before the spring of 2011, pretty much all coupons could be stacked, and very little had restrictive wording.

In the spring of 2011, P&G coupons (Proctor & Gamble) began printing “Use of more than one manufacturer coupon per product purchased is strictly prohibited”. This prevented couponers from stacking these coupons at popular stores in Western Canada like London Drugs. Now all P&G coupons are known for their non-stacking abilities.

More recently, statements like Cannot be combined with any other COUPON offer have been found on various coupons, not all specific to any one Manufacturer, Insert, or web page. It seems to be pretty random.

Companies that make certain products like “Finish”, “Scrubbing Bubbles”, and “Aveeno”, are now requesting that stores such as London Drugs not stack their coupons due to the overwhelming interest, and sheer amount of coupons that are being redeemed in the western provinces.

In order for manufacturers and retailers  justify “coupon stacking” the retailer needs to sell one of the same products at the regular price per coupon used. If one store is not selling enough products at the regular retail price, the manufacturers will discontinue reimbursement of coupons to that retailer for those products.

Stacking coupons in the western provinces at stores such as London Drugs, Overwaitea, Pricesmart, Coopers, Urban Fare, and Save On Foods has become ever more popular in the past year. Customers have been able to “stack” coupons to get groceries for pennies on the dollar by combining various coupons printed by different sources. Manufacturers are now catching on to this trend and altering the restrictions they print on the coupons they distribute.

Stacking coupons can sometimes be confusing and intimidating if you don’t know or understand  all the rules, policies or restrictions.

Here are some basic guidelines on how to recognize if a coupons is “stackable”:

  • Each coupon that you use has to have a different bar code in order to make it “different”. The value, picture, and expiry date can all be the same, but the bar code or upc code must be different.
  • Each coupon that you would like to stack must be all for the same product, & size
  • Coupons CANNOT state..” “Use of more than one manufacturer coupon per product purchased is strictly prohibited”, or  Cannot be combined with any other COUPON offer”.
  • Total value of coupons combined cannot exceed the value of the product (before taxes). Some stores will adjust the last coupon in order for the dollar value not to exceed the shelf price, but others will not. You will always have to pay the tax.

Each retailer has the right to refuse coupons. Some stores have policies in place to restrict usage of printable coupons, or restrict the acceptance of printable coupons up to a dollar value. Ie: coupon cannot have a value greater than $3 if it is a printed coupon. This restriction is in place in order to protect the stores if they accidentally accept  fraudulent coupons, therefore not being reimbursed.

Here is a listing of the coupons that we have found with restrictive wording other than P&G Coupons:

Websaver

  • Special K Fruit Crisps
  • $1 Eggs
  • Kellogg’s special K

Save.ca

  • $2 Vector Cereal
  • $4 Folgers k-cup
  • $1.50 One a Day Products
  • $0.50 cents All bran bars
  • $1 Kraft Shredded Cheese
  • Buy 2 Get 1 Free cereal

Inserts

  • $1 Colgate 360 toothbrush
  • $1 Wonderful Pistachios
  • $1 M&M’s
  • $0.50 Colgate Total
  • $1 & $2 Disney Vitamins
  • ALL Natures Bounty Products

Tearpads

  • $3 NeoCitran
  • $0.75 Redoxon
  • $1 Ricola
  • $1.50 Folgers silk or K-cups
  • $0.75 Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express *sides or risotto
  • $3 Buckley’s Complete
  • $1 Nestea 1.75 lt chilled product
  • $2 Flinstones
  • $1 Tropicana Trop50
  • $1 on any Battery pack from Energizer
  • Free Whiskas Temptations with purchase of (1) Whiskas Dry food for Cats

Booklet Coupons

  • $1 Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • $1 Folgers Coffee
  • $0.50 Robin Hood Oats
  • $0.75 Crisco
  • $1 Smuckers
  • $1 Adams Peanut butter
  • $0.60 Eagle Brand Milk
  • $1 Europes Best
  • $1 Robin Hood Flour
  • $1 on Bertolli Olive Oil
  • $0.25 Snack Pack
  • $0.50 Eggos
  • $2 Complete Contact solution

Cereal Box Coupons

  • $1 Special K Fruit Crisps
  • $1 All Bran Bars
  • $1 Mini Wheats

This list will surely expand to include many other coupons throughout the year. Please be sure to check your coupons for restrictive wording before attempting to “Stack” them at your local store.

**Check this list periodically as I will update this list as needed when coupons with restrictions are found.

Profile imageAuthor: Jackie Casey on February 1st, 2012. I love couponing, and am hoping I can share some new ideas and inspire others to start saving too. "Saving money is a priority, not a hobby." When gas prices are going through the roof, and cost of groceries are sky rocketing, couponing is just as important to me now, as any other job.

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