I have had several wonderful friends (thanks - Angela, Hannah, & Melinda) share their stories of some new coupon policies. So I called the stores myself!!!
Kroger's states that they will now only accept 3 printable coupons (of any kind) per transaction. I specifically asked if that meant 3 printable coupons per item (say...3 printable toothbrush coupons and 3 printable spaghetti coupons) - she said "no." You can only use 3 printable coupons in the WHOLE shopping trip!!!
Apparently there has been fraudulent use of printable coupons and therefore the current restrictions. I could be VERY upset with these changes - but I am choosing NOT to be. I actually don't rely on a lot of printable coupons for my shopping. My strategy of how I organize my coupons may actually help you in this situation.
In the last post I described how I organize my coupons (usually on Sunday) into snack-sized baggies for each store. This strategy might help with the printable coupon restrictions because if you had to make an unexpected trip to town you could always stop in at Kroger's and pick up a few things (making sure to not use more that 3 printable coupons)! Your coupons will already be organized and ready to go!
On a positive note, I have heard that the printable coupon powers-to-be are working on adding a separate barcode to printable coupons that would electronically number each coupon so that people CANNOT photocopy printable coupons and get away with it!!! Maybe things will get better when this new system is fully developed!!!
I also wanted to double check with Walmart to see if their policy has changed. When I call they said that they currently do not have ANY restrictions on the number of printable coupons you can use. Now, with this said, I was questioned the last few times I have used printable coupons there. After talking with the cashier, I have developed some tips for using printable coupons at Walmart:
1. Do not try to use more that 2 printable coupons that are the same.
Most people know that when you find a printable coupon that you like that you can print it once and then hit the back button and print it again. There are ways to legally print more of the same coupon - like using a different computer to print 2 more coupons. But cashiers are trained to be suspicious if there is more than 2 of the same printable coupon.
2. Print coupons in color!
I usually print mine in black and white, but the cashier told me that when it is printed in color then they are almost sure it was printed and NOT photocopied. That seems like something easy I can do differently in order to save some hassle at the checkout line.
3. Limit coupons used at each shopping trip!
It seems that this one is a little contradictory to how couponers usually do things, but just hear me out. I usually get questioned on the shopping trips that I plan to use a coupon for every item I buy. The more coupons (regular and printable) that I have the more scrutiny I receive. So by having my coupons organized early in the week in my baggies - I can simply pick up items that have coupons with them as I end up at Walmart (which is more times a week than I would like there to be!) - then just doing "coupon" shopping trips where I like to get most things for free!
I hope this information helps! Thanks for everyone who let me know of the changes! Please feel free to email or message me with any situation you want me to know about or discuss!!!