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The Coupon Lady: Use coupons at big box stores, too

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Over the last month, I have covered the coupon policies of some of the biggest grocery chains in the area. So far, I have shared the policies of Bi-Lo, Kroger, Publix and Food Lion. However, these stores are not the only places where one can shop for groceries.

Many people buy groceries at big box stores such as Walmart. Deals can be had if you know how to look.  JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
Many people buy groceries at big box stores such as Walmart. Deals can be had if you know how to look.

Many people shop at big box stores, getting everything they need at one place to save time and money.

Today we will look at Walmart. The store was established in 1962 by Sam Walton. According to its Web site, Walmart serves customers more than 200 million times per week at more than 10,130 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries. In the Augusta area, we have five Walmart Supercenters and a Sam’s Club in a 30-mile radius.

Walmart has an extensive coupon policy available online at www.walmartstores.com/7655.aspx. I recommend printing out and keeping this policy in your coupon binder or folder.

Walmart accepts Internet printable coupons with the following conditions: the coupon must be legible, must have the words “manufacturer coupon” printed on it, must have a valid remit address for the manufacturer and must have a valid expiration date. If it is a “buy one get one free” coupon, it must have a specified price (or maximum value); they are acceptable in either color or black and white, and they may not be duplicated. You may use more than one Internet coupon, but each must have its own authorization code. Walmart will not accept print-at-home coupons for free items that require no purchase.

Walmart accepts checkout coupons, also known as “Catalinas,” under the following conditions: They can be printed at any competitor’s registers but must be for dollars/cents off a specific item. The Catalina must contain the words “manufacturer coupon” and have specific item requirements printed on it. It must also have a valid remit address, a valid expiration date and a scannable bar code. They are acceptable in black and white only; no duplications are accepted. They do not accept checkout coupons for money or percentages off the entire purchase.

Walmart accepts manufacturer coupons that are for dollars and cents, for free items (not from the In­ter­net), and buy one get one free coupons. Coupons must contain “manufacturer coupon” on the item, have a valid address, have a scannable bar code and be within the expiration date.

Walmart also accepts competitor coupons for a specific item for a specific price. For example, it would accept a competitor coupon for a specific cereal for $2.99. Walmart also will accept buy one get one free coupons on items with a specified price. The coupon must have a valid expiration date. The store will not accept coupons for dollars or cents off at a specific retailer, a percentage off, or a buy one get one free competitor coupon without a specified price. Walmart will not accept double- or triple-value coupons.

Walmart also price matches, meaning it will match any sale price as long as the ad is in date and mentions a specific price. This is a great way to take advantage of a deal that might not last long. It also keeps you from having to go back to see if an item is in stock if it sells out.

Don’t forget about the Web site: check prices between the store and online. Sometimes it is cheaper to order something online and pick it up in the store free. The Web site is also a source of coupons and samples. Those samples sometimes contain high-value coupons.

Walmart is different from traditional grocery chains because it does not participate in sales cycles. Being aware of price differences from store to store is essential to saving. Sometimes the better bargain is at the grocery store, but there are deals to be had at Walmart if you know where to look.

Coupon class

A free coupon class with Carol Gunter will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at The Augusta Chronicle News Building, 725 Broad St. Seating is limited; to reserve your spot, log on to smartshopper426.eventbrite.com or call (706) 823-3318 and leave your name, phone number and number of seats requested.


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