Couponing at the world's biggest grocer
Since I began writing “Super-Couponing Tips,” I have avoided naming names. My column runs nationally, and my readers patronize many different stores, from Piggly Wiggly in Alabama to Price Chopper in Massachusetts, from Red Apple on the West Coast to Giant Eagle in the East.
But when they send email and ask questions about coupons, my readers name names. And I receive more questions by far about coupon policies at Walmart stores than I do for any other chain. So, this week and next, I'll set aside my “no names” policy to answer the most-asked questions about the world's largest grocer.
Using coupons at a Walmart shouldn't be much different from coupon-shopping anywhere else: use coupons, save money. Simple, right? But Walmart's coupon policy has some differences that are worth exploring.
DEAR JILL — Is it true that you can get cash back for a coupon overage at Walmart? I'm afraid to try to do this but I'd love to. — Glenda F.
DEAR GLENDA — Absolutely! Coupon overage occurs when the value of your coupon exceeds the cost of the item you're buying. Here's Walmart's policy: “If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase.”
Just this week, I purchased a 32-count bottle of aspirin at Walmart for $2.22. I had a $3 coupon for any aspirin of this brand, 20-count or larger. Since the coupon exceeded the cost of the aspirin by 78 cents, I was entitled either to receive that extra money back in cash or to apply it to another item in my trip. I bought a pound of apples for 98 cents, and the register automatically applied the aspirin coupon overage to the bag of apples. I paid 20 cents for everything.
DEAR JILL — I heard that you can use Catalina coupons at Walmart, but they don't have Catalina machines in the checkout line. How does that work? — Sandi W.
DEAR SANDI — While Walmart does not offer the instant coupons that print at checkout, it does accept this type of coupon issued other retailers, with a few restrictions. This is also covered in Walmart's coupon policy. Walmart will accept Catalina coupons offered by a manufacturer for a specific product. The coupons must have a scannable bar code, remittance address and an expiration date.
For example, Walmart would turn down a Catalina coupon issued by another store for $5 off your next order. However, Walmart would accept a competitor-issued $1 Catalina coupon for a name-brand box of pasta.