Friday, June 12, 2009

Doublers 101

I figured I should go ahead and do a post all about doublers. As far as I am aware of, the only store around here that offers doublers is Albies. I could be wrong, but I have never read or heard anything to make me believe otherwise. Occasionally Kmart has double days where for a week they will double up to 10 coupons per person per day (up to $2), but so far our area seems to never participate.

So, Albies occasionally (or lately, very often) puts out what are called "Twice the Value" coupons. We coupon moms call them "doublers." They come in sets of two or three either in the newspaper on Sunday or sometimes in their weekly store ad that comes out on Wednesdays. (Since they have had issues with people taking more than just a couple of the ads for these coupons, you can still get the ad at the front door but you now have to go to the customer service desk and ask for the doublers before you shop) These coupons are GOLD! Basically Albies will double the amount of any manufacturer coupon (MC) up to $1.00. For example, say Ritz crackers are on sale for $2.00, I have a $1/1 coupon and a doubler. I can use my $1/1 coupon bringing it down to $1.00 for the Ritz crackers, then I can ALSO use the doubler to take off another $1.00, bringing it down to....FREE! Doublers are so awesome I can't even begin to tell you. I have gotten SOOO many FREE items with doublers.

There is one little catch about these can only use as many as in one set per transaction (so if it's a set of two, you can use two per transaction, if it's a set of three, you can use three). Believe either makes for a LONG trip to Albies (paying, then getting back in line for each transaction you want to do with doublers) or a few different shopping trips. I generally get it all done at once, as I don't like to make any more trips to Albies then I have to, as we don't really live very close. So, for me, that means getting the items I want, getting in line and paying, then circling right back around and getting my next set of items, getting in line and paying again, and so on and so on until I've used all of my doublers. If they come in the newspaper, being that I get five newspapers, that means 5 sets of three doublers. If they come in the store ad for the week, well...that could take me forever! Sometimes I do make multiple trips in the week if I want to use a lot of doublers.

**Update!** Now that Albies has been sending out doublers so much more often (sometimes twice a week, once on Sunday, once with the ad on Wednesday, and sometimes even three times a week because the ones from a previous Sunday will be valid for 10 days!) they have come out with a new policy on doublers. From Sunday-Tues, you can use the doublers from that Sunday's paper in a single transaction. From Wed-Sun, you can use the doublers from the previous Sunday, plus the coupons from the Wednesday ad (usually a total of FIVE!). AND, if there's a week where they send out doublers two Sunday papers in a row and the ones from the first Sunday don't expire for 10 days, then after the second Sunday you can use the ones from the previous Sunday, the ones from the Wed ad, AND the ones from the second Sunday! Usually for a total of SEVEN doublers in ONE transaction! Talk about a jackpot!

One little note about doublers, when you cut them off of the ad, leave them in their set of two or three. You don't need to cut them all to be separate (unless you don't plan on using them all in one trip). When I first started this I thought you had to cut them all to be individual coupons and match them with the coupons you wanted to double. Example, say I have 10 coupons to use...and three of them are for $1/1, but the rest are $.75/1 and lower. I didn't want them to scan a double coupon after one of those $.75/1 coupons and only get $.75 matched! I wanted to make sure I kept my $1/1 coupons for last and THEN had them scan my doublers after each of those so I got the max $1. Well....turns out it doesn't work that way and that was a waste of my time and energy. I've learned since then that the cashier will just do the doublers at the end (no need to scan them immediately after the coupon you want doubled) and will match it to your three highest value coupons. They just type in the register what that amount is, so it's not automatic. Hopefully that makes sense. Lol.

Also, by leaving the three doublers in tact and not cutting them apart, you won't have to worry about mixing them up with other sets. See...on the bottom center of each doubler there is a number, generally a set of three will have either the numbers 1-3 or the numbers 4-6. You cannot use more than one of each number in a single transaction. I learned this the hard way. I cut all of my doublers to be individual coupons and didn't know any better, so I had just stuck a doubler here and a doubler there, organizing my coupons by transactions. Well, then when I got to the register and handed the cashier my three doublers for that transaction, I had one doubler with a 1 on it and two doublers with a 2 on it (instead of a 1, 2, and a 3) and she said they couldn't take them. I couldn't have more than one of each number as the register just wouldn't accept them. So, luckily I was able to dig into my other coupons and find a 3 to switch out for the 2, and all was well. Just wanted to give you a heads up so you don't make the same mistake. It's one of my "not-to-do"s. Again, it's just easier to leave them in their original set of three and just not cut them apart. The cashier will just take them like that and, again, will match your three highest coupon amounts. But just in case they don't...don't hesitate to point it out! You want the right amount taken off.

You can only use a doubler with a coupon that is $1.00 or less. You cannot use it with a $1.25, $1.50, $2.00, etc coupon. If the coupon amount is $1.01 or more...they will NOT double it.

Also, make sure your manufacturer coupon does not have the words "DO NOT DOUBLE" or "DND" anywhere on the coupon. This means that they cannot be used with a doubler. Definitely check your printables, as a lot of them will have the "DO NOT DOUBLE OR TRIPLE" written on them. There is a great article about the "DND" stuff that I found quite interesting, just thought I'd pass it HERE to read it.

One little tip I would give are just to try to use them matched with the highest coupon values you have (obviously) and don't hesitate to make more than one transaction so that you can use more than two or three! It's a little more work, but that's $2.00-$3.00 you're saving on EACH transaction! It's worth it! Also, doublers tend to expire within 3-5 days, so make sure you look at your expiration dates! I made that mistake one week...I had my trip all planned out using doublers from the paper, then a friend pointed out that they expired the day before the sale started...I TOTALLY hadn't even realized it! So I had to make an impromptu visit to Albies so as not to let all those 15 doublers go to waste!


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