It seems like every time I walk in a store, I get a couponing lesson. Today’s lesson: which coupons double and which ones don’t! My local grocery store, Harris Teeter, features double coupons up to $.99 every day, special coupon events that double up to $1, and super double events that allow for double coupons up to $2. The latter is my favorite coupon event, and when it occurs about every 8-12 weeks, I’m prepared. The high-value coupons are the best ones to use for this event; however, there are some coupons that won’t double. Have you ever seen a coupon that reads “Do not double?” Did you know that it’s up to the store—not the coupon manufacturer—to determine what doubles and what doesn’t? Here are 5 questions that are frequently asked about double coupons and answers that may surprise you!

1. If a coupon states “Do Not Double,” why does my store double it?

It’s up to the store to determine whether coupons double or not. Manufacturers print “Do not double” on coupons because they only want to reimburse for the face value of a coupon. It’s then up to the store to cover the doubled or tripled amount. For example, if I have a coupon for $1.50 that says “Do not double” and my store doubles it, then the manufacturer will only reimburse the store for $1.50. It’s up to the store to cover the additional $1.50 plus the $0.08 handling fee.

2. Do blinkies double?

A blinkie is the little box with a blinking light that pops out a coupon for the product on the shelf where it’s located. Blinkies don’t double. These coupons are available for anyone to use, and because of this, stores typically enforce the “Do not double” rule that’s printed in bold on the coupon.

3. Do Catalinas double?

Catalinas are coupons that print from the little boxes beside cash registers and are triggered by certain purchases. A Catalina coupon typically features a specific discount for a particular item and states “manufacturer coupon” along the top. These usually expire within 2-4 weeks of their printout date. Some Catalinas even feature a cash amount that can be used on your next purchase at the store (these are my favorite). Catalinas don’t usually double—however, it’s the store’s discretion.

4. Do high-value coupons double?

Most high-value coupons don’t double unless the store specifically allows it. I have seen coupons as high as $3 off of vitamins or pet food. If you time your purchases well, you can use these to your advantage with a buy 1, get 1 free sale or buy 1, get 1 50% off deal. In all my years of couponing, the most valuable high-value coupon I’ve seen double was for $2.

5. Should I bother with $0.25 coupons doubling?

The answer is yes! Just think, that’s $0.50. That’s half of a dollar. Think of this small savings as covering the tax for an item. Look at the coupon as if it were actual money. What if you had ten $0.25 coupons that doubled? That’s a savings of $5. When couponing, you often have to look at the big picture to see the actual overall savings.
Double Coupons: 5 Frequently Asked Questions