Gone are the days of printing a coupon and sticking it into a folder or binder to wait for a sale to stack it with.
At least as far as Procter & Gamble is concerned.
This month, the consumer goods corporation cracked down on how long a printable coupon is valid once it’s printed — and for couponers, it’s not exactly awesome.
Most P&G printables will now expire the day after they’re printed.
When you go to print coupons from P&G’s site, you’ll see red writing across it indicating “Please note that upon printing, you will have one day to redeem this coupon.”
Basically, once you hit “print,” the clock starts and you’ll have the rest of that day and all of the following day to use it. That’s it.
I say “most” P&G printables because there are a few that don’t have this restriction, but they’re rare. Currently, out of 13 available coupons, only three seem to be excluded.
What does the new restriction mean for couponers?
It used to be that you could easily print a coupon and hang on to it for a month, waiting for a sale.
With the new restriction, you may need to adjust your strategy so that you’re eyeing certain coupons, but waiting to print them until you see a sale.
Of course, this leads to the possibility that when there’s a sale to stack a Tide coupon with and you go to print the coupon, it may not have any prints left.
P&G is no stranger to changing the coupon rules.
In recent years we’ve seen P&G remove coupons for popular brands like Tide, Bounce and Downy from newspaper inserts, with a note that shoppers can print those coupons online only.
And last summer we watched P&G limit coupon use from four coupons per household, per day, to two.
P&G claims to be cracking down on unauthorized sale of printable coupons and problems with coupon fraud but conscientious couponers who are simply trying to save money and make room in the family’s budget may be the ones to suffer the most.
Is it still possible to stock up on P&G brands like Tide?
Absolutely! Use your one P&G coupon, and sign your husband up for a P&G account as well (you’ll need to use his mobile number). That gives you two, assuming you’re able to print the coupon before it’s reached the print limit.
Next, watch for Target deals that utilize mobile coupons or gift card promotions like “Spend $50, get a $10 gift card.”
Granted, if you can stack a coupon with these sales, you’ll always get a better deal. But at least you do have options for avoiding full price and feeling good about your P&G purchase.