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Jill Cataldo, Published February 07 2014

Coupon Queen: Some less than thrilled when coupons require multiple purchase

Coupons that require the purchase of multiple items seem to be the bane of many of my readers’ shopping experiences.

As a mother of three, multiple purchases are part of my stock-up strategy each week, but some shoppers are less than thrilled with having to buy more than one of something.

Dear Jill: I was so “happy” to see someone else complain about having to buy multiple products to use a coupon. We are empty nesters living on a tight budget. I use coupons whenever I can to spend my budgeted grocery money wisely. I too, have stopped cutting out the coupons when I have to buy more than one of something. How many people have the storage for three of something, like big bottles of juice, cereal, detergent, paper products, etc? I sure don’t. I realize food companies are targeting families because they are spending more money on food, but I sure wish someone would remember the retired people living on limited incomes. Thank you.

– Debra L.

A: I’ve touched on this issue before in my column, but many coupons do require shoppers to buy two, three or more of an item to receive a discount. In offering a $1-off-2 or $1-off-3 coupon, the manufacturer is looking to boost sales of multiple products, not just one. I was pleasantly surprised at how many readers wrote in with solutions to this dilemma.

Dear Jill: I have a simple solution for your readers who do not use a coupon on a new item because it requires the purchase of more than one item. Go ahead and purchase the multiple items; if you do not like the item, donate the remaining item(s) to your local food bank. They will be more than thrilled to receive the item and you can take a tax deduction for the donated item. If you do like the item, you have another one to enjoy. Bill N.

Dear Jill: Your readers might like to do what my wife does when she has to buy two items – she donates one to the church food pantry for the needy.

– Stan A.

Dear Jill: Also, as far as purchasing multiples of something you don’t like, or may not use by the expiration date, these items are still very useful. I share them with my neighbors, or donate them to the local food bank. This is a great way to try something new and help others! I hope your readers will start doing this, and we can all help each other. Thanks for your great tips. – Barb R.

A: These weren’t the only readers to write and suggest donating an extra item or two to the food bank to help others in need. If you can afford to buy two of an item, you’ll get a discount for using a coupon and help feed another person too. I love it!


Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.