Double coupons

Doubling coupons is one savings strategy that's underused by casual shoppers, and it takes hardly any work at all.

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Extreme couponing isn't for everyone. Most of us feel pretty good if we clip a coupon or two and save a few dollars on a trip to the supermarket, but it's difficult to work up the time and energy for hard-core couponing. Stacking, OYNOs, mail-in rebates, double coupons -- it just seems like too much work.

And it's true -- extreme couponing takes a level of organization and dedication that most people just don't have. But there is one major couponing strategy that's woefully underused by casual shoppers, and it takes hardly any work at all. We're talking about double coupons.

The uninitiated might think that double couponing means you have to seek out special coupons or constantly carry around two of every coupon, but that's not it. It means the store gives you twice the discount on whatever coupon you use. When a store doubles coupons, your $1 coupon is worth $2. All you have to do is hand a coupon to the cashier and the register will automatically double it. Simple, right?

Yes, but not as simple as it used to be. Before the days of extreme couponers, many stores gave double coupons every day. Now, though, stores are tightening up their policies and making customers jump through more hoops to get their double discounts. Some are even ending their double-coupon programs.

There are still plenty of double-coupon opportunities out there, but you might have to do some digging to find them. Read on to learn how to develop a double-couponing strategy.