If you spend time talking to seasoned couponers or reading websites and blogs devoted to coupon usage, you’ll inevitably encounter a discussion of “rolling” deals.
When a supermarket or drugstore offers cash-back sales, you may see them advertised in this way: “Buy $30 worth of participating items and get $10 for your next shopping trip.” The $10 you receive doesn’t come back to you in the form of cash, though — it’s typically issued in the form of a coupon valid for money off your next transaction at that retailer.
These coupons function almost just like cash — you can use the coupon on your next transaction to buy more groceries, household or personal items. Or you may “roll” it into another deal. The act of “rolling” a cash-back offer into another offer works like this: If you buy $30 worth of participating items and receive a $10 coupon, you may be able to take that $10 coupon, buy another $30 worth of participating items on your second trip and use the $10 coupon you received from the first transaction. You’ll pay $20 and receive another $10 coupon, as you successfully “rolled” the first offer’s reward into the second transaction, receiving a second $10 coupon.
If you’re in the mood to stock up, you can make multiple trips during the same sale period, rolling the coupon from the previous trip into the next one. It’s not uncommon for me to have coupons like these in my wallet from previous weeks’ shopping trips, ready to roll into another deal.
Here’s an example of how the same $10 can be rolled over into multiple deals. Two weeks ago, I bought some household items at a large pharmacy chain during a “Buy $25, Get $10” sale. I kept the $10 reward until this week when I used it on another deal.
This week, the same pharmacy had a “Buy $30, Get $10” sale. This time, I bought $25 worth of skincare items and added $5 worth of laundry detergent. I used a $4 coupon on the skin cream, a $2 coupon on the laundry detergent and the $10 coupon from a previous trip. After all coupons, I paid $14 and received a new $10 coupon for fulfilling the “Buy $30” portion of the new sale offer.
It’s worth noting that with these spending-threshold sales, you can usually use manufacturer and store coupons to reduce your out-of-pocket spending. The $30 mark in question is typically reached on a pre-coupon total. (I say “typically” because, in the coupon world, there can be exceptions to every rule.)
Note that at times, a coupon issued at the checkout may contain a stipulation in the terms that if it is used on a subsequent deal, it will not generate a second coupon. This means that the offer won’t “roll.” I recently bought a pair of sneakers with a reward offer attached, receiving a coupon for $10 off my next purchase at the store. However, this coupon specifically stipulated that if I were to use the $10 coupon to buy another pair of sneakers, the store would not generate another $10 coupon reward.
How do we find out about great sales like these? Look in your store’s ad, of course, but at times, you may also see threshold-spending sales advertised in-store, with shelf tags near all of the participating items. These sales can be excellent opportunities to stock up and take multiple items home for very good, post-deal prices.
One caveat: Don’t forget to spend your coupons, too! Whenever I receive a high-value coupon offer from a sale like this, I’ll keep it in my wallet along with my actual cash. I don’t want to misplace a coupon with a value of $10 or more. Keeping it in my wallet also helps remind me of the coupon’s expiration date to make sure to return to the store and spend it on groceries if I’m not going to roll it into a subsequent deal before it expires.