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Stacking Coupons & Multiple Transactions

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I’m so happy to be bringing you another installment in my Couponing for Beginners Series today!  Since I’ve been busy prepping to go out of town this week my amazing coupon bff, Regina is back to help me with this one!  Last week we talked about avoiding coupon fraud and respecting coupon policies.

If this is your first time stopping by the series, welcome!  I encourage you to jump back and start at the beginning and then join us back here once you’re caught up.  Here’s what we’ve covered so far…

Couponing 101
What is a Coupon & Where Can I Find It?
Binder vs. Insert Organization
Avoiding Coupon Fraud & Respecting Coupon Policies

I kind of hinted at, and tried briefly to explain, multiple transactions last week.  But today Regina has explained it a little better and included some pictures for you as well.  She’ll also be taking you through how to stack coupons to maximize your savings.  Got a pen and paper for note taking?  Here we go!

Even couponing beginners need a good set of intermediate skills to maximize their coupon efforts!  Stacking coupons and doing multiple transactions at checkout are two great ways to get the most savings with your coupons!

*This post may contain affiliate links.  To learn more about my disclosures policy click here* 


Hey, y’all, Regina here again!  Today I’m going to start by explaining stacking coupons for you.  Certain stores, like Target, allow you to stack different kinds of coupons to maximize your savings.  Awesome, right?  Us couponers have gotten many a free item by using stacking to our advantage.  I’m going to break it down for you so stick with me!

We’ll be using Target as our example right now since it’s a national chain and almost everyone has access to one.  Here are the different kinds of coupons and savings discounts you can use all together on one item or items at Target:

  • Manufacturer coupons from the newspaper or websites like
  • Target store coupons which can be found at, but they will sometimes appear in inserts alongside manufacturer’s coupons and in the Target weekly sales ad.  Target also offers mobile coupons which allows you to text codes to 827438 for savings sent to your smart phone.  {This is a free service but you will have to register.}
  • Cartwheel is a free app for Android and iPhone that allows you to search for an item like “Glade” or “chicken” and add it to your list for an additional percentage off savings.  Usually 5%-20% but sometimes more!  The more you use Cartwheel to save the more items you can add to your list!
  • Target Red Card is something you can sign up for either online or at the store with your cashier.  They have a debit card option that will link to your bank account and a credit card option.  This card {either debit or credit} automatically gets you an extra 5% off all your purchases in the store and online every time you use it and also free shipping on all orders at
  • Target Gift Cards will sometimes be included in a deal at Target.  Once you buy the required number of an item the computer will tell the cashier to scan a gift card for you which will be good to use on your next transaction.  I’ve seen gift card deals range from $5 to $20!

You will notice that a lot of Target and manufacturer coupons are for the same items.  That’s the whole point and the best part about stacking!  You can use all or any combination above on a single item at Target {as long as you’re following the rules on your individual coupons} and get it very cheap or even free!

Here’s a great stacking example for an Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner deal from several months ago.

Couponing for Beginners Series: Stacking Coupons & Multiple Transactions | DIYfaerie

For this deal you’ll be stacking a Buy One Get One free manufacturer’s coupon with a Target threshold, or dollars off a purchase price, coupon.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Buy 8 Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner on price cut for $2.50 each which will bring your subtotal to $20.
    • Use four Buy One Get One coupons from the SmartSource insert found in the Sunday paper from 9/14
    • And one Target beauty coupon for $5 off a purchase of $20 or more.  You can clip this Target coupon out of the Target weekly store ad from the 9/21 paper or have it sent to your phone by texting “BLUSH1” to 827438 {if you haven’t signed up for Target mobile coupons it will prompt you to do so at this point}.

Using these coupons will bring your pre-tax total to….drum roll please…$5!  $5 for 8 hair care products!!  I’ve been couponing for almost a year and it still blows my mind that we’re able to get deals like this!  And we’re respecting Target’s coupon policy completely!

One thing I do want to be clear on is when you’re using a threshold or dollars off a total purchase coupon you need to hand this coupon over first.  Handing over any other coupons first will bring your total below the threshold and your total will not be enough anymore.

Now I know you’re jumping up and down with excitement, but we’ve still got a little more to go before you can run to Target.  Let’s talk about multiple transactions.  I think Meaghan did a great job talking about multiple transactions last week but we’ll go over a few different reasons why you might want to do a separate transaction and then give you a visual so it makes more sense.

Reasons For Multiple Transactions

  • Paying with two different methods of payment.  I know when I’m picking something up for someone else I want to pay separately so it’s easier for them to pay me back or maybe I want to pay for one thing with cash and the rest with my debit card.  You’ve probably done this at some point and not even realized you were being fancy and doing multiple transactions!
  • You want to claim a purchase for a refund.  If you’re donating something it’s best to have as many kinds of proof of purchase as possible and keeping your receipts is a good way to do that.
  • Your store has a coupon per transaction limit.  Per Target’s coupon policy you can’t use more than 4 like coupons per transaction.  If I want to buy 6 of an single item and use 6 coupons I’ll have to do 2 transactions.
  • Rolling a gift card.  If I’m buying 3 items that will signal the cashier to give me a $5 gift card I want to pay for the rest of my items separately so I can use the gift card I just earned on my other items and lower my out of pocket cost.

Want to see how easy it is to do a multiple transaction?

Couponing for Beginners Series: Stacking Coupons & Multiple Transactions | DIYfaerie

Just use those dividers found on the conveyor belt and tell the cashier you want to do multiple transactions.  Done!  Not bad, right?  Thanks so much to Meaghan for having me again today and good luck in your coupon adventures!


A huge thank you to Regina for stopping by and imparting some more couponing wisdom!  I learned so much from her when I first started and still do!  An important part of successful couponing is organization.  If you separate your coupons by transaction using an accordion file you can just hand them over at the right time and not risk missing out on a coupon or having to sort through all of them to find the ones you need.

I do lots of multiple transactions to keep receipts for tax purposes for the blog!  I love being able to bring you delicious content without breaking the bank!  You’d never guess I got the chocolate chips and bacon for these bacon chocolate chip cookies for less than $2 or the Nutella for these homemade poptarts FREE with coupons wouldja?  Probably not 😉

Do you have other reasons to do more than one transaction when you’re shopping?  Have any questions about what we’ve talked about in this post?  Please let me know in the comments!



Friday 16th of March 2018

The hr lady at target told me I'm not allowed to do multiple transactions so that I can use my gift card from 1st transaction to help pay for my 2nd transaction. She said its "company policy" where do I find this company policy? Have you run into this?


Tuesday 20th of March 2018

I found Target's coupon policy here: and after a quick scan, I don't see anything that says you can't do multiple transactions. It's always helpful to have the policies printed out for the stores you shop at the most (or saved on your phone). I've run into many a manager who says things that are false so that people won't use coupons to their maximum potential.

RaAnn McPherson

Monday 3rd of July 2017

I just came across your stuff you do on couponing and I was trying to read them I only got to read the couponing 101 and then none of the rest works it said error when I try to click on them to read them except for the one I just ran across the stacking coupons but I'd love to get the rest how do I do that?

Gina B

Wednesday 8th of October 2014

Wow, this is great! I knew some of this but I didn't know about multiple coupons. I have to try that with a bulk buy...I rarely do bulk buys, but I'll be trying this at Target. The downside is that I find Cartwheel tricky to work with. I'm never sure if I should use it before, during or after my visit - or if it's only for bar codes on their products.


Wednesday 8th of October 2014

I was really confused by Cartwheel at first too! You can search for things before you go to the store but what I usually do is take about 5 minutes (looking like a total weirdo hiding out in some side aisle) and scan everything in my cart using their scan feature in the app. If it has a cartwheel attached to it it'll pop up and you can add it to your list. Head to check out and let the cashier scan the barcode for your app AFTER all your coupons and BEFORE you pay and you're good to go! Doing this got me a surprise 15% off a birthday card the other day! Thanks so much for stopping by!


Laura m

Tuesday 7th of October 2014

Great tips!


Tuesday 7th of October 2014

Thanks so much, Laura! I hope they help you on your couponing adventures!



Friday 26th of September 2014

I discussed discovered the coupon stacking thing here at Target in Canada! What a pleasant surprise. I got Crest toothpaste for 30 cents a tube!! So glad Target came to Canada :) The downside is our coupons are few and far between. We might get 1 or 2 coupon circulars per month, and many are full of advertising and not so many coupons. I do take advantage of Checkout 51 which helps a bit as well!


Friday 26th of September 2014

Maureen, I have heard those outside of the USA say that. What a bummer! Next week my friend Jen will be posting about Checkout 51 and a couple other great shopping apps. I hope you'll come back and learn more about them!