Here are some tips on redeeming Internet coupons. Almost every store will accept them, especially if they have a bar code, like CoolSavings.com coupons always do.
Two problems tend to stand in the way—one, counterfeiters have made it hard for honest coupon users, so that a few chains such as Superfresh and Klein's Family Markets have stopped accepting them. The other main problem is that even when a store accepts printed coupons, sometimes an individual cashier may not be familiar with the store's policies. Here's some information to arm yourself with should you ever run into a problem:
Some Popular Stores' Internet coupon policies
Trader Joe's: accepts online coupons.
Whole Foods Market: accepts online coupons.
Wegmans: accepts online coupons
CVS: Manufacturer coupons downloaded from the Internet must feature a UPC bar code, along with associated bar-code numbers in the event the coupon cannot be scanned and must be manually entered.
Rite-Aid: accepts only Internet coupons from its own Web site, featuring the store's name and logo.
Walgreens: accepts Internet coupons from walgreens.com, CoolSavings, and Smart Source.
Wal-Mart: According to its Web site, Internet coupons should be legible and say "Manufacturer Coupon." There should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer and a scannable bar code.
Target: honors valid Internet and manufacturer coupons.
Giant: accepts Internet coupons for "cents off" but not for free items. If manufacturers alert them to fraudulent coupons, the store declines them.
Harris Teeter: does not double or triple the value of Internet coupons. With the purchase of two like-manufacturer's products, accept only two Internet coupons, per store, per day. Won't accept Internet coupons that do not appear to be originals or that won't scan. Will not accept any Internet coupons from other retailers.
Safeway: Coupons must be scannable. Will not accept coupons for more than $5 off nor for free items. Store managers always have discretion about coupon acceptance to avoid fraud.
Shoppers Food & Pharmacy: accepts Internet coupons up to 99 cents; rejects coupons for free items.
Real coupons require special software to print proper bar codes and limit the number of prints of each coupon. You should never see the actual coupon on your screen, only an option to print it.
Print coupons from the brand's Web site for products you like, or from well-known savings sites such as CoolSavings.
Don't make your own copies of coupons or print out scanned images of coupons.