August 2, 2011

Can you use an e-coupon and a paper coupon on the same item?

The short answer: no. Most e-coupons (short for electronic coupons) that you would load up to your shopper’s cards are manufacturer coupons and cannot be combined with another manufacturer coupon.

As a manufacturer coupon you CAN combine them with store coupons, if you have them available. Like the store coupons that come in the Fred Meyer ad or the Safeway ad.

There are some e-coupons that are store-issued coupons. For example Safeway just started putting their in-ad store coupons online and you can load these to your Safeway shopper card to get the coupon price without clipping the in-ad coupon (watch video about how to upload coupons to your Safeway Club card here). These coupons are generally STORE coupons so they CAN be combined with manufacturer coupons when they are available.

One quarky thing about Fred Meyer e-coupons – If you load it to your shoppers card and you end up having a higher value paper coupon for the same item, your e-coupon will come off (without you being able to choose) and you won’t be able to use the paper coupon, it beeps. For example, you uploaded a $0.50 Crest e-coupon to your Fred Meyer card, but then you found a $1 Crest paper coupon. The $0.50 e-coupon will come off automatically and there is nothing the cashier can do to override the e-coupon to allow you to use the paper coupon. So just be careful when you load those e-coupons to your card.

E-coupons are an evolving piece of the bigger coupon puzzle. I think we can expect to see more of them in the next couple years because they can easily be regulated and limited (one per Shopper card and or limited to a specific geographic area). Whereas coupon inserts in the paper can be bought, sold and traded – and there is no limit to how many a person can use or redeem.

Read my post about E-Coupons 101 to get more info and to start using e-coupons!

In honor of August being the back-to-school month, I’ll be posting a different coupon question/tutorial everyday for the month of August! Some of the posts will be really basic Coupon 101, but others will be more in depth. If you have a question you’d like me to cover, please leave a comment on this post or e-mail me!


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  1. Betsy in Bellevue says:

    Ever since Safeway stopped excepting eCoupons and mfgr coupons last year, I stopped shopping there. Very hard to get anything for free anymore at Safeway without being abe to use both at the same time.

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