Understanding H-E-B Coupons

Knowing when you can combine coupons at H-E-B can be very confusing, but when you learn how to “translate” the coupon it is much easier to understand how you can use it to get the best deal. The first thing you want to look for is what type of coupon you have…You can determine this by looking in the lower left hand corner of the coupon.  It will either have an M, a B, or an S.  If the coupon has an M it is a manufacturer coupon that H-E-B prints out on your behalf and you can not use an additional coupon on the item being discounted by the coupon–This does not mean that you can not combine another coupon with it at all, but we’ll get to that later.  If the coupon has a B, it is a Big Savings coupon which is a store sponsored coupon and you can combine a manufacturer coupon on the same item to save even more.  The coupons with an S is a  Store Coupon and can also be combined with a manufacturer coupon.  (As of 1/29/13, stacking is no longer permitted at HEB…The new mantra is “One coupon per item,” and if you stick to that, it’s fairly straightforward). Let’s look at a few H-E-B coupons and how to use them!

The coupon on the left is a Manufacturer coupon.  It has the ‘M’ in the lower left hand corner.  This is just like a coupon you would receive in your paper or insert, but you didn’t have to clip it (and you can’t use it anywhere except H-E-B)!  When you have a Manufacturer coupon at H-E-B you want to pay attention to two things:

1.  The Coupon Specifications.  This is not just true of H-E-B coupons as you should always read the coupon details, but because they are usually hanging by a specific item people often miss out on better deals using these coupons.  For example, the Buy Vicks, get free Puffs coupon from October 2011 said ANY Vicks product (.5-12 oz or 16-24 ct) which meant that instead of buying the $5 bottle the coupon was hanging by you could buy the .99 cough drops and still get the free tissues.  (Plus at the time we had a coupon making the cough drops free!)

2.  The ringing value.  This can be found at top right of the coupon and starts with RV and then a number.  For the coupon pictured the value is $7.48. The main reason you want to note this value is that for some deals the coupon may not take off the right amount.  I always have trouble with the Buy 1/2 lb Deli Meat, get 1/4 cheese free because the RV is always less that the cost of the cheese.  You have to watch it scan to make sure it takes off the correct amount.

This specific Manufacturer Coupon is for free trash bags when you by Pampers diapers.  While the coupon specifies two products, it really only applies to the trash bags which means you can use an additional coupon on the Pampers to lower you Out of Pocket cost.  When you have a “Buy this, get that” coupon you want to pay close attention to what you have to buy and what you get free with it.

I always try to buy the cheapest product that meets the coupon terms (unless I really need the more expensive) AND I try to get the most expensive and/or biggest free item possible.  Many times you will have choices in size and variety so don’t just pick up what is on the display without reading the coupon.

Also, check that the display has the correct items.  I have gotten to the register with the items for a Combo Loco or Meal Deal only to discover that they had the wrong product on display and either the coupon won’t go through or I have to pay more….

I wanted to go over one more type of Manufacturer coupon- The BOGO coupon.  Even though this coupon says Buy one Ricola Throat Drops, get one free.  In most cases the way the register reads it is  “$X.00/2 Ricola Throat Drops” which means that even though you are paying for one of the items you can not apply an additional coupon because it attaches to both items.  You can always try, but it will be a YMMV situation.

The same is going to be true of B2G1, B3G1, B4G1, etc.,  As long as the coupon is for all of the same item then the coupon will (usually) attach to all of the items and no additional coupons can be used.

In rare situations when you have Buy this, get that free coupons for similar products from the same manufacturer the coupon may attach to both items as well.  (Ex: Buy Pantene Shampoo, get Pantene Conditioner free…) There isn’t really any way to know until you get to the register and it beeps..

And now for a type B coupon.  This is basically a useless coupon coding now that they have changed their coupon policy.  Prior to January 2013, you could stack a manufacturer coupon with these for additional savings, but the new policy is one coupon per item whether it is type B, S, or M.

The one “exception”to this rule is Big Savings coupons that are for a specific dollar off amount.  For example, we frequently see coupons for $5 off a $15 Garnier Product Purchase.  Because you usually have to buy multiple product to reach the $15 threshold you can use a coupon on each item except for one.  (That is the one the $5 coupon will apply to).

 Do keep in mind that the human factor will always be there and you may have a cashier or even a manager who tells you no, when you are really using coupons correctly.  Most of you who are reading this shop the same H-E-B stores I do and know from experience that the rules are not always applied in the same way.  When you run in to an issue, try not to get upset.  I always try to argue my case politely, but if I get turned down my response is always, “That’s fine, but I am not going to buy the items then.”  I am a huge believer in “going up the chain” when I have an issue.  Not because I want to cause trouble, but because I want my trip to go smoothly the next time I visit.  If you have an issue at a store always contact a manager, the store director, or the corporate customer help center.  If you have names that helps because they can talk to the specific cashier or manager to make sure they understand and hopefully you won’t have a problem next time!

So what about those weird 2/$5 coupons or $10 off a $30 purchase coupons?  Well per HEB corporate because these types of coupons typically require you to purchase multiple items for redemption you can use other coupons in conjunction with them as long as you have one coupon per item.

Example:  If there is a coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase and you buy 4 products to hit the $30 threshold, you can use 3 more Garnier coupons to increase your savings!

Hopefully, that clears up some of the coupon confusion at H-E-B. If you have more questions, comment below and we’ll get them answered!

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