It’s not just about all those coupons.
By Beth Kaufman
Those blue and white coupons are like gold at Bed Bath & Beyond. Even Kristen Bell goes crazy for them . Check out these tips from people who know how to make those little pieces of paper go farther — and other ways to save.
- OK, you probably know this one, but just in case: Their coupons don’t really expire.
Even though there’s no official word that the expiration dates are merely suggestions, it certainly appears that way. “Definitely don’t throw away your old Bed Bath & Beyond coupons, as cashiers have the reputation of regularly accepting expired ones,” says Kyle James, blogger behind Rather Be Shopping. He recently used a 3-month-old 20% off coupon, which saved him $20 on a Cuisinart panini maker. “If the cashier can’t take it, they often have one that’s not expired behind they counter they’ll let you use. So always try!”
- And you can use a bunch of ’em.
You can use more than one coupon during each transaction. You just have to have one item for every coupon you want to use. Lori Felix of More With Less Today recently bought a bunch of curtains and was able to use as many coupons to knock $4 off each one.
- But you better start hoarding those coupons now.
Toward the end of 2015, Bed Bath & Beyond had a rough go of it, business-wise. In response, they promised investors that they’d scale back on those pretty little blue coupons you keep getting in the mail. So it’s time to start making sure not a single one accidentally hits the recycling bin.
- You can even trick the website into sending you a coupon.
Don’t have a coupon? Well, that’s just silly! Put something in your online shopping cart and then leave the website. They’ll email you a coupon to try to lure you back. “I got an email offering 20% off any item within six hours of abandoning my online cart,” James says.
- There’s an easy way to decide which coupon (20%-off vs. $5-off) will save you the most money.
Which coupon should you use, if you’re only buying one item: 20%-off or $5-off? Remember this tip and you won’t have to do the math in the middle of the store. If you’re spending less than $25, the $5 coupon saves you the most money. If you’re spending more than $25, you should use the 20% off coupon.
- Those iconic coupons aren’t the only ones that matter.
Sure, they’re nice to have, but don’t ignore the other coupons in the world. Bed Bath & Beyond accepts manufacturer coupons, too! But unlike the store coupons, expired ones won’t be accepted.
- You should download the Amazon.com app before you head to the store.
Many retailers exclude Amazon from price matching policies. But not BB&B. Store clerks will match full-price, in-stock Amazon items as long as it’s not something sold by a third party. “I bought my wife a new bedding set and found it cheaper on Amazon (use the Amazon app to scan the product barcode and quickly see if they sell it cheaper). I went to the nearest store associate and she was able to do the price adjustment,” says James. “It took all of five minutes to save $25.”
- There’s a method to handling the clearance section.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss the markdowns. James says he’s found some killer deals including a four-slice Krups waffle maker for $25 (normally $50) and a Cuisinart three-piece skillet set for $29 (slashed from $65). “The key to saving money in their clearance section is to look early in the week. They seem to replenish it with new inventory over the weekend,” he says.
- They’ll often sweeten the deal by offering you gift cards.
For instance, past offers have included a $50 gift card with the purchase of $300 worth of Calphalon products. The store has also thrown in gift cards with Keurig or air mattress purchases. Gift cards don’t expire, so you can hold onto them until you’ve found another great deal — or even something you want to splurge (guiltlessly) on.
- You can totally get a price adjustment if something goes on sale after you bought it.
Save all your receipts! Bed Bath & Beyond will issue a price adjustment of an item you bought goes on sale — or if you happen to find a coupon. There’s no official policy listed, but we’ve gotten money back on items several weeks old. In fact, the entire return policy is fairly friendly: We once returned a year-old bed-in-a-bag set (without a receipt!) and got more than $100 in merchandise credit.
- But you can’t outsmart the return policy.
Earlier in year, BB&B got a bit stricter with returns: If you don’t have a receipt, and the store can’t locate your purchase in its system, you’ll get store credit, minus 20% of the item’s current selling price. Why? The coupons (of course). With this policy, it becomes impossible for scammers to claim they lost their receipt and collect a full, cash refund — sneakily hiding that they originally used a coupon to buy it.