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March 18, 2015

How To Use HEB Threshold Coupons For Additional Savings

I've been receiving emails and questions lately asking if HEB shoppers can stack yellow HEB coupons for X dollars off a Y purchase amount with manufacturer coupons for extra savings.

The short answer is that HEB never allows stacking of any kind -- so you can never use two coupons on a single item.

However, reader and HEB expert couponer Jennifer C. recently got clarification from corporate that we can in fact use a dollars-off purchase amount yellow coupon with manufacturer coupons in the same transaction.

The reason is basically that HEB considers these coupons (like this old $10 off $20 Garnier coupon shown in photo) to be another variation of a basket coupon, called a threshold coupon.  

(Don't know what a basket coupon is?  Go here for more info.)

A threshold coupon is basically any yellow coupon that says you'll save X amount of dollars once you spend Y amount on a particular brand or category of item.

So that means, if you have bought multiple items to hit your threshold on a basket coupon, that basket coupon will attach to one item, and then you can use manufacturer coupons on the other items you're buying in that same category.

Here's an example, based on the HEB basket coupon in the photo above, so you can understand what I'm talking about:

  • Garnier Fructis Hair Care -- priced at $2.50 per bottle.
  • Buy eight bottles for a pre-coupon price of $20.
  • HEB allows one coupon to be used per item purchased.  Since you are buying eight items in this scenario, you can use eight coupons!
  • Give the yellow $10 off $20 HEB coupon, along with seven $2 off Garnier coupons from the 3/1 Red Plum insert.
  • Get all eight bottles for FREE, plus $4 overage towards the rest of your transaction!
Remember in this sort of scenario to always give the HEB basket coupon to your cashier BEFORE any other manufacturer coupons are used.  That way, you can be sure that your other coupons won't drop you below the threshold dollar amount you need in order to be able to use it.

What happens if my HEB won't combine threshold coupons with manufacturer coupons?

Like piggybacking, this combination of coupons is something that most HEB cashiers just don't come across that often -- so it's entirely possible that your cashier may try to refuse your coupon.

If that happens to you, your options depend on what makes you comfortable in the moment.  You can certainly ask to speak to the manager on duty and/or store manager -- in my personal experience, I find store managers have a much broader awareness of the coupon policy than individual cashiers might.

A second option would be to follow up via phone with your store manager, or via email with HEB Customer Service, to share your experience and ask for clarification.  Most of the time, HEB will email you back a letter that you can keep in your coupon binder to show at the register, and they will also follow up with the individual store.  

Here's a screenshot of the email Jennifer C. received from HEB Corporate specifically authorizing this use of threshold coupons under the HEB coupon policy:

And you can always decide that combining threshold and manufacturer coupons just isn't worth the hassle -- if a deal stresses you out or it involves a store you KNOW isn't coupon-friendly, it's probably not the deal for you.

Also, keep in mind you won't be necessarily seeing HEB threshold coupons on every trip to the grocery store --  they are relatively rare, and usually available for non-food items only.  But when they do unexpectedly pop up, now you know how to use them for your best advantage!


  1. Thank u soo much for this post!! I did this garnier coupon the last time is was around and it was a nightmare!! First off the cashier wouldn't even scan my coupons to see if they would go through. She immediately called a manager. That manager got upset that she didn't even scan first b4 calling him but he then called another manager and that manager called another manager. Then a cashier that was standing close by stood there and was telling them no as well. In the end I requested them to just scan my coupons like the cashier should have and see if they go through. Everyone of their eyeballs nearly popped out of their heads. They couldn't believe it. I kindly told them they should review some things in their policy. For it to work though the yellow coupon MUST be scanned first or it won't go through.

  2. I had the problem last night I gave up cuz she wouldn't even try to scan it and I bought the same thing you didannonymous

  3. They tell their custumers to review their coupon policy when they don't even know it theirselves. I let them know I'm very aware of the policy! I pick and choose where I coupon now.

  4. Thank you so much for writing up this post! It never ceases to amaze me at how much money you have saved me over the past two years! I will be on the lookout for threshold coupons EVERY TIME I shop now, like I am on a scavenger hunt to find the treasure! :)

  5. My question is, do I wait for the cashier to hit total. Before I give her the coupons.

    1. Hi Amante! Yes, I always wait for the cashier to hit total before I hand over my coupons. My personal experience has been that if a cashier forgets to hit total, the coupons scan in weird.

  6. My question is, do I wait for the cashier to hit total. Before I give her the coupons.

    1. Can I give more than 2 coupons for the nutella

  7. This was really helpful!! I work at HEB and the only problem I've had with these type of coupons ($10 of a $20 purchase of Garnier coupon) was that the customer didn't have the full amount or they grabbed another brand. I personally find it easier to scan the coupons after hitting total to know that the coupons actually went through or not. However, if your cashier does not know what to do exactly, please do not be rude to them or get angry. Please do be understanding. Cashiers already have to deal with rude people and you would just be making their job harder.