Put the biggest discount in first to avoid ‘coupon clash’

It's sometimes difficult calculating how to get the biggest discount

It's difficult to work out how to get the biggest discount

Any resident or visitor to London will have seen the warnings about card clash on the tube – the idea that you could be charged for a journey more than once on multiple contactless cards. But I wager fewer people have heard of coupon clash (mostly because I just made it up).

I’ve been doing quite a lot of online shopping recently as I’m trying to furnish the flat I’ve just bought. If you know where to look (and MSE Deals is a good place to start) then there are plenty of coupons or codes that give you money off everyday shopping.

However, it’s been difficult trying to sort out how to use them to get the best possible discount. An online order at Marks & Spencer recently offered £5 off if I spent £30. But I also had a separate code which got me 20% off everything I was buying.

The £5 off was automatically added to my basket, and when I tried to put the 20% off coupon code in, it told me it wasn’t valid. It was only when I took the £5 off out of the basket that I could use the 20% off – and it was worth it too as it got me almost £8 off the order.

I was also faced with a similar situation when buying a fridge and a TV stand from Argos. I’d put in a code that got me free delivery, saving me £9. But when I tried to put in another code that gave me 20% off, again, the site wouldn’t let me have it. Sadly, on this occasion I didn’t realise that it might be the delivery code stopping that from working.

But, now I’ve figured it out, in future I’ll always work out which of the codes and discounts available will save me the most money and put that in first. And then I’ll put all the others in, because you never know, they could just work…

Do you have any tips on stacking coupons or which offers to use first? Please let us know your opinions in the discussion below or in the forum.