I know we have a lot of new couponers to the site (Welcome)! I thought it might be good to do some coupon posts and just go over some basics of couponing. Here are common terms you will find on your coupons:
THE “ONE PER” RULE
PER TRANSACTION. A transaction is defined as everything you are purchasing during your shopping trip. This restricts the number of coupons you can use in a single shopping trip. So if your coupon states “Limit one per transaction” that means you can only use one of that particular coupon for that transaction – no matter how many of that item you may have purchased. The way around this is to ring up separate transactions and then use a coupon on each one. For instance, if you happened to have 3 coupons with this wording, you would need to run three transactions to use them
PER PURCHASE. An item you buy is deemed a purchase. That means if you buy 5 bottles of shampoo, you have 5 purchases. If your coupon has a limit of 1 item per purchase, you can use one coupon on each item.
PER VISIT. This one can be a little trickier. If the coupon includes this wording, then you can only redeem one coupon each time you visit that establishment. For example, if you were buying a 3 boxes of cereal that had this wording on it, you could only use one coupon with each visit. You would have to make additional trips, or visits, to the store in order to use all of them.
PER CUSTOMER. You are a customer. Your spouse or significant other is a customer. If the coupon has this wording, each of you can run a transaction and use the coupon. Each customer is limited to using just one coupon.
BUY ONE GET ONE
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE: When you buy the specified item as listed on the coupon, you can get something for absolutely NOTHING, or discounted if that is how it reads.
The catch with these coupons is that the manufacturer normally puts a limit on your free item. For example, it may say “not to exceed $3.49”. If the shelf price of the item that should be free is $3.59, you will be responsible for the difference of $0.10.
BUY ONE GET ONE AT “X” DISCOUNT: Some coupons will allow you to purcha-se one item at full price and then your next item can be a set dollar value or percentage off. The most common is a 50% discount. This equates to getting each item 25% off when you do the math.
When you look at the coupon, you should completely disregard the photo you see printed on it. Why? The wording identifies what product(s) the coupon can be used on. Many manuacturer’s will put a photo of the most expensive item in the product line, in hopes you will use it only for that item. This is difficult for some cashiers to understand. Always remain calm and collected and work with your cashier to help him or her understand the coupon as well.
REDEEMABLE or AVAILABLE AT
REDEEMABLE AT. This wording means that you can redeem the coupon at that store. The important thing to note is that the coupon may state this, but it does not mean that is the only store where you can redeem it. For instance, it may say “Redeemable at Target” but you can still use it at Walmart. Keep in mind that some stores (CVS include) have policies that state they will not accept any coupon with another store’s logo on it – so you may not be able to use them at these locales.
ONLY AT. If the coupon has these two important words listed, then that is the only store where you can redeem it. If it states “Redeemable only at Walmart,” then you can not use it Target, or any other store.
AVAILABLE AT. This does not indicate where you need to redeem your coupon. This is basically and advertisement for the store letting you know where you can find the product. You can use these coupons anywhere.
Knowing how to read, and understand, the language on your coupons is key to being able to use them to your advantage – -as well as in the correct way.