How To Read A Coupon

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how to read a coupon

The wording on coupons can be confusing.  Below you’ll see a breakdown on a coupon, so you can read and understand how to use it.


 1 – Defines it is a Manufacturer’s Coupon

2 – Expiration Date

3 – Total Amount You Will Save when redeeming this single coupon

4 – Product Description / Quantity Required to Use the Coupon

5 – Redemption Address and Coupon Limitations

6 – Barcode to match up to product

7 – Barcode which is to be scanned

8 – Image

Now that you know the parts of the coupon, we will focus on parts 3 and 4 – the amount you will save and the quantity you need to purchase to use the coupon.  The simplest way is through examples.

Example 1:  Coupon states save $1.00/1 or $1.00 off of the purchase of one item.  You need to purchase just one product and will save $1.  If the product retails for $4.99, then you will pay $3.99 after the coupon.  The coupon will deduct once for each barcode scanned.  That means you can use one coupon per product.  Therefore, if you purchase 4 of this product, you can use 4 coupons – one on each product (or purchase).

In addition, if you purchase a twin pack, you can still use only one coupon.  The reason is that only one barcode was scanned for the product and the number of coupons redeemed can not exceed the number of products scanned.

Example 2:  Coupon states save $1.00/2 or $1.00 off of the purchase of 2 items.  You need to purchase two products and will save $1.00 total — or $0.50 per item.  IF the item costs $2.50, you will purchase 2 for $5 before you hand over the coupon.  After the coupon is scanned, your purchase price will be $4 or $2 per item. You can use one coupon per purchase, which in this case requires 2 items.  If you want to use 2 coupons, you will need to purchase 4 products.

If you happen to find a twin pack, that does not qualify as 2 items.  The reason is that the coupon is accepted when 2 bar codes are scanned.  In the case of a twin pack, only one barcode is being scanned.  Therefore, you would need to purchase 2 twin packs for a total of 2 barcodes (which is actually 4 products).

Example 3:  Buy one Product A, get another Product A for free.  You will need to purchase 2 items in order to use this coupon.  You will pay for only one of them.  You can not use TWO of these coupons on a single purchase.  The reason is the print on the coupon.  It says limit of one per purchase.  Since the purchase requires 2 items to be purchased, you can only redeem one coupon on that product.

Do you have any other questions on how to read or redeem your coupons?  Feel free to ask – I am here to help!

Looking for even MORE printable coupons? Make sure you check out our Free, Comprehensive, Searchable Coupon Database!


  1. If the store is having a B1G1 sale, can I still use 2 coupons?

  2. Tatiana Diaz says:

    When you have the “Buy one Product A, get another Product A for free” coupon, is it correct to use a $1.00 Product A coupon on one of them? I have never tried it because I’m not sure if it’s okay to do so. Thanks.

  3. Please disregard, They honored the deal!!

    • I wasn’t asked about it either. He just took it.

    • You should not ever use 2 free BOGO coupons together. It may scan, but that is not using them as they are intended.

      • Here’s my source, post. I’d not done it but, this gave me confirmation.

        Gevalia Coffee $3.49 at CVS by Tara Kuczykowski on April 15, 2013 · 0 comments

        Here’s a great deal available at CVS this week on Gevalia Coffee! CVS has Gevalia Coffee on sale – buy one, get one FREE. Combine this sale with coupons for an even better deal! Here’s how:

        Gevalia Coffee, $9.99
        B1G1 FREE CVS store sale
        $1.50/1 Gevalia Coffee printable or
        $1/1 Gevalia Coffee printable coupon or
        $1.50/1 Gevalia Coffee printable (Facebook coupon)
        $3.49 ea. wyb 2 after coupons and ECBs!

        THE MATH: 9.99 – 3.00 [1.50 + 1.50) = 6.99 / 2 = 3.49 each. She also said to combine this sale with coupons. Not a coupon.

  4. This is PART 2. This is another deal I did the same day. I printed out 2 coupons to buy 2 but, they only accepted 1 coupon despite me having 2 items. That tells me that their system is set up to prevent some errors. True, the coupon exceeds the item cost but, why couldn’t you still buy ?. No problem tho for, since it’s not a sale, I can use it another time.

    U by Kotex Liners FREE at CVS by Tara Kuczykowski on April 17, 2013 · 2 comments

    Here’s a great new $2/1 U by Kotex Product CVS coupon available right now that makes for FREE liners this week at CVS! Here’s the deal:

    U by Kotex Liners (18 ct.), $1.57 ea.
    $2/1 U by Kotex Product CVS printable coupon
    FREE after coupon!

    Check out more great CVS deals before you go.

    Thanks, Common Sense with Money!