Reading Your Coupons…What Does It All Mean???

So, in our continuing effort to teach all of our new members how to become successful, and ethical couponers, here is a guide that will attempt to explain what all that wording means on your coupons!!!!!

Do you envy those other people you see online that are posting all the fantastic savings they have achieved and the tons of FREE products they are receiving? Well, I am one of those Canadian coupon crazy people and I am going to attempt to teach you what I have learned over the years since I started seriously couponing.

First of all, it is not the responsibility of the cashier to know and understand everything about coupons. They are trained in the basics that they need to know and what to look for pertaining to their job! It is not ok to use a coupon on the wrong size/variety/type/brand of product. It is also NOT ethical or acceptable to say “Oh well, the cashier let me use it, or the cashier didn’t catch it or say anything. Doing things like this only ruins couponing for everyone in the long run. It makes it harder to use coupons and makes coupons less and less available.

Second of all, one of the MOST important things to remember is that IT IS NEVER OK TO PHOTOCOPY A COUPON!!!! This is a crime, punishable by law that can result in criminal charges, jail time, and a possible fine of up to $1,000,000(Yes that’s ONE MILLION DOLLARS)

That said, lets get started. I have added a couple diagrams at the end to help you. If you have any questions please ask in our group Q&A thread and we will be more than happy to assist you!!!

Ensuring a Coupon is Valid

Along with the fine print on a coupon, there are a few other things to look out for to ensure a coupon is valid.

Expiry date

Coupons are only valid up until the end of business on the expiry date stated on the coupon. There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a sale you have a coupon only to find it’s already expired!

Redemption address

To know if a coupon is valid in Canada, look for a Canadian redemption address. Something like this: “For redemption, mail to Nestle…Saint John, New Brunswick…” You’ll find the redemption address in the “To the dealer” part of the coupon. Coupons that are redeemable in the US can also be used in Canada only if they state they are also redeemable in Canada.

Product Specifications

Quite often, coupons have restrictions written on them. Things to look for would be specific sizes (300ml or larger), specified products in a product line (Stayfree Ultra Thin, rather than any Stayfree product), or exclusions (not valid on travel/trial sizes). When using manufacturer or store coupons don’t pay attention to the picture. It is what the coupon actually says that is important. If the coupon shows Olay Ribbons in the picture, read the coupon, it might say save on any Olay product or it might list 3 or 4 different items that the coupon can be used on. Remember, sometimes there is just not enough room to print more than one picture on a coupon!!!

What the Fine Print Means

The fine print on coupons can be confusing, so here’s a rundown of what that fine print means!

Limit one coupon per purchase

Many people assume that this statement means that you are only able to use one coupon per shopping trip (or transaction). It, in fact means, that you can’t use more than one coupon per item purchased. So, if you are purchasing three of the same items and you have three of the same coupons, you can use one coupon per item, all in one transaction!

Limit one coupon per transaction

While a purchase means one single item, a transaction means an entire purchase. So if you have a coupon that states “limit one coupon per transaction” you can only use one of them in one transaction. If you wish to use multiple coupons with this wording, you can always make several transactions, or come back on another day. (But the frugal in me would say to do multiple transactions the same day so you’re not using extra gas!)

Limit one coupon per customer/person/household

This one is pretty straight forward. A customer/person referring to each individual person making a transaction. In order to use more than one of these coupons, bring someone with you who is able to make their own transaction, while you make your own transaction using the coupon. Or, come back another day. When a coupon states only one coupon per household, this means that only one coupon can be used once for all members of your household.

Void if copied

Do not photocopy coupons! It’s against the law.

Use of more than one manufacturer’s coupon per item is strictly prohibited

This coupon can’t be stacked, even if you’re shopping at a store that allows coupon stacking. Stores (and you) must abide by the manufacturer’s rules.

May not be combined with any other offer

This term is slightly ambiguous and up for some debate. Although this seems to say you can’t use it on a sale item, it actually means you can’t use this coupon for stacking(Using more than 1 coupon on the same item). It’s still okay to use it on an item that is on sale!!!

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