What Does One Coupon Per Purchase Mean? Breaking Down Coupon Terminology

Using coupons can save you an amazing amount of money at the store. But your saving power can depend on how familiar your are with the coupon lingo. Each store has its own coupon policy. It's up to you to understand the standard terms and restrictions that a coupon comes with. In this article, we'll go over what does one coupon per purchase mean along with other coupon-speak.

various coupons

What Does One Coupon Per Purchase Mean?

One coupon per purchase simply means you can redeem one coupon per item. In couponing, a purchase is an intent to buy one item. You can have several purchases per transaction. For instance, if you want to buy 10 of the same jars of grape jelly, and you have 10 coupons for the grape jelly, you could use all of the coupons for your order. Each item is considered a purchase, so you would make 10 purchases (in one transaction. You would not be able to use two manufacturers' coupons for one item.

Understanding the Fine Print

So now you know longer have to wonder what does one coupon per purchase mean in couponing. But there is a whole category of coupon fine print that can be just as confusing. In fact, even some store employees don't understand what the coupon terminology means. If the store employee doesn't understand the coupon, he or she may not honor the coupon. That equals lost savings.

You have to know how the coupon fine print works and be able to argue your point, if needed. Many times if you use a coupon more than once or twice in the same transaction, the store may think you're taking advantage. The person at the register may even try to say you can't purchase 10 of the same item with 10 coupons. But this is not true. Politely but firmly explain the answer to the question what does one coupon per purchase mean.

ticket coupon

​Image Source: Pixabay

To understand the fine print better, let's start with the parts of a coupon. The more you know your coupons, the more confident you will be using them and the more money you will save.

Expiration Date

The big question is where is it? There is an expiration date located somewhere on the coupon. Sometimes it's in the fine print along the bottom or on the back of the coupon. A coupon will have "No Expiration" on it if it doesn't expire. Sometimes your printer can cut off the expiration date, so print carefully. Stores will not honor an expired coupon, so it's best you organize your coupons and know which ones are at risk of expiring.

Offer Wording

This is the statement of the discount and what you have to buy to get it. It might say save $1 on 3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, for example. This means you would save $1 total on your purchase of three cans of dough. If you buy fewer than 3, you do not get the discount.

admission coupon

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The Fine Print

The fine print, which tells what the retailer needs to do with the coupon, also has information for you. Here's where some shoppers get tangled up. The fine print can raise questions like what does one coupon per purchase mean in couponing. Whether they mean to or not, manufacturers usually put the fine print so small that you may not realize you are buying the wrong product or the wrong amount.

Common Restrictions You Should Know

Now that you know what does one coupon per purchase mean let's look at what other coupon phrasing means.

What Does "Limit One Coupon Per Transaction" Mean?

What Does "Limit One Coupon Per Day/Visit" Mean?

What Does "Limit One Coupon Per Person/Customer/Household" Mean?

What Does the Word "Like" Mean?

What Does "Do Not Double" Mean?


The Coupon Picture

Manufacturer Versus Store Coupons

In addition to knowing what does one coupon per purchase mean you should also have a good grasp of what a store coupon is and what a manufacturers' coupon is.

Manufacturer Coupons

A manufacturers' coupon is issued by the maker of the product. The coupons are paid for by the manufacturer. You get the discount and the store is reimbursed by the manufacturer.

These coupons are found in the Sunday newspaper inserts or national websites such as coupons.com. The coupon will be labeled as a manufacturer coupon and indicate that it can be redeemed at drug, food or discount stores that accept coupons.

cinema coupon

​Image Source: Pixabay

Store Coupons

Store coupons are distributed by the store. They are only valid at that store, even though they give you a discount on an item also found at other stores. You've probably seen these coupons in mailings from national chains like Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. Be sure to note if a coupon has the store logo on them. Even if they are in a newspaper insert, they are a store coupon.

There is no redemption information on these coupons. Some stores only take their coupons on items and will not let you stack discounts with a manufacturers' coupon. Other stores will let you stack so you can maximize your savings. Some stores will even honor competitors' coupons for some items.


As you can see there is much more to couponing than answering the question what does one coupon per purchase mean. Terms and conditions are put in place to keep companies and stores from losing money on the coupon, especially the really good ones. With careful coupon savvy, however, you can make the most of the savings. 

Featured image source: ​Pixabay

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