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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
A transaction is the full give and take between you and the store that results in a receipt at the end. So If you want to use several coupons, you can break up your items into separate transactions. Stores that issue and honor a lot of coupons will let you do this without judgement. Some stores may not like this tactic and will say it's not allowed. Although there is nothing wrong with having several transactions, a store can choose to honor a coupon or not if you're making multiple transactions.
What Does "Limit One Coupon Per Day/Visit" Mean?
This coupon can only be used once a visit to the store or once a day, meaning it specifically forbids you from using the multiple transaction tactic to use several coupons at once. There are two ways to work around this restriction, and it may be worth your time to use one of them if the discount is good. You can go back the store on different days as many times as you want, or you can find neighboring stores to visit in one day. You might want to consider how much traveling is going to cost you.
What Does "Limit One Coupon Per Person/Customer/Household" Mean?
As you may have noticed, the restrictions are getting tighter as we go down the list. This phrase will pretty much limit the coupon use to one person. You can often get a friend or family member to shop with the coupon, however.
What Does the Word "Like" Mean?
Sometimes a coupon will state, “Limit 3 Like Coupons,” meaning you may use only three of the same coupon. Again you can work around this by understanding if this restriction is applied to the transaction or to shopping trips. If you can only use three coupons per transaction, break your items into separate transactions. If it is limited to 3 per shopping trip then you'll have to come back to the same store later or go to a neighboring store.
What Does "Do Not Double" Mean?
Coupons will sometimes state do not double. But to add to the coupon confusion, if the coupon's bar code starts with a number 5, and the store you are at allows doubling, the coupon will double automatically. This 5 indicates that the store can choose to double the manufacturers' coupon at their own expense for the second discount.
If the barcode has the number 9, the coupon will not double. This phrase can be confusing, but it makes it clear the manufacturer is not going to reimburse the store for doubling the coupon and will not honor the coupon at all if it has been doubled.
In addition to the restrictions and fine print, there are features on every coupon that you need to know about. The barcode is important because if a coupon can't scan, it can't be used. Even printable coupons should have a barcode. If it doesn't print correctly, it can't be used. If you are cutting coupons out of the paper, be careful not to snip the barcode. Coupons from newspaper inserts will have the same barcodes. Printable coupons have different numbers as proof that they were not xeroxed.
The Coupon Picture
Photos are placed on the coupon to give it visual interest and to help you identify the product. But it's important to know that the picture on the coupon is irrelevant to the terms of the offer. Coupon makers often put the newest and/or most expensive product as the picture in an attempt to get you to dole out more money. The coupon may refer to all types of cereal, for example, but the manufacturer will choose to picture their most expensive types on the coupon.
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.
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.
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.