Monday, June 13, 2011

Understanding the coupon fine print

Have you ever gone to the check out line, and were told by the cashier “sorry you that coupon doesn’t apply to that product”? I totally know that feeling! I use to feel so awkward, uncomfortable. I decided I really needed to understand the fine print of the coupons I was using, and I needed to understand it better then the cashiers themselves. At the end of the day, it’s my money no one else’s and I would rather it stay with me, no one else!

Knowing your shit when it comes to couponing is important! It will make things much easier when a cashier challenges your coupon use!  Let’s be honest the wording on coupons is very confusing that is why there is so much interpretation by some cashiers. (It’s easy to get angry at the check out person, but don’t. Their training when it comes to coupons, is minimal at times) and if you know your shit when it comes to coupons it will make things much easier. Here are some of the issues that may arise when you get to the cash.

What your coupon says

“One coupon per Purchase”
1 item 1 coupon. Simple.  The confusion with this type of coupon is people confuse “purchase” with “transaction”.  What I usually do (especially when I am using multiple coupons) is ask to speak with the Customer Service Manager and have them simple define what a transaction is, and what a purchase is.  I purchase 1 shampoo, but everything I buy on that receipt is considered one transaction. So if I have 5 shampoos and 5 coupons for $1off the shampoo, I can use them all during my transaction.

"One Coupon Per Transaction"
You can only use one coupon for one item on the entire receipt.   However, if you can break it up in separate transactions you can use it once on every receipt. Again, ask about their policy and how many separate transactions you can do during your time at check out.   You can use as many different coupons during your transaction.

"One Coupon Per Customer/Family/Person"
You can only use this coupon ONCE.

Free item, up to value of…
So you have one of these coupons let’s say for a protein bar, and the price of the bar is $2.59 but the coupon says value of up to $2.29, then the cashier will need to ring in the coupon for $2.29 and you will need to pay the difference.

“Valid in”
Coupons will let you know if they are valid in Canada or a specific store, so ALWAYS check the fine print.  Some coupons say “not valid in Quebec” and that’s what it means.  Others may say valid only at Rexall.

"Coupon Valid till."
Always check the expiry date of your coupons. It’s always listed on the coupon, and it’s usually listed by month, day, and year.

“Valid only on…”
Sometimes the coupon will specify a specific size of the product that it can be used on. For example a recent Tide coupon states for 26 loads or more. So if you grab a bottle that is for 25 loads you simple cannot use it.

What the cashier may say

“The picture does not match the item”
Most coupons have pictures on them, but not necessarily the same item that you’re buying. However if you read the fine print you will know. For example, CREST coupons may have a photo of a certain type of toothpaste, however the coupon may say “ any paste” so in this case it does not have to match the photo.

"We don't accept printable/internet coupons"
As I have stated earlier, always check with the Customer Service Manager about the stores coupon policy. Unfortunately some people abuse internet coupons, and  when a store accepts a invalid coupon they are on the hook for the amount. So again, just ask.

"This does not apply to trial sizes"
Read the fine print, if it states a size (it may say for 50ml or more) then you cannot use it on the trial size, however if it does not state size or it says any size, then they should take it.  

"Cannot use that coupon on a sale item"
This one I hate. Seriously the best part of using coupons is combining them with sale items. Most coupons can be used on sale and clearance item unless it state otherwise. (i.e. on regularly priced items).

That’s all for now, I do hope it helps. Remember, do your homework, know the stores policy and walk to the register with confidence.  You are saving your money! 

Happy Savings!
Miss Savings Girl!

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