how to read a coupon

16 Aug


Parts  of a coupon:


  • Barcodes:  All manufacturer coupons start with either a 9 or a 5.  If they start with a 5, they will double in the computers at stores that allow doubling (regardless of the wording).  If the barcode starts with any other number, then it is a store coupon and not a manufacturer coupon to be used at the specific store listed. 


  • Wording:  The wording on the coupon is what actually determines what the coupon is for.  If it says “any” it means just that.  It can be used on any of their products.  If it says when you buy 2, you must buy 2!  If it has a size restriction, be sure to get the size indicated! Any other use is fraudulent and you could actually be prosecuted.


The wording/picture question has caused me trouble more than once, so just kindly remind the cashier/manager that the manufacturer could not possibly put a photograph of all of their products on one small coupon, and if that doesn’t work – come back later and use a different cashier.  It’s not worth an argument. 


  • Pictures:  Manufacturers put the most expensive items in the pictures for obvious reasons.  But again, the picture does not determine what the coupon is for:  the wording does. 


  • Tracking Numbers on Printables:  If you look at a printable coupon under a magnifying glass, you can see tiny tracking numbers that include your IP address and other numbers that track the number back to you around the expiration date as well as around the coupon itself (where you cut it).  So don’t ever be tempted to illegally copy coupons!!!  That would be fraudulent.

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