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What does “One Coupon Per Purchase” mean?

Joanie.Demer

Every Krazy Coupon Lady must gain a solid understanding of the fine print on her coupons, starting with the notorious, “one coupon per purchase”.  It may be written in any number of different ways:

Limit one per purchase.
Limit one coupon per item purchased.
Limit one coupon per purchase of specified item(s).
Limit one coupon per purchase of product specified.
Only one coupon is redeemable per purchase and only on specified products and sizes.

Regardless of how they are written, these phrases all mean the same thing, and if you don’t understand them, they will more than likely cause you problems.  In a poll of over 6000 coupon users, 87% shared that they have had cashiers refuse their coupons because of the “one coupon per purchase” verbiage.  So, let’s get down to it:  what does “one coupon per purchase” mean?

One Coupon per Purchase:  Refers to your ability to use one coupon per item.  Meant to enforce the point that you may not use two of the exact same coupon for one item.

The word “purchase” on the coupon should not be confused with “transaction” or “shopping trip”. The coupon is merely limiting you to one coupon for every item you purchase during your shopping trip.  When your cashier tells you, “You can only use one coupon on this shopping trip, because these coupons read, ‘limit one per purchase,‘” ask your cashier, “How many am I purchasing?”   This is a good way to help your cashier or manager understand that the manufacturer does not care how many products you PURCHASE in one transaction.  And you may use one coupon for each item purchased.

One coupon per purchase with “Save $0.50 on any one (1)” coupon

In the scenario below, we are purchasing five Betty Crocker Frostings 10/$10.00.  We will use one “Save $0.50″ coupon on each tub of frosting.  Please note, we cannot use two “Save $0.50″ coupons on one $1.00 tub of frosting in an effort to get it for free; this would be a violation of the “one coupon per purchase” verbiage.

Buy 5 Betty Crocker Frosting $1.00 each
Use 5 $0.50/1 Betty Crocker Frosting manufacturer coupons
Final Price: $0.50 each, when you buy 5

One coupon per purchase with “Save $1.00 on any two (2)” coupon

In the scenario below, we are purchasing six cans of soup and using a coupon that reads “Save $1.00 on any two (2) cans of soup”.  This coupon also limits “one coupon per purchase”, but since the value of the coupon is $1.00/2, we can only use one coupon for every two products purchased.  Please note, we cannot use one coupon on each can of soup because each coupon specifies that you can save $1 for every two cans you purchase.

Buy 6 Campbell’s Chunky Soup $1.25 each
Use 3 $1.00/2 Campbell’s Chunky Soup manufacturer coupons
Final Price: $0.75 each, when you buy 6

“Per transaction” or “per shopping trip” limits

Now that you understand what constitutes a “purchase”, what happens when you want to use a coupon which states, “LIMIT OF 4 LIKE COUPONS in same shopping trip”?

When a coupon limits the number of LIKE coupons you may use in the same shopping trip, and you have 6 copies of the same coupon, you will not be able to use them all in one transaction.  You may only use 4 coupons, and then you can use the remainder on your next shopping trip.  Please note, if you have a variety of coupons:  $0.50 off Crest, $1.00 off Oral B, $2.00 off Tampax and all of those coupons have the limit of 4 LIKE coupons per shopping trip, you may use 4 of each of the coupons per shopping trip.  In the above example, you could use 12 coupons total (four of each), since you are redeeming three different coupons.

When deciphering the fine print on the coupon, just remember: words like “transaction” or “shopping trip” refer to your entire shopping order.  The words “purchase” or “purchase of item” mean you can use one coupon for every item purchased, even if you’re purchasing a hundred!

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