Extreme Couponing Tip: Obey “Per Transaction” Fine Print on Coupons

A Krazy Couponer learns early on that “One Coupon Per Purchase” means “one coupon per item being purchased,” but sometimes “Per Transaction” fine print can be confusing. Read below to clear things up!

With coupons including transaction restrictions on the rise, this is important to understand. Procter and Gamble coupons are now notorious for stating “Limit of 4 Like Coupons in same shopping trip,” with many other manufacturers following their lead. Variations include “Limit One Coupon Per Customer Per Day” or “Limit One Offer Per Transaction,” which can be found on Target Web Coupons or high value/rare coupons.

So what does it mean for you?

When a coupon limits the number of LIKE or OFFER PER coupons you may use in the same shopping trip, and you have more than the stated limit of the same coupon, you will not be able to use them all in one transaction or shopping trip. You may only use the maximum listed, and then you can use the remainder on your next shopping trip.

When you have a variety of coupons, such as $0.50 off Crest, $1.00 off Oral B, and $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 this example, you could use 12 coupons total (four of each), since you are redeeming three different coupons.

The reasoning behind the restrictions is to let everyone in on the deal and hopefully cut down on low stock and empty shelves or restricting the number of high value coupons that may be redeemed at once.  In some cases, cashiers or managers may allow you to use more than the stated limit if they are busy, have long lines, or would like to limit the number of transactions per customer. Do take note that if you use more than the stated limit number, coupons may or may not go through (i.e. the value of the extra coupons won’t be taken off) once the limit is reached.

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31 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Obey “Per Transaction” Fine Print on Coupons”

I have while at Walmart corporate went into the register while i was standing in line and did something to give me the overage on my breath right strips.

Has anyone heard the report about Joel the 16 yr.old that was ont the Extreme Couponing Show?

No, what happaned?

I had an experience at Target today that is just getting annoying.  Twice now I’ve used coupons on the day they were expiring (for example, a coupon that expired 2/19 on 2/19), and had her tell me that they were expired already.  I always thought that the expiration date was the last day you could use them.  Am I wrong?

walmart stated today, one coupon per transaction on same item. So I had two kikkoman coupons but the actual products were different. Coupon stated on any item and one per transaction. They didn’t make me ring up the two items separately bc the actual products were different. But my tyson chicken coupons created a BIG problem and each pack of chicken had to be run up in its own transaction. I have used the three or four of the same coupon at wallyworld before and this is the first time my experience at the register took over one hour. The cashier was so confused as to which item was rung up on which order and with what coupon, that she actually charged me for an extra pack of chicken w/o a coupon and then lost track of all my coupons from the very first order. I had to take all related products out of my bags, and most of them melted by the time we were done. Since using coupons at wm for over 6 months now, this is the first time i got pinched. :-(

I found out from one not so nice cashier about the Target coupon.  My fault really, I just assumed I could use two since I was able to print two.  From then on I always used just one, I felt very embarassed.
But honestly, I avoid Target now.  When I first started couponing I thought it seemed like the perfect place because of the deals.  But after repeatedly being treated as a criminal I no longer bother with them.  I never had more than 2 of anything, except the occasional 4 items for one of their gift card deals, and I always followed the 1 Target coupon, and verbiage on the MFR coupons.  And always had no more than 2 bags full of groceries.  But you would have thought I was shoplifting the entire store by the way they reacted and comments made!
I could never imagine going there to do a lot of couponing….I stick to stores that know how to treat customers.
And because they value me, I will value them and follow the rules so they get reimbursed.

Did you watch the “Extreme Couponing” show they should have featured Printapons which I use and print coupons from online

Speaking from experience as the guest service manager at Target unfortunately it does vary greatly from store to store. But if you are buying say 2 packs of yogurt and trying to use 2 manufacturers coupons and 2 target coupons it would technically be against policy. You can only use one of one particular target coupon per transaction. In signage all over the front end it states that we gladly accept one manufacturer and one target coupon per item. All cashiers with at least a very basic knowledge should know this. Some stores (mine included) will let you use for than one of the same target coupon in a transaction, however, we are not always consistent with that. If you are purchasing a cart full of JUST single roll paper towels and have cleared the shelf out completely, you really are abusing these coupons and blatantly disregarding policy and you will find that the staff is much less helpful or friendly towards you. Now with that said I personally love couponing BUT too many people are abusing free or nearly free purchases and disregarding coupon policies which just makes it worse and worse and worse. And yes sad to say but because of other peoples abuse cashiers are losing job because of this because illegal coupons cause a loss to the company. Just be honest people and encourage everyone else to do that same please

 What a jerk!!!!!!
I’ve not ran into that problem yet, but I profile my cashiers and have been lucky so far!

 I took advantage of that paper towel deal for free paper towels.  I bought two rolls with two coupons.  My sister tried to buy four rolls with four coupons and the cashier said she needed to split it up into four transactions because, ‘they’re getting strict on that’ but my cashier didn’t even read the coupon.  It seems that there’s a lack of communication between management and the cashiers.

Yep! So you were correct Liz :) 

Omg Liz, I just had a like experience at Target last night with the Activia coupons as well. The cashier said she could not take my Activia coupons because the said “Limit one coupon per purchase” and that she would get in really big trouble is she did! I said I do this all the time and that it is right!!! Actually, I had a bunch of coupons for each of my items and she refused to take any of them!! I asked for a manager and she said she couldn’t call one over because she didn’t have a microphone. I had to take all of my stuff out of the bags and move to another cashier. The other cashier had NO PROBLEMS taking my coupons. I learned all my couponing skills from the KCL and so I know they were right! What should I do if this happens again? Can I print out this informative post and take it to them? Great timing for this post by the way!! Thank you!! It really helped me when I was trying to explain to the manager, when I called, that her cashiers need some additional couponing training in regards to what per transaction and per purchase mean. 

The target coupons state one coupon per guest.  Our Target sticks to that.  We have 5 computers so I get 10 coupons but I have to make multiple trips to get all 10 of the items.  It stinks but that is what the coupons say.  

I have occasionally had problems at Target with a manufacturers coupon beeping (even though I bought the item), and the cashier (usually new) saying they can’t take it because it beeped. So I just pay and take the coupons with my receipt to customer service. They have given me cash back for the coupons (or if they agree that you can’t use the coupon, you can return the item there). Usually the people at customer service know the coupon policy better. It takes a little more time to go to another counter (especially if there’s a line) but for me it’s easier than fighting with the cashier and feeling embarrassed.

At my Target, the customer service desk is more trouble than the cashiers!

I have a question about this. When I first started couponing my mom and I went with a few target coupons (we have 6cpus in the house so i can sometimes get up to 12 printed coupons, not that i always get 6) we both went because it says one per transaction. When we got to the register we seperated out transactions out, and the cashier asked why we’re seperating them so I explained the coupons and she called over a manager and asked her. She told us that we can ring everything up together even though I had multiple of the same target coupons. This is the only target in my area so I can’t compare to other stores, but if the manager allows it, on just target coupons I still have to obey the mfq rules, is that ok?  I know different stores have different rules, but if this is against a major policy I don’t want my target to get in any sort of trouble for bending rules.

I’ve never had to separate my transactiosn at Target.  They always let me buy what I wan twith multiples of their coupons.  The mangers told me that wasn’t necessary with their coupons.  I’ve been stockpiling/couponing since June 5th of 2011 and no problems to date.

Except for the first time I haven’t either, but this post makes me question if it’s still right even though I had manager approval. The manager at my store said the same thing, as long as I follow the mfq rules, then I can have as many target coupons as I want.

I’m not sure what’s “ethically” right about this either. I have never had a problem using more than 1 like Target coupon. I don’t really understand why they put those restrictions on, since each computer can only print 2 coupons anyway.
I don’t think it’s a huge violation, because if you did two separate transactions it all works out to the same $$ for the company.

I can use as many coupons that are Targets in my store. It sure is nice and I thank God for it.

It will vary by location. As long as your manager allows it, then you can use more than one Target Web coupon per transaction. 

The cashier at Target wouldn’t take both of my Activia coupons yesterday – she pointed to the fine print (which I couldn’t read even with my reading glasses on!) that said “Limit one coupon per purchase”.  I told her I was buying two and she again pointed to the coupon fine print.  Who was right??

She is right, now that I am reading it, it does say that. But no cashier ever pointed it out to me before.

If it was the Target coupon then it is only 1 per person.

No it was the MFG coupon.  I did use the Target web coupon, so the two packages cost me a total of $1.00.  

You were right. One coupon per purchase means one coupon per ITEM being purchased. In cases where the cashier won’t budge you can always do multiple transactions.

She was wrong as I see it. ONE PER PURCHASE means one coupon per item purchased so 2 items you can use 2 coupons. If it said transaction then you could only purchase 1 per transaction.

Well, as KCL said above: A Krazy Couponer learns early on that “One Coupon Per Purchase” means “one coupon per item being purchased.”
So I think you were right. If you were trying to use one manufacturers coupon per 4-pack of yogurt, each pack of yogurt is a purchase. That just means you couldn’t use two $1 coupons on one pack of yogurt (in my understanding).

You were correct. Limit one coupon per purchase means one coupon per item and you had two.