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Extreme Couponing Tip: Per Purchase vs. Per Transaction

Per-Purchase-Per-VS-TransactionEvery Krazy Couponer needs a firm understanding of coupon fine print, including the ominous, “One coupon per purchase.” It may be written in a number of different ways, such as “Limit one per purchase” or “Limit one coupon per purchase of specified item(s).”

No matter how it is written, these phrases mean the same thing: Only use one manufacturer coupon per item. It reinforces the point that you may not use two of the exact same coupon for one item.

“One Coupon Per Purchase”

The word “purchase” on the coupon should not be confused with “transaction” or “shopping trip.” The coupon merely limits shoppers to one coupon for every item purchased during a shopping trip. When the cashier says, “You can only use one coupon on this shopping trip because these coupons read ‘limit one per purchase,‘” respond by asking the cashier how many items you are purchasing. This is a good way to help your cashier or manager understand that the manufacturer is not concerned with how many products you PURCHASE in one transaction, just that you may only use one manufacturer coupon for each item purchased.

For example: If someone is buying three tubs of frosting and they have three $0.50/1 Betty Crocker frosting coupons, they can use one coupon for each frosting. On the other hand, if the coupon is $1.00/3 Betty Crocker frostings, the shopper can only use one coupon per three frostings that are purchased.

One Coupon “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, such as “Limit 4 Like Coupons,” you may only use four of the same kind of coupon. A transaction refers to the entire purchase (especially the payment made for that purchase). If you buy 30 items and then pay the cashier, that is considered one transaction. The term “shopping trip” describes the process of going into the store, making a purchase, then leaving. If you go to a different location or come back later, you are completing another shopping trip.

When trying to understand the fine print on the coupon, remember: Words like “transaction” or “shopping trip” refer to the entire shopping order. The words “purchase” or “purchase of item” mean you can use one coupon for every item purchased, even if purchasing 20 items!

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10 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Per Purchase vs. Per Transaction”

  1. Mae Peralta says:

    What if for example I want to purchase 8 Dawn in ONE transaction using 4 x 25c/1 Exp 7/31/13 & 4 x 25c Exp 8/31/13.. Is that allowed?

  2. Tiffany Potter says:

    My problem with cashiers is printable coupons they don’t want to use them cuz the coupon say void if copied am so on… Cashiers try to tell me that since they are printable they are copys GRRR

    • Beckey Blevins says:

      There are watermarks on the coupons that are printed. Copy one & compare the differences. Mark that one void & inform the cashier of those differences, maybe that will work.

    • CouponChrissy says:

      Take two to of the same one and show them the different barcodes. Ask why would I have 2 different barcodes on my coupons if they were copies?

  3. CouponChrissy says:

    Would you mind trying to explain that to a few employees at Dollar General. They didn’t listen to me :(

    • Usplus4 says:

      Yes employees at stores are always confused about the per purchase on coupons. I always have trouble at Ralphs when a coupons states per purchase. They always say you can only use one coupon.

      • Sheralyn says:

        Yes, Ralphs likes to keep that silly campaign going: Get Real {low prices} . How’s that working out for you? Not so good for me either. You should point that out to them next time. I’ve already contacted corporate twice telling them to “get real.” I’ve switched over to Fresh & Easy – it’s so much better! :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    So I should stop telling the cashier that I’m actually a ‘Mystery Shopper’ that was hired by the store to test her, but won’t report that she failed as long as she processes the coupons?