Taking a moment to read the fine print on a coupon can help you save time, energy and frustration at the checkout counter. Here’s what you can discover by paying close attention to the fine print:

  • An item’s location in the store: Is that frozen cake located in the bakery or the freezer aisle? Check the fine print to know exactly where to find a product in the store, saving you valuable time. You’ll also know where to file the coupon in your binder!
  • Where to redeem:  Don’t let the phrases “redeemable at” and “available at” confuse you. Here’s what they really mean: “redeemable at” is interpreted by the store clerk as limited to a specific store, especially if the coupon beeps. Refer to the store policy to clarify for the store clerk. “Available at” is a clue about where the item can be purchased. This can also confuse store clerks. If the coupon beeps and these words are on the coupon, ask the clerk about the store policy. A coupon that states “redeemable only at Walmart” means the coupon can only be used at Walmart.
  • Product specs: Knowing exactly what size and type of product is required to redeem a coupon can be confusing. Fortunately, the manufacturer spells it out in the fine print, clearly defining the product to be purchased, the exact size or sizes included, the quantities allowed, and sometimes the maximum value of the product. For example, a recent coupon for Nectresse sweetener clearly defines the product (Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweetener), the exact size (5.9 oz. canister), and the quantity (clearly stated as both ONE and 1). Including these details also helps limit coupon fraud.
  • Multiple items on one coupon:  Some coupons offer a discount on a second product with purchase of the first (for example, purchase a Gillette cartridge, get $10.00 off one Gillette Fusion Razor). A coupon like this requires very close attention; read the fine print to make sure you have the right size and variety of both products, and don’t forget to make sure the coupon is a money-saver!

This is a guest post by Tammy from St. Pauls, NC
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