Personal Finance

How to Read a Coupon

If you’re just starting your journey using coupons, you might be finding yourself a tad bit confused. There is a lot to using them and it can be very easy to find yourself overwhelmed. I know I was at first! Learning how to read a coupon is the very first step to getting started on your road to using them as a tool to save money.

How to Read a Coupon

How to Read a Coupon

All coupons have five basic sections that you need to pay attention to. Your coupon will usually look something like this:

“Save X amount on 2 Huggies Diapers”

The information contained in these five sections will tell you everything that you need to know about the coupon itself and how it can be used. When you shop, all of the info that is listed must match up to what you’re buying including how many of an item you’re buying and even what the date is.

1. Coupon Value. Every single coupon has a value to it. This value is how much you will save. Usually, the value is listed near the top of the coupon and will say something like “Save X amount on….”.

2. Item Quantity. Usually to the right of the coupon value, you’ll notice the item quantity worded as “Save X on 2” or something along those lines. This line tells you the exact amount of items you have to buy in order to use the coupon. Some will be 1 item, some 2 and others will be 3 or more. You cannot use the coupon unless you buy the specific number of items as listed on the coupon. No exceptions.

3. Item description. Next to the item quantity, you’ll see the item description. This is the part of the coupon where the manufacturer tells you what items you need to buy. Be absolutely certain to read this portion carefully since some coupons require the purchase of multiple items.

4. Limits. This area is where some coupon users get into trouble. The coupon limits section of the coupon must be followed. Otherwise, you’re committing coupon fraud. This area of the coupon will tell you things like whether the coupon can be used with another, how many of each coupon can be used in a transaction, purchase or even a single date.

5. Expiration Date. Lastly, you’ll want to pay attention to the expiration date of the coupon. Most of the time these dates are at the very top of the coupon. This date is the absolute last date that the coupon can be used. If you don’t use it by then, it won’t be a valid coupon anymore and is basically worthless.

Couponing as a whole is not complicated. It really breaks down into just a few parts. Learning how to read a coupon is the first part and will be a massive help to you as you save. In a nutshell, read the fine print and make sure you understand it before you hit the cash register.

Check out my other posts about couponing and saving money: 17 ways to save money on groceries, how to save money on groceries with Checkout 51, why I’m not price matching anymore, how to price match with flyers, 10 sites to find coupons online in Canada, 20 ways to save money on electricity, how to save money shopping online and four apps to save money on groceries in Canada.

How often do you use coupons when you shop?

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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