Why coupon's fine print may be your friend

For example, if I'm buying two bottles of juice and I have two $1 juice coupons, occasionally a cashier may say, "I don't think you can use both of these coupons, because they're one per purchase." The easiest response? With a smile, ask, "How many bottles am I purchasing?" If you're purchasing two, you can use a coupon on each. If you're purchasing three, you could use three coupons, and so on. In this case, the cashier is confusing the "per purchase" wording with the "per transaction" wording.

Coupons that state, "Limit one coupon per transaction" are typically store-issued coupons. This wording is commonly seen on coupons like "$5 off a $50 purchase" or a store's coupon for a deeply discounted item. Stores use the "one per transaction" wording to limit your purchase in some way. In the case of coupons offering money off your purchase, the store simply doesn't want you to use multiples of that coupon in the same transaction. Or, they may be offering you a coupon for a special loss leader, like a dozen eggs for 49 cents, but they only want to allow you to purchase one of that item per transaction.

Knowing the difference between a purchase and a transaction can help you alleviate one of the most common sources of cashier confusion.

(c) CTW Features

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her Web site, www.super-couponing.com. E-mail your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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