Coupons Explained Further: How to Use Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here

Coupons Explained Further –
Proper Coupon Usage


  • You can only use one manufacturer coupon per item purchased. For example, if you have 3 $1/1 Johnson’s Baby Wash manufacturer coupons, you can purchase 3 Johnson’s Baby Wash in the same transaction and use all 3 $1/1 Johnson’s Baby Wash coupons ( one coupon per baby wash purchased). This may seem obvious to some, but others, even some cashiers/managers do not always understand the difference between a purchase and a transaction. Often coupons say one per purchase. Since you are purchasing each item, each item is itself a purchase. A transaction is the total of all the items purchased. In this case, the 3 Johnson’s Baby Wash make up your transaction. If a coupon states one per transaction then you can only use one coupon in that entire order. You would need to do a completely separate order to use another coupon.

Example of a Manufacturers Coupon

  • In some cases, you can use both a Manufacturer coupon AND a Store coupon for the purchase of one item (this is called stacking). For example, Target allows you to use both a Target store coupon AND a manufacturer coupon for the purchase of one item. Stacking coupons allows you to save even more at the store. This policy is the same for Rite Aid and Walgreens as well. If you are not familiar with a store’s coupon policy head on over here and read our local stores coupon policies.

Example: Target has Dora Rolling Paper $2.50
You can use a $1.00 Dora Rolling Paper Manu Coupon
AND use the $1.00 Target Dora Rolling Paper Coupon
You only pay $0.50!!!
Pretty cool!

Example of a Store Coupon

  • Do not use expired coupons even if they scan! If you have a bunch of expired coupons you can look into sending them to military families overseas. 🙂


  • If you have a coupon that requires the purchase of multiple items, then you must purchase the stated number of items on the coupon. For example, if you have a $1/2 Ziploc Bags coupon then you must purchase 2 Ziploc Bags to use the coupon. Keep in mind that this $1/2 coupon is applied or attached to both Ziploc Bags so you cannot apply an additional manufacturer coupon to either of these 2 Ziploc Bags.


  • BOGO – Buy One Get One Free Coupons are great to use. Make sure you read the “Up To” price. Sometimes the regular price of the product at some stores can be higher than the up to amount, making it not free. So watch for that.


  • FREE Coupons – These are usually given out by the Manufacturer themselves from a promotion or giveaway. Make sure you look at the “Up To” price on these as well!

**Be sure to check out each store’s own coupon policy in order to know what they accept, and how you can use some of the coupons.

Example: You have a free product coupon for Pantene Shampoo with a maximum value of $3.99 specified on the coupon. Your store has the Pantene Shampoo priced at $4.99. If you use the free product coupon, you will actually pay $1 for the shampoo since the coupon only allows a maximum of $3.99.

Determining if a Coupon is FAKE:

-High Value Coupons you don’t see often, may be a Red Flag
-If coupon is circulated via email from a friend, may be a Red Flag
-PDF files-can easily be changed. Make sure it is from the product website only before you print some random link.
-P&G NEVER has internet printed coupons (except, so we know it’s legit)
-Get the coupons from the source itself, or check the Coupon Information Center’s website for up to date fraudulent coupons.
-If the coupon seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Here is an example below

  • When reading a coupon look beyond the Picture. Be sure to focus on the text and NOT the picture. For example, I have a manufacturer coupon that specifically states “Save $3 off any Jergens Lotion product (excludes trial sizes)” The manufacturer has intentionally placed a picture of a more expensive product on the coupon. At first glance, one may assume that you can only save $3 off the purchase of the lotion pictured however, once you read the text, you realize that the coupon can be used to save $3 off ANY Jergens lotion product except for trial sizes.


  • Be sure to read the fine print under the pictures and size restrictions. Occasionally a coupon may state one per customer. In this case, you can only use one coupon no matter how many items you purchase. Also, coupons lately have been having limitations such as limit 2 or 4 like coupons per transaction (thanks tlc). So just be sure to read the whole coupon to avoid any problems at the registers.

Coupon Redemption

Every Manufacturer’s coupon has a Redemption Address on it for the store to send the coupon in to get reimbursed for.

The manufacturer will reimburse stores the face value of coupons or if the coupon calls for free merchandise, for the retail-selling price up to the stated maximum value printed on the coupon PLUS 8¢ for handling each coupon properly redeemed (this 8¢ value may vary slightly).

**This is why when a cashier gets annoyed when I purchase an item that will be free after coupon, I giggle a little. They seem to say that you can’t not pay for this. I try to explain that your store will get reimbursed, but not always do they understand.

Hope This is Helpful!
Kristy – My Momma Taught Me


  1. coupondetect

    Great article, I see Google put this article on the first page when you type: “coupons explained”


  2. Fine Print On Coupons - My Momma Taught Me

    […] Read More about Coupons Explained Further here […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *