One of the most important things to do when couponing is to follow the rules.  There are “rules” listed on every coupon and people that abuse those rules, have suffered the consequences – some have even spent time in jail.  As long as you follow the rules, then you will stay out of trouble and more importantly, help keep manufacturers producing coupons.  In other words, as long as the system isn’t abused, then it should continue to be offered.  You are an important step in keeping the system alive, so be sure to be conscious of the rules.

Here are some of the general rules:

  1. One coupon per item purchased – in other words, you cannot use two 35 cent Colgate coupons on one tube of Colgate.  There are exceptions to this rule however.  For example, you might have a manufacturer’s coupon that gives you $3 off WYB 2 products.  In that case, you could only use one manufacturer coupon for those two items purchased.
  2. Expiration dates – be sure to check expiration dates and do not use expired coupons unless, of course, the store where you’re using them accepts them.
  3. Size Requirements – because of shows like TLC’s Extreme Couponing, manufacturers are buckling down on size requirements.  If a coupon is for a 20 oz. bottle of Dawn or larger – be sure to get the 20 oz or larger size.

Other common rules include:

  • Limit one coupon per purchase or item (be careful on these – there’s a difference between one coupon per item and one coupon per transaction, when in doubt ask the store manager.  Cashiers don’t always know and sometimes like to invent their own rules.  You can also always call the corporate offices of the store where you are wanting to use the coupon, as they always know.)
  • Void if sold, exchanged or transferred
  • Coupon value may not exceed value of item purchased
  • No cash value

Coupon Policies

It’s important to understand a store’s coupon policy.  Below is a list of coupon policies for popular coupon match up stores:

I frequently coupon at CVS, so I print out their coupon policy and keep it with me in my accordion coupon file.  It’s important to have a coupon policy on hand for any cashiers who decide they want to make up the store’s coupon policy.  Please share more coupon policy links in the comment section below!