I think after “free” (or before most likely) overage is a couponer’s favorite word. Overage occurs when the value of the coupon exceed the cost of the item purchased.
A while ago a reader asked me if as consumers we have any recourse when a store denies us overage. In theory the store should write down on the coupon its new adjusted value, and that’s what the store should get reimbursed. But according to my post on how coupons are processed it seems the process is very automated by using scanners, so I doubt each coupon is reviewed to check for written notes.
Overage is a privilege not a right, was the answer I got in one of the coupon forums I visit. And what a privilege it is. I love how overage lowers the amount I spend out of pocket. Just in the past month I enjoyed overage from these deals:
- Viactiv vitamins @ Walgreens: from 0.81 to 1.41 per bottle, I picked up a total of 16 bottles. For a total of $18.96 in overage. Just in the nick of time too as I was about to finish my prenatals, I got paid to buy these!
- RX Essentials at Walgreens: $3.59 in overage when they were BOGO a couple of weeks ago.
- Iams Healthy Naturals Cat Food at Walmart: each 1.8lb bags priced at $2.5 used a coupon for $3 off any bags. For a total of $2.5 in overage. I freecycled the bags.
- KY @ Walmart: clearanced packs priced at $2 with coupons out for $3/each. Only found one 🙁
- Glade Scented Oil Plug Ins: Priced at 2.47 used $3/1 coupons. Only $ 1.06 in overage.
- Rayovac Batteries at Target: Priced at $0.25 at Target for a two-pack, with coupons $1 of any two packs. Used overage to get even more batteries.
- Smart Taste Pasta @ Pick N Save: $0.31 overage on every two boxes bought. Total overage: $1.55
- Kelloggs cereal at Pick n Save: $2.55 in overage and my father in law and aunt in law will get to enjoy the free cereal.
These are the main ones I remember for a total of at least $31.21 in overage. I used most of it (except in the case for the batteries) to help my grocery budget: bought eggs and milk with it.
In general I have found this to be my experience with the stores around me:
Walmart is touch and go, some coupons may be adjusted, depending on the cashier you have.
Target has usually been no problem with overage. My grocery store doesn’t blink twice. At Walgreens overage usually happens only when a store coupon is involved. What’s your experience with overage and the stores near you?