What is overage? (or how I score groceries for free)

DSCN7877Overage is a wonderful thing. If you read deal blogs or watch Extreme Couponing on TV, you’ve heard the term, but maybe you aren’t familiar with the meaning.

Overage is money that you receive back, either as cash in hand or money off the rest of your order when you have a coupon whose face value is higher than the price of the items.

Most grocery, drug and mass merchandisers do not allow overage. They will adjust the value of the coupon to make the items free. Walmart, however, does allow for overage. This means I shop at the largest Wal-Mart closest to us, because it has a huge grocery section.  I usually go once a month.

For those in the military or who have base privileges, the commissary also allows overage.

The secret to getting the overage is to purchase the least expensive item allowed by the coupon. Often times, this means the smallest item allowed. If there are no size restrictions, this means you might be able to use a coupon on a travel or trial size! Check all of the fine print on your coupons.

For example, I received 2 coupons for $10.00 off any Butterball item (I won them in a contest online) and this is how I used them:
2 Butterball Turkey Burgers $6.98/each

  • -2 $10.00 any Butterball Turkey product coupon
  • = $6.04 Overage

Generally, I use overage to purchase items I did not have coupons for (usually fresh fruits and vegetables).

If you are looking for some recent coupons that might provide you with some overage at Walmart, Paul over at I Heart The Mart has an awesome list of items at Walmart for $1 or less. 

What have you scored recently for free or received overage on?

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