What is Overage?



As you are in the world of couponing, you will hear many terms as well as various coupon abbreviations (or coupon lingo). We often throw these around assuming that everyone knows about them. However, as I get questions I know that everyone is at a different level of saving as well. We have seasoned pros and newbies reading, so I’ll be going through some of these terms in detail.

You have overage, or a negative balance due, from the above transaction. You will hear me often refer to Overage as a Money-Maker as well.  The large majority of stores will not give you money back from transactions like this. You won’t get the money (in cash) to take home but most stores will still offer this credit since the registers just work that way.

Using the overage to purchase additional items makes the most cents ;) This is another reason that planning your transaction is also important! If you have cash left on the counter, most cashiers are confused and think they rang something wrong so they either re-ring the transaction or just choose to not allow you to have the overage. Don’t leave your money on the table to be scrutinized – plan your transactions!

I see the big savings (or earning) opportunity for overage on B1G1 sales. Most store coupon policies accept ONE coupon for ONE item, you can use TWO coupons to receive a discount on the one item you are technically purchasing. Then, if there is a store coupon some stores also allow for ONE store coupon AND ONE manufacturer coupon on each item. Add that to a B1G1 sale and you have even more overage.

More info on B1G1 coupon redemption in Understanding B1G1 Sales and Coupons.

The true value of overage. It has to be a really good item for me to make the purchase IF the overage is AFTER a store reward or Catalina (i.e., pay $3 OOP but will earn $1 after ECB). Don’t get me wrong, I do it but if it’s for another bottle of {fill in the blank} that I don’t need to necessarily stockpile, I choose to keep the cash in my pocket rather then spend it. Usually the sale will come around before my stash is depleted.

Our Meijer store does NOT do overage. They do allow for TWO coupons on a B1G1 sale (and that is even a YMMV from what others have told me their stores allow). But, they will value the other coupon down so you can only get that item FREE. And, really, FREE is enough for me. But, of course making money in nice too :)

Many times, the Kroger Buy X get $X off Instant Savings Promotions are a great opportunity for overage. You can typically get items FREE after coupon, then add on the instant savings when you buy a certain quantity and that dollar amount is considered overage and applied towards your own grocery items. Not all stores allow for this (even outside Kroger chains) so again it’s one of those YMMV.

Overage is typically a YMMV. What stores do you shop that allow for overage?
Have any other thoughts on overage to share?

See more specific tips to shopping smarter in the Beginner’s Guide to Shopping + Saving!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on February 22, 2011

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