Understanding Coupon Overage

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see Full Disclosure Policy for more information.

The elusive overage is the ultimate score to a serious couponer.  Coupon overage is a situation where the value of a coupon exceeds the items shelf price.  For example…

Similac $5 Coupon
A qualifying item was at Walmart for $2.99
This created a $2.01 overage per coupon (not factoring in taxes)

Do All Stores Allow Overage?

Not all stores allow overages.  You will need to check your store’s policy.  Some will state that if a coupon value exceeds the selling price then the coupon will be marked down to equal the product value.

How is my overage applied?

Stores that do allow overage will usually state how the overage can be used at their store.  It will specify whether it can be used towards your “basket purchase”, given in cash or sometimes as a store gift card.  When they state it can be used towards your “basket purchase” basically this means the overage amount will be applied towards the other items you are buying.

So let’s say you have 10 of the $1.50 Off 12 count or smaller Breathe Right coupons and you buy 10 of the $0.97 trial packs.  Here is how it breaks down not counting tax…

Coupon Value 10 X $1.50 = $15.00
Product Value 10 X $0.97 = $9.70
Overage = $5.30

Depending on your store’s policy the $5.30 can either be applied towards your out of pocket for your other items, or receive it in cash or on a gift card.  If your store only allows overage to be applied to your “basket purchase” make sure you have an amount exceeding your overage or you will lose it.

Is overage always worth it?

Actually no if you take taxes into the equation.  Sometimes the taxes will cause a deal that appears to be an overage situation to not actually cause overage.  Let’s take a look at the following scenarios…

Amazon Prime Banner 1

Similac $5.00 Coupon on $2.99 Item-
$5.00 Coupon
$2.99 Item
$3.24 cost with 8.5% tax
$1.76 overage each coupon

Breathe Right $1.50 Coupon on $0.97 Item-
$1.50 Coupon
$0.97 Item
$1.05 cost with 8.5% tax
$0.45 overage each coupon

Franks Hot Sauce $1 Coupon on $0.97 Item
$1.00 Coupon
$0.97 Item
$1.05 cost with 8.5% tax
$0.05 COST per coupon

Now if you live in an area where food may not be taxable or you have a decreased tax on foods some items may still be an overage situation.  Just remember when trying to obtain overages take your taxes into account.

 What should I be using my overage for?

At the Coupon Wizards we love overage but we believe in using it responsibly.  We are not advocates of going out and buy 100 Similac items so that you can walk out of Walmart with $176 cash in hand.  However, when you do have overage situations consider using the overage to buy things that usually do not have sales or coupons like meat, fresh produce or milk.


Keep in mind that overage situations do not happen daily.  These are few and far between at most times but do make the best of them when you can score them!


  1. In Texas, you only pay tax on the actual out of pocket cost and unprepared food isn’t taxed. Anything that has a coupon with overage is a money maker.

Speak Your Mind