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Advanced Guide: How To Get & Use Overage


Overage – the diamond in the rough. The ultimate goal for any couponer. Overage is one of those things that we always strive for and rarely achieve.

Learning about how to get and use overage is something you should wait on until you’ve mastered the basics. It can be a tricky concept to learn and execute properly. Here will be cover everything you need to know about how to get and use overage in Canada!

What Is Overage?

Overage is what happens when the value of a coupons is greater than the cost of an item in store. This means that you can actually make money back on your purchases! For example, you have a coupon for Aspirin that is worth $6 off. Walmart then has Aspirin on sale for $4.77. Since your coupon is actually worth more that the sale price of the product you can earn $1.23 back on each bottle of Aspirin you buy!

This is an extreme example. Most times you will only get one or two cents overage on an item, but these monster deals do come around every once in a blue moon. Don’t forget to also factor in taxes to determine if you are actually getting overage.

How Do I Get Overage?

Most times, the only way you will be able to get overage is to use a coupon that states ANY. If a coupon has product size limitations, it is unlikely you will be able to get any overage with it.

Occasionally you will be able to get overage on full sized products but mostly works with trial size products. If you have a coupon that say ANY, check out the trial / travel size section in your store. This is where most of your overages will come from. For example, you have a coupon for $1.50 off any Colgate toothpaste and they have trial size tubes for $1. You can use that coupon to earn $0.50 overage for each trial size tube of toothpaste you purchase.

Where Can I Get Overage?

As of now, only 2 stores currently offer overage to their customers, Walmart & Giant Tiger. If you are wanting to experiment with overages, these are your only 2 options.

If you want to know more about stores that offer overage, don’t miss our Canadian Coupon & Price Matching Policies page.

How Do I Use It?

Using overage is easy! Just make the purchase and hand over your coupons! The cashier does all the work.

Since most of us won’t be going to the store just to make $0.50 on a trial size tube of toothpaste, the likelihood is you will have a healthy serving of overage and other purchases to make. Stores that offer overage will dole it out in one of 2 ways:

Option A – Money Back In Hand

This really does not happen often. Hardly ever, so don’t be discouraged if you struggle to have this happen for you. But in theory, yes, the store can open up the till and hand you cold, hard cash for taking merchandise out of their store. On the very few occasions I have had this happen, it is usually a lot of bother for a small amount of cash. If I were you, I’d make the most out of Option B

Option B – Money Off Your Purchase

This is the more likely of the 2 scenarios. Instead of getting actual cash, you can use the overage you’ve earned towards paying for the other items in your purchase. The most efficient way to do this, is to plan to purchase something there aren’t any coupons for (meats, milk etc) and pay for it with the overage. That way you’re getting even more free stuff!

Overage on FPCs & BOGOs

This can be a bit of a gray area for people and really it all depends on the wording of the coupon. 99% off the time you will NOT get overage on an FPC or BOGO coupon. Why? Well, let me explain.

On a “cents off” coupon, the value is stated and firm. On FPCs and BOGOs it is usually offered as a “Max Value of”. What this means, if that the product is free up until a maximum price. If the cost of the product is over the Max Value then you will have to pay. If the cost is under the Max Value then the cashier will write in the cost and claim only that amount. The extra money is just a buffer to allow customers to shop at different stores (we all know different stores have different price tags).

Now on occasion it has been reported that some individual stores have a policy to honour the Max Value of the coupon and award overage. This is touch and go.

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