Savvy Coupon Instructions Week 6: What is a Money Maker?

by Kimberly on December 13, 2011

If you are new to this series, WELCOME! Each week I am covering a new step to give you the skills you need to become a Successful Savvy Couponer!

To View the previous Weeks, Click the links below (in blue)
Week 1: Stockpiling
Week 2: Where to Get Coupons
Week 3: Organization
Week 4: How it Works: Using Manufacturer’s Coupons
Week 5: How it Works: Combining Store and Manufacturer’s Coupons


What is a Money Maker?

There are several Terms that refer to a Money Maker. Some people call it ‘overage’, some ‘profit’ and some a ‘Money Maker’. All of these terms mean that  the Value of your coupon(s) exceeds the actual cost of the product.

A Few Notes About ‘Money Makers':
~NOT ALL stores allow this. Many will simply adjust the price to be free. Make sure to check at your local store for their policy on this BEFORE you shop.
~I NEVER COUNT on getting overage. If I get it, WONDERFUL…but I’m happy with Free. It can get very frustrating very quickly if you PLAN on getting overage to help pay for other products and you don’t end up getting it. So…my advice…don’t plan on it, but when you do get it…do the Happy coupon dance!! :-)
~At most stores that allow ‘Overage’ they take the ‘overage’ and it comes off the TOTAL PRICE of your bill, which is a great way to save on items like meat and produce, which there are rarely coupons for. As a Rule, you will NOT receive Cash back on any ‘Money Makers/Overage/Profit’ Deals. They simply help reduce your total grocery bill. (I realize there are a FEW stores that do give cash back, but that’s the Exception to the Normal policies).


Let’s look at a couple different scenarios to see how it is possible to have a ‘Money Maker':


Scenario #1:


Product Being Purchased: Sundown Naturals Vitamin D3 400IU, 100 softgels, Priced $2.97 each
Coupons being used:
$6/2 Sundown Naturals Vitamins, any – STORE coupon
$1/1 Sundown Naturals Vitamins, any – Manufacturer’s Coupon

Because the Store coupon is for $6.00 off 2 products, you will need to purchase 2 products, which means you will also use (2) Manufacturer’s Coupons

What is the Total Value of the coupons being used?
$6.00 Store Coupon, + (2) $1/1 Manufacturer’s Coupons = $8.00
My total Coupon Value is: $8.00

What is the Total Cost of the Product I am Purchasing BEFORE coupons are deducted?
The Cost of the Product is $2.97 each, and we are going to purchase 2.
$2.97 + $2.97 = $5.94
The total purchase ‘COST’ of those 2 products is: $5.94

Let’s compare the Value of my Coupons to the actual COST of the product:
The Total Coupon Value = $8.00
The Cost to Purchase the Product = $5.94

How Does this Create a ‘Money Maker’?
I think doing the math for this is the easiest way to see how this becomes a ‘Money Maker’.
$8.00 – $5.94 = $2.06
(coupon Value) – (product cost) = Dollar amount left ‘Over’.

This means I have $2.06 worth of coupons ‘OVER’ the cost of the product (or AFTER coupons and the cost of the product, is a $2.06 Money Maker!)


Scenario #2


Product Being Purchased: Kikkoman’s Panko Bread Crumbs, Priced $2.29 each
Coupon Being Used: $3/1 Kikkoman’s Panko Bread Crumbs – Manufacturer’s Coupon

Coupon Value: $3.00
Cost of Product: $2.29
$3.00 – $2.29 = $0.71
Here you have $0.71 in coupon value ‘OVER’ the cost of the product, or a $0.71 Money Maker.


Does the Store Lose Money because of  Money Makers?

Often times the reason that a store doesn’t allow overage is that they think they are ‘paying’ you to purchase a product, but in reality, they are getting the same dollar amount for all of the products you are purchasing, that they would if you walked in and payed for the products without coupons,  the only difference is that they are being paid by the Manufacturers for a lot of the product rather than being paid by you.  Stores Get reimbursed the value of the coupons by the Manufacturer. Let’s look at this example below:

Items You Are Purchasing:

(2) Sundown Naturals Vitamin D3 400IU, 100 softgels, Priced $2.97 each
(3) Kikkoman’s Panko Bread Crumbs, Priced $2.29 each
(2) General Mills Cereal, On Sale Buy 1 @ $3.99 Get 1 Free
(1) Gallon of Milk, Priced $3.87

Total Cost of Products you are purchasing = $20.67 + tax. (this would be your cost if you went into the store and purchased these items without coupons (or the total the store would be making)

Here are the coupons you are using:

(1) $6/2 Sundown Naturals Vitamins, any – STORE coupon
(2) $1/1 Sundown Naturals Vitamins, any – Manufacturer’s Coupon
(3) $3/1 Kikkoman’s Panko Bread Crumbs – Manufacturer’s Coupon
(1) $1/2 General Mills Cereal – Manufacturer’s Coupon

Total Value of Coupons = $18.00 (remember that the Sundown and Kikkoman’s are Money Makers with the coupons)

Total Out of Pocket Cost for you =  $2.67 + tax. ( $20.67 Balance due MINUS the $18.00 in coupons = your out of pocket cost)

What the store needs to be getting paid for the product is still: $20.67 + tax. Let’s see what they are getting paid once we take the balance you are paying and add the Value of the coupons (which the manufacturer will reimburse them for):

$2.67 + $18.00 = $20.67
(amount you are paying) + (Coupon Amount) = (Total Store is receiving for purchases)

$20.67!!! They are not loosing any money. They are still getting paid the exact same amount that they would if you walked in, used no coupons and paid cash for those products. Overage is actually a ‘Win, Win’ for everyone. You get to pay less for the products you are purchasing and the store is still making the exact same amount of money as those not using coupons! More stores are beginning to realize this. Wal-Mart recently changed their coupon policy to ALLOW overage, because they understand they are not loosing money, but can use it to promote business and encourage those trying to save money to shop there.


What if your store doesn’t allow overage?

I have personally run into this several times. It is frustrating, however, I don’t need to agree with their policy, I just need to honor, respect and follow that store’s policy. In once instance when I had overage the cashier called the manager over and he  angrily said ‘I’m not paying you to get a product!’. I smiled, said “OK” and KINDLY asked them to take the item off my bill and KINDLY asked for my coupons back, and I simply go to a store that IS COUPON FRIENDLY! They are the ones loosing shoppers, I still get what I want, just at a different store.


An Important Ethical Note:


(NOTE: This is my personal Ethical Value/Opinion)

It has become my rule to NEVER NEVER NEVER argue with ANYONE in a store over coupon policies! I know when we plan our shopping trips and invest the time and effort into saving our families money, it touches a nerve when we go to the store and they won’t allow us to use certain coupons. I have learned over the past few years to ALWAYS KEEP AN OPEN MIND to learn new policies and what each store allows, so I can continue saving money within the parameters of the rules. Guess what? Most of the time when I thought I was right about how I could use a coupon…I was WRONG! I was getting frustrated with store employees, and I was the one using the coupons improperly. When I was a beginner with couponing I thought I knew it all….LOL…boy was I wrong! Here’s a confession…when I first started couponing I argued with a store employee and I felt so horrible afterwards, I called the store, asked for her and apologized. We both ended up laughing by the end of the conversation, but I certainly didn’t want to have to keep calling employees and apologizing! So, that is when I decided to change how I look at couponing, NEVER argue about coupons and decided to have an open mind to learn the ‘systems’.. I am STILL learning things! When there is a ‘glitch’ and it doesn’t go as planned, I patiently and with an open mind, ask the manager to explain their policy, so I can LEARN! (If need to blow off steam after it all, I call my husband after I leave the store or text a friend and vent…but NEVER vent in the store directly to a person doing the job they were told to do). Coupon Policies are always changing. It is our job, as Savvy Couponers, to learn the policies and abide by them, whether we agree with them or not. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, all that matters is that I am learning what that stores’ policies are so I can figure out where and how to shop and save as much money as possible for my family.


Next Week I am going to discuss How ‘Money Makers’ work at the Drug Stores!!


As always, remember that I am here to help answer your questions and guide you along the way. Please feel free to ask questions here or e-mail me anytime. I want each of you to be successful Savvy Couponers!




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