An overage is the difference between an item's actual value and the coupon's face value. For example, let’s say you have a packet of tuna that’s on sale for $.50, and you have a coupon for $1. That’s a strange thing, right? What do you do? Well many stores will honor the $1 coupon even though the item only costs $.50!!! That means by simply using that coupon, you will earn $.50. Now when I say ‘earn’ the stores generally never give you money back, but what they do allow, is for you to get something additional that is $.50 and pay nothing!!
So, imagine a scenario where you have twenty $.50 coupons for tuna. You are earning a $.50 credit for each one off your bill simply by redeeming the coupon. After using twenty coupons, you have a $10 credit towards anything in the store! I go buy meat, chicken and other essentials that never have coupons and pay nothing! This is an important concept with overages. You must find things to ‘eat up’ the credit you have built up. The last thing you want is to get to the register and have a negative total. They zero it out and you lose the overage! Overages are rare, but they do happen. Another important thing to remember is that an overage is a privilege not a right. Stores can adjust down the coupon which results in a free item (not the worst thing that could happen ). Some store's registers are programmed to automatically "adjust down the coupon" to the price of the item which means no overage but you still get the item for free.