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Commissary Extreme Couponing Crackdown

The commissary is threatening to revoke the shopping privileges of crazy couponers who play the system a little too well.

According to this statement, the commissary will no longer be tolerating shoppers who buy “excessive quantities” just to rack up an “overage,” or money back.

A couponing “overage” occurs when the value of the coupon exceeds the price of an item, resulting in the shopper actually being paid to buy the product. Extreme couponers rely on this method to bring down their grocery bill for other items for which they do not have coupons. The commissary is one of the few grocery stores that will actually give a shopper literal cash back at the end of a purchase if the overages exceed the total bill.

So, for example, if you bought 30 bottles of mustard at $.50 each and had a coupon for $1 off each, the checker would literally hand you $15 at the end of your order.

The new policy labels that practice as potentially abusive, and draws the line at 36 units or three cases of any given product. Those who buy more than that amount with coupons will be red flagged as potential abusers. If the behavior continues they could be blocked from shopping at the commissary at all.

This change should only impact those who use extreme amounts of coupons at the commissary, a subject we’ve talked about here before. Those of us who use a few coupons every time for small but consistent shavings shouldn’t notice any change at all.

A second change will also likely only impact extreme shoppers. Rather than handing shoppers actual cash back at the end of a large overage transaction, the commissary will limit cash back to $25. Anything over that will be put on a commissary gift card.

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