Got Expired Coupons? Don’t Throw Them Away

Expired Coupons Still WorkI had to take my car into the shop the other day for a few maintenance checks.  Normally I would do my own maintenance, but when you have a warranty, they don’t allow you to do the maintenance.  It is the one thing that I hate about car manufacturer warranties.  I have the knowledge, skill, and tools to do proper maintenance, but they will cancel my warranty if I do it.  Very irritating, but I digress!

OK, back to my original thought process.  I had to take my car in and I knew it was going to be expensive.  It needed an oil change, state inspection, and it’s mileage check.  All said and done, it was going to cost me about $400 to get the required maintenance.  Boo!

Of course, I had the amount saved up in my savings account, but dropping $400 for car maintenance is not my favorite thing.  Before I went to my appointment, I decided to look through our large pile of coupons.  We keep coupons that we get in a large pile on our counter.  It is not organized and that is probably something we should do.  Either way, I was lucky to find a nice coupon for the dealer that I was taking my car to.  It was one of the best coupons they have sent.  It took off $175 off the total of my service.  Now, that is impressive!

Wait…..It’s Expired 🙁

Damn, the coupon expired like two months ago.  Crap, now that I got the taste of saving $175 on my maintenance, I was a little happier. Now, with an expired coupon, I was a little pissed off.  Why couldn’t I have a current coupon?  That is just my luck, I guess.

With an expired coupon in hand, I decided to head off to the shop and try my luck with getting the deal.  I figured that with such a large discount, they would be vigilant with the expiration date.  Most companies wouldn’t let you use a two month expired coupon with such a large discount.  At least not many companies that I have been around.  When I got to the shop, I talked to a guy about the maintenance that I needed.  When talking with him, I decided to slip the coupon onto the desk. He quickly glanced at it and said, “Alright, that is a great discount!

Did I just get the discount?

You dang right I did!  Hells yeah!  As I spoke with the man and kept him occupied, he was just so busy with getting me in and my questions answered that he didn’t pay attention to the expiration date on the coupon. I just saved 44% on my maintenance with a two-month expired coupon.  Now, that made my day!

Have Expired Coupons?  Try Them Anyway!

The moral of my story is that if you have an expired coupon, why not try them anyway?  I do this quite often with online coupons and they work about 50% of the time. It really depends on the store.  It doesn’t cost you anything to try an expired coupon and if you get someone that doesn’t really care or doesn’t have the attention to detail, then you can still score the deal.  Why would you not try this?

Have you ever tried to use an expired coupon and it worked?  Do you try expired coupons no matter what?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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36 comments
DC @ Young Adult Money says December 18

Wow that’s impressive that it was expired for that long but you were still able to use it! I usually do not try to use expired coupons, though some places like Cub Foods (which I think is only in the Midwest) honors coupons up to a month after they are expired.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    I was happy that they took it. It was a big discount that really helped me out.

    Reply
Dee @ Color Me Frugal says December 18

Awesome! I have done that before at places that I know accept expired coupons- like Bed Bath and Beyond. I need to get better at pulling out coupons regardless- as you point out, you never know!

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    Yeah, Bed Bath and Beyond will take almost every coupon. They don’t care.

    Reply
Matt Becker says December 18

Wow, that’s a huge discount! I’ve used expired coupons before too, though not for that much money. Sometimes they care and sometimes they don’t. It’s definitely worth a shot.

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FI Pilgrim says December 18

We used to use expired Chick Fil A coupons all the time, our local CFA didn’t mind at all. It would add up to several free dinners for my family over the last few months of the year.

Now they’ve gone to the “card” system though, so that doesn’t work any more.

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John S @ Frugal Rules says December 18

That’s awesome! We’ve used them in the past and usually have success about half the time. If it’s something worthwhile then I’ll totally try and using it, though never had a nice savings like that. 🙂

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Anthony @ Thrifty Dad says December 18

Ha! Love it! I haven’t intentionally handed in expired coupons in. But where I am, they really scrutinize the coupons. They’re coupon rejecters first, and slow cashiers second 🙂 It almost seems like they’re trained to automatically reject them. However, I have in the past forgotten coupons at home, and asked them if there was anything they could do and sure enough it’s worked. Not every time. But it never hurts to try. Especially if it’s going to save you $175 or more.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    Ah, the coupon rejecters. I have seen them before. It never hurts to try.

    Reply
Broke Millennial says December 18

Yay for expired coupons! I believe Bed, Bath & Beyond (and Harris Teeter) always take expired coupons – even if they notice they’re expired. Target, unfortunately, is pretty vigilant about checking. I once watched a lady try to negotiate with a Target cashier with the plea “Harris Teeter takes expired coupons.” No dice.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    Yeah, Target will not budge on their coupon policy. The others are worth a shot.

    Reply
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says December 18

I always try the expired coupons online but not in stores. I guess I should.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    You never know how much you might be able to save. It doesn’t take any extra time either.

    Reply
Andrew@LivingRichCheaply says December 18

It never hurts to try right? Some stores like Bed Bath and Beyond and Buy Buy Baby don’t care if they’re expired but some stores are pretty strict. As for the mechanic, I’ve seen 20% coupons for a local one here and they advertise different places…they offer the coupon all the time, I think they just put the expiration date to make you feel like it is more urgent to use it, but don’t really care about the expiration date since there’s probably a current version of the coupon. Although $175 is a lot of money…the 20% off coupon I had had a $25 maximum discount!!

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Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) says December 18

Haha I love the sneak attack. Just keep talking…. and keeeeppppp talking – coupon score!

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    Sometimes you have to be sneaky. No lies though, just keeping it on the down-low.

    Reply
Melanie says December 18

Wow you are lucky! Most stores don’t do that. It’s a holiday season and everyone is into the spirit of giving.

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Tanya says December 18

What an aweomse deal! I know some stores will honor it if it is a day late but I have never gotten away with one that was 2 months old.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    It never hurts to try. You might get away with it if you try it on a busy day.

    Reply
Romona @Monasez says December 18

Ive definitely used expired coupons before. Usually people don’t really care and they just giveyou the discount.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    I think it depends on the person. Some don’t like when you use coupons at all.

    Reply
H @ Minding My Cents says December 18

That’s great! I don’t think I’m gutsy like that though. I heard Kohl’s also accepts coupons one week past the expiration date.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    Why do you need to be gutsy? It is just a coupon and all they can tell you is no or that is has expired.

    Reply
Charles@Gettingarichlife.com says December 18

Expired coupons work well especially at places you frequent. I always use office Depot and they have always accepted my coupons.

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    Grayson Bell says December 18

    Yes, Office Depot is good for taking their coupons no matter the expiration date.

    Reply
Holly@ClubThrifty says December 18

I am guilty of knowingly using expired coupons to see if I can get away with it =/

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Laurie says December 19

LOL, good one, Grayson!! My mom did a similar deal the other day. We were at a certain big box store. She had a coupon for $3 off a certain type of a brand name facial cleanser, but she wanted another type of the same brand. She brought the coupon up, and bingo – it ran right through! And this after I told her it would never work. 🙂

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Travis @Debtchronicles says December 19

My wife is the master at this…we have a drawer that I throw all coupons into that we get in the mail or obtain through other means. When we need one, we find it and use it. Periodically I go through the drawer and throw the expired ones away. There are times when my wife sees a great coupon that we didn’t use, pulls a matrix move as I’m heading to the garbage and takes the coupon out of my hands….then calls the retailer and begs to be able to use it. 9 times out of 10 it works. 🙂

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Mimi says March 21

As long as you are honest and ask, “Do you accept expired coupons?”, that’s great. I would hate to get a cashier in trouble for not paying attention and accepting my expired coupon. I do know that Chick fil a and Bed Bath & Beyond will accept them.

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    Grayson Bell says March 21

    Most coupons have a scan barcode on them, so you really don’t have to ask. Their system will know it right when they scan it.

    Reply
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