The Stores and Restaurants Known to Accept Expired Coupons

January 27, 2016 by Kyle
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(Updated 6/28/17) When it comes to couponing, there is nothing worse than pulling a coupon out of your purse, or finding it on your smartphone, only to realize it has expired. But all is not lost as some stores and restaurants will still accept expired coupons. Keep in mind that the stores listed below are under no obligation to accept your coupon and results may vary by location.

TIP: Always be polite, friendly, and never demand they accept the coupon and your chances of success rise substantially. With that said, here are the retailers known to help you out anyways if you present an expired coupon to them.

The Stores and Restaurants Known to Accept Expired Coupons

Arby’s

If you’re craving a Beef ‘N Cheddar on the cheap and can only find an expired coupon in your junk drawer, no worries as they’ll more than likely still accept it. I actually found a TripAdvisor review of an Arby’s in Georgia that talked about re-using an expired Arby’s coupon.

From the review, “Accepting expired coupons AND letting me reuse the same coupon? Winning!” While every location might not be as lenient, it’s definitely worth a shot. Sign-up to get Arby’s coupons emailed to you.

Bed Bath and Beyond

The famous 20% off any 1 item coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond can be a real money-saver, especially on significant purchases. But what happens if you can only find an expired coupon before your trip to the store?

Simple. Use that bad boy anyways as it’ll either be accepted or the cashier will pull out a “non-expired” coupon from behind the counter and scan it for you. Like with any of these stores, be polite and friendly, and your chances of success rise significantly.

Burger King

When it comes to expired coupons, you absolutely can have it your way at Burger King. Apparently most BK employees don’t even look at the expiration dates and are happy to give you a coupon discount.

When ordering from the drive-thru, tell them upfront about the coupon before you place your order, but don’t mention it’s expired. Often times they won’t even ask for the coupon when you get to the pick-up window.

Buy Buy Baby

From personal experience (I have 3 kids), the folks at Buy Buy Baby could seem to care less if a coupon has expired. So always attempt to use, no matter the expiration date, when checking out.

If you feel uncomfortable trying to use the expired coupon, just find a non-expired Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and they’ll accept it. (Bethca didn’t know that?)

CVS Pharmacy

CVS changed their coupon policy back in 2013 and became a little more strict about not accepting expired coupons. But…it’s not a hard and fast rule and many cashiers still have the ability to override the system and accept an expired coupon.

Key to success is to be polite and friendly when stating your case that they should accept the coupon. My experience has been a success rate hovering around 50%. Your chances go way up if the coupon has only expired in the last few days.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Just this past weekend I was buying a pair of Under Armour shoes from my local Dick’s and the only Dick’s Sporting Goods coupon I could find had expired the week before. On a hunch, I went ahead and showed the cashier the coupon on my smartphone and she scanned it and told me that it had expired. I kinda played dumb and said, “Oh, bummer.”

She then said no worries and did an override on her computer and accepted the coupon. I always get great customer service at Dick’s. Always try to use expired coupons and you’ll typically end up with the discount.

Harris Teeter

While the official Harris Teeter coupon policy states that they will not accept expired coupons, I have it on good authority that they absolutely will if you try. This includes manufacturer coupons, and even competitor coupons that have recently expired.

JCPenney

I recently tried to use a 20% off expired JCPenney coupon and the cashier told me I couldn’t use it, but she had one under the counter that she pulled out and scanned for me. I thanked her and asked her if she would have let me use the coupon if I didn’t present the expired one, and she said probably not.

She said most cashiers are trained to give the customer a working coupon if they have an expired one. Moral of the story: Always present the expired coupon and you’ll typically end up with a discount of some kind anyways.

Kohl’s

They’ll take expired Kohl’s Cash, but usually not expired Kohl’s coupons, although it never hurts to ask. Apparently the Kohl’s Cash can be REALLY expired too which is great to know. So if you stumble upon some old Kohl’s Cash in your purse or desk drawer, DO NOT throw it away as they’ll accept it anyways.

Update: Apparently your mileage will vary when trying to redeem expired Kohl’s cash. Some stores will take it, many won’t. But if it has expired by only a day or two, you should definitely try and use it because it typically has a 48-hour grace period attached to it.

Lowe’s

Last fall I was installing laminate flooring in my home and needed some tools to get the job done. So off I went to Lowe’s with an expired in-store Lowe’s coupon in my pocket.

Granted the coupon expired only 2 days earlier, but my cashier immediately did an override to make the coupon good. I asked if that was standard policy, and he said that most cashiers will override an expired coupon if it has expired within the last 7 days. Great to know.

Michaels

Expired Coupon

An expired coupon at Michaels simply means you have the wrong coupon. Since they release new coupons every Sunday morning, which are valid through the following Saturday, you should always be able to shop with a Michaels coupon in hand.

Sometimes they’ll have a really good coupon for 25% off your entire purchase that only lasts a day or two. If you have one these coupons that’s expired by a week or less, I suggest playing dumb and try to use it.

If it gets rejected, the cashier will very often have something very comparable behind the counter that he or she can scan for you. This tip is from my wife who’s scored a great coupon several times doing this.

Petco

Thanks to current employee Geo, who let me know that you can indeed use expired Petco coupons well after the printed expiration date. This works best for Petco’s own in-house coupons, but you should go ahead and try and use expired manufacturer coupons as well. You stand a great chance of saving some money on an otherwise useless coupon.

Petsmart

I have it on good authority from a current employee that Petsmart will indeed take expired coupons. The catch is that they must be Petsmart’s own coupons and not manufacturer coupons. She told me that they’ll actually take Petsmart coupons for up to 6 months beyond their expiration date.

Staples

Staples has been known in recent years to accept their own coupons, even if they’ve expired. Will it work all the time at every location? No. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, as the one time you don’t, is the one time where you’ll probably leave money on the table.

Target

While I couldn’t find any official evidence of them accepting expired Target coupons, I did find a YouTube video of a couponer having success using expired offers at their local Target.

Then a little more digging, and I discovered another video telling us the same thing. I’m guessing your mileage will vary by store, but it seems to definitely be worth a shot.

Walmart

Walmart’s official policy is to not accept expired coupons. But because coupons these days are embedded with a high-tech barcode, often times they’ll contain an expiration grace period of several days or even up to a month. Moral of the story: Always try to use expired coupons at Walmart as you stand a great chance of falling into this “grace period”.

I learned this from a lady I was checking out behind at Walmart, several of her coupons were expired but were still accepted by the computer when the cashier scanned them.

Happy expired couponing. A great last resort for expired coupons to to mail them overseas where they’ll be accepted at military commissaries.


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Chris Potter.

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23 Comments on "The Stores and Restaurants Known to Accept Expired Coupons"

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Hallmark card stores, too =)

I work at a Petco and they do as well.

You should never deliberately attempt to use expired manufacturers’ cents-off coupons.

Accepting expired coupons is in violation of the terms and conditions of the coupons and the retailer may not be reimbursed for them which makes it more difficult for people to use them the correct way.

If the store manager chooses to accept the coupon he knows he will not be reimbursed. It’s about customer service and keeping loyal customers happy.

Bud, I believe this article is referring to store coupons, i.e. the retailer is the manufacturer of said coupon.

The Captain D’s nearest me told me quite matter of factly not to worry about checking dates on their coupons, they didn’t care if they were expired. Haven’t checked at other Captain D’s though, so YMMV.

Kroger, (QFC, Fred Meyer) has a “make it right” program, and readily accepts all expired coupons.

Yes, we do! I am a current employee and “make it right” all the time. 🙂

Not as of April 2017

WOW! Good to know that common sense retail is still available and active for expired coupons.

I’ve already broken out of the habit of presenting them, due to extremely harsh, unbearably uncomfortable and embarrassing situations, in which cashiers and store management were less than empathetic to my need to save some cents or a buck or 2, by using an expired coupon.

There is only tough love shown in the DMV area (DE, MD and VA). Nevertheless, the nearest Fred Meyer is 75 miles away.

Road Trip!!!! 🙂

Weis 30 days
Giant 7-14 days

HI, thank you for the article. I would like to share some information with you. There is indeed a “grace period” for some coupons; in my experience it can be pretty long; like about 2 months… there are also other coupons that do not have an expiration date at all and if scanned will be accepted even years after the expiration date printed. These are specific values through specific manufacturers. I prefer not to name them because as one gentleman said the store does not get reimbursed for it, and when that keeps happening, in the end we would all lose out.
The store does have a little bit of time to turn in the coupons to the manufacturer though so if the coupon is a few days past expiration and it is one that will still scan, it is my personal opinion that it would be okay to do.
Also I noticed that all the stores that you mentioned we’re accepting expired STORE coupons. There is a big difference between a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon. A store coupon is sorta like the a sale, and using an expired coupon would be like using a rain check. It is just a price modification and it comes out of the stores pocket. They may not mind if they have allowed for flexibility in the price regardless of a redemption date. A manufacturer’s coupon is the same as cash to a store. They expect to be reimbursed by the manufacturer for them when they mail them in.
And my experience with Walmart is that they will not accept many even if it scans, and even if it is within the valid dates printed!! They have the worst customer service and I advise people to steer clear of that place. These Walmart cashiers, when left to their own devices will interpret the coupon the wrong way (and / or will lie).
As you stated the success of your couponing is dependent on your positive attitude and the customer service. I agree completely.
I do not advocate being nice to cashier just to get something from them; but treat them as you would want to be treated and u will see that they can do a lot more than you think. Act like a jerk, and they will say the computer won’t let me blah blah blah….

Steak n Shake does also

Really?! Wow.

Bath and Body Works will accept expired coupons three days beyond their expiration date…I am an employee and we do this for our customers all the time. It is also stated on our website! Also, if you happen to forget your coupons at home and you explain to the manager that you are a regular customer and subscribe to the emails and receive mail coupons they will likely honor the coupon that is active during that time period. Being nice ALWAYS helps! 😊

where can i print out coupons that don’t expire

Those are rare these days. Cvs rainchecks don’t expire. Coupons.com,your local paper, digital coupons online. It depends on the manufacturer about the exp. date and they are not forever like they use to be. Hope this helps

Kohl’s I have heard from many people will not accept expired Kohl’s cash. Try to use them before they expire….

Kohls does not normally accept expired Kohl’s Cash. Even if it expired yesterday. After hurricane Sandy, my local Kohls made an exception, but that was truly a rare exception.

Jack in the box had a policy a few years back when I worked there to always accept them

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