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Got any spare Kohl’s or Bed Bath & Beyond coupons lying around the house? Maybe some ancient coupon artifacts from Circuit City or Blockbuster in the back of a drawer somewhere?

Well, grab the highest-value coupons you can find, no matter the store and no matter whether they’re even valid anymore, and head to any one of 67 Applebee’s locations in Texas.

Apple Texas, a franchisee that owns Applebee’s restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Waco and East Texas, is in the midst of what may be the most unique coupon promotion of its kind.

Throughout the month of March, Apple Texas “will accept ANY and ALL gift cards, gift certificates, coupons, etc. at its restaurants, expired or not, from ALL businesses and brands,” the franchisee announced in launching the promotion.

Any coupon? From any business? Yup.

“We realized a number of people have either expired gift cards, gift certificates or coupons to places that they do not care to visit,” Apple Texas Chief Operating Officer Chris Dharod said in a statement. “So we had the idea to accept these at all our neighborhood Applebee’s.”


There are a few caveats, and one notable catch. The coupons or gift cards must be printed on paper or plastic – the restaurants won’t accept mobile coupons. Discounts can’t be applied to alcohol or any other discounted offer. And the catch – the deal is capped at 50% off your purchase, even if your coupon is worth more.

You didn’t really think Applebee’s would be feeding your family for free all month, did you?

Still, it can be quite a deal, if you can get your hands on the right coupon. 50 cents off a box of cereal at the grocery store? Pass. 20% off at Bed Bath & Beyond? Not bad. $500 off the purchase of a new car at the local dealership? Now you’re talking.

The deal brings to mind a Pennsylvania grocery store’s onetime offer to accept competitors’ coupons, without putting any restrictions on whom it considered to be a competitor. “We accept competitor coupons provided they are from a grocery, convenience store or pharmacy retailer,” Giant Eagle announced back in 2012. “Any” grocery, convenience store or pharmacy retailer? Apparently. The grocer never clarified whether the coupons had to be from a retailer that was in the same neighborhood as a Giant Eagle, in the same town or even in the same state – only that they had to sell products that were also available at Giant Eagle.

That set up a potential free-for-all, where customers could gather up the highest-value coupons they could find from just about any retailer in existence, to get huge discounts at Giant Eagle.

You know, just like Applebee’s customers are doing right now. “We know that when our neighbors taste our food and relax in our atmosphere, they will become Applebee’s fans for life,” Dharod said. For deal-seekers looking for a lot of inexpensive meals – they’ll certainly be fans for the month.

Photo by JeepersMedia

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