Saving money with coupons can be a real thrill. But most times, the coupons themselves can be kind of boring. 50 cents off this, 50 cents off that, a dollar here, a dollar there. Maybe you’ll come across a coupon for 55 cents off to liven things up, or you might find one with a really unusual value like, say, 85 cents.

But how many times have you seen a coupon worth exactly 47 cents?

Until this past weekend, probably never.

You may have seen the coupon pictured above from Left Field Farms in Sunday’s edition of SmartSource. If not, grab your insert and have a look. The coupon offers exactly 47 cents off a half gallon of milk or a 32 oz. creamer from DanonWave’s new non-GMO Left Field Farms brand. DanonWave also owns brands like Horizon, Silk, Earthbound Farm and International Delight. But those brands stick to pretty standard coupon values. So what gives with the 47 cents off? They couldn’t afford an even $.50?

Turns out this particular coupon value came out of – well, left field.

“Why are coupons always $0.50, $1, $2 off? Why not have a little fun with it?” DanonWave spokesperson Sara Loveday told Coupons in the News. “Milk doesn’t have to be boring, and pricing doesn’t either. And if we can get even one smile out of someone by having fun with this, then that’s great!”


So the coupon was designed to catch your eye, in keeping with Left Field Farms’ motto, “We do things differently”. But it wouldn’t have been possible until relatively recently.

Brands couldn’t get very creative with the old, shorter UPC-A bar codes that appeared on coupons for decades. They could only be coded with one of less than a hundred predefined values. And those values were relatively staid – beginning with 10 cents off, you could code a coupon in 5-cent increments up to $1, in $.25 increments up to $5, or in $.50 increments up to $10. Once you accounted for all of the multi-purchase codes (like $1/2 or $.50/3) and the buy-one-get-one frees, there was only room for a few odd values, like 79 cents or 12 cents off.

But once the UPC-A codes were officially retired a few years ago, the replacement GS1 DataBar codes opened up a whole new world of possibilities. The longer, more complex bar codes allow coupon issuers to create offers with any value they’d like, from 1 cent up to $999.99.

That hasn’t stopped most brands from going with the tried-and-true and sticking with the most common values. They may not want to get too fancy with it, considering some of them have a hard time coding their coupons correctly as it is.

It just so happens that no one has created an offer worth 47 cents, until now. And Left Field Farms appears to have carefully crafted its bar code so the coupon works just as intended (though the coupon says “DO NOT DOUBLE”, and it’s not coded to suppress doubling, so there’s that. Quick – what’s 47 cents doubled?)

The only thing Left Field Farms couldn’t do was get around those pesky state laws that restrict discounts on dairy products. So the coupon in Sunday’s SmartSource isn’t valid in Colorado, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota or “where regulated (or) prohibited”.

Residents of those states will be paying 47 cents more for their milk than couponers everywhere else, then. So the coupon isn’t worth anything to them. But to Left Field Farms, an unusual coupon that provides some free publicity, whether it’s redeemed or not – just might be priceless.

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