1) All coupons should begin with the number 5, which is called the NSC or Number System Character.
2) Next comes a five digit (12345 above) manufacturer number. This number should match the manufacturer number on the product.
3) The next set of three numbers (678) is called the family code. This code is used to verify that the shopper has purchased the product which applies to the coupon.
4) The two numbers which follow the family code is called the value code. This determines the value of the coupon.
5) The final number is called a check digit. All UPC numbers contain a check digit which is automatically calculated based on the previous numbers on the UPC symbol.
There are times when you may receive a grocery coupon which does not have any coupon code. Grocery store coupon game pieces, coupons found inside products, such as dog food, and coupons on packaging like bottle caps and can lids are the most common coupons found without the UPC codes.