Learning To Coupon Series
Coupon Lingo – What Does It All Mean?
If you’ve looked at store sales ads and coupons, you’ve noticed that it seems like a totally new language. With all of the abbreviations and terms, it can get confusing to a new couponer. Since you’re already reading coupon/deal blogs like mine, then you may know most of these already. But I decided to put this series together so that even a person looking up this information for the first time would be able to understand it. So without further adieu, here’s the lingo!
- 2/$3 or 2/$5 – Sales ad term where you 2 items for the listed total price. Some stores require that both items be purchased in order to get them for that price. Some stores will actually split the price each in half on a 2/$x, so the price each would still work out the same. The way these types of sales are handled varies by store. If in doubt, ask a store employee prior to beginning your transaction.
- $1/1, $1/2, $0.75/2, etc. – This is a coupon abbreviation that means $1 off 1 item, $1 off 2 items, and $0.75 off 2 items. In this abbreviation, the first number is the $ value saivngs, the second number is the require number of items for that coupon. This means in order to get the $ value savings, you have to buy the right number of products. So for the $1/2 coupon, that would mean you have to purchase 2 of the item and get a total of $1 off, or a savings of $0.50 each.
- $5/$25, $10/$30, etc. – This is a coupon that means, when used, would give you $5 off a $25 purchase. These types of coupons are fairly common at Dollar General, Family Dollar and Fred’s Super Dollar. At most stores, the required purchase amount is before tax and other coupons. If in doubt, be sure to ask a store employee. It’s best to use this coupon before any other coupons or discounts. If used in conjunction with other coupons for indivdual items, you can really increase your overall savings.
- Blinkies – These are coupons that are distributed from a little machine attached to the shelf or display, usually near the product they match up with. They are called “blinkies” because, typically, the machine will have a light that blinks occasionally to catch your attention. When you take one out, a new coupon will pop up after a short delay.
- BOGO or B1G1 – This can refer to a store sale or a coupon. It means Buy One, Get One or Buy One, Get One Free. So bascially, if you buy 1 of the item, you get another one of equal or lesser value for free. If a store has a BOGO sale and you have BOGO coupons, depending on the store and their coupon policy, you may actually score both items for free. How this is handled is store specific, though, so be sure to find out what the policy is at your store(s). There are also variations like B2G1, BOGO 50%, and so forth. The same basic principle applies. B2G1 means you buy 2, you get 1 free. BOGO 50% means you buy 1, you get one at 50% off.
- Catalina – This is a coupon that is printed from the register at the end of a transaction. These are usually manfacturer’s coupons, but can also sometimes be store coupons. They are usually given to you with your receipt, but always check to make sure you got one if you’re supposed to. If you leave it on the catalina machine, someone else can get it and use it.
- Competitor Coupon – This is a coupon from a store that is a competitor of another store. Some stores will accept these with certain limitations or exclusions. Many stores in my area do not accept competitor’s coupons, but that’s usually spelled out pretty well in a store’s coupon policy.
- DC – Double Coupon – This is a coupon that is doubled at certain stores. The number of stores in my area that double coupons has quickly dwindled. Check the coupon policies for your stores to see if they will double coupons and what value limits and restrictions they put on those. There is nothing on the coupon itself that says “double coupon”. However, some coupons strictly prohibit doubling.
- DND – Do Not Double – Some coupons will have specific instructions on them that they are not subject to doubling.
- EA – Each.
- ECBs – Extra Care Bucks – This is a special reward from CVS stores for purchasing certain items or dollar value of items. You will notice in their sales ad that they will have promotions like “Buy product X, get $X ECBs.” When you buy the product, you will have ECBs added to your CVS card or printed out for you to use in another transaction. These are awarded at the end of your transaction and can be used on a future transaction. It’s basically carrying savings over to your next shopping trip or transaction. You will see blogs like mine post CVS deals and mention things like “It’s like $1 each after ECBs.” That’s because, basically, ECBs will act just like cash at a CVS store. If your total in a transaction is $10.70 and you have $10 ECBs you can use, then you will only pay $0.70 out of your pocket. One word of warning, though. Pay attention to the expiration date on them. They don’t last forever. Once they expire, they’re gone.
- ETS – Excludes Trial/Travel Sizes – Coupons with this restriction cannot be used on trial size or travel size products. This is a common restriction on coupons, now. Especially with the P&G Inserts.
- EXP – Expires or expiration. Coupons don’t last forever. Almost all coupons have an expiration date, now.
- GC – Gift card. Some stores have promotions where you get a gift card for purchasing certain items or dollar amounts of items.
- GM – General Mills Insert – This is not a very common insert, it usually only comes around once or twice a year. It contains coupons for General Mills products.
- IVC – Instant Value Coupon – Walgreen’s store coupons are typically referred to this way. There is a monthly IVC booklet at Walgreen’s that can typically be found near the sales papers. This term may also refer to coupons found in the Walgreen’s sales paper.
- MFR, MQ – Manufacturer’s Coupon – This is a coupon that is put out by the manufacturer of a product and can typically be used at any retailer that sells the correct product. They will have the dollar value and any restrictions, such as quantiy, size, and excluded items printed on them. These are easy to spot because they usually have Manufacturer’s Coupon printed at the top.
- MIR – Mail In Rebate – This is a rebate that requires you to purchase a specified item or group of items, fill out the rebate form, and include a copy of your receipt. You mail this information to the address provided and a rebate check will be mailed to you after the processing of the rebate is complete. See the rebate form for specific details and requirements. This is a type of “future savings”, since the money comes back to you later, it’s not rebated at the register. Rebates given at the register are called Instant Rebates.
- NLA – No longer available.
- OOP – Out of Pocket – When I post coupon deals that I’ve purchased, you’ll sometimes see me say my total OOP was X. That means after all discounts, sales, coupons, etc, the total I had to pay. Also, keep in mind, this typically does NOT include the sales tax. The reason for that is sales tax varies from town to town and state to state. So for uniformity, bloggers typically post the OOP as the amount without tax.
- OYNO – On your next order. Some savings, such at ECBs and Catalinas are only useable “on your next order”, meaning a future purchase.
- P&G – Procter & Gamble – This is an insert that typically comes out once per month. The coupons it contains usually expire just before the next insert comes out. It contains coupons for products in the Procter & Gamble family.
- Peelie – A peel off coupon that is found attached to the product, itself.
- +UP Reward – RiteAid rewards program. These are printed at the end of your receipt or electronically added to your Wellness Plus Card. They are very similar to CVS’ ECBs, except they cannot be used until the next day. They also expire.
- RP – Red Plum – This is an insert that is very common. It contains coupons for all kinds of product brands. They also have printable coupons.
- Stack or Stacking – Using both a store coupon and a MFG coupon on one item. This is very common, since lots of stores are releasing store coupons, now.
- SS – SmartSource – This is an insert that is very common, as well. It also contains coupons for all kinds of product brands. They also have printable coupons.
- Tearpad – This is a pad of coupons that is attached to a display or product shelf location.
- UPC – Universal Product Code – this is the barcode and numbers that are used when a product is scanned at the register.
- WYB – When You Buy – You’ll usually see me post things like “wyb 2”, which means you must buy 2 of the product for the pricing I list to match. For example: If you are buying an item that is being sold for $1.00 and you have a coupon that says $1/2, then you’ll have to buy 2 to use the coupon. So in my posts and matchups where I’m referencing that, I’ll write “$0.50 each, wyb 2”.
- YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary – This means that it’s something that’s allowed at one of my stores, but may not be allowed at your store. It also could refer to regional sales. Some national chains have different sales prices in different areas.
This post is part of the Learning To Coupon series. If you haven’t already, be sure to check the rest of the series out. The purpose of these posts will be to teach you about couponing, give you some of my personal insights and tips, but mostly to encourage you. Be sure to stay tuned, and never be afraid to ask me for advice or help.
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