Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to Coupon- Part 1 {The ABC's of couponing}

Recently, I have had some requests...LOTS of requests, actually.
Apparently, everyone wants to know how to use coupons.

The new show on TLC "Extreme Couponing" has made more people interested...
{it's also prompted MANY coupon policy changes all around, thus making it harder for the
 average person  to coupon, which I am sure was not the goal in airing that stupid show
but that is the end result...urrrgh.}
but, I digress.

So I am taking it upon myself to teach you how to coupon the right way.
No clearing of shelves, no 50 identical coupons, no scamming the stores.

This is couponing for the average Joe Jane...

So today I will start with the confusing lingo...
All the abbreviations you will find on the internet and what they mean.
Let's call it

The ABC's of Couponing-

$/$- means a dollar amount off of another dollar amount spent....for example: $2/$10 means you will get a two dollar reduction off of ten dollars spent.

$/#- means you get a certain dollar amount off when you purchase a pre set amount of the item....for example $3/2 mean if you buy two of the items you will get a three dollar reduction.

B1G1 or BOGO- means if you buy one you will get one free. This is the same concept as 50% off 2

Blinkie- this is a little coupon device that is located near the actual product in your local grocery store....its that little thing that when you take a coupon, another one spits out for the next person.

CRT- Cash Register Tape...just another name for your receipt

CAT or Catalina- This is a coupon thats prints out when you are at the register for a purchase in the future. This can be a coupon for a certain amount off of your whole purchase OR a cents off a certain item. You only get these if you use your shoppers loyalty card...your loyalty card keeps track of the items you purchase and will give you coupons according to your previous purchases....for example, the other day I bought Vitamin Waters and get a catalina coupon for Sobe LifeWater.

Closeouts- A term used for a deeply discounted item that may not have sold well and most likely wont be restocked to the shelves...don't forget you can use coupons on reduced and clearance items at most stores.

Coupon Policy- This is each individual store's policy on how they treat coupons. It will address what they do accept and what they do not accept. I suggest familiarizing yourself with each store's (that you shop at) coupon policy...I keep a copy of each store's official policy in my coupon binder at all never know when you will run into someone who challenges your knowledge of the policy or some cashier who doesn't know...its just best to have ALL your ducks in a row. Below are links to some stores official coupon policies... These are just the big guys though...

Wal-Mart  I♥'s breakdown of Kroger's coupon policy (because I couldn't find an "official" copy), Target's (whom I ADORE for their stacking) K-Mart's is "unavailable" (I have found them to be pretty hit and miss anyway....lots of fine print when they double, watch your back),  and Meijer's (at bottom of the page) Here are the major drugstore's policies... Walgreens, requested the CVS policy by mail, and Rite-Aid's.

Coupon Insert- these are the packs of coupons in the Sunday newspaper. These packs are usually sent by Redplum, SmartSource and Proctor and Gamble. These are then referred to as RP, SS or S and PG

Double Coupons- this is when a store will double the face value of savings on your coupon. I personally do not go to any stores that the doubled value exceeds a dollar....but not for lack of trying. Kroger, (my grocery store of choice) doubles anything up to .50 doubling to a dollar. Then....for coupons over .50 off, like .75 off, they will give you the difference up to the .45 doubles to .90, .50 doubles to 1.00, .60 off doubles to 1.00, .80 off doubles to 1.00 and so on.

ECB- this refers to an Extra Care Buck from CVS. These are used like cash only at CVS and are earned through in-store promotions and are printed out at the register...more on these when I explain how to play the drug store games...

ES- This refers to the rebate program at Walgreens (WAGS) these rebate books are located by the ads in-store.

EXP- expires or expiration date

FAR- Free After Rebate

FAE- Free after Extra Care Bucks (only applicable at CVS, see ECB)

FARR- Free After Register Rewards (only applicable at WAGS, see RR)

IP or Internet Printable- these are coupons that can be printed from the internet and are now widely accepted

IVC- Instant Value Coupon, referring to the in-ad coupons at Walgreens (WAGS)

MFR- Manufacturer 

MIR- Mail in Rebate- These are usually offered by the manufacturer as some sort of promotion. Usually you save your receipt and mail it in and receive a check within 4-10 weeks. 

OOP- Out Of Pocket, referring to your actual Out Of Pocket expenses. This is the amount you have spent after all ECB's, gift cards, RR's, +UP's, coupons and other reductions.

OOS- Out of Stock

OYNO- On Your Next Order, usually referring to an amount off of your next purchase.

OYNP- On Your Next Purchase....see ONYO

Peelie- this refers to a coupon that is actually placed onto the item for sale...its usually a two layered sticker that you can use right away.

Q- Coupon

Raincheck- This is a slip of paper you can ask for at the store when the item is on sale but out of stock to secure yourself the sale price when its restocked in the future, even if its not still on sale.

RA- Rite-Aid

RR- Register Rewards- Exclusive to WAGS, these work like cash on your next order. They are earned in-store and are printed out at the register.

SCR- Single Check Rebates- This is Rite-Aid's Rebate Program....I love it. You buy something that applies, go online, type in a few numbers from your receipt and they send you a monthly rebate check for all of your transactions on one "single check". More on this later in "Drug Store Games".

Stacking Coupons- This is pure awesomeness... This is when a store issues its own coupons for items and allows you to use those coupons and the regular MFR coupons from the internet and newspaper in conjunction (at the same time, STACKED) thus taking two reductions off of the same item. Not too many places allow it. Target ROCKS for stacking coupons.

Triple Coupons- This is a fairy tale....I NEVER hear of anybody doing triple coupons, and when they do there are usually so many rules that it barely makes it worth it. I honestly do not know of any stores that have triple coupons...

+UP- UP Rewards- This is the reward program at Rite Aid- You use these like cash on your next order and are earned through in store promotions, they are printed out at the register.

UPC-  Universal Purchase Code- This is the bar code, some rebates will ask you to cut these out as proof of purchase.

WAGS- Walgreens

YMMV- Your Mileage May Vary- you will see people saying this when they are explaining a good deal if there are variables that are impossible to factor into the price, like coupon policy and the difference in prices by region....

WYB- When You Buy- Usually referring to getting a free item "when you buy" something else


Now you have the tools to go onto the couponing blogs and
understand them, here are a few of my faves...
Just click on them to go to their site.

1 comment:

Nanas Deals and More said...

Thanks for the shout out !!!!!