Are you trying to learn how to use coupons in the best way possible and the words and acronyms are confusing you? Don’t get disheartened, it can take a while. Here is a breakdown of the most commonly used terms.
INSERT: The coupon pages that come in a newspaper. They are referred to specifically by the company that produces them. RP = Red Plum; P&G = Proctor & Gamble; SS = Smart Source The vast majority of the coupons are from the manufacture, however sometimes they are also for specific stores. Target has been doing this a lot lately.
CLIPPING: The process of cutting out coupons.
CLIPPING SERVICES: Companies that will cut coupons for you, you are paying for the service and not the coupon.
MANUFACTURE COUPONS: Coupons printed by a company for specific products. Always read them carefully for expiration dates as well as size or selection specifics. For the example below, a coupon for Campbell’s is only for the Select Harvest variety and you must buy 2.
STORE COUPONS: Coupons for a specific store. It will be clearly marked that it is a store coupon. Sometimes you find coupons in the store circular that is a manufacture coupon so be sure to read it before using it.
STACKING: Using a store coupon and a manufacture coupon at the same time for 1 product. Not all stores allow this so be sure to check the store policy.
STORE CIRCULAR: The weekly ad that stores release with their sales listed. Always read the dates as not all stores follow the same week. For example, Rite Aid is Sunday through Saturday while Safeway is Wednesday through Tuesday. Even then, more stores are having 1 or 3 day sales. For example, Safeway has a $5 Friday every week but that price is only good on that day.
DOUBLE COUPONS: Some stores will double the price of your coupon. For example, if you buy 3 cans of Campbell’s soup instead of only .50 off, you will receive $1. Not all stores will double and those that do will have very specific policies. Know those policies before you shop. Albertsons often has double coupons in their circular. You must use that coupon along with the manufacture coupon in order to double your manufacturer coupon.
REWARDS PROGRAM: Every store calls it by their own name, but the idea is the same. If you register with the company you can receive discounts and more. For example, Rite Aid will give you rewards to use on your next shopping trip while Safeway gives a fuel discount. Don’t blow off the discounts, they do add up. I was selected (I don’t know why) to receive a .30 cent fuel discount for every $100 I spend in the store instead of the usual .10 cents. That adds up very quickly when your van has a 40 gallon tank!
CATALINA / CAT: The coupons printed out at the register that a cashier hands you at the end of your transaction. Some are store coupons and others are manufacture coupons. You should always read them carefully to determine which it is. Sometimes they are for specific products, other times they are a discount on the entire purchase. Read them the minute you receive them as of then the really god ones expire in just a few days.
BLINKIE: Those little machines in the store that allows you to grab a coupon. They are located near the product the coupon is for.
INTERNET COUPONS: Coupons that stores and companies publish online that can be printed at home. There is a limit of 2 prints per computer. To make copies is illegal and stores will not accept them.
PEELIE: Coupons that come on the product when you buy them. Sometimes they are worth more than the coupon you may have intended on using. If not, be sure to tell the cashier to leave them on.
BINDER: This is how I organize my coupons. Everyone should do it in the way that works best for them. Some people use a shoebox, others the accordion style which is designed to hold coupons. As long as you can find what you need and don’t forget what you have, then it is the system that works for you.
BOGO: Buy one, get one free is when you purchase 1 of the item and receive the second one for free.
CLOSEOUT / CLEARANCE: These are items the store wants to unload as quick as possible so they can use the shelf space. Items can be marked down as much as 75%.
MAIL IN REBATE: Allows the customer to send in a form to receive a check rebate from the company. Most require the original receipt. Rite Aid now allows them to be processed online.
UPC: This is the bar code on the product. Sometimes you need it for rebates, sometimes you need to know how to read it because you are unsure which variety the coupon will be good on.
EXPIRATION DATE: You have until midnight of that date to use the coupon. If they expire, either toss or send to a military family overseas. They are allowed to use them for months after the expiration dates.
STORE POLICY: This is how you find out what a store does and does not allow regarding coupons and their rewards program. Always know what your store is doing before you shop. I keep mine in my binder.
I hope this has been helpful, let me know if you have any questions.