August 20, 2010

Back to Basics | Couponing Terminology

This post was originally published on February 15, 2009. Just like any new skill set, couponing has it's own particular language and acronyms that can be confusing.

Recently, Kari from Hi my name is asked this question in a comment:

I'm new to this blog, what does RP insert mean? I'm thinking the coupons in Sunday's paper?

It's a good question; thanks for asking, Kari. It's easy for those of us who've been couponing for a while to forget how confusing all the terminology and acronyms can be when you're just starting out.

I'm going to do my best to define and explain the terminology in this post; I'll hard link this post to my sidebar section labeled, "Resources for Beginners."

Can I ask you fine readers to help me? If I miss a term or if I don't adequately explain something, would you chime in with a comment at the end and share what I missed? Thanks in advance for your help!

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Sunday Inserts: These are the coupon inserts filled with manufacturer coupons found in Sunday newspapers; they each have different names which are abbreviated to their initials in posts/forums/etc. Each newspaper subscribes to and pays for their inserts so you should check the newspapers in your area to see which ones they carry.

RP: Red Plum Sunday insert

SS: Smart Source Sunday insert

PG: Proctor & Gamble Sunday insert (generally only once a month)

GM: General Mills Sunday insert (generally once every two months or near major holidays/food buying seasons)

V: Vlassis

Doubling/Tripling: Some stores double or triple the face value of a coupon up to a certain amount. Check with your local stores to determine what their coupon policy is.

Printable: These are manufacturer coupons you can print from reliable internet sources such as SmartSource.com, Coupons.com (I have a Coupons.com widget in my header you can use), RedPlum.com, CoolSavings.com, etc. You can also find printable coupons available at many manufacturer's websites for their products. Some stores offer printable coupons you can use in-store as well; these can be both manufacturer coupons as well as store coupons. Please note: a reliable printable coupon is not one that has been reproduced in any manner and redistributed as a .jpg (etc.) file or other file format where multiple versions of the same coupon appear on the same page. This is likely fraudulent.

Catalina: These are coupons printed at point-of-sale by a small machine at the cash register. They print separately from your receipt and can include both coupons to use in the future on products or a coupon for a certain $ amount off on your next purchase at that store. Example: a store runs this promotion, buy (5) Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks in one trip, receive a $3.50 coupon to use at your next visit. The $3.50 coupon generated at the point of sale of the (5) BC Fruit Snacks would be a catalina.

Store Coupons: Some stores issue coupons that can ONLY be used at their store, thus they're known as store coupons. These can be sent via US Mail, by email, or might be found on the bottom of your receipt.

eCoupons: These are coupons available from sites like Short Cuts and Cellfireand P&G eSaver that load electronically to your shopper's loyalty card and are redeemed at point of sale when you purchase the item using your loyalty card.

Peelie: Sticker-type coupon found on the front of a product.

Blinkie: Coupon from a little machine found near or above a product in-store.

CRTs: CVS store coupons that print at the bottom of your receipt.

Shopper's Reward Cards: These are the shopper loyalty cards offered by stores like Kroger or CVS (Extra Care Card) that are necessary to get the current sale prices on items. They are also used to collect data about your shopping history so the stores can tailor their store coupon offers to you.

Stacking: Using (2) legitimate coupons - one a store coupon, the other a manufacturer's coupon - for the same product in one transaction. Some stores allow this; some do not. Be knowledgeable of your store's coupon policy.

Coupon Policy: Each store's rules on acceptance of coupons, whether they double and if so, to what amount, and the number of coupons that can be used in one transaction. You can request by email from the corporate site the coupon policy for your local store. Print it and keep it with you in case of confusion.

ECBs: Part of the wonderfulness of CVS! These are rebates on certain weekly and monthly items at CVS that print as coupons at the end of your receipt when you purchase the ECB-generating item and when your CVS Extra Care Bucks card is scanned at the beginning of your transaction. Consider them CVS money to be used in future transactions at CVS. ECBs from one item can be used to purchase the SAME item again (as long as there is a limit of more than one). ECBs do have an expiration date so always check yours to be sure you use them before the exp. date!

Rolling Over ECBs: This is the primary way of saving money at CVS. First, you earn a few ECBs on a low-dollar item. You then use those ECBs (as well as store coupons & manufacturer coupons) to purchase more items that will generate new ECBs. The goal is to pay as little out of pocket while increasing your total amount of ECBs from transaction to transaction.

Easy Saver Rebates: This is the monthly rebate program at Walgreens. Buy certain items that are in the Easy Saver Rebate Catalog (available in store and online), then submit your receipt (by mail or online) and receive a rebate check by mail. Better way to go? Request your rebate amount be added to a Walgreens gift card and receive your rebate amount + 10% more on your gift card.

In-Ad Coupons at Walgreens: Coupons for certain sale items that run each week in the Walgreens ad. These are considered store coupons and can be stacked with manufacturer coupons.

IVC (Instant Value Coupon): These are coupons found in each month's Easy Saver Rebate Catalog; they are considered store coupons.

Register Rewards: These are $ amount coupons good on your next purchase at Walgreens that print at point of sale. They are generated by certain sale items each week that are designated Register Reward deals. Example: buy (3) shampoo @$3.00 ea ($9.00 total) receive $4.00 in Register Rewards at checkout. Unlike ECBs, Register Rewards CANNOT be used to purchase the same item again in your next transaction.

YMMV(Your Mileage May Vary): This simply means what worked for one person at a certain store may not be exactly replicable by another person at a different store location. It might work, it might not, or it might work only partially.

WYB (When You Buy): Commonly used acronym in posts, forums, etc.

OYNO (Off Your Next Order): See Catalina definition above.

MFR: Manufacturer Coupon

Q: Coupon

OOP (Out Of Pocket): The amount of real money spent after all sales, coupons, ECBs, Gift Cards, etc, are taken off your order.

BOGO: Buy one, get one free; used in reference to sales in-store where you can BOGO items and also to coupons for products that state BOGO on a certain item.

Overage: This is hands down my favorite couponing term! Simply put, it means that the value of your coupon (or coupons if you have both a store and a mfr coupon) are worth more than the actual value of your item. Example: a bar of soap is on sale for $0.89 at a store that doubles coupons valued at $0.50-$0.99 to $1.00. You have a mfr coupon for that item with a face value of $0.50 that will double to $1.00. At point of sale, your coupon will get you your item for free and will earn you an additional $0.11 off the rest of your order. Important note: not all stores will allow you overage from coupons. Many will adjust the coupon value down to the price of the item; you'll still get the item for free but you won't get overage.

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Please don't hesitate to leave a comment if I missed something or didn't explain if fully enough. If you find something I left out, I'll revise this post with the new information with credit to you.

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, thank you for posting. Some of this terminology is easy to figure out, while others, especially if new to using coupons, have to do some google search, well no longer. This is very helpful! Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete

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