Coupon Basics and Understanding Coupons (Lingo)

Coupon Basics– If You Just Don’t Get It – Read This!

This is something that I find people asking about all the time. I had got this in a email and I thought that this would be perfect for my readers!

All this information is thanks to

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You can go here for more

I originally posted this two years ago when I was a hard core couponer…thought you guys would like!

People constantly ask me “How do you do that?”, referring to saving so much money on groceries. They look at me like I am crazy until I sit down and actually explain to them how I do it. Sometimes it takes a few times before they have epiphany moment where they finally get it. After three months, my mother in law just got it last week! I thought maybe my friends and family weren’t the only ones that didn’t quite understand so I thought I would try and break it down and really explain the concept behind what I do. So grab a cup of coffee and sit back and relax this may take a few minutes!

Please realize one thing, saving money like this takes a little work. I literally went from spending over $700 to between $100-$150, so the few hours I put in a week are worth the $550+ savings per month. You are going to have to be organized and put in a little time to really make this work, but when you get your system in place it is completely worth it!

Most important start small don’t make a huge list of deals and head to the store, you most likely get extremely confused and frustrated. Try a few things one week and then add a few more and add a few more. I did not get to this point over night it took about 4 months to really start seeing a difference. Start trying to shave $10 off your bill and then $15 and just keep going! First off, saving money at the grocery store involves lots of coupons. I get them from several sources, so start focusing on building a good stockpile. You don’t have to go as extreme as I have, but simply matching up some coupons will save you money so just do what you feel comfortable with. Even saving 20-30% off your grocery bill will be a great savings!

Where To Get Coupons:

  • Newspaper Inserts (i.e. Red Plum and Smart Source) – on good insert weeks, I will buy several papers if not 20!
  • Online Printables – print as many as possible of the coupons you KNOW you will use, if you don’t use it you have wasted ink which isn’t cheap!
  • Marketing Companies – programs like Vocal Point, Bzz Agent, and others that send you coupons, usually really good ones or coupons for free items
  • Blinkies – the little things attached to the shelves in stores, they have some of the best coupons! If you see something you use or need grab a few (or ten) and wait for them to go on sale.
  • Contact Companies – email companies of items you use all the time and they will mail you REALLY good coupons
  • Ebay – Yep you can buy coupons on ebay. If you see a coupon in an insert that you would love to have a ton of but don’t really want to buy a ton of papers, goto ebay you can usually buy 20 $1 off coupons for about $1.50 shipped. I do this a lot for juice because we go through so much of it!

Now that you have your stockpile the key is to match the coupons you do have to really good sales and buy a ton when it goes super cheap. If an item is Buy One Get One Free you can use two coupons since you are buying two items. Let me repeat that…If an item is Buy One Get One Free you can use two coupons since you are buying two items. This seems to be the point most people don’t understand but if you buy two items, even if you are getting one for free, you can still use two coupons. And to make a deal even better some stores like Publix will allow you to use either competitor coupons or Publix on top of manufacturer coupons (the ones in the paper). Honestly I have used all three on items before, one manufacturer, one Publix, and one competitor but those deals are super rare. But back to basics, on any week you can do something like this….

Mott’s Juice BOGO for $2.29
Use two $.55 off manufacturer coupons
Use one $1/2 Publix coupon
Your total would be $.19 for both or $.09 each

Yes this is possible and can be done! So when you find a deal like that you don’t go in with 2 coupons you go in with 20! In a case like this where it is something I use all the time I will goto eBay or Coupon Clippers and buy 20+ coupons. Then I get 20 bottles of juice for under $2. That way I am set for a few months and don’t have to spend $3 on juice when I need it because I already have it. In a case like that I would make a special trip just for juice. Sounds like a pain but think about it this way, over the course of two months that would save me almost $50 because I am not paying full price for juice. This is the premise of how you really save a lot of money. Stockpile when it is super cheap then your weekly amount spent is smaller once you have gotten a good stockpile of your necessities.

Are you confused yet? Or have you had your ephiphany moment? If you sort of get it read on it is about to get interesting!

A lot of times there are situations where you can use two coupons with a BOGO and actually create an overage. For example the deal from last week…

Maybelline Lip Products BOGO $5.39
Used two $4 of coupons = $8.00
Overage of $2.61

Now you can not get this back in cash, but you can use this overage towards other products. A lot of times I will buy things I know I will get an overage on so I can buy things I need. Since I have this $2.61 overage, I can get a gallon of milk. Then I have purchased two lip products and a gallon of milk for about $.38 (if the milk was $2.99). There also $5 of $30 (can be any combination) purchase coupons. PUBLIX accepts all competitor coupons, which means if Winn Dixie has a $5 off $50 purchase coupon you can use it at Publix. OK now you got the basics, let me show you how one of my typical transactions would be….
I am guessing prices, this is just an example:

8 Knorr Pasta Sides BOGO $1.29 = $5.16
Milk $3.69
Eggs $1.39
Bread $2.00
8 Ragu Sauce BOGO $2.39 = $9.16
8 Spaghetti BOGO $1.49 = $5.96
4 Boxes of Cereal BOGO $4.39 = $8.78
Bananas $.99
Broccoli $1.99
6 Cans of Progresso Soup BOGO $1.59 = $4.77
1 bag of frozen chicken breasts $5.99
Cheese 2/$5
Total is $52.38 plus tax

OK now here is how it would break down with coupons. Remember these are examples, but most of these are deals I have done and are possible. I am showing you a typical transaction for me…

8 Knorr Pasta Sides BOGO $1.29 = $5.16
– use one $.75/1 manufacturer coupon for each product
– total savings would be $6.00 producing a $.84 overage
Milk $3.69
–there are rarely good deals on milk, this is what you use the overage on.
Eggs $1.39
–there are rarely good deals on eggs, this is what you use the overage on.
2 Bread BOGO $2.00
–probably no coupons, but still good deal
8 Ragu Sauce BOGO $2.39 = $9.16
–use one $.75/1 manufacturer coupon for each product = $6.00
–use one Publix $1/2 coupon or each two products = $4.00
–total savings would be $10.00 total producing a $.84 overage
8 Spaghetti BOGO $1.49 = $5.96
–use $1/2 manufacturer coupon for each two = $4.00
–total would be $1.96 for all 8 or $.24 each
4 Boxes of Cereal BOGO $4.39 = $8.78
–use $1/1 manufacturer coupon for each one = $4.00
–use $1/1 Target printable coupon for each one = $4.00
–total would be $.78 for all four or $.19 each
Bananas $.99
–use $1 off Produce coupon from Publix Baby Club
–total savings would produce a $.01 overage
Broccoli $1.99
–use $1 off broccoli printable Target coupon
–total would be $.99 after coupon
6 Cans of Progresso Soup BOGO $1.59 = $4.77
–use $1.10 printable coupon for each = $6.60
–total savings would produce a $2.13 overage
1 bag of frozen chicken breasts $5.99
–there are rarely coupons, but needed
Cheese 2/$5
–only buy 1 for $2.50
–use $.55 off coupon – really hard to get cheese super cheap
–total would be $1.95

OK so here is how to numbers would work out…
 
Total Product Purchased $86.90
Total after BOGO deals $52.38
Total Coupon Savings is -$37.15
Use $5/$50 since I purchased $50 worth – $5.00
Total Savings $42.15
Total Out of Pocket = $10.23

I have my plan already done before I go into the store, I know what I am going to buy and have all the coupons ready to go, that makes it alot easier. Then I only spend what I plan on spending! But now because of this week I am set on spaghetti, soup, cereal, and pasta sides for quite a while and next week I will stock up on something else. This keeps my cost down and allows me to purchase other things I need like meat, bread, milk, eggs, etc. That transaction above would be my typical purchase or a week for my family because I can mix it with other things we already have to make all of our meals. Did I mention hubby also takes his lunch and I work from home, so $100-$150 is the TOTAL cost of our food for a month!
So what do you think? Did this help or did I confuse you more?

Understanding Coupons (Lingo)

After talking to many people I thought these terms used from several sites could help others figure out what the acronyms mean. At first it may be a little confusing but soon you will catch on!

AC – After Coupon
Actual – Physical items you hold in your hand meaning a box of hamburger helper rather than a hamburger helper coupon
Addy – Address
AR – After Rebate
BLINKIES – These are found in stores in a box most often the box will have a red blinking light on it
BOGO or B1G1F – Buy one get one free
BTFE – Box Tops for Education – special markings on products that schools can redeem for free or discounted items
B&M – Brick & Mortar means a physical, not online store
Cat or Catalina – Coupons that come from a box next to the CRT machine
CLFE – Campbell’s Labels for Education – labels from products that schools redeem for free or discounted items
COH – Cut Out Hunger
CRT – Cash register tape
DCRT – Dated/Detailed cash register tape
DCRTC – Dated/detailed cash register tape with the price circled
DND – Do Not Double – Not a problem in my area!
Double Coupon – Means the value of the coupon is doubled at the register
ECB – Extra Care Bucks ECB’s are a CVS exclusive
Envie – Envelope used for mailing items
ESR – EasySaver Rebate – Rebates found in the monthly rebate booklet in stores
FAR – Free After Rebate
FREE ITEM COUPON – GOLD! You get a free product at the store at no cost or just tax
FSOT – For Sale or Trade – meaning I want cash or other item in return for something I have
GDA – Good Deal Alert – heads up to a deal you should go get
HBA – The health and beauty aid section – my cvs has H on one side and the store BA on the other but most stores put them closer together
HT – refunds or coupons that are found on the necks of product bottles
IMHO – In My Honest Opinion
ISO – In Search Of – looking for an item/coupon
IDSO – In Desperate Search Of – looking hard for an item/coupon
IVC – Walgreen’s Instant Value Coupon- coupons from the weekly ad or ESR booklet
IVDSO – In Very Desperate Search Of – major need to find something
IP – Internet printable coupon
MANU – Coupon issued from the manufacture
MIR – Mail In Rebate – you have to mail it to a clearing house to redeem
NAZ – Name, address, zip code – used for trades
NED – No expiration date – rare coupons that never expire
NBPN – No Beer Purchase Needed – sometimes beer rebates won’t require a beer purchase
NWPN – No wine purchase needed – sometimes wine rebates won’t require a wine purchase
OOP – Out of Pocket – money paid after coupons
OOS – Out of Stock – get a rain check for these items!
OYNO – On your next order – a lot of catalinas fall under this, meaning you need to make an additional purchase to redeem
P&G – Proctor & Gamble Sunday insert coupons
PEELIE – coupon’s found on product that are sticky unless removed carefully
PITA – Pain in the ass
POP – Proof of purchase found on actual item
PPHF – Paypal handling fee – money used to trade coupons
PSA – Public Service Announcement – not as cheesy as the ones from childhood!
QUALIFIER – The items needed to complete a rebate
RAOK – Random act of kindness – offers of coupons/actual at no expense, given out of the love in your heart
RC – Raincheck – your best friend if you coupon!
RP – Red Plum Sunday Insert Coupons
RR – Register Rewards – These come from Wags, a lot like ECB’s
SASE – Self Addressed Stamped Envelope some freebies require them
SF – Store form, forms found in the store good only at that store
SMP – Specially Marked Packages – some rebates require you buy products with special advertising on them
SS – Smart Source or Sunday Insert coupons
STACKING – Wags and CVS allow you to use a store coupon + a manufacture coupon on the same item
TEAR PAD – A pad of refund forms or coupons found hanging from a store shelf or display
TMF – Try Me Free – rebates for the full price of the item when it first is new to the market
WINE TAG – coupons found on the necks of wine bottles
WL – wishlist
WPN – Wine purchase needed
WSL – while supplies last usually no rainchecks issued
WT – winetag
WYB – When You Buy – additional purchase is required to redeem
YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary – sometimes deals work well for others and not some. It comes from each person has a different distance to the store so each person has a different experience
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