Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Learning the Couponing Lingo

Blinkies. Peelies. Catalinas. Confusing.

But, more on that in a bit...

I'm off to pick up my veggie garden supplies but wanted to get this posted first. This year I'm building up and doing a raised bed, so need to pick up some wood and some dirt! Will of course update with a post as I go along with my new venture.

In the meantime, don't miss out on that diamond earring giveaway that I posted about earlier. It ends on March 31st - oh and be sure to read my disclaimer. Don't want anybody to be caught by surprise when they visit and subscribe to that blog!

And, if you are still looking for something to cook for St. Paddy, I was cookin' up a storm this weekend, so there are some recipe links here to all of the posts I put up the past couple of days.

Now... let's talk couponing.

Have you ever wandered into a couponing blog or website only to be totally confused by all the lingo and abbreviations? I know I have.

Well, that's because I'm not exactly a serious couponer. I do like to save money of course and since we're on a fixed income, it's a necessity to get the best deals these days. So, yes, I do use coupons and match them up with store sales to stockpile certain items. I don't really do much with the grocery coupons because I find that the majority of these coupons are for pre-packaged, convenience foods, which I generally don't use much.

I do use the ones for canned goods and other products that we already use, but mostly I use coupons for paper products, toiletries, household and laundry supplies and things like that in conjunction with store sales to save a few dollars. I mean have you seen the regular price for toilet paper these days? Outrageous, but well, we all need it now, don't we?

Now, there are thousands of sites that teach you the how-tos of serious couponing, so you won't see me reinventing the wheel here. I put some links that I like on the lower right hand sidebar that do a perfectly good job of outlining the how tos, with frequent posts about what's on sale and where. Just scroll down and you'll find couponing tips, freebies and more.

But, the terms, I'm just not used to so here's a list of the most common ones that I've gathered up to keep handy for myself, and thought I'd share them with y'all too. I'll update the list as I run across any new terms, but in the meantime, hope that you find it helpful as a reference source!

Learning the Couponing Lingo

$/x: A certain dollar amount off of a certain number of items. $1/1, $1/2 – One dollar off one item, one dollar off two items

x/$: How many items you can get for a certain dollar amount. 2/$1, 3/$2 – Two items for one dollar, three items for two dollars

AC: After coupon

BC: Before coupon

B&M: Bricks & mortar, meaning an actual store building exists versus internet only stores.

Blinkies: These are coupons located on the store shelf in a machine that blinks, generally nearby the featured product.

BOGO or B1G1 or B1G1F: Buy one get one free

B2GO: Buy two items and get one free

BTFE: Box tops for education program.

CAT or Catalina: Coupon dispensed out at the register after your purchase, sometimes this is attached to the receipt, sometimes it prints on a separate machine. Usually has a colored border – generally red or blue.

C/O: Cents off

CPN: Coupon

CRT: These are coupons that print out on a cash register tape or ticket and mostly based on a product that you just purchased. Can generally be used with manufacturer coupons. CVS coupons are considered CRTs.

Date & Abbreviation: (For example: 3/22 PG) Sometimes referred to as FSI (free standing insert) Refers to manufacturers coupon inserts from the Sunday paper – date of insert/which insert. RP – Redplum S or SS – Smartsource PG – Proctor & Gamble GM – General Mills V - Valassis

DND or DND-9: Do not double. Found on coupons where the face value cannot be doubled.

ECBs: Extra Care Bucks program earned for a specific purchase at CVS. Similar to the CRT they’re in-store coupons that print off on the bottom of your receipt. They can be used just like cash with some restrictions at CVS. Generally these expire within a month from the issue date.

ES or ESB: Easy saver monthly rebate book from Walgreens

ESC: Easy saver coupon found in the Walgreens Easy Saver Catalog.

ESRs: Walgreens monthly easy saver rebate

EXP: Expiration date

FAR: Free after rebate

FSI: Free standing insert – the Sunday inserts. See Date/Abbreviation above

GC: Gift Card

GDA: Great deal alert

GM: General Mills coupon insert in the Sunday paper

IPQ: Internet printable coupon

ISO: In search of.

IVC: Instant value coupon from Walgreen’s ads and ESR booklets

Mailer: Coupons that you receive in the mail

MFG/MQ: Manufacturer’s coupon

MFR: Manufacturer

MIR: Mail in rebate

OOP: Out of pocket

OYNO: On your next order

P&G: Proctor & Gamble coupon insert in the Sunday paper

PSA: Prices starting at.

Peelie: An instant peel off coupon that is attached to a product for immediate use with that product. Don’t remove these from a product unless you are buying that product that day!

Q: Coupon – sometimes accompanied with the store name as in TQ – Target Coupon, CVSQ – CVS Coupon, WQ – Walgreens coupon, etc.

RP: Red Plum coupon insert in the Sunday paper

RRs: Register rewards. These are the catalinas from Walgreen’s.

SCR: Single check rebate, Rite Aid monthly rebate program

S or SS: Smart Source coupon insert in the Sunday paper

Stacking: Using a store coupon with a MFG coupon – some stores will not allow this, but many do.

Tear Pad/Tear Sheet: A pad of coupons or rebate forms hanging from a store shelf, usually located by the product that they feature.

UPC: Universal product code bar code packaging system found on consumer packaging in the U.S. Usually needed for rebates along with the receipt.

V: Valassis coupon insert in the Sunday paper

WAGS: Walgreens

Winetag or WT: A coupon found in the wine section or hanging on wine bottles

WYB: When you buy

YMMV: Your mileage (or manager) may vary – store management, often at the same store look at policies differently. What works with one store may not work with the same store on the other side of town.


  1. Thanks, good to know. Hope you're havin' a great St. Patty's Day!

  2. There is soo much involved in couponing! I had no idea until I met someone 'hard-core' into it. Wow. . .she was impressive. But I'm like you, I don't usually use the food coupons, unless it's the rare item we use alot (hubby loves his cold cereal!) but I use them all the time on personal care items! I have a good supply of toothpaste and shampoo that was free! :)

  3. You are so right Krystal! I really think you have to be hard core to get those big savings you hear about, and no matter what they say it's time consuming to do that. I'm happy to get freebies or at least good savings combining the coupons and sales, without having to put out that much effort!!


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