Couponing 101: Understanding the coupon lingo
“Limit one per purchase” is the number one most misunderstood coupon term. The coupon lingo is rough. How many of you have just tossed the coupon thinking you can only use one of those coupons for your grocery trip? Or how many of you tried your luck at using coupons but your cashier told you that you can only use one like-coupon?
Yeah, that was me.
I used coupons this way (one of each coupon) and would walk away with a mere $1.25 savings. It was depressing. I gave up pretty quick. How the heck did those people on Extreme Couponing do it?
In December of 2015, I decided to give it another try. After trial and error, utilizing local couponing groups, understanding the coupon lingo, and watching unhealthy amounts of YouTube videos, I was successful. I was getting things for free, nearly free, and even making money on some of my purchases.
Now, I’m not one of those extreme coupon ladies and I don’t get hundreds of dollars of groceries for like $2.67 but I do save quite a bit of money using coupons. In fact, couponing is one of the things that helped me become debt free. And it can help you too.
Couponing doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but it does take time and effort to be good at it. Whatever the reason you want to use coupons, understanding the coupon lingo is a great place to start.
I’ve created a printable version so that you can print it out and keep it with you in your Coupon Organizer at all times.
An Ultimate list of Couponing Terms and Abbreviations
$1/2: One dollar off of two items, must purchase two items
$2/2: Two dollars off of two items, must purchase two items
AC: After coupon. This refers to the price after coupons.
Albies: Albertson’s store
ALA: As Low As
All You: A magazine that has coupons inside
BOGO/B1G1: Buy one, get 1 (free, half off, or whatever comes after)
B1G2: Buy one, get 2 (free, half off, or whatever comes after)
BD: Breakdown. This will be the breakdown of the transaction including sale price, coupons used, where the coupons were found, and final price.
Blinkies: Coupons that come from a blinkie machine, usually near the product
Bottle tag/ Hang tags: Coupons that hang from the bottle neck, usually wine or juices
BR/Balance Rewards: Walgreens
CAT/Catalina: A receipt that prints out after you’ve made a purchase. You can use it on your next order. Example: if you bought $30 worth of Huggies products, you may get a CAT for $10 off your next purchase
CPN: abbreviation for coupon
Competitor’s coupon: Some stores accept competitor’s coupons. See each store coupon policy to check.
CRT: Cash Register Tape. These are coupons that come out of the red machine at CVS stores.
Coupon insert: A flyer that contains multiple coupons like P&G, RedPlum, or Smart Source
CW: Cartwheel. These are Target exclusive deals that offer percentages off items.
DC: Digital coupon. Many stores and apps are now offering digital coupons to download
DD: Dead deal means the deal is no longer active
DG: Dollar General store
Do not double/DND: Some stores may allow doubling coupons, but if your coupon says DND then you may not get 2x the coupon amount off you purchase.
DPCI: The number of a product to check inventory online at Target. Store item number
EB/ECB: Extra Care Bucks. A reward system for CVS. You can earn ECB on certain purchases you make at CVS
EXP: Expiration. Be sure to check expiration dates on your coupons.
EXT: Excludes trial size
FAR: Free after rebate
Filler: A filler is an item that you may need to purchase if the amount of coupons you use exceed the amount of products you have. Also, some stores do not give cash back so you may need to purchase a filler item if your balance after coupons is negative. In addition, a filler can be used to reach the minimum amount before a coupon can be applied.
GM: General Mills insert
IP: Internet printable. These are found on websites like coupons.com or on brand sites
Limit one per purchase: one purchase = one item. If you bought 3 cans of beans, you can use 3 coupons because you made 3 purchases.
Limit one per transaction: You can only use one of the same coupon per the whole transaction. In this case, if you bought 3 cans of beans, you can only use 1 coupon. You can always ask to split the transactions and pay 3 times.
MFR/MQ/Manufacturer coupon: A coupon that comes from the manufacturer or brand
Matchup: Matching up coupons is simply pairing a coupon with a sale for extra savings.
MIR: Mail in rebate
MM: Money maker
NLA: No longer available. This refers to coupons on internet sites
OYNO/OYNP: On your next order/purchase
OOP: Out of Pocket
OOS: Out of stock
Overage: Same idea as money maker. It typically happens when deals are matched with sales and paired with high value coupons so that there is a negative balance which result in the store owing you money.
PG/P&G: Proctor and Gamble, a coupon insert
Peelie: Coupons that stick on products
POP: Proof of purchase
Price matching: Some stores will match the price of one of their competitors’ ads.
Purchase: A purchase is one item.
RA: Rite Aid store
Rain check: If an item is out of stock, you can request a rain check to come back after the sale is over to get the item at the sale price.
RC: Reward’s card
RP: RedPlum, a coupon insert
RR: Register Rewards, Walgreens version of catalina
Shelf clearing: to buy everything on the shelf of the item that is on sale. Please don’t be one of these people.
SS: Smart Source, a coupon insert
Stacking: Coupon stacking means that you can use multiple coupons on one item. For example, you can use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on ONE item.
Stockpile: Having a large amount of product so that you don’t have to purchase for a while.
Store coupon: A coupon release from the store itself
Tear pad: Coupons found in aisles near the product that you can tear off
Transaction: When you have paid, you have completed a transaction. Many items or purchases can be in one transaction.
UPC: The barcode number on a product
WAGS: Stands for Walgreens
WYB: When you buy
YMMV: Your mileage may vary. This means that the particular deal may not work for everyone depending on your city, store, and even cashier.