It is safe to say that the most daunting first step of couponing is understanding coupon jargon/lingo AND feeling confident you can explain what it means back to a cashier that may not know much about the coupon language him/herself.
I recall my first shopping trip, taking several trips in and out of the car with my husband, asking the cashier: “if my 11 month old has cash in her little tiny hand, is she considered a ‘customer’ too so we can take less trips out to the car?” Needless to say, I am glad I know the ropes a bit better now.
The majority of coupons in circulation say “one coupon per purchase” – this does NOT mean you can only purchase one product and use one coupon and that’s it. This means you can have one coupon on top of each purchase of the product(s). For example, if I had 5 coupons for shampoo, I could have 5 bottles of shampoo with 5 coupons in that one single transaction. I am essentially putting “ONE coupon on EACH purchase”. I also like to change the language and say in my head “one coupon per purchase” means “one coupon per ITEM”.
If a coupon says “one coupon per family/ transaction” that does mean you can only purchase one bottle of shampoo using one coupon. You would need to go out to the car, unload and go back into the store to buy another with a coupon. Some cashiers are friendly about it and will allow you to stand there and do separate bills for those items, it truly does depend on how busy the store is.
I have been frequently asked, can I use a coupon if the product I would like to buy is on sale, the coupon says “cannot be combined with any other offer”? You should (always) buy things when they are on sale AND use a coupon. “Cannot be combined with any other offer” means you cannot put another coupon on top of that one to increase your savings even more (what is called “stacking”).
Understanding COUPON LINGO: Your ‘NEW’ Language
PRINT your own Coupon Christine’s Coupon Lingo Handout to have beside you at the computer or to put in your binder.
B1G1/BOGO = Buy One Get One Free (B1G2 is Buy One Get Two Free, etc.)
Blinkie = A coupon that prints out at a machine in the store. They are located by the product associated with that particular coupon. They are timed so you can’t pull out a ton at a time.
CRT = Your Receipt/Cash Register Tape.
Competitors = This is the term meaning “of related chains.” For example, grocery stores will take other grocery store’s coupons and drug stores will take other drug store coupons. Always check with each store on what their couponing policy is and whom they consider to be a competitor.
Couponing Policy – This is the protocol that each individual store abides by, in relation to coupons. What is typically included in their policy is whether they: take competitor’s coupons, accept internet printables and give overage. This is their policy from head office. But remember, each store has their own discretion to abide by their own rules. Click here to print off the store policies
Coupon Insert – This is a shiny booklet full of coupons found in Saturday’s paper and also sometimes in your Thursday flyer package. Ontario is sent SmartSource (SS or S), Red Plum (RP) and Proctor & Gamble/Brandsaver (PG). There is a designated coupon schedule for when these are released – see Schedule for Candian Coupon Inserts here
Catalina – A coupon for for money off a future purchase printed on the top of your receipt. As in ‘$1.00 off Black Diamond cheese” Expire January 29th/2011 would be printed at the top of your receipt.
EXP = Expires or Expiration Date
FAR = Free After Rebate (See Rebate for explanation)
FPC – Free Product Coupon, a coupon (typically mailed from the company) that allows you to get the product completely free (restrictions apply as noted on individual coupon)
HV = High value coupon, typically seen in trades when people are asking for HV coupons for FPCs so they are of similar value when trading.
IP or Internet Printable = A coupon that can be printed online. My favourites are Smartsource and LivingWell.ca, Websaver.ca, Save.ca, Health Essentials, Clorox.ca and P&G Canada.
MFR = Manufacturer
MIR = Mail In Rebate. These are cheques or coupons that the manufacturers/stores will send you if you meet the requirements on the rebate form.
OOP = Out-of-Pocket. This is the amount of money that you have spent after coupons.
“OTHER BOX” = When a couponer says, “check your other inbox on Facebook” it means since you are not friends, you cannot see his/her msgs she sends you and Facebook has created an “other” inbox for your non-friends.
OVERAGE = When the value of your coupon is more than the shelf price, Walmart (ON) and Giant Tiger (ON) will give you the money back. You will either see this money spread over the other items you have purchased or they will give it back to you in cash form or gift card.
Peelie = Coupons found on products in the store. You need to pull these off yourself to give to the cashier. If you are not purchasing the product, removing peelies is a no-no.
P&G = Proctor & Gamble. A big chain of brands that also puts out a coupon insert. They also have an online website where you can request coupons that are mailed to your home – www.brandsaver.ca
PM = Price Match. Click here to see which stores price match in Ontario– also PM is known on facebook as sending someon a Personal Message to their inbox.
RACK/RAOCK – Random Act of Coupon Kindness – this is done in MANY ways, some couponers leave their excess coupons by the products in the stores for others to use and others see shoppers and hand them coupons for items in their cart. Either way – its spreading the “coupon love” and is always appreciated by others.
Raincheck = A slip you can ask for in the store at customer service when an item is on sale and out-of-stock. Some sales will specifically say “No rainchecks” and some stores will put an expiration date on their rainchecks
RP = Red Plum. This is a coupon insert that you will either find in your newspaper on Saturday, or with your flyers on Thursday. Schedule of when the Redplum is distributed can be found on my website
RRLF (*RRRLF or RRRRRRRRLF) – When you see this posted by a fellow couponer it means they are “really really looking for” a particular coupon. If you see LOTS of R’s, it means they are desperately searching for that coupon
SASE = Self addressed stamped envelope – typically seen when trading for coupons and the trader would like you to send them a SASE to them and they will mail you back the coupons in your SASE.
SCOP = Scanning Code of Practice – If the scanned price of an item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the first item free, up to a $10 maximum (if over $10, the item is discounted $10 off the item). Read more here about SCOP. This is how you can get FREE stuff just by paying attention to your receipts and the cash register
UPC = Universal Product Code. This is the bar code that is scanned on products for pricing/info at the stores.
WYB/WUB = When You Buy
Canadian STORE Lingo (click on the links to find the store policies and a table of what each store allows you to use)
SDM = Shoppers Drug Mart