Basic Couponing – Part One

So now that I’ve shared with you that anyone can be a penny pincher, let’s talk a little very basic couponing stuff.  We’re going to start at the beginning here (I’m pretending you don’t know anything, but I know you guys are way smarter than that!)  I just don’t want anyone to feel lost before they even start out, and there is so much coupon lingo out there that can get pretty confusing!  So here we go!

Do you ever look at a coupon site and think to yourself “what on earth does all that mumbo jumbo mean?”  Recently, a friend of mine visited Passionate Penny Pincher and told me she was completely lost by all the “SS”, “RP”, “DND”, etc.  I’ll be honest, as a long-time couponer I often make the assumption that everybody knows what all those abbreviations mean!  

Well, my fabulous friend (and awesome coupon-teaching-buddy!),  put together this great list of basic coupon jargon.  We use it  when we teach couponing classes, and I think it might be helfpul for you guys!  (There were even a few I had to brush up on!)

Basic Coupon Lingo

$1/1 = One dollar off one item  
$1/2 = One dollar off two items  
2/$1 = Two items for one dollar 
B1G1F / BOGO = Buy One Get One Free 
Blinkie = The little machine on the shelf that dispenses coupons 
CAT = Stands for Catalina, a  coupon that prints out at the checkout 
ECBs = Extra Care Bucks (CVS Reward Program)
DND = Do not double

FF = FireFox (type of web browser, use to determine which link to print from)
IE = Internet Explorer (another type of web browser, use to determine which link to print from)
IPs = Internet Printable (Online printable coupons) 
MIR = Mail In Rebate 
MQ = Manufacturer Coupon 
NED = No Expiration Date 
OOP = Out Of Pocket 
OYNO = On Your Next Order 
P&G = Proctor & Gamble (Newspaper insert in Sunday’s paper) 
Peelie = Coupons that found/attached on the product 

Hangtag = Coupons found hanging from product (usually found on jars)
Winetag = Coupon that usually can be found hanging on bottles of wine
PSA = Price Starts At 
Q = Coupon 
RRs = Register Rewards (Regard program from Walgreens) 
RP = Red Plum (Newspaper insert that comes out in Sunday’s paper)
SS = Smart Source (Newspaper insert) 
Tearpad = Pads of coupons found in the store  
UP+ Rewards = Rewards progarm at Rite Aid

UPC = Universal Product Code, barcode found on a product
V = Valassis Insert (Newpaper insert – RP & V are combined in some areas)  
WSL = While Supply Lasts 
WYB = When You Buy 

YYMV = Your Mileage May Vary (some deals are allowed in some stores while others are not)

If you’re a totally new couponer I’d suggest starting to think about how you want to organize your coupons next (I’m considering changing my current method but it’s gonna be painful!)  We’ll have a discussion tomorrow on basic ways to organize, and then Monday we’ll delve into the nitty gritty.  (Aren’t you excited?)

I asked this over on the Passionate Penny Pincher Facebook page, but I’d love to know where you all are at in your penny pinching journey.  If you have a minute leave a comment on these two questions:

  • How long have you been couponing? 
  • Are there any specific areas of couponing you’d like to learn more about?  (Hopefully we’ll get to all of them!)

Stop back tomorrow and we’ll chat a little more on how to begin couponing!  

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  1. Have not used coupons for about 10-12 years. Trying to get back into using the coupons again.

  2. I am new to the couponing thing but as of now I am clipping ALL coupons and seperating them out into groups, I have 2 file folders that I am using,, ( I have been trying to keep grocery inserts to keep up with prices) Has anyone gotten discouraged from doing coupons this way?

    • Hey Chrissy! I have just now (after four years of couponing) switched over to clipping all of my coupons, and even for me it is VERY overwhelming! If I were you I’d stick with filing your coupon inserts by date (see pictures of how I filed them here –, and then just clip on a weekly basis as you need a coupon (you’ll notice in the inserts the date information for each insert). Also, I would print any coupons that you really want (high value coupons) as you see them, but wait to print the bulk of them until you shop by looking at the grocery deals (just click the links in the matchups). Let me know if that helps of if I can answer any other questions for you!

      • Dillon Taylor says:

        Laurie any chance you are still on this page or anyone could help me out with couponing at Winn-Dixie and sav-a-lot? Yes I realize these comments are all from 7 years ago but I figured I could at least ask. I have a family of 7 my husband and I one teenage son one preteen two a Kindergartener a Pre-K student and a two year old! We go through five gallons of milk and six and a half dozen eggs a week!!

  3. I have used a coupon or two here and there, but I tend to forget and find expired coupons in the bottom of my purse. My teenaged daughter( one of 4 kids) has recently become interested and wants to do it together. I really need direction so that I can keep her interested. It would be fun to do as our “thing” and we really need to save money where we can.

  4. Lauren G says:

    I am totally new to all of this. I have never clipped a coupon in my life. I am a college student and I will be having a baby in Novemeber and I am always looking for ways to save money. I saw the show extreme coupononing on cable for the first time ever and decided i should start there. But thats just it. Where do I start? Do i but newspapers or do online? I am still trying to figure out how that woman got ahold of 93 coupons for croutons! And what are the best stores? We do not have publix or whatever it is called.

    • Hi Lauren! What area are you in and what grocery stores are nearby? I’ve couponed forever and saved TONS of money, but I’ve never needed 93 crouton coupons (really!) I promise though that you can see a huge savings on your grocery bill – but let me know your favorite stores and I’ll see what info I can find you! YOU CAN DO THIS!!! (I promise!!!) 🙂

  5. Hi am new to this I keep my coupons I get from the paper and mail in a ziplock.. where I am its hard to gett coupons and find stores that double or things like that.. ur page iis helping me get started thank u..

  6. I am new to this cuponing thing. My husband and I are both full time college students and I also work full time. We have just got our own place and its hard making ends meet with only one income. I NEED HELP!!!! As you can see I dont really have a lot of time to spend doing it…What can I do? Thanks!!!

    • Start by watching the videos (especially if they’re for your stores!) Pick ONE store…. learn to do it WELL (like, really well). Find every blog that you can that talks about that store, look for every matchup, and ask questions if you don’t understand. If you’re way to busy, only use printable coupons to help save time. I promise, you can do this!

  7. Gigi Carol Gerhold says:

    I haven't been couponing because I feel like it cost to much for me to buy stuff I may not need for a few weeks. I generally get in, get what I need and get out.

  8. Hello everyone! I have been couponing for about 10 months now. I had never couponed before as I lived in Greece for over 24 yeas and such options do not exist. As most of you, when I began, I was overwhelmed, confused and felt i barely saved enough money to make the time consuming project of clipping, filing and matching worthwhile. I feel the best advice I received was to “Stick with It!”. I concentrated on Publix (a grocery store with many weekly Buy-One-Get-One-Free offers) as well as CVS. It took about 5 weeks before I started figuring things out enough to secure major savings. So… My advice is “Stck with It” you are lucky that in America you have the option to save all sorts of money thru couponing. In Greece, we had no choice but to pay full price. 🙂

  9. Dear GiGi- I felt the same way as you when I started (please see my earlier post here), However, I did “stock up” as much as I could… nothing major, maybe at most two items or even one….. It did not take long at all to create a mini stockpile. In the end, I would have the things I needed 3, 4 or 6 weeks later which I had purchased at a very discounted price. This leaves the week’s “savings” to get loads of produce, clothes or even some guilt free happy hour fun… LOL. At first it seems like one is wasting money on things one doesnt immediately need. However, the savings do pile up… and quickly! 🙂

  10. Nikki Carmona says:

    I'm new to couponing! A parent of one of my students introduced me to it and for Christmas gave me some organizing items and a binder to get started. I'm excited to see how I can save for my husband and I (no kids yet) and how it frees us up to give!

  11. I love couponing : )

  12. Live Laugh Love says:

    I'm brand new I am waiting for tomorrows paper!

  13. New to couponing. Moved from a big city to a very small town, and salaries are so much lower here. Needed to find a way to really stretch our dollars. Still really in the gathering information stage, but about ready to dive in and start printing and clipping. Hoping to learn the Wal-Mart system, as that is where I do most of my shopping.

  14. Laine Antaya Kyser says:

    for the target $5/1 coupon what is that or what does it mean?

  15. Laine Antaya Kyser says:

    for the target $5/1 coupon what is that or what does it mean?

  16. Stacie Monet says:

    Just starting! Love your site!

  17. Amanda Marie Triebsch says:

    I am just now going to start couponing and I am not sure yet, just taking it all in right now.

  18. Hi I been couponing for a few months I started 2yrs ago then got over whelmed now I still am I cut everything I think I am going to need and put it all in a binder..I feel like I waste so much time..

  19. used a coupon here and there many years ago. Family of six two in college need to cut some corners, ready to learn.

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