Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ask Megan: Deciphering Coupon Lingo

This is a topic that took me a lot of practice to understand, and I don't think you can ever completely comprehend because it changes constantly. However, there are some abbreviations and definitions that are commonly used and finite, so I thought I would give you a quick list of them all.

So, first off, here is a list of commonly used acronyms.
Types of Inserts -
RP - Red Plum
SS - Smart Source
PG - Proctor and Gamble (P&G)
GM - General Mills

Drugstore Lingo - 
ECB - Extra Care Bucks (CVS Pharmacy)
RR - Register Rewards (Walgreens)
IVC - Instant Value Coupon (Walgreens)

Common Abbreviations - 
B1G1 or BOGO - Buy 1 Get 1 Free
B2G1 - Buy 2 Get 1 Free
EX - Expiration or Expires On
GC - Gift Card
MC or MQ - Manufacturer's Coupon
MIR - Mail In Rebate
OOP - Out of Pocket
SC - Store Coupon
TMF - Try Me Free
UPC - Universal Product Code or Bar Code

So, now that we have the basic abbreviations, there are a few other terms that are not usually abbreviated, but still don't make much sense when you are new to the world of couponing. 

Stacking - This is something that I post about pretty much every day, but I have never fully explained. Stacking refers to using more than one coupon. The kicker is, these cannot both be the same type of coupons, and by type I mean you could not use two coupons that say Manufacturer's Coupon on the same item, nor could you use two Store Coupons on the same item. Stacking means using one of each. For example, Target has a constant supply of Store Coupons available to print on their website. Well, these are good by themselves but can be even better if you have a Manufacturer's coupon from the newspaper or some other source for the same product. Most stores allow stacking, however you should ask before you try to do this if you are at all unsure to avoid any complications.

Overage - This is something that is accepted in some stores, but not in all, so you need to check before you try to do this. If you have coupons that exceed the value of your item, whether it's due to a sale or whatever, it does happen. When it does, we call that overage, meaning it is the amount of money that your coupons go over the cost of your total. Some stores, like Walmart, will actually pay you cash if you go over and don't want any other items, but most stores either do not allow it or would just apply your overage toward other items you buy, making their price lower.

Filler - This refers to any low priced item that you would use if you need to reach a certain total to get a deal. Sometimes, you can have coupons that end up giving you overage. Well, most stores will not just give you cash back when your coupons exceed the value of your total, so you would need to buy other items to absorb that overage. These items are called filler items because they fill in the space between your overage and the total you already had. 

Have I missed anything? If you have any terms you would like explained, please leave a comment or message me at showandtellmeg@gmail.com and I will add it to the list!

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