Coupon Basics

So you want to grab some awesome deals, while spending less than you ever have before??  Take a look at what's possible!

In the picture above, my total out of pocket was $3.59.  It turned into a HUGE money maker as I got back a $10 Rite Aid gift card and $11 in +Up Rewards (Rite Aid cash that prints at the bottom of your receipt) dropping my total to a $17.41 money maker (meaning everything in the picture was essentially free and I made $17.41 towards future purchases)!!

Types of coupons: 
  • Manufacturer (these can be used at any store that accepts coupons)
  • Store (these are store-specific coupons that can only be used at the store that issues them)
 ** Most stores that issue their own coupons allow 1 of their coupons along with 1 manufacturer coupon per item.  That equals some great savings!! **

Where do you find all these coupons??
  • Sunday newspaper (Redplum, SmartSource, Procter & Gamble, USA Weekend, Parade)
  • Online (coupon websites -, manufacturer websites, Facebook)
  • Magazines (All You, Parents, Parenting, etc.)
  • Products (peelies, product packaging)
  • In stores (blinkies, tear pads, catalina)
  • Mailers (requested from online websites)
  • Coupon clipping sites (, eBay) 

OK...Now where in the world do I put them all?

What I find works best for me is a binder filled with baseball card inserts.  I use this for any coupons that I actually clip.  I say that because I don’t clip every coupon I come across in the newspaper inserts.  As you’ll see below, since the coupons I’ll be needing for a sale are referenced by their source, I have a second binder filled with sheet protectors that I simply put the whole newspaper insert in.  I also have a small expandable file that I take to the stores with me.  I just find it easier to have everything ready to go and separated by store in that file.  I keep any store coupons that I have received in this file too.

Say what??

Here are some of the most common abbreviations and terms you will hear throughout your couponing travels.

Coupon Insert Lingo:
  • RP - RedPlum
  • SS - SmartSource
  • P&G - Proctor & Gamble
  • GM - General Mills
Store Lingo:
  • +UP - +UP Reward, Rite Aid
  • VV - Video Values Coupon, Rite Aid
  • SCR, Single Check Rebate, Rite Aid
  • TQ - Target Coupon, Target
  • ECB, Extra Care Bucks, CVS
  • RR - Register Reward, Walgreens
  • IVC - Instant Value Coupon, Walgreens
Coupon Lingo:
  • $1/1 - One dollar off one item
  • 10/$10 - Ten items for ten dollars
  • B1G1 - Buy one item get one item... (can be FREE, 1/2 off, etc)
  • B2G1 - Buy two items get one...
  • Q - Coupon
  • MQ - Manufacturer's coupon
  • IP - Internet printable coupon
  • GC - Gift card
  • OOP - Out-of-pocket
  • MM - Money-maker
  • MIR - Mail-in rebate
  • WYB - "when you buy"
  • YMMV - "your mileage may vary"
  • "stack" - using a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon together on the same item