The Glossary of Common Coupon Terms
Coupons, coupons, and more coupons! Who doesn’t like a good deal? But do you know what all those mean? Don’t worry. We’ll take you through the basics of coupon lingo. Coupons are one of the most confusing aspects to deal with when it comes to saving money. Even if you have never heard of any of these terms, it doesn’t mean that you are not already taking advantage of the benefits. Coupons, blinkies, BOGOs, MIRs, ECBs, and CRTs can be found in your local Sunday circular or weekly ads. These are all different types of promotions that retailers offer to get shoppers into their stores.
Understanding them can help you save more money on your purchases while shopping at major retail chains such as Target and Walmart. Coupons can be overwhelming, especially if you do not understand them all, but by reading this blog post, everyone will better understand each kind and how they work!
Coupons and their Categories
The first coupon term to learn about is a “coupon.” A coupon can be defined as a small piece of paper that entitles the bearer or shopper to receive something for free or at a reduced cost. Sometimes, coupons are called “paper money” because they work similarly to get you discounts on your purchases. It is important to be aware that some coupons will have expiration dates while others do not. Coupons are separated into categories of different types by how they work and what kind of purchase you can get them for. Here are the different types of coupons:
A coupon that can be used for one individual purchase or transaction. These are usually found on products, like soap and cereal boxes. Still, many websites and stores are dedicated to collecting single coupons from all different kinds of categories (i.e., restaurants or retailers). Also known as a “single-use coupon.” A single coupon can be redeemed multiple times.
A coupon that can only be used in a single transaction or at one store. These are usually found on receipts, packages, flyers, or advertisements for stores like Walmart or Target. Also known as a “store coupon.” These coupons are available at store websites and coupon sites such as CouponGot. However, it’s important to note that the value of transaction/store coupons will “expire” after a certain amount of time. Transaction and store coupons can be for any dollar amount or percentage off and may only be used in one transaction at one location (e.g., $0.50/$100 purchase).
However, it’s worth noting that transaction/store coupons can be used in conjunction with the manufacturer’s coupons because of their versatility.
A group of coupons that can be used together to get one deal. For example, if you buy two items and use five $0.50 off any brand toothpaste coupons on the purchase, then the store will give you ten cents off each item for buying both items. It is also known as a “combo coupon.” Multi coupons are becoming more popular as manufacturers try to compete with store coupons.
It is a paper coupon that can be printed from the internet or handwritten, then redeemed at stores for money off items when shopping there. Like online printables, most are manufacturer’s coupons; however, some websites offer retailer-specific coupons like grocery store deals in their advertisements to cut down on your overall grocery bill. At Offers.com, you can find printable coupons for everything from groceries to gas.
It is a coupon that is bundled with the weekly ad. These coupons are usually manufacturer’s coupons, but be careful because some stores will only let you use one coupon on a particular product. You can also find these in newspaper ads or inserts manufacturers send to advertise sales and deals at participating retailers.
The coupon is affixed to the product at a point that can be easily broken or torn off. Peelies are a popular type of coupon found on fruit and vegetables.
Catalina programs are a form of marketing where stores offer coupons or discounts to customers who have purchased certain items and those who purchase these same products regularly.
Do Not Double (DND)
A coupon that cannot be doubled, tripled, etc. It happens when there are limitations on how many of those coupons you can use. For example, if it says “one per customer,” they will not be accepted if you use more than one.
Double Coupons (DC)
A coupon that can be doubled or tripled. You will often see these with 30-50 cents off coupons, but they are sometimes found at full grocery store product prices.
A small sticker containing a discount is usually found on products in the store. Blinkies are often hard to find and can be worth more than their value if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one! A blinkie is a very small coupon made to attach to an item at checkout. Blinkies are common in grocery stores and contain dollar amounts, percentage off discounts, or store-specific coupons that can be used immediately.
BOGO stands for Buy One Get One. When you see an item that says “BOGO: Free!” this means that the second is free when you buy one of the items! It is a pretty common sale that indicates you can buy one item and get another of equal or lesser value for free! These are usually items priced the same but sometimes only apply to certain brands/items within each department.
Mir (Mail-in rebate)
When a product has a Mir attached to it, it usually indicates that they will give you money back for purchasing the product. It is a way that companies encourage you to try their products and generate business, as they will give back money after you purchase something from them! However, certain requirements are usually attached to receive your rebate check in the mail, such as buying multiple items or spending a minimum amount of money before taxes.
Stands for “Your Mileage May Vary.” This product symbol means that stores can’t honor the coupon or deal because of their discretion. For example, some managers decide to accept only one manufacturer’s coupon per customer and may not allow you to use a coupon to purchase an item they have priced higher than what’s indicated on the shelf.
ECB (Extra Care Bucks)
When your store issues ECBs, it is essentially giving you money back! If you spend $30 and receive $15 in ECBs, that means that 15% of every dollar you spend is coming back to you.
WS (Weekly Specials)
Stores use these sales to make shoppers aware of their weekly specials, usually highlighted on the front page or sent via email/text alerts when items go on sale for a certain period. These deals can be combined with manufacturer coupons and store coupons.
CRT stands for “Coupon Redemption Tracking” and is used by manufacturers to track coupon usage. Simply put, CRTs are coupons with an embedded microchip that records each time it has been redeemed at a store.
The coupon glossary can be daunting to understand, but if you take the time to learn what these terms mean and how they work, you’ll discover that couponing can save your family hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.