Coupon Basics

 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 “actually” because I don’t clip every coupon I come across in the newspaper inserts.  I clip ones for products that I regularly use that would be helpful to have with me at the stores.  As you’ll see in posts, since the coupons I’ll be needing for a sale are referenced by their source, I  simply save the whole newspaper insert too.  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.

Other methods include not clipping any coupons and just storing the inserts or using a box to file your coupons instead of a binder.  It really is a personal preference so whatever you like the best is what will work best for you.  :)

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