Thanks for stopping by! If you are new to my site and/or new to couponing, you might want to start here: Getting Started! I'd be happy to answer any questions you have, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment here!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where do I start? Part 3


If you are new to this, you might think couponers have a language all their own and you would be right!  It can get a little confusing when you are just starting out to understand the abbreviations, acronyms and other phrases.  I will attempt to clear things up for you!

You will see that I have a page dedicated to abbreviations so you can locate it quickly and easily when needed.  If you come across an abbreviation or acronym that is not listed there, please let me know and I’ll add it!

Match ups:  a term that refers to combining current coupons with store sales and coupons in order to get the best deal and save the most money.

Store Coupons:  A store coupon differs from a manufacturer coupon in that the store is not reimbursed by the manufacturer for the cost of the coupon.  You can combine store coupons with manufacture coupons when purchasing a single item at most stores but always check your store's policy first.

Manufacturers Coupons:  These are coupons published by manufacturers and have an address listed where the store can send in the coupons to be reimbursed by the company for the cost plus handling.  These are commonly referred to as type “M”.

Doubling: Refers to a policy some stores have where they will double the face value of the coupon.  Some stores only double up to .50.  In other words, any coupon with a face value over .50 will not be doubled.  There are fewer and fewer stores that double coupons any more.  Most that still do also have a limit of only 1 or 2 that they will double.  So to get the maximum benefit if you have multiple coupons is to break your purchases down into smaller transactions.

Tripling:  Same as doubling except the face value of the coupon is tripled.  Most stores will only triple up to .39 and only 1 or 2 like coupons.  Check with your store for their policy.

Purchase:  refers to each single item you are buying.  For example:  in your shopping cart you have (3) body washes, (1) package of 6 rolls of paper towels and (2) candy bars.  You have (6) items in your cart so you are “purchasing” (6) items.  Most coupons will say “one coupon per purchase”.  So in the above example, let’s say you have $1 off when you purchase (3)body washes, $0.50 off when you purchase a 6 pk of paper towels and $0.25 off each candy bar.  You can use each of these coupons in this transaction. Many store clerks do not understand the difference between a “purchase” and a “transaction”. 

Transaction:  refers to the group of products as a whole you purchase at one time.  With couponing, you will see the phrase “multiple transactions”.  To fully take advantage of some sales and coupons you will want to break the items you are purchasing down into smaller transactions.  Simplified example:  Your store doubles coupons up to $0.50 but only (1) like coupon per transaction.  You have (3) $0.50/2 coupons when you buy (2) packages of Chex Mix.  The store has them on sale for 2/$3.  If you do only one transaction, it will look like this:

Buy (6) Chex Mix @ 2/$3  $9.00
Use (3) $0.50/2 coupons   -$1.50
Store will double one of the coupons -$0.50
Total OOP = $7.00
$1.17 each with a total savings of $2.00

But if you break this down into (3) separate transactions, it will look like this:

Transaction #1:
Chex Mix 2/$3                                        $3.00
Use (1) $0.50/2 that doubles                     1.00
Total  OOP =                                          $2.00

Transaction #2:
Chex Mix 2/$3                                        $3.00
Use (1) $0.50/2 that doubles                     1.00 
Total  OOP =                                          $2.00 

Transaction #3:

Chex Mix 2/$3                                        $3.00
Use (1) $0.50/2 that doubles                     1.00 
Total  OOP =                                          $2.00

Total OOP (out of pocket) from all (3) transactions is $6.00 with a total savings of $3.00.  Now saving one more dollar might not mean much to you but for me, saving an extra $1.00 is huge!

My very first experience with trying to use multiple like coupons I was told by the clerk that I couldn’t use more than 1 because it said “one per purchase”.  Being new and inexperienced I believed her, paid full price for the 2nd item and got online as soon as I got home to figure out what I did wrong!  I wasn’t in the wrong, the clerk was! This is, IMO, the single most common issue couponers face on a daily basis.

Stacking:  this is the process of combining a store coupon with a manufacture coupon to get the maximum saving.  An example of this is when I used a $3/1 Lysol Healthy Touch No-Touch Hand Soap System manufacturer’s coupon combined with a $5/1 Lysol Healthy Touch No-Touch Hand Soap System Dollar General Store coupon.  The cost of the unit before coupons was $10.00.  I saved $8.00 total with the (2) coupons and got the unit for $2.00!  I actually did (3) separate transactions because I had (3) of each coupon and at Dollar General Stores you can only use one Dollar General Store coupon per transaction.  It was very worth it as I got $30 worth of product for $6 plus tax!

ECB (Extra Care Bucks): ECB’s are coupons CVS gives to its customers who have a CVS Extra Care Card.  You will not be able to take advantage of any of the sales at CVS without a card.  You can apply for a card here or by asking at the register of your local CVS.  Each week in the CVS sales ad you will find special promotions offered by CVS to earn ECBs such as get $3 ECB when you purchase 3 “X” product.  The ECB earned cannot be applied to the transaction they were earned but can be applied on your next transaction.  You can read more about shopping at CVS here.

RR (Register Rewards): RRs are coupons from Walgreens that are printed at the end of the transaction.  No store card is required to earn RR.  Each week Walgreens will have special promotions in which if you purchase the required product or spend the required amount you will receive $X RR. More information on Walgreens Shopping is here.

Rolling RR:  Rolling your RR into your next purchase can be done but you will not receive addition RR on the same item.  For example, if you receive a $1 RR from purchasing Colgate toothbrushes.  You can use the $1 RR to purchase another Colgate toothbrush but you will that purchase will not generate another RR. It would be wiser to use that RR to purchase another product that will generate a RR then use the RR from that unrelated item to purchase another toothbrush.      

Well I hope this help you to understand a little better what you are reading!