New to couponing and are confused by all the lingo? Don’t worry — we’ve got your back.
Here are 10 of the most confusing (and important) terms every couponer should know:
1. “Limit one coupon per purchase” means one coupon per item.
Find this term in a coupon’s fine print. It’s there to remind shoppers that they can only use one of the same coupon per item — not one coupon per transaction. Basically, if you want to purchase 20 items, you must use 20 coupons.
Learn more in 10 Things You Should Know About Coupon Fine Print.
TIP: Coupons.com lets you print 2 of the same coupon per registered phone number. If you want 4 of the same coupon, use your husband’s phone number! Just be aware that some stores may limit the number of like coupons you use per transaction or visit.
2. “SS, PG, and RMN” are all coupon inserts that come in the Sunday newspaper.
You may have seen us referring to these abbreviations in the deals we post. (No, we’re not speaking in code!) These letters stand for the coupon inserts that come in the Sunday paper:
SS = Smart Source
PG = Procter & Gamble
RMN = RetailMeNot Everyday (formerly Red Plum)
TIP: You don’t have to buy the Sunday newspaper to start couponing. Get free, printable coupons right on The Krazy Coupon Lady! Search by product (diapers) or brand (Pampers). OR, check out these 11 Ways to Get Free Sunday Newspaper Coupons.
3. You can use a coupon that says “Available at Walmart” at Target.
Many of the printable coupons from Coupons.com have a store suggestion on them, paid for by retailers like Walmart. You might see the words “Available at…” or “Redeemable at…” but you don’t have to use those coupons at the suggested stores. You can totally use them at other retailers as long as the coupon says “manufacturer coupon” on it.
Coupons that say the following cannot be used at any store:
“Redeemable only at…” – The manufacturer who issued the coupon will only compensate the mentioned store. The coupon can only be used at the specified retailer.
“Only at…” – This means the product itself is only available at a particular store. Plan to use the coupon at the listed retailer unless the coupon has a long expiration date, which gives other stores the chance to stock the product.
TIP: Walmart accepts competitor store coupons from other retailers as long as there’s a specified discount for a specific product they carry — like, “$2 off Colgate Total.”
4. “Stacking” means using coupons and/or rebates on top of sales and other discounts.
Think of “stacking” like piling on layers of savings.
Extreme couponing is based on this strategy. Stacking a coupon on top of a sales price is your most basic stack, but get sweeter savings when you stack a rebate-app offer (like one from Ibotta) with a coupon, a store rewards promotion (like one from CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid), and a sale price.
Combining the right coupons, sales, and promotions can take a while every week. But lucky for you, The Krazy Coupon Lady has a devoted team who does this daily so you can access deals for free!
Download the KCL app now for easy savings.
TIP: You can even stack coupon codes online. For instance, at Kohl’s, combine a sitewide coupon (like $10 off a $50 purchase or 15% off an entire order), category-specific coupons (like 30% off Home or 20% off Appliances), and a free shipping coupon simultaneously. These Retailers Allow Coupon Stacking Online.
5. If a manufacturer coupon says “Cannot be combined with any other coupon,” you can still stack a store coupon on it.
Sometimes manufacturer coupons say “Cannot be combined with any other coupon,” but it doesn’t mean you can’t use a store coupon on top of it to save on one product — as long as it’s a manufacturer coupon. Just don’t try to use (or combine) two manufacturer coupons for the same item.
For instance, at some stores like Target and Rite Aid, you can use a store coupon, a manufacturer coupon, a gift card or rewards promotion, and a rebate-app offer to save on a single item. So even if a manufacturer coupon says “Cannot be combined with any other coupon,” many retailers will actually let you combine it with one of their store coupons.
TIP: Be careful stacking digital coupons with paper coupons. If the digital coupon is from a manufacturer, you can’t use a physical manufacturer coupon on top of it. You can, however, stack a digital manufacturer coupon with a digital or physical store coupon on the purchase of a single item.
6. A “stock-up price” is the ideal price point for buying multiple quantities of a product.
Occasionally, the final price of an item after coupons will be so low that we’ll recommend stocking up on enough product to last you three – six months. Do this and you’ll never have to pay full price on the products you need again, because you’ll have enough to last you until the next stock-up price comes along.
KCL will alert you of a stock-up deal with these pyramid symbols next to the final price in listed deals:
Wanna build a stockpile? Here’s How to Build a Stockpile for Less than $10 a Week.
TIP: Make wise stock-up decisions by using this free Stock-Up Price List.
7. “Balance Rewards Points, Extrabucks, and Plenti Points” are drugstore credits that can be used like cash.
Each drugstore calls their in-store credits something different, but they essentially all work the same. As long as you sign up for each store’s loyalty program, you can start earning these in-store credits and using them with coupons for bigger savings:
Find rewards promotions in each store’s weekly Sunday ad. Or, walk into any of the three major drugstores and find brightly colored tags hanging from the shelves. Typically these tags will say something like “Buy X product, receive $X [or points] in rewards.” When you buy the product in the right quantity, you’ll receive rewards at the register that can be used on a future purchase.
KCL factors in drugstore rewards credits when calculating the final price of a deal. Here’s what a CVS Extrabucks deal looks like on The Krazy Coupon Lady:
TIP: Walgreens also has Register Rewards that are similar to Walgreens Balance Rewards in that they’re basically store credits you can use on your next transaction. Register Rewards print at the register and are receipt-like coupons. You can only earn one Register Reward per offer per transaction, whereas you can earn multiple Balance Rewards points in a single transaction. Learn how to strategically use both at Walgreens here.
8. A “moneymaker” doesn’t necessarily mean you get physical cash back.
The best kind of moneymaker is one where you get actual cash back for buying a certain product with coupons. For example, if a tube of Crest toothpaste is $2, and you have a manufacturer coupon for $2.50, the store will give you $0.50 back in cash or apply the credit toward your transaction.
The only big-box store that gives you physical cash back is Walmart. Most stores just apply the credit to your total or will decrease the coupon’s value to match the selling price of an item.
However, “moneymakers” still exist in one form or another; they just involve a few more steps. And instead of getting physical cash back, you get credit that exceeds what you paid at the register in the form of gift cards, rebates, and rewards points.
TIP: One of the easiest ways to build a stockpile is to stock up on freebies and moneymakers. Find the best freebies here.
9. A “Catalina” is a coupon that prints at the register.
Catalinas are register coupons that print out of the little Catalina machine at participating store checkouts (like at Kroger and Safeway). These coupons are sometimes advertised, or are generated based on a shopper’s behavior.
There are four types of Catalina coupons:
- A store coupon for a dollar amount off your next purchase.
- A manufacturer coupon for a specific product.
- An ad for a store promotion or product.
- A discount for a local business.
Often, really rare, high-value Catalina coupons print when you buy certain products. When this happens, we’ll alert you about them here.
TIP: Many shoppers throw their Catalina coupons away, thinking they’re just ads or an extra receipt. Look for these discarded coupons near self-checkout registers and grab them!