:: TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
I see code like (2/1 SS) in a lot of your posts, what does it mean?
I use that abbreviation in coupon matchup posts to refer to the insert where you can find the coupon. In this case (2/1 SS) means you can find the coupon I listed in the SmartSource insert from the February 1st newspaper.
- SS = SmartSource
- RP = RedPlum/Valassis
- P&G = Procter & Gamble
- GM = General Mills
- More Terms & Abbreviations
What is a catalina?
A catalina is a coupon that prints out at the register after you buy specified items. For instance, Kroger may have a sale where you buy 3 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal and you will get a catalina for a free gallon of milk. So, you purchase the Kellogg’s cereal (you can still use coupons) and then when your receipt prints at the end of the transaction then a coupon will print from another machine (called a catalina machine) for your free gallon of milk that you can use on a future purchase.
What does YMMV mean?
YMMV stands for Your Mileage May Vary. I usually add this when there is a case where you may or may not be able to use a coupon or deal. The deal may be regional, clearance, or the cashier might give you trouble over using the coupon.
Can I use more than one coupon per item?
You use ONE manufacturer coupon and ONE store coupon per item. All manufacturer coupons will say “manufacturer coupon” somewhere along the top of the coupon. It does not matter what the source of the coupon is (newspaper, internet, ecoupon, etc.) or if the values of the coupon are different ($0.75 off 1, $1 off 1, B1G1 Free) – if it is a manufacturer’s coupon, you can only use 1 per item. I explain more about coupon limits in this video.
What does “limit 1 per purchase” mean?
The items that you buy to qualify for the coupon discount are considered a purchase. If you have 4 coupons for $1 off 1 Kraft cheese, each Kraft cheese is a purchase, so you can buy 4 cheeses and use 4 coupons. If you have 2 coupons for $1 off 3 Hunt’s canned tomatoes, each set of 3 canned tomatoes is a purchase, so you can buy 6 canned tomatoes and use 2 coupons.
Limit 1 per purchase is different than limit 1 per transaction. A transaction is concluded with a receipt, a purchase is each individual item or set of items.
Can I use a B1G1 Free coupon on a B1G1 Free sale? How does that work?
If Kraft cheese is on sale Buy One Get One Free and you have a Buy One Get One Free coupon, you would buy two Kraft cheeses and get both for free! The first one would be free with the sale, the second would be free with the coupon, making both free (not all stores will allow this).
Can I use a B1G1 Free coupon on a B1G1 50% off sale?
The b1g1 free coupon will usually deduct the lowest price item (which would be the 50% off item) so you’re really only getting the discount of the coupon. I think it would be better to wait for a different sale.
Where can I find coupons?
:: PRINTABLE COUPONS
I can’t get my coupon to print, what should I do?
If you have problems getting coupons to print from a manufacturer’s website or from a coupon site like coupons.com then it is best to email the website to see if they can help you.
If you have issues with bricks coupons (http://bricks.coupons.com/etc), then be sure to read these tips for getting your coupons to print.
I tried to print a coupon and it says I’ve already reached my limit even though I’ve never printed it before?
Manufacturers usually put a limit on how many coupons can be printed, ie. 100,000 total and 2 per computer. If it is telling you that you’ve already reached your limit then it may mean that the total limit has been reached.
I was only able to print 1 coupon and I wish I had more, can I copy the coupon?
NO. Copying coupons is illegal. Most coupons say “void if copied” and have some way of authenticating the coupon like a dot-scan barcode below the expiration date.
:: GETTING STARTED
I want to learn how to coupon, but I’m so overwhelmed! Where do I start?
I have several tutorials just for beginners. You don’t have to read them all at once, take your time so the information can sink in. I recommend starting with learning the coupon basics and then reading my beginner’s guide to couponing. After that, you can browse my coupon education posts for further reading on the topics you still need help with.
My store doesn’t double coupons, can I still save money with couponing?
Yes, you can still save money even if your store does not double coupons! Coupons are pretty high value these days, so the majority of coupons are for a higher amount than would be doubled (most stores only double coupons that are $0.50 or less and most coupons now are worth a $1 or more anyway). So you can absolutely save! Printable coupons are HOT right now, especially on Facebook. Many companies are just jumping on the Facebook bandwagon and are trying to get people to “like” their pages so they offer a high value coupon as an incentive. I post these as soon as I find them in my daily coupon roundups. Just wait for a good sale then use your coupon on top of it and you’ve got a great deal.
All I ever see are $0.50 off 2 products, or $1 off 3 products coupons. Will they really save me money?
Not all coupons will save you money, it all depends on how you use them. A low value coupon probably won’t save you much unless you wait for a really good sale and your store doubles coupons. Not ALL coupons are good coupons and they’re only good if you use them right. Watch for really good “high value” coupons – there are usually a few in every paper and high value printables are also something to look for. Then you need to wait for the right moment to use your coupon – when it’s on sale for a low low price – don’t just use your coupon as soon as you get it.
I never see coupons for the things I buy. How will I save money?
There aren’t always coupons available for everything all the time. Sometimes there are coupons out for Charmin toilet paper three months in a row and then none for a month or so. In the summer, coupons for condiments are plentiful, but in the winter we don’t see many. You just have to be patient and wait for the coupons to come around, and when they do – stock up! And don’t tell me there are never coupons for the things you buy – surely you buy toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. There are even coupons for fresh meat, produce (even organic!), and baking staples.