Coupons 101

Reading coupon lingo for the first time can sometimes seem like it should come with a decoder ring. To simplify the mystery of commonly used coupon terms and abbreviations, here is a quick cheat sheet.

$/x: The value of a coupon per items allowed. For example $1/1 will give you $1 off 1 item, or $4/2 is $4 off 2 items, etc.

x/$: How many items you can get for a certain dollar amount. This means 2/$3 would be 2 items for $3 (or $1.50 each).

B1G1, BOGO, B1G1F: Buy One Get One Free

CAT or Catalina: Coupons which print at the register after your purchase is made. Sometimes they're attached to your receipt and sometimes come from a separate machine. These can usually be used for your next purchase.

CRT: Cash register tape — often referring to coupons at the bottom of your receipt.

DND: Do Not Double

ETS: Excludes Trial Size

EXP: Expires, listed with date to indicate how long the coupon is valid

FAR: Free After Rebate

FB: Facebook, usually refers to a Facebook fan page.

GM: General Mills coupon insert found in the Sunday newspaper or mailbox seasonally

IAC: In ad coupon: a coupon found in ad that is required to get a discounted price.

Mailer: Coupons that you receive in the mail

MFG, MFR: Manufacturer

MQ: Manufacturer's Coupon

OOP: Out of Pocket

Overage: Money you make after using a coupon or deal.

P&G or P and G: P and Gamble coupon insert found in the Sunday newspaper or mailbox seasonally

Printable: A coupon that is printed online.

Q: Coupon

Regional: A coupon or deal available in only a specific area

RP: Red Plum coupon insert found in the Sunday newspaper or mailbox

SS: Smart Source coupon insert found in the Wednesday newspaper or mailbox

Stacking: Using a manufacturer's coupon in addition to a store coupon for an even lower price

Tear pad: A pad of rebate forms or coupons attached to a store shelf

TMF: Try Me Free

UPC: Universal Product Code (a.k.a. bar code)


WSL: While Supplies Last

WT, Winetag: A coupon hanging on the package of a product

WYB#: When You Buy, usually seen as WYB2 or a specified number of items.

Tips on using coupons
  1. In most situations you can only use one coupon per item. The one exception to this rule is when you use a store coupon with a manufacturers coupon. It's a common practice called stacking.
  2. Some coupons are so great that you can score an overage (make money on the deal). However, many stores reserve the right to lower the price of a coupon to even the cost and prevent overages.
  3. Beware of online freebie coupons that do not come from the manufacturer. It's almost a guarantee that these are fakes and you'll be denied at the check-out. Many stores have changed their policy to deny all free printables because of this fraud epidemic.
  4. Can't print, or want to get that freebie coupon mailed to you instead of printing? If the coupon url starts with "" look for the Help link in the bottom right corner of the page. Fill out the form and they will mail the coupon to you.
  5. Always check your store's coupon policy. Each store has a different policy, even from location to location. If in doubt, you can print a copy of their corporate office's coupon policy and bring it with you to try and ensure you can get the deal you planned on, however it's still at the manager's discretion. To get a copy of the corporate policy, check their website for a policy page, FAQ or write / email.