Friday, January 4, 2008

Frugality glossary of terms

I remember well my frustration when, as a beginning bargain-shopper, I would see a frugality-related term and have absolutely no clue what it meant. "What's a Catalina?" "What do they mean by FAR?" In an effort to help clear up such terminology confusion, below are a number of terms often by couponers, along with their definitions. If you think of other terms (either that you know the meaning of or that you don't), please leave a comment so I may add it to the list.

blinkies: coupons found in the store isle in blinking coupon dispensers (usually from SmartSource)

BOGO or B1G1: buy one, get one free

Catalina: a coupon that prints at the cash register from a separate machine. It has a red stripe along the top and bottom and is frequently good for $x off your next order.

CRT: cash register tape

CVS: a chain pharmacy which tends to have really great deals. There are CVS pharmacies in most states and is one of the largest pharmacies in the United States.

double coupon: when a store gives double credit for a coupon, usually up to a certain limit, such as $1.00. For instance, if you buy an item with a $.75 coupon and the store doubles up to $1.00, you would get $1.00 off your total. If in the same store you had a $.45 coupon, you would get $.90 off your order.

ECB: easy care bucks (CVS), may be earned by purchasing specific advertised products and can be used as "CVS cash"

ESC: easy saver coupon (Walgreens), part of the monthly savings booklet; these are store coupons and may therefore be used with manufacturer's coupons

ESR: easy saver rebate (Walgreens), part of the monthly savings booklet

EXP: expires on or expiration date

FAC: free after coupon

FAR: free after rebate

GC: gift card

hangtag: an extra tag attached to an item (for instance, hanging around the neck of a hand soap), often a coupon for a discount on that item

IVC: instant value coupon (Walgreens), see ESC

man q: manufacturer's coupon

MC: manufacturer's coupon

MIR: mail-in rebate

OOP: out of pocket (amount paid after all discounts)

OOS: out of stock

overage: the amount of credit left when buying an item for which you have coupons that exceed the price of the item. For instance, if you buy a bottle of shampoo at $2.50 and have a manufacturer's coupon for $2.00 and a store coupon for $1.00, you would have $.50 of overage. Overage is also sometimes used in reference to rebates. In the example provided, if you additionally had a $2.50 mail-in rebate, it would make for a total of $3.00 overage.

P&G: Procter and Gamble, a major manufacturer of many different types of household goods. Procter and Gamble puts out coupon inserts in newspapers on a regular basis, so someone may use this acronym to indicate where they found a particular coupon.

peelies: peel-off coupons or rebates found on an item

roll: when you use discounts earned on one purchase toward your another purchase. For instance, if you earn a $5 Catalina with a makeup purchase, then roll that Catalina to buy cereal which produces a $4 Catalina.

RR: Register Rewards (Walgreens Catalina), may be earned by purchasing specific advertised items and can be used as "Walgreens cash" (may not be applied toward sales tax)

S or SS: SmartSource. This is one of the three main newspaper coupon insert companies, the others being Valassis and RedPlum.

seven-day coupon: store coupons in Walgreens weekly flier

SCR: single check rebate. Refers to RiteAid's rebate program.

stack: when you use a variety of discounts (store sale, store coupon, rebate, and/or manufacturer's coupon) on a single item.

superdouble coupon: generally this is when a store has a certain day where they raise the limit of doubled coupons. For instance, if they normally double up to $1.00, they may double up to $2.00 on their superdouble day.

tearpad: a pad of coupons or rebates usually placed next to the item on the store shelf

TMF: try me free, usually a manufacturer's mail-in rebate

V: Valassis. One of three main newspaper coupon insert companies, the others being RedPlum and SmartSource.

WYB: when you buy

YMMV: your mileage may vary (the details of your deal may work differently)

Special thanks to Mary for her help.

As I mentioned above, please leave a comment if you're puzzled by a term and I'll do my best to help you.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

thank for the definitions. I am just beginning to get into using coupons, so your glossary was much appreciated.

Mary said...

Oh no, you beat me to the punch! I have been compiling a glossary and an acronym dictionary for a future post on my own blog (http://latentquarter.wordpress.com). But I guess collaboration is better than competition. Here are some that you missed:


CVS – A particular chain pharmacy which tends to have really great deals. There are CVS pharmacies in most states, excluding Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idaho, Oregon, Utah Washington state, and Wyoming. There are none around where I live, either, but apparently it is the largest pharmacy in the United States.

EXP – Expires on or expiration date

FAC – Free After Coupon

GC – Gift Card

MC – Manufacturer's Coupon

OOP – Out Of Pocket. Refers to amount actually paid after coupons, rebates, or whatever.

OOS – Out Of Stock

P&G – Procter and Gamble, a major manufacturer of many different types of household goods. Not to be confused with PG&E, which stands for Pacific Gas and Electric. Procter and Gamble puts out coupon inserts in newspapers on a regular basis, so someone may use this acronym to indicate where they found a particular coupon.

S – SmartSource. This is one of the two main newspaper coupon insert companies, the other being Valassis. This abbreviation is not used frequently.

SCR – Single Check Rebate. Refers to Rite Aid's rebate program.

V – Valassis. One of the two main newspaper coupon insert companies, the other being SmartSource. This abbreviation is not used frequently.

Bethany said...

Thanks so much, Mary! I'll be adding those.