The coupon first appeared way back in the 1880’s when Coca-Cola used it to entice people to buy its “tonic,” and it’s come a long way since then. In 2011, savvy American shoppers saved over $4 billion clipping coupons, and the sour economy gave birth to a new breed of consumer: the extreme couponer.
These money-saving gurus can stretch a dollar further than a fitness band, turn the ten-items-or-less checkout into a veritable hell, and have their own lingo. Apparently though, their hard-core tactics pay off. They plot with coupons similar to those with the best lotto winning strategies, and put those snippets of paper through their paces.
You may not be a coupon Black Belt, walking out of the grocery store with a week’s worth of dinner for free, but getting acquainted with the lingo will help you navigate the world of coupons like the pros do – and save like them, too.
B1B1, B2G1, ETC: Not as common as its twin term “BOGO,” but it operates just the same: each B stands for a buy; Buy 1, Get 1, Buy 2, Get 1…you get the picture.
BOGO: Now entering a more widely used lexicon, BOGO stands for Buy One, Get One.
Blinkie: You know those little machines with tiny blinking lights that project out of aisle shelving and spit out coupons? To you, they’re convenient; to the initiated, they’re blinkies.
Catalinas: Also known simply as CATs, these are the coupons that print during checkout and are handed over with your receipt.
Coupon Insert: Part of what pads your Sunday paper, the coupon insert could be a single page, or more likely, a magazine-like grouping of glossy coupons waiting to be clipped.
CRT: More official-sounding than “cash register tape” (which is what it stands for), CRTs at many stores will feature coupons or offers printed on their bottom or back; some may require you to take a survey to redeem, and can only be redeemed where they were generated.
eCoupons: You don’t actually cut these type of coupons, they’re electronic. Find the best deals online and download them onto your phone or apply them to an online purchase.
MFR: The acronym for manufacturer; it takes up less space on a diminutive coupon.
Manufacturer’s Coupon: A coupon courtesy of the company who makes the product.
OOP: It doesn’t mean you made a mistake, it means out-of-pocket. This is the amount you would fork over at checkout before any coupons.
Peelie: The extreme couponer’s word for the sticky coupons stuck on cereal boxes and juice.
Printable coupon: This is an easy one: find the best deals online and print them from home.
Stacking: Combining coupons with other coupons or promotions. Some coupon stacking requires more planning than the best lotto winning strategies.
Store Coupon: Coupons courtesy of the store that generated them; savvy shoppers will “stack” them with manufacturer’s coupons.
Now that you’ve got their lingo down, it’s time to do as the extreme couponer’s do: grab the peelies and the BOGOs and save some serious dough.