Friday, May 20, 2011

Coupon Boot Camp - Lesson 8: Coupons & Couponing FAQ

Since I started this series of posts here on my blog about coupons and couponing a few weeks ago, I've received a lot of positive feedback from readers like yourself. I've also been asked a lot of questions. Which I'm happy to answer. In today's lesson I'm going to answer some of the most FAQ I've been receiving. If this little Q & A session doesn't answer a question you have, please feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to answer it or help you find the answer. 

Q: I've been checking out couponing sites and blogs. They use a lot of abbreviations with no explanation as to what they mean. WYB? MM? OOP? What do they mean?

A: This is something I probably should have covered. There are a lot of abbreviations and acronyms used in the coupon world. Here's a list of all the ones I can think of. :)

SS - Smart Source Coupon Insert
RP - Red Plum Coupon Insert
P&G - Proctor & Gamble Coupon Insert
GM - General Mills
K - Kellog's
U - Unilever 
MFG - Manufacturer's Coupon
IP - Internet Printable Coupon
PSA - Prices Start At
WYB - When You Buy 
OOP - Out Of Pocket
MM - Money Maker
OYNO - On Your Next Order
UPC - Universal Product Code
PP - Price Plus (Shop Rite)
ECB - Extra Care Bucks (CVS)
RR - Register Rewards (Wags)
WAGS - Walgreens
SCR - Single Check Rebate (Rite Aid)
CAT - Catalina
DND - Do Not Double
YMMV - Your Miles May Vary or Your Manager May Vary (As in the price may be different dependent upon your location.)
MIR - Mail In Rebate
B1G1 or BOGO - Buy 1 Get 1 Free
$1/2 - One Dollar off when you buy 2 items

Also, now that we've covered the basics of couponing here, I would encourage you to check out different couponing blogs and websites. There is a wealth of information out there and I am certainly not the leading authority on anything. The more you know, the more you can save!

Here are a few good ones:

Koupon Karen

The Krazy Coupon Lady (Thanks Yana!) 

Coupon Dad

Smart Couponing

Q: I found a bunch of coupons online that I wanted to print, but it's trying to get me to download something to be able to print them? What's that about?

A: When you're printing coupons online, like from, you'll be prompted to download and install a browser plugin. This allows you to print coupons with a scannable bar code and also prevents you from printing unlimited copies of the same coupon. Most coupons can only be printed twice from the same computer. There's also a print limit to the number of times a coupon can be printed overall. Once that limit's reached, the coupon will no longer be available (though they sometimes reset them). If you a coupon online that you want, print it right then and there. It may not still be available by the time you find a sale to use it with.

Q: No matter what I do I can't get coupons to print!! Help!

A: Here are a few things you can try that might help you:

Make sure your default printer is set to an actual printer. If the default is set to PDF, you won't be able to print most coupons.

If you're trying to print from a network printer, try connecting directly to the printer. 

Make sure you're already connected to the printer before you click "Print". Once you click print it's assumed you printed the coupon whether it actually printed or not...and after two tries you won't be able to print the coupon again.

Make sure your firewall isn't blocking the printable coupons plugin. Some firewalls may not recognize it as a secure feature and may block the plugin.

Q: I've been reading your Coupon Boot Camp posts and I want to save money with coupons, but I'm really not interested in menu planning or stockpiling, can I still save money with coupons alone?

A: If you're making very little effort or no real effort at all to save money at this point, then yes, starting to to use coupons will save you money. Will it save you tons of money? No. Will it save you as much money as if you were also planning meals and stockpiling? No. Plain and simple. Start out small and do what works for you.

Q: I don't see how you can save so much money with coupons?I hardly ever use coupons. There's never any coupons for the stuff I buy. 

A: Here's the thing about've got to keep an open mind. If you don't go into it with an open mind, it's never going to work for you. Most people have certain products or brands that they are loyal to. Which is fine, I'm loyal to a number of brands and products myself, but in order to save money with coupons, you've got to be flexible. If you will absolutely only use a certain brand of toilet paper and a certain shampoo and a certain this and a certain that, then you're not going to save as much as you could be. That's all there is too. 

Q: You mentioned buying coupons in the first lesson. How can it make sense to pay for a coupon to save money?

A: It may seem strange to pay for coupons at first, I get that. It really is beneficial though. It's not absolutely necessary, there are tons of places to find coupons, which I covered in Lesson 1. To save the most money and grow a sufficient stockpile, you need a large quantity of coupons. The easiest way to obtain a large quantity of coupons is by buying them. The first time you use 10 coupons to get 10 of the same item for free, you'll appreciate having paid for the coupons (which is a minimum expense) to get those free items. 

Q: Where can I buy coupons online? 

A: Ebay is a great place to buy coupons. They are generally cheap and the shipping is usually free. 
Here are the other sites I've purchased coupons from and can give my seal of approval:

The Coupon Clippers

Coupon Carry-Out

Coupon Dede

Q: Will you come with me to the store and help me use my coupons the right way?

A: Yes. If you pick me up and throw in lunch.

Check back next Thursday for Lesson 9. Bookmark my blog in your favorites, subscribe to my feed or Follow me with Google Friend Connect! 


  1. I'm more and more impressed Erin! Great advice. After watching "Extreme Couponing" though I do wonder how much time is left to take advantage of this-if more and more people start paying next to nothing for their groceries I can see the stores restricting what you can do with coupons to try and discourage people from doing it. This is one of those things that I've always thought about doing but never got "around to it!" (Maybe I can find a coupon to get one of those??)

  2. You bring up a great point, Tanya. I'm already starting to see new restrictions on certain manufacturer's coupons. That show drives me batty!