Budget Bzzz: Couponing

BOGO, eCoupons, and rebate – these are just some of the many terms in the couponing “dictionary.” These words are useful to know when it comes to budgeting and saving money. However, the terms are sometimes confusing and hard to learn at first. The definitions below will help you add more money to your wallet and clip more coupons.

  • BOGO, B1G1, B2G1 – These acronyms mean the same thing: buy one, get one. “B” is for buy, “G” is for get, and “O” is for one. Most of the time it will be for buy one, get one free or half off a product. The numbers tell you the number of items you must buy in return for the number of items you’ll receive.
  • Catalina – Sometimes referred to as CAT, catalinas can become your best friend when shopping if you have a store loyalty card. They are machines, usually near the register or front door that dispense store and manufacturer coupons, after scanning your card. Some are advertised, and others are based on your past purchases. One tip is to go straight to the catalina right when you walk in a store. This way you’ll know if there are any coupons you can use on your purchase.
  • Double Coupons – These coupons are only available in select stores, especially grocery stores. Coupons are doubled up to a certain value, usually 50 cents. This means any coupon 50 cents and under will be doubled. Sometimes stores will have double coupon days.
  • eCoupons – Electronic coupons, also known as eCoupons, are the easiest thing you can do to save time and money. Sign up for a store’s email subscriptions or download their mobile app. That way you can download coupons straight to your loyalty card or cell phone. The next time your card is scanned, the savings will be automatically deducted from your purchase. Check out coupons for other items, as well – movie rentals and restaurant discounts are sometimes available.
  • EXP – An easy one that stands for expiration date or expires.
  • Manufacturer’s Coupon – Marketing companies have been known to create coupons for manufacturers. These discounts are used to draw shoppers into buying a manufacturer’s products. Sometimes the items will be seasonal or recently introduced, such as a new mascara or cleaning product. When a coupon is redeemed, the store is reimbursed by the manufacturer for the value of the discount, plus a handling fee.
  • One Coupon per Purchase v One Coupon per Transaction – Purchases and Transactions are two words with similar meanings. One coupon per purchase states a customer can use one coupon per item. For example, you can’t use two of the same coupons for one item. As for one coupon per transaction, a customer can only use one coupon for the total transaction. If you have multiple coupons, you may have to separate your purchases into multiple transactions.
  • Raincheck – One of the biggest disappointments, when shopping on a budget, is finding out a sale item is out of stock. But never fear, there is still a way to purchase the product at the sale price through the use of a raincheck. Stores will provide customers a written slip for the sold out sale item. When the product is restocked, you will be able to purchase it at the sale price. Customer service can help with rainchecks, which usually come with an expiration date and a limited quantity. You never know until you ask.
  • Rebate – Many of us have heard of rebates on certain purchases, such as electronics. A rebate is a refund for all or part of the amount paid. They are either given by a store or a manufacturer. All you need to do is provide a proof of purchase, which can be done with mailing in a slip, filling out a form online, or using your receipt for a refund check. Easy money back in your pocket.
  • Stacking Coupons – Who doesn’t love stacking savings on top of savings? Stacking coupons can be defined as using two promotions together, whether they are a store or manufacturer discount. Many stores will allow you to stack coupons; however, most times you can only use one manufacturer coupon.

After some couponing practice, you’ll quickly become familiar with the budget-saving lingo and will be saving more time and money.