Lingo for newbies

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I see a lot of questions about abbreviations and lingo, so thought I’d write up a guide for newbies — AKA, those of you who are newer at this! Let me know if I missed anything, and I’ll also link this from the “New, start here!” page at the top.

  • AY. Stands for All You magazine. This is a magazine which is only sold at Walmart or by subscription. Since it generally contains a ton of coupons, bloggers and coupon databases will reference the coupons in here along with the ones in the Sunday newspaper inserts.
  • Blinkies. Manufacturer coupons that come out of the little machines with attention-catching (blinking!) lights which you’ll find stuck to the shelf in a store.
  • BM (or B&M): Stands for “brick and mortar,” or physical (as opposed to online) stores.
  • BOGO. Buy one, get one free, as in BOGO coupon. You might also see this written “B1G1.” If you see B2G2, that means… buy two, get two free. And so on!
  • Catalina. A coupon that prints out of a separate machine by the register after you purchase particular items that trigger it. These can be for money off your next order (basically to be used like cash) or for money off a particular item (basically to be used like a manufacturer’s coupon). These are called “Catalinas” after the company that makes and maintains the machines, the Catalina corporation.
  • Cherry picking. Purchasing only the best deals at a given store, or going from store to store to buy only the best deals at each.
  • Couponer. Someone who uses coupons.
  • dh. Mommy blogger and forum shorthand for “dear husband.” Also: dd (dear daughter), ds (dear son), ds6 (dear son 6 years old), and so on.
  • ECB. Stands for “Extra (Care) Bucks,” or the coupons that print out on your receipt at CVS and can be used like cash on your next purchase.
  • Envie. Stands for envelope — usually used in terms like “I’ll mail you an envie of coupons.”
  • GM. Stands for General Mills, which puts out the occasional special coupon insert for its products.
  • Hangtags. Coupons that are hanging from the necks of products in the store.
  • IP. Stands for “Internet Printable.” Coupons you can print from the Internet and use in a physical store. Also called “printable.”
  • K. Stands for Kellogg’s, which puts out a back-to-school coupon insert at the end of the summer for Kellogg’s products.
  • Lurk. To join an online community but not actively participate; to watch without commenting.
  • Mfr. Stands for “manufacturer,” as in “mfr. coupon.”
  • MIR. Stands for “Mail In Rebate.”
  • Newbie. Someone who is new to a given online community or new to couponing.
  • OOP. Stands for “Out of Pocket,” or the amount of actual cash you spend on a given transaction at the store.
  • Overage. The happy situation that occurs when you are able to use a coupon worth more than the price of the product, giving you “extra” towards the rest of the items in your order. (For instance, if an item is on sale for $.70, and you have a $1.00 off coupon, you’ll get $.30 in overage.) Remember that overage is a privilege; many stores have a policy of adjusting coupon amounts down to the actual item price and they are within their rights to do so.
  • OYNO. Stands for “on your next order,” and refers to a coupon you can use as cash on your next shopping trip.
  • OYNSO. Stands for “on your next shopping order.” See OYNO.
  • Peelies. Coupons that are stuck onto a product in the store; you “peel” these off in order to use them.
  • PG (or P&G). Stands for “Proctor & Gamble.” So shorthand for the Proctor & Gamble coupon insert, which is generally found in Sunday newspapers on a monthly basis, and also to refer to Proctor & Gamble as a company.
  • PP. Stands for “participating products.”
  • Q. Stands for “coupon.”
  • Roll. To use a Catalina (or Extra Bucks, or Register Rewards) to purchase more Catalina-producing items.
  • RP. Stands for the “Red Plum” coupon insert, which is found in many Sunday newspapers.
  • RR. Stands for “Register Rewards,” or the Catalina coupons that print out at Walgreens and can be used almost like cash to pay for your next order.
  • SAHM. Stands for stay-at-home mom.
  • SS. Stands for the “SmartSource” coupon insert, which is found in many Sunday newspapers.
  • Stack. To layer your savings. In terms of coupons, this stands for layering more than one kind of savings on a single product, for instance, a manufacturer coupon + a store coupon. In Catalina terms, it means that you can do a deal more than once in a single transaction. So, if you see an announcement of a “buy $30.00 of participating products, get $15.00” Catalina deal, and you can buy $60.00 of participating products at one time and get $30.00 back, the deal stacks.
  • Tearpads. Coupons that you tear off of a pad, usually found by displays in-store.
  • V. Stands for the “Valassis” Sunday coupon insert. Valassis is the same as “Red Plum (see “RP”).
  • WAHM. Stands for work-at-home mom.
  • WYB. Stands for “when you buy.”
  • YMMV. Stands for “your mileage may vary.” Means that a deal depends on certain factors that need to be in place for it to work.

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  1. Judi says

    Thank you! I’ve been “lurking” around other sites not knowing what some of these abbreviations meant….glad I found this site! :)

  2. Maggy says

    Really glad my friend called and told me about this site. I have a friend who is barely making it feeding her family since her husband lost his job and this will help her too.

    Thanks for the Cheat Sheet on Lingo !

  3. silviavm says


    What is ICBNIB? I followed the link and it sent me to another coupon but I cannot decipher the acrimony.

  4. Stacey says

    I linked to you thru the Deals and Steals email and am so happy I’ve poked around your blog/site. I’ve been a couponer for over 35 years–yes, starting as a wee girl. However, I’ve been super busy w/life, family, and job and never thought to search for coupons on Target’s website. Dang!! I’ve been leaving hundreds of dollars on the table for years! But not anymore thanks to you! I look forward to not lurking, but participating w/my own deals from now on!

    My most recent score was a coupon in the greeting card section at Jewel–but a $50 giftcard and get up to $4.99 off on a greeting card. Super sweet deal as I just turned around and used the giftcard in my separated, grocery transaction. I live for stuff like that!!

    • says

      :) Jewel-Osco is an Illinois/Indiana/Iowa grocery chain owned by SuperValu. Sometimes they run similar (but not always identical) deals at Albertson’s and Shaws, which are also SuperValu stores.

  5. Dinahmite says

    My coworker suggested me to check out your blog. I really enjoy reading people’s deals. It’s like a one stop shop, LOL! I’m a VERY newbie couponer and your lingo page is so helpful.
    I’m trying to go more organic, so I’m hoping that this will help me save money in that arena as we all know organic food is EXPENSIVE! Many thanks again!

  6. Theresa says

    Hi, new as well. I am in Iowa and we don’t have CVS or Jewel or Dickers?, in my area. I don’t know much about coupon using but am trying to help save money for my dh,ds2 and dd1 (haha am learning) anyways i was wondering if there were any other local desmoines area folk here and if there are any other places that yoiu think are good for double coupons or special deals etc.

  7. Amanda says

    Thank you so much for the lingo tips. It has helped me so much to understand comments I have heard previously and will hear in the future.

  8. Diane Zumwalt says

    I am not your typical “Mashup Mom” (I was once, but my kids are grown). However, I saw a copy of your book at the library and just had to read it. I am a widowed Senior on Social Security and am always looking for ways to save money and make some online. I sell books on Amazon, and though I am not getting rich any time soon, I enjoy it and am starting to accumulate more and more books to sell. Your book and program of ideas has motivated me and I am so glad I found it. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, worked as a freelance writer and plan on starting a blog. Please keep up the good work and I will be watching and/or contributing whenever I can. Onward and upward –

  9. Jessica says

    where would I look for the Infant Care Booklet at Walgreens? I don’t want to look ridiculous wandering aimlessly around the store. :)

  10. Quincy says

    Thanks for the information! This is very helpful! I was wondering about some of the abbreviations, such as the ‘catalinas’! 😉

  11. Laurie says

    Where is the Jewel store located that you found the coupon book “Simply Delicious Holiday book” with the Jell-o coupons. Both of the stores new me have not received this booklet.
    Also, I do not see the coupon for the Kraft products 3/$1.25, on I have tried about 4 times, on 2 different computers and cannot find it. I tried with a zip code and with no zip code. Is this coupon “Gone”?

    • says

      The printable coupon is gone. I saw the dessert booklets at the Lombard Jewel — I was at the Villa Park Jewel today and they did not have them, so it’s not out at all stores.

  12. Jessie ET says

    I am new to this site, not new to couponing. My mother inlaw gave me the link to this site and I hope it will be very helpful to me.

  13. Chris says

    Great info-packed, useful site. Any idea of which, if any at all, stores in the Chicago and suburban area might still accept expired coupons? Thanks!

  14. Martina says

    Hi Rachael! I need to clean up my coupon file. I do shop at Ultra Foods and I want to keep them for 30 days after the expiration date. I do have coupons from November 2013. Is it an easy and fast way to do this? Thank you :0)

    • says

      In couponing? In general it’s something that is about itself, lol — so if I post a post here about something going on on the site, I put it in the “meta” category.

    • says

      Oh, sorry! It’s the price scanner, which is usually found up front by the registers. Scan your card every time you go in CVS and you will get coupons — and keep scanning til it tells you no more coupons, because sometimes it prints out multiple rounds. Sometimes they advertise a coupon that will print for everyone that week if you scan your card, like the Brookside this week.

      • Tiffany says

        Thank you. My husband went there tonight to get some deals and used it for the first time too. He explained to me what it was and I am embarrassed to say that I have walked past this machine for years and never looked at it/knew it was there. So excited to try it now!

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