Coupons for the Community

This blog is for showing the goods gotten for free (or really cheap) using coupons that were provided by friends and family. These goods are then distributed to people in our community to whom I feel God has called me to serve for one reason or another. I am not a writer of any sort, a super couponer, or a very good blogger. I am just a child of God trying to follow what I believe He has called me to do. Whatever God has put on my heart on a certain day is what comes out in a post, so I hope it makes some sense and is not offensive or scrambled. If it is, it is only because I am a work in progress. Love to all, In His Name.

Couponing 101

Disclaimer: I am not even close to being an expert at couponing and spend a great deal of time on asking the experts questions.  Below are great resources and notes I have compiled (yes, copied, plaigarized, whatever you want to call it) from great websites.  I go over these notes when I get people together to teach them the shortcuts and tidbits I have learned and they are meant to be a resource to help you learn.  There is so much to tell you so I use them as a guideline so I don't forget!  I do not teach people to make a profit.  It is actually the exact opposite.  I want everyone to be able to save and wish everyone could know and understand the ridiculous savings there are out there!!!  I will post when I do have "get togethers" that can almost be called "Coupon Classes" but are free of charge.  At most, people like to donate products to C4C as their "admission" but this is not required. 

Excellent Websites for Couponing Steals and Deals

* (deals, coupon database, $40/plan)
* (amazing forum, blog, can ask any question any time here!)
* (grocery coupon data base, deals by state)
* (deals, videos as she goes to stores)
* (costs $ but charts deals by percent)

Printable Coupon (Internet Printables- IP)
* Note – When printing coupons, press the send button on your computer, print, then press back, and resend. You can print coupons two times from every computer. However, it is illegal to COPY internet printable coupons and we would hate for them to not be allowed in stores anymore, as they are very widely used and convenient!

Electronic Coupons (E-Coupons)

Get a new email address just for couponing and take an hour just to register on these websites. Then you will get deals emailed to you daily and won’t have to think about it. If one looks good to you, great! If not, you can pass it buy. Also, you will be signed up for coupons to go automatically to your grocery card and printable coupons will be so much easier to print.

Did you know…

  • You can use a Manufacturer’s coupon, Store coupon, AND an E-coupon all on the same purchase. The store is covering the "cost" of their own coupon, the manufacturer is covering the cost of the other. It is called stacking! This is one way you can get a purchase free.
  • Manufacturer's Coupon: A coupon issued by the manufacturer. Can be found in the Sunday paper, online, on tear pads at stores, in "blinkie" boxes at stores, in product packaging, magazines, etc. A manufacturer's coupon is valid at any store that accepts coupons & sells the described product.
  • Store Coupon: A coupon issued by a store. This coupon is only valid at the particular store who issued it (or perhaps at another store that "accepts competitor's coupons"). These coupons are usually found in that store's ad, but can also be obtained via home mailer, using e-coupons, and on store websites (as printables, via text, etc.).
  • Purchase: Each item you buy is considered a Purchase. People often will confuse a "purchase" with a "transaction." These are different when you are talking about coupons. If you had 10 coupons for the same item, you could buy 10 of those items & use all 10 coupons at once, so long as the coupon reads "per purchase." However, if the coupon reads "per transaction" you would have to break up your items by purchasing them 1 per transaction.
  • Double Coupons: Promotion in which you use ONE manufacturer's coupon and the store will double the value of that one coupon, usually up to a certain amount. Sometimes this happens automatically. King Soopers is a good example because their cash registers automatically double your coupons up to $1. For example, if your coupon is for $0.50, they consider it valued at $1. If you have a coupon that is worth $0.40, they count it as $0.80. Other stores require a coupon doubler. This is Albertsons' preferred method of doubling coupons. You must have that coupon clipped from their ad & combine with your manufacturer's coupon. Safeway doubles coupons if they are close to a King Soopers to keep up with the competition so know your store! Be happy and take advantage of living in a double couponing state!
  • You may use one coupon per item. If you have 12 boxes of Mac n Cheese and 12 coupons, you can use all of those coupons! There are some rare exceptions to this (for example, some coupons state "when you buy 2") but for the most part: 1 coupon per 1 item.
  • Rock-bottom prices. Don’t go out and use your coupon immediately! If you use that 25¢ off toilet paper right away when it’s not on sale you aren’t reaching your saving potential! Wait until toilet paper goes on sale for $1 then use the coupon. If your store triples coupons then you could get the toilet paper for only 25¢! Matching sales with coupons is getting a great price. Combining sales plus coupons plus another promotion (rebates, double coupons, store coupons) is getting the best price!
  • One per Purchase.” I’ve heard this so many times! Most coupons say “one coupon per purchase” somewhere in the fine print. Cashiers will try to tell you that that means you can only use one coupon per transaction/day. This is NOT true! One per purchase means that you can only use one coupon per item purchased! So if you are buying 10 items and have 10 coupons then you can use them all!
  • Catalinas are coupons that print from a machine near the register and they are basically MONEY! Stores don’t generally advertise them in their print ads so they are usually a pleasant surprise! Sometimes stores will advertise Catalina deals in teeny tiny print below the price tags. There are 2 types of coupons that print from Catalina machines (and then rebates and advertisements, which I won’t count as coupons):1. “OYNO” (On Your Next Order) Catalinas. You can use it like a gift card towards your next purchase at the store where you received it. It does NOT have to be used towards the specific product that sponsored the Catalina print. These coupons expire quickly so pay attention. Some stores accept other stores’ OYNOs so know your store’s policies.
    1. Manufacturer Coupons - These coupons need to be used on the specific product designated on the coupon AND at the store where you received the Catalina. It says “Manufacturer coupon” right on it so you can stack it with both a store coupon AND an e-coupon.
    2. Register Rewards are Walgreens’ Catalinas. Register Rewards (RR) are considered manufacturer coupons that print out at the end of your transaction. You can use a store coupon AND a manufacturer coupon in addition to a Register Reward. Not to confuse you even more, even though you can use 3 coupons for one item, Walgreens doesn’t allow you to have more coupons that you have items to purchase. So, if you have 2 items and want to use a store coupon, manufacturer coupon, and Register Reward, (2 items and 3 coupons) you need what is called a filler item in order to use all 3 coupons. This is most likely a cheap item near the register that will count as your third item. As silly as this sounds, this system ends up, more times than not, saving you money. And what is even better is that Walgreens has delicious caramels right by the register for only $0.33 that make for a wonderful filler item! I have also gotten Kleenex or other great fillers for the food pantry. Register Rewards also cannot be used to purchase another of the same product. For example, if you got a $3 RR for Pantene, you cannot use that $3 to buy Pantene. And if you use a $3 Register Reward to buy something else that should have produced, say, a $7 RR, the register will subtract the $3 from the $7 and you may only get a $4 back. I know there are a lot of rules here, but the learning curve is quick once you get in the store and start buying and it is worth figuring out!

  • Walgreens, Walmart, and Target deals change on Saturday night.
  • King Soopers, Safeway, and Albertsons change on Tuesday night.
  • New coupons come in the Sunday paper.

It is good to know that Stores MAKE MONEY off of coupons. In addition to the amount of the coupon, stores get an extra $0.08 per coupon to cover their handling costs. I have read that it actually costs stores somewhere between $0.02-$0.04 per coupon to "handle" it, so they make at least $0.04 more per coupon off of a coupon shopper than a shopper who uses no coupons (kind of makes you wonder why so many cashiers get so cranky, huh?). This makes sense, if stores were losing money to coupons, they would have be done away with long ago. So, don't feel bad. Oftentimes, the cashiers will try to make you feel bad. DON'T! In fact, I love countering that with the fact that I love to donate food and hygiene products to local about them apples?

Sample Deal Post Translated

Crackers $1 – $1/1 Q (9/7 SS) = Free
That means you can find the coupon for $1 off 1 package of crackers in the
September 7th issue of Smart Source Coupons. Coupons do vary by location. I might get $1/1 crackers and you might get $1/2 if you are in a different area (even Denver and Fort Collins are different).

Coupon Lingo

AC - Ad Coupon - store Coupons found in weekly store ads.
AC-M - manufacturer coupons that are found in weekly ads
Albies - Albertson's
AY - All You magazine coupons (buy it at Walmart)
Blinkies – in store smart source coupon dispensed near product, usually from red blinking box
BOGO or B1G1 - Buy one get one free
B1G* - buy one product, get * something else
BTFE = Box Tops for Education certificate on packages
Catalina - coupon dispensed at register after purchase, usually has a red border
CKS - checks
C/O - cents off coupon
Codes - Refunds that require only a UPC# written on a CRT
Coufund - for coupons that need some proof of purchase such as UPC's attached
Cpns- manufacturer's coupons
CRT - Cash register tape
DCRT- Dated cash register tape
DCRTC - Dated cash register tape with the price circled
DND - Do Not Double (the coupon is not supposed to be doubled)
Double coupon- coupon that a grocery store doubles in value
EPOP - each pays own postage
Free Item Coupon - A coupon that allows you to get the product completely free
FS - for sale
FSI - Free Standing inserts. These are the actual term to the coupons you get in your
FSOT - for sale or trade
FT - for trade
FWIW - for what it's worth
G/C - gift card or gift certificate
(H) have
(H) = Have this coupon
HBA - The health and beauty aid section in the grocery store
HDA - Hot Deal Alert or Home Delivered Ad
HT or HgT- Hang tags for refunds or coupons hanging on a product
(IDNO) = in desperate need of this coupon
IDSO - In desperate search of
IP or IPC - internet printable coupon
IPS – Internet Printed Scanned Coupon (?) – print out and bring in
ISC - in-store coupons that are found only in the store
ISC-M - manufacturer coupons that are only found in the stores
ISO - In search of
IVDSO - In very desperate search of
KLG - Kellogg's coupons or separate inserts
KRU - Kids-R-Us coupon
LED - long expiration date
Lmt - the limit is the number of products that may be purchased at the sale price.
LTD - Limited, as on a refund form it will say you’re limited to a certain number of purchases
MFG - Manufacturer
MFR - Manufacturer
MIR - Mail-in Refund or Rebate
(N) = Need this coupon
NC - newspaper coupons found in booklets in your Sunday paper.
NED - No expiration date
Nfp - refund form found in a newspaper
NT WT - net weight
OAS - a coupon that is good on one purchase, any size
OOP - Out Of Pocket or what someone paid for their deal
OSI - On a single item
OYNSO - On Your Next Shopping Order
PG: Procter & Gamble
POP - proof of purchase
PP - purchase price
Printables - coupons you can print off the internet
Q or Qualifier- The POP required for a refund offer that is physically taken from that package
RAOK - Random act of kindness
RP - Red Plum coupon inserts from Sunday newspapers
RR - Register Rewards - this term is used in the Walgreen's thread (like Catalinas)
SASE - Self Addressed Stamped Envelope
SCR - single check rebate - offered by RiteAid and Walgreen's
SMP - specially marked packages
SS - Smart Source coupon inserts from Sunday newspapers
SWEEPS - sweepstakes form
TMF - Try Me Free Rebate offer
Triple coupon – a coupon that a grocery store triples in value
TRU - Toys-R-Us
UPC - Universal Product Code
WAGS – Walgreens
(W) want
W/C - With Coupon
WSL - while supplies last
YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary (Success of offer is variable

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