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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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I love hearing from you all and get so many encouraging emails each day of people who are able to stretch their budget and meet their goals.  I also get lots of questions, so I thought today I would knock out one of the top questions I get:

How do I know when the coupon inserts are expired?

For everyone that uses the whole insert method of coupon organization (my favorite), you can feel like you need to keep those inserts forever.  It’s that or you have to go through each page and look at the expiration dates…

Honestly 12 weeks worth are all you really need to keep.  There is a great trick I use though to be sure I’m aren’t tossing valid coupons.

Pull up the coupon database and search the date of the insert in question.  Inserts have a one or two digit month and two digit day (ex. SS 8/14, RP 1/08).  The database will only show coupons that are still good to use:

If there are any coupons that haven’t expired, they will be listed and you can clip those few. (The four coupons shown above).  If nothing comes up, you are good to get rid of the insert!

What should I do with expired inserts?

The preferred option is to send expired coupons to the troops who can use them up to 6 months past the expiration date.  If not, I suggest you at least recycle them.

    • Krista

      Thanks so much for the tips, Jenny!  

    • Tara H

      Awesome! Thanks! I’ve got an accordion file full to the brim and have been dreading the thought of going through them!

    • biskit0323

      When I get the insert, I look through it and write the expiration date of the coupon that expires last on the front of it.

      • CTB

        That is a really good idea as well.

    • Kcreviews

      What a great suggestion, Jenny. I never even thought about looking in the database like that. I have an accordion folder for my inserts and I have 11 weeks of them in there. I’m always looking through the oldest ones to make sure I’m not throwing away good coupons, so your suggestion will be a time saver!

    • Thanks.  Gonna print this post and put it in my coupon organizer so I won’t forget!

    • Amanda

      THANK YOU for answering this. I generally keep a black Sharpie in my binder and mark through a coupon once I notice it’s out of date. That makes it easier for me to look through and at least throw out certain pages of the inserts if all the coupons on the page are expired. Of course, doing this doesn’t allow for you to send the coupons to the troops, but I do recycle my inserts. :)

    • ran

      ah! very cool! thank you!!

    • Artsyeros

      Time = Money and this just saved me LOTS of time! Thanks!

    • Kat

      Well, I just checked SS 3/4 in coupon database and when results came back as no matching records, decided to check my SS 3/4 insert. To my great surprise there were quite a few coupons in there that expire at the end of May and some even at the end of June. So…..

      • nasatiger

        You have to be careful to input it exactly as she does. So, you have to type in SS 3/04 instead of just SS 3/4 or it won’t find the match. 

      • Drearydragon

        That’s because it’s not a 3/4 SS. It’s a 3/04 SS.

    • Carasue

      Google coupon tom expired inserts ..its super fast- even faster than this.

    • Tonya

      I print a list of the coupons in each insert and keep it on file.  I just scan the list and if any coupons haven’t expired, I cut those before I recycle.

    • Stella

      I usually leaf through the inserts when I get them and note the expiration date of the last coupon I would use, then write “exp” and that date on the front. Some inserts can be tossed sooner than 12 weeks. No need to keep an insert with usable pet coupons if you don’t have a pet, for example.

    • Jtdjagos

      When I get my inserts, I take a sheet of copy paper and cut it in half. I make a list of all of the coupons in the insert with coupon name, amount and expiration date. I staple the sheet to the front of the insert and put the w/e on the top of the paper. each month after PG expire, I go through and put a line through the expired coupons. When I check the data base for a coupon, I only need to look at the front of my insert to know if I got it or not. It only takes 10 ma few minutes to write each sheet, but has saved me tons of time.

    • Lyndi_dawn

      i have a big binder that i put mine in as inserts with the clear page protectors, it holds about 21/2 or 3 months depending on the amount of inserts we get. i also have a small accordian style little folder that when the big notebook gets full i just pull out the last month in my pages and put it in the small one. and when it gets full i just throw the oldest away bc by then im certain there is nothing left i could use! its super easy and i keep them side by side so if there is something i may need to pull out its right there! the little accordian one i got at target in the dollar section and it has like 5 pockets so there is plenty of room :)

    • SHEBELLA30


    • Thanks Jenny I been wondering this too and get so tired of pulling them out and going through all them. 

    • Supersavingmom

      This will save me so much time!

    • Jenni P.

      None have mentioned this, but make sure to input your particular newspaper, as there are nearly always some regional differences.

    • Sandlapper47

      You can usually use expired coupons at Target. When I am purging coupons, I will set aside any high value ones for items that Target stocks. This technique is especially useful if you have a Super Target nearby. I have been successful with coupons as old as 3 months past expiration.

      • Stephanie

        You’re not supposed to use expired coupons.  And it must be just your Target because I have a friend who works for Target and she says that as a corporate policy, they don’t take expired coupons.  Why not just use them before they expire…..?

        • Sandlapper47

          I believe it is up to the retailer whether or not to accept expired coupons. Target has sophisticated POS systems and should be able to program them to reject any expired coupon unless that date is not imbedded somewhere in the barcode. My experience is that ALL Targets in Charlotte and Columbia accept them.

        • Sandlapper47

          My understanding is that the manufacturer will reimburse the retailer weeks, if not months, after the expiration date. That makes sense because it may take that long for them to be consolidated and submitted for payment. So where is the harm?

    • Kcgardner

      great tip thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 1966pch

      Awesome! That helps a bunch!!

    • Rebekah


    • Tawnia

      cool tip… did not know I could do that!!! Thanks!

    • Linda

      Please don’t throw away any coupons!!! The military can use expired coupons for 6 months and they need them. Check for churches that send things to the troops!  They are appreciated .

    • Hockeyfan

      Love this tip I have been going threw every insert before I ship them to the troops now I have a faster way to check them. The troops really appreciate the coupons. I just got an email from my adopted military family.

    • Essie Lee

      Can you send whole inserts or do you have to clip coupons to send them to the troops?

    • Tgold6

      Publix on Two Notch in Columbia will accept expired coupons….

      • DonnaChas

        How far past the expiration do they take them?

    • Crickettjd

      Thanks Jenny for all you do for all of us couponers out here. When I get my coupons I go through them and pull out all of the junk/ advertisement pages I am not going to use. This gives me more room when I store them the whole insert method as you mentioned, to me that is the easiest method; less clipping, etc.
      Thanks again, we Love You Jenny.

    • Crickettjd

      Thanks Jenny for all you do for all of us couponers out here. When I get my coupons I go through them and pull out all of the junk/ advertisement pages I am not going to use. This gives me more room when I store them the whole insert method as you mentioned, to me that is the easiest method; less clipping, etc.
      Thanks again, we Love You Jenny.

    • Crickettjd

      Another tip. When I use one of the coupons from my All You Magazine I mark it out on the Coupon Index page saving me time looking for something I have already used, so I can look elsewhere 

    • Lindsey_matthews

      Using the coupon database is awesome!

    • Julie

      Thank you! Thank you! That has been driving me CRAZY!

    • Jaime

      You are awesome! Thanks so much… That will definitely save some time. 

    • Angiesbar