Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

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

Random Bar Code Thoughts

on 6.25.2009 at 3:23pm

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

Barcode Basics Southern Savers

There are lots of different places to get coupons. Newspaper, printables, magazines, in store dispensers, coupons on products, pamphlets in the store… the list is endless. Please remember with all these different coupons that you can still only use one manufacturer coupon per item. It doesn’t matter where you found the coupon, only one per item.

So you print a coupon to take with you and then find a coupon on the box when you get there. If they are both manufacturer coupons then you need to pick one of them to use for that item. Pick the coupon that is the highest price, or will be the highest price after doubling (a .40 cent coupon would be worth more than a .65 cent coupon at a store that doubles .50 cents or less coupons).

How do you tell if it is a manufacturer coupon?

Many store coupons say at the top that they are manufacturer coupons, so how do you really know what kind of coupon you have?

First look at the bar code. A manufacturer coupon will start with a 5 or a 9. That’s it. Any other number starting the bar code and you have a store coupon. Also look in the small print for a mailing address for redemption. All true manufacturer coupons that can be used at any store will have an address. If the coupon starts with a 5 or a 9 and has the address then you will be able to use the coupon at any store without problems. (Note: If the fine print states to be redemption only for X store than the above does not apply – haven’t run into one of those yet though). “Redeemable At…” or a coupon having a store logo are only attempts for the store to get you to use the coupon in their store, not a requirement.

If you find that you do have a store coupon, then you can find a manufacturer coupon to use with it. This is called stacking. At most stores you can use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on each item. Stacking them together can really increase your savings! All stores covered by Southern Savers allow stacking.

Many grocery stores will double coupons that are a certain value or less every day. This is not based on the words on the coupon, but is based on the bar code. The computer systems will double any coupon that is the right value and if the bar code starts with a 5. While the store can override the double manually, that is not done in many stores.

This is just a basics post.There is a lot more to bar codes but for SouthernSavers.com we will stop there. It borders on illegal to go into decoding coupons and I am not up for that. Please no linking to other posts that discuss this either.

(Side note: any one that loves to decode coupons to use it to buy items that are not intended by the manufacturer your days a numbered as all coupons will switch to a new barcoding system Jan 01 of next year.)

    • Good post Jenny !
      I was just thinking of re-posting my post on Bar Codes since it’s been awhile. Some of my newer blog followers might not know about the subject so thank you for posting this just in the nick of time ! this post is much more in depth than mine so I’m going to link to this post too.

    • Lisa

      Okay- I’m confused. I was just reading a thread on hotcouponworld. They were saying that the manu q’s that say “redeemable at” are a special manu that have an agreement with that one particular store and therefore can only be reimbursed by the store listed. Our Publix won’t take manu q’s that are redeemable only at drug stores. And our Kroger won’t take any redeemable only at q other than their own.

      Somebody- help me out!

    • Trish

      So, the IPs we got recently that said Redeem at Publix, and have Retailer Coupon at the top……are those manufacturers qs or store qs? Can they be stacked with a regular manufacturers q?

      • Jenny

        The recent Publix coupons are really manufacturer coupons and can be used anywhere!

    • Keep in mind at Walgreens you can stack coupons; however, you must have at least the number of items that you have coupons. So to me, it feels like you can’t stack (I hate this rule by Walgreens).

      I think it depends on the Store you try to redeem them at and the cashier you get. I have used coupons with other logos at my Kroger here in the Cincinnati area with no problems.

    • Rebekah

      thank you for being an “honest couponer!”

    • Michelle

      What does it mean to “decode” coupons? I’ve never heard of that.

    • Thanks for sharing that information about coupons. I was always a bit unsure when I was doing the Rite Aid deals with the in-ad coupons…whether they were a store coupon or a manufacturer’s coupon. Now I’ll know.

    • Shirley (NC)

      I have a question about the IP Q’s that are “Do Not Double”. I have never used these when I planned on doubling or tripling because of the “DND” on the top; wanted to try to avoid any problems if possible. I’ve just looked at some of them & their barcodes start with a “5”; so does that mean that they will in fact double or triple. I’ve hated getting these in the past but you never know until after you print them that they are “DND” Q’s.

    • lynn

      what is the differance in a manf and reait coupon?

    • amy

      I just left Publix and they declined my competitor coupons!! They won’t take Target, Food Lion, drug store, $5 off of $50 Kmart, as they found in the small print that the drug store coupons say something about their “card”, our Target is not a superTarget as the coupons state, and the reasons go on and on. . . don’t know if this wave will move outside my town in N. Central FL, or if it’s just my area. The only ones they will take here are Albertsons and Winn Dixie and I never see coupons from them.

    • Sandra E

      Jenny, this is a good post, but I feel bad for you that you feel you need to do this! You have enough work to do with just putting up the latest matches & sale items etc.

      Can’t people just be honest? It’s easy to figure out – if it says “store coupon” or “target coupon” then it’s for that store (eg: Target). If it says “manufacturer coupon” – it’s a mfg coupon for any store…right? I was able to use the coke coupons that say “redeem at Publix” at Walmart because they were mfg coupons.
      (Although I got a catalina from Food lion that said MFG coupon and they would not take it at Kroger)..
      But that is beside the point.
      I do only what I know is ok (eg: one store coupon + one mfg coupon per item)… I don’t need any hassle at the register.
      I have enough trouble just making sure things ring up on sale or whatever.

    • Kim M

      First time posting a comment, so didn’t know where to leave this. This will run out in the next couple days and there are restrictions, but Walgreens was running a special for $10.00 off your order for contact lenses over $60.00, which included free shipping. I ordered AcuVue Hydraclear lenses for a year (4 boxes) and only was charged $108.00 including tax. It kicked back a $100 rebate for first time AcuVue users if you buy a total of 8 boxes. I am ordering another 4 boxes and will get two years worth of contacts for $116.00. Eye dr. was going to charge me over $180.00 for one year.

      Catch – have to have been to the eye doctor in the last 90 days.

    • Kimberly

      The Publix in Ooltewah, TN is now checking coupons. If it says “do not double” they do manually override it so it does not double.

    • D.W.

      I thought that when it said redeemable at Publix I could only use it there, but after reading this post i went back and looked at those “redeemable at Publix” q’s. in the fine print it does say “redeemable at food, drug, discount and other stores accepting coupons.” Very good to know!! Thank you!!

    • nancy

      Thank you for explaining the 5s and 9s.

    • Mary Lee Carrigan

      I ventured out to Kroger today to try this couponing thing – I’m sure all of you pros could have saved more money, but I was thrilled knowing that my total was easily cut in half with my coupons – I bought only what was on sale and what I had coupons for. I had downloaded Cellfire, shortcuts, and P&G and they all worked just fine! I couldn’t believe all that I was able to purchase – diapers for $6.49 – now that was exciting!!

      I do have one question – I have a Target coupon but the bar code begins with a 9 – so is that only for Target, or can I redeem it anywhere – it does state Target coupon.

      Thanks for helping us take these baby steps – I can see that this could be addictive.

    • Mina

      Mary Lee, congratulations! If you cut your bill in half on your first trip out, you did VERY well, indeed.

      Your Target q can probably be read by the computers and used at other stores, since it sounds like it’s a probably a “Do Not Double” 9. 9’s may go through smoothly, but depending on what the following 2 digits are, may cause a “beep” that some people dread. Even when q’s like that are true manufacturer ones, you may find some stores still will not accept anything with another store’s logo on it. One thing you can do when you’re not sure is to read the SPECIFIC wording on the q, because even though the barcode is what is read by the computer, the specific legitimate use for the customer is written out. If it says “Redeem ONLY at Target,” then I interpret to mean that is intended for use there only.

      If it just says “Target” with a logo, or “Redeem at Target” (without the ‘only’), and says “Manufacturer Coupon” on top, and has a barcode that starts with 9, chances are good that anyplace that accepts it will be reimbursed.

      Any time that you aren’t sure about a coupon, it’s good to stop at Customer Service on your way in to ask them. I’ve found people who work CS are usually very happy to help you get the best honest value for coupons. They tend to be very willing to work with people who are trying to ‘do it right’.

    • Thank you so much for promoting honest couponing! I’m so tired of going into a store and being treated badly because some people abuse what’s already a generous system. I went to CVS a few weeks ago and there had been a cashier fired because she took xeroxed internet coupons. While I do believe some people make honest mistakes because they just aren’t aware of how things work, those who do know and promote wrongdoing need to be stopped. Great job as usual Jenny!

    • @ Lisa (#2) If it says “Redeem at Publix” but it’s a manufacturer coupon, you can probably use it at another store. If it says “Redeemable ONLY at Publix” then most stores won’t accept it if they don’t accept competitor coupons.

    • Kristin

      Thanks for this post! I’m new to this website, and I have been confused on which coupons to use when and where and this really helped explain things for me. I’ve never thought to read the actual wording on the coupons when it has a store logo to see if it can be used somewhere else. The Publix I normally shop at usually accepts Target coupons, but the last time I was there the cashier did manually override the coupons that said “do not double.” I still think it really depends on which cashier you get on whether or not this is done every time.

    • Helen

      Thank you Jenny, it’s hard to keep up with all of the rules. You’ve made it easy and enjoyable to coupon.

    • Jane

      Thanks to everyone for all of your posts. I am still new at this and learning every day and southern savers has been a great tool. I do have a couple of questions that I hope someone can help with. Which stores other than Publix will accept competitors coupons? Which stores other than Wal-Mart will match competitors prices? Last, does anyone know of any stores that still accept expired coupons? I want to get the best HONEST savings possible so I am trying to learn what each store will allow. Thanks again, this site is WONDERFUL!

    • “any one that loves to decode coupons to use it to buy items that are not intended by the manufacturer your days a numbered as all coupons will switch to a new barcoding system Jan 01 of next year”

      Now that’s got me curious. I’m not interested in decoding coupons (I didn’t even know such a thing existed!) but I’m wondering what your statement means.

      Does it mean someone takes something like a Chef Boyardee coupon and uses it to buy Campbell’s soup?

      Or do you mean more like using a coupon for a Charmin 12-pack on a Charmin 6-pack instead?

      Either way, anything that stops people from using coupons dishonestly is a good thing.

      • Jenny

        There are many coupons that are coded for any product made by a manufacturer but really the words state that they are for one type. Pillsbury coupons state this a lot. It will be for rolls but would work for cake mix. Please don’t go do it, but the code would let you.

    • Linda

      Confused here. You said that manu coupons barcode numbers begin with either a 5 or 9. I took a randon sampling of mine which state manu coupon at the top and none of the numbers begin with 5 or 9. Wait there is one, Many start with a zero. Am I missing something.