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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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understanding regional differences in coupon inserts

One of the most frustrating parts of couponing, is printing your shopping list and heading to gather coupons only to find that you don’t have half of them.  For folks that are just starting out, this tends to make you think that I’ve lost my mind and the match ups are terrible.  Before you give up on the match ups though let me explain the real issue… every city gets different inserts.

Not All Newspapers Are Created Equal

The larger the newspaper, the better the coupons.  If you think of them as advertisements, it makes sense.  A company wants to reach more people, so they pay to be in a few larger markets rather than lots of smaller markets.  This means that you need to try and get the biggest newspaper you can get your hands on.  You can get creative with this by finding bookstores, gas stations, grocery stores, etc that will carry the largest paper.  One big warning – you do not want to call and order an out of town subscription.  They will send you Atlanta’s news, but not the coupon inserts.

In case you are wondering the biggest papers in the South are:

Atlanta Journal
Charlotte Observer
Jacksonville Florida Times Union

You don’t really have to take my word for it though.  Every week a number of volunteers from all over the south send in exactly what coupons were in their paper.  Click on a few cities and compare exactly how many red (meaning they didn’t get it) coupons there are.  A new list of regional variations is posted every Wednesday afternoon around 5 pm.  If you don’t see your city listed and want to help, email me at jenny@southernsavers.com.

Did you know that you can also see these differences in the coupon database on Southern Savers?  Head over and select the city you are closest too, and it will show an R next to any insert coupon that you actually got in that area!

How Do You Get A Better Paper?

Supporting newspapers is great and I encourage y’all to do it, but sometimes we need better coupon inserts than our tiny local paper can give us.  If that’s the case, you can order whole inserts online from a different.  Shipping can get pretty steep so I suggest going in with at least one other person to offset that cost.  There are a number of sites that offer this, but just google “Whole Coupon Inserts” and you’ll be set with a number of sites to check out.  Make sure you know what coupons are in the inserts before you order them, so that you know they are better than yours.

Why Do They Make This So Difficult?

The biggest reason, is budget.  Some companies just can’t afford to reach all areas, so they take a cheaper option of bigger metropolitan areas only.  Other companies are really doing market research and want to promote certain products in certain areas.  That’s why we see entirely different coupons and/or coupons with different amounts off.

This is a lot of information and if you’d like to have it presented in video form, I’ve got just the thing:

    • Vicky

      Thanks Jenny, This has always been a pain to me because even though I get coupons in the Saturday paper ( only .50 a paper yay!! ) I have to drive to another town to get the high value coupons. I will be looking into buying what I need online.

    • kcreviews

      I’m in a medium sized city in NC and get horrible coupons from the paper, but can’t get the Charlotte paper because I’m too far away. Sites like coupon beat dot com have been a lifesaver for me, helping me get the coupons I want economically and in an expedient manner.

    • I have a medium to small local paper, but the Atlanta paper isn’t delivered to my town ( TN). When there is a really good coupon I want that I didn’t get, I use a coupon clipping service. They are fast and VERY inexpensive. It might also be worth lowering the amount of newspapers you buy and then go to them and only buy the ones you want.

    • Amy

      Since most coupons have wording prohibiting the sale, transfer, etc of coupons I find it unconscionable that such a practice is promoted here. The manufacturers have reasons for issuing the coupons they do, as you have noted. A shame that ethical coupon use isn’t encouraged

      • Cindy

        I totally agree with you on this point Amy. I cannot understand why the manufacturers who issue these coupons have not shut down the clipping sites. I am saddened when I see the consumer saver websites such as this one suggested people should pay for coupons that clearly are not to be sold. :(

      • John

        yea…..and how about those jaywalkers….we should lock them up too.

      • Luci

        Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you are writing. The resellers of whole coupon inserts bought the whole newspaper, so someone is reimbursing that buyer for the paper and paying the postage.

    • shelleyschu

      I have ordered from clipping services when I forgot to buy the paper. The one I use has a bulk rate for a subscription to the Atlanta paper for a huge number of inserts. I’d recommend teaming up with 4-5 people to split the weekly shipping if you live outside the Atlanta or other large metro area.

      • ruth

        what site do you use for bulk

    • Did anyone else get Red Plum for 10/21? I did, Fall is the season for celebration RP 10/21 but in 10/7 paper WPBP

    • Donna

      Newspaper coupons might say do not transfer/sell etc. but my understanding is that is only their preferences. It is not a law and it is not illegal for you to buy the needed coupons from a coupon service or trade coupons etc. They may prefer you not to share/trade/buy but it’s your choice as a consumer what you want to buy.

    • Susie

      While I do not support coupon clipping sites, they do not sale their coupons. If you read the small print it states they are charging for shipment and the cost of “clipping” the coupons. Based on the wording, they will never be shut down.

    • Just Me

      Maybe I am playing the “Devil’s Advocate” here, but… when I get them in the newspaper isn’t that a “transfer” or a “sale” ? If simply a transfer or sale made them invalid than all coupons from the paper would be invalid. The disclaimer makes no distinction. I would then presume that the disclaimer is not intended to stop the transfer of actual coupons but, rather, the sale of distribution of illegally copied coupons.

    • Anissa

      Amy, I’m glad you have nothing more to worry about than who’s getting which coupons from whom. Maybe your supply comes from the government. Thank goodness we can use our brains to save money and feed our families.