Extreme Couponing: The Basics

Woohoo! Welcome to Extreme Week! The Young & Free Maine blog will feature a number of “extreme” things all week long. I’ll bring you a two-part series on extreme couponing, an interview with an extreme athlete, my story of extreme fandom, and an extremely delicious recipe on Fresh Baked Friday.

Today I’ll kick things off with a look at the popular extreme couponing practice. I’m so intrigued by these people who save big bucks using coupons, so I’ve been doing my research and wanted to share it with you. I can’t guarantee that you’ll walk out of the store with a grocery cart full of items for less than the cost of a coffee. However, I hope you pick up some useful information that will help you save money on the items you use every day.

Extreme couponing is a lifestyle with its own set of rules and vocabulary. One of the most important things to know before you dive into an extreme couponing adventure is the common terms used to describe deals and coupons. The list below is certainly not comprehensive, but these are some of the most common words and abbreviations used in the world of extreme couponing.

Terms You Need to Know


Simply, this stands for Buy One Get One. This may mean that purchasing one item with earn you a free one. It can also mean buy one at full price and receive another at half-price or another discount.


This acronym stands for Out of Pocket. This is the total cost you will pay for an item after coupons and discounts.


Stacking is when multiple coupons, like store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon, are used together for additional savings.


A peelie is a coupon found on the product itself.


These coupons, also called CAT, are printed at the register after a purchase is made.


This is often seen on couponing websites describing deals. A $1/2 means you save $1 on two items.

Rain Check

A rain check is often a slip you can request from a store that has sold out of an item that was on sale. When the item is back in stock, you can use the rain check slip to purchase the item at the sale price. These sometimes have expiration dates and quantity limits.

Tomorrow I’ll give you a step-by-step demo of getting a few extreme deals using coupons. Stay tuned for that and the rest of extreme week.

Do you use coupons to save money?

Kylie K.