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Have you ever watched Extreme Couponing and questioned whether it was really possible? Do they really get hundreds of dollars of stuff for only a few dollars? How do they do it? Where do they get the coupons?
Well, to answer the first question, yes it is really possible if you are in the United States and if you spend months, maybe even years planning out your “haul”, they really are able to do it. However, it’s unlikely it’s an everyday thing for them. Sure they likely save a lot more money than you and I, with coupons but not quite that much every time. I am sure most people are likely aware of that. If not… well, I am sure you are now.
How do they do it? As I mentioned they spend months and months planning it out. Planning out what they want to buy, looking for coupons, gathering up the coupons, organizing them, finding deals in flyers, and putting it all together. It’s pretty impressive actually. In Canada it’s a little different though, you aren’t able to stack coupons in most stores here. There are a few but not many that allow it.
So how do you use coupons in Canada to save money? Here are some tips & tricks on where to find them and how to use them. Some of the sites listed are for Canada only but some of the tips & tricks can be used pretty much anywhere.
Where Do I Find Coupons?
There are numerous places to get coupons in Canada. The first is inserts in newspapers. A number of Canadian newspapers will have inserts in them that come out every 3-4 weeks in most cases. You can also use a number of websites to either print, mail, or even digitally use coupons. My favorites are Save.ca, Swagbucks, Tasty Rewards, WebSaver.ca, GoCoupons, and P&G Everyday. If shopping online you can also use sites like RetailMeNot or Honey (chrome app) to find coupon codes to apply to your purchases. You can also collect Honey Gold when using Honey which you can save to redeem gift cards.
Organize Your Coupons
Once you receive your coupons or print them I would recommend you sort them by expiry date and possibly even type, ie. groceries, cleaning supplies, health & beauty, etc. Especially if you’ve got a lot of them. This will help you when you are looking for them later on if you are saving them for a later date.
Next, you’re going to want to make a list of items you want and check the list against the coupons and also against flyers to see if you can find the item(s) on sale as you can typically apply a coupon on top of the sale price allowing for greater savings. Flipp is one of my favorite apps for checking flyers, saving discount, or rewards cards so that you don’t have to carry them all with you, and creating shopping lists. Check the store’s website for their coupon policy if you are unsure. Also check for duplicate coupons you can stack (ie. manufacture & store coupons) if the store you are going to allows it (which as I said in Canada most likely you can’t but in the US you most likely can).
There are a number of cashback apps as well that you can download on your phone that will give you additional cashback on certain items or for uploading your receipts or both which again you can check beforehand as well. I use Checkout51 and ReciptHog.
If you’re in the US and have the option of using more then one of the same coupon (most Canadian stores don’t allow this either) on the same item and you can get your hands on multiple coupons you can then stock up on certain items when they are on sale and you have a coupon. This can be handy if you want to do a shopping haul for stocking up for yourself or for shopping for a food bank or charity. Obviously at the moment with the COVID-19 situation you likely can’t do this in the US either but keep it in mind for a later date.
Bring Someone With You
If you are going for a big haul you may want to consider bringing someone with you to help you keep on track, just ensure it’s someone who will keep you on track and not distract you from your goal. If you’re just doing a regular grocery trip then you’re probably okay on your own.
That’s really pretty much all there is to it! Remember you won’t likely get hundreds of dollars worth of stuff for only a few dollars (especially in Canada) but every penny saved is a penny you can put towards bills or savings!