If someone had said to me a year ago, that I would pay for over 90% of my groceries and household products with coupons,I would have thought them crazy. But here I am today, just a “newbie” in the world of coupons, regularly saving upwards of 70% of my household budget.
In just 9 short months I have saved over $5000.00 off of retail costs of everyday groceries,cleaning products, and personal care items. In doing so, I have also “given back” to my community by donating regularly to my local food bank.
Extreme Couponing is alive and well in Canada. What used to be a purely “American” way of saving money, many people have found is quite possible north of the border. While we cannot “stack” coupons (except in a few Western province stores) we can save money and take advantage of amazing sales and use coupons to our advantage.
It takes a little work, but the rewards are wonderful.
I started by signing up to every mail order coupon site in Canada, and ordering coupons, even those I would not use (trading coupons is big business, your coupon junk may be my coupon treasure). I also started paying attention to the inserts that come out monthly in many free Canadian newspapers and flyer packages. I started small, I allocated $20.00 of my weekly budget to “coupon purchases”. For me it was toilet paper and laundry soap. Royale Toilet paper was on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for 3.88 I had 1.00 off coupons I bought 5 packages of 24 double rolls cost me $14.40. So the next week I had my $20.00 allocated for coupon shopping, plus $5.60 I didn’t spend from the week before, plus the $5.00 I would have spent on toilet paper that week. Laundry soap was on sale, Gain for 2.99 I have save 2.00 when you buy 2 gain product coupons, I bought 20. I was hooked from there.
These days I rarely, if ever, pay full price for any item at a grocery store. There are coupons for almost every product your family needs.
Sales change with the seasons, as do coupons. Spring time is cleaning product time. Fall, canned tomato’s, pasta sauce, and pasta. Summer, condiments,bbq sauce,bbq friendly meats and pickles. Winter is the time to stock up on paper products, baking supplies, roasts, hams, and sweets. Knowing the sales cycles, and the best time to match up your coupons with sales is the key.
The trick is to only buy an item that is on sale, that you have a coupon for. If you have multiple coupons, stock up!
I NEVER buy something I won’t use just because I have a coupon, unless of course it is free, then it goes to family, friends or the food bank.
Many people make the mistake of buying products they don’t need just because they have a coupon. This is a big mistake because that is NOT saving you money.
Walmart is a couponer’s friend, they pay overages, and accept every kind of coupon. You can also price match every other store’s sales (saves gas, so you don’t drive from store to store to take advantage of all the deals).
So my advice is sign up at the coupon sites, familiarize youself with the “retail” cost of what your family uses and stay tuned for my next blog on how to organize your coupons and make them work for you!
Some of my favorite coupon sites are: