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Archive for the ‘Coupons’ Category

A small lesson in coupons.

A lot of people ask me where I get my coupons from…or they ask me to give them a quick lesson on couponing.

Well, it’s really not that hard…you just have to have a lot of time and keep up on it.

But I thought I would show a quick sample of how I do things.  (FYI..it’s probably not going to be that quick).

So basically I started last November when I was just cruising the internet while Little E was at preschool.  I’m not sure how I came across it but I came across something that had to do with coupon trains.  I couldn’t wrap my brain around that since I hadn’t been couponing….but then I started talking to my bestie and told her that I was going to try to start couponing.  Couldn’t hurt right?

So somehow I found a WONDERFUL site called Save a loonie.  (www.savealoonie.com)  This website is great.  It tells you all the contests that are going on around the internet.  It also tells you the coupons and deals that are happening for that day.  Many of the coupons or deals that you will find are on the internet.  Believe it or not, a lot of companies are just signing up for pages on Facebook in Canada.   A lot of them have them in the US but since they are just signing up for their Facebook Canada page they are offering more deals.  Save a loonie is an awesome website that has a lot of useful information.

My suggestion:  Start at Savealoonie.com first…read through the “how to coupon” links and take some short notes.  Then take a breath before heading over to www.extreme-couponingcanada.com  Read through their various couponing rules and “how to coupon” links and you should be pretty set.

Basic rules for couponing:  1) Read your coupon.  Make sure it hasn’t expire and that there aren’t any specific details on it….such as “one per customer per transaction”.  That means that you can only use one coupon per customer per paying transaction.  So if there is a really good deal….take your family….go through seperately and get your deals.

2)  You can’t double stack coupons unless there is a store that is having a double stacking coupon day or you live in the states or out west in Canada.

3)  Don’t just use your coupon for the sake of coupons.  Every product or type of product comes in rotations.  For example cleaning supplies usually come around April…or a little before which means that the prices for these items will be on sale and will go pretty cheap.  If you  are in the month of March and your coupon doesn’t expire till the end of May….wait until you find a really good deal before buying it!  You will save more money that way!

4)  Which leads to flyers.  Be very thorough with your flyers! Flyer day is a happy day in my  house for me.  lol.  It takes me a good hour or more to go through my flyers.  I write down all the good deals for items that I need and then match them with my coupons.  For example…..Irish Spring is on sale this week for $2.88.  I have a coupon for $2.00 off.  So in turn I am only paying $0.88 plus taxes.  A GOOD Deal.  If you had bought it when it was on regular price for $4.00 you still would be saving money but not getting as good of a deal.  It doesn’t hurt to hold onto a coupon….unless of course it’s going to expire and you don’t use it.  🙂

5)  Unless it’s a food item you will pay taxes on the full price BEFORE your coupon.  So let’s go back to the Irish Spring example.  If Irish Spring is on for $2.88 normally I would pay that price plus the tax (in NS it’s 15% tax) so that would bring it to $3.31.  If I use my coupon I am only spending $0.88 BUT paying the tax on the full price of $2.88…so instead of just $0.88 plus tax (which would be $1.01) I am actually paying $0.88 plus $0.43 (tax on the $2.88) which would make it $1.31 .   You are still saving money…but just beware that you are paying a little more because of the tax on the full price.  A good way to beat this if you can is to get the tax free days at Superstore…(although they may not have those deals on then).  Most food items you don’t pay tax on…so what you are saving is the actual amount that you are saving.

Price matching is your friend!  Let it work for you!  Seriously people…Walmart price matches…so does No Frills…and some other big stores like Future Shop, Home Depot and Home Hardware.  Why shop in a million different places when you can do most of it at one big store. (Unless you don’t like Walmart…then do whatever you want lol)  When I grocery shop I usually go to walmart first because then I can see if my items are cheaper at Walmart…and if they aren’t then I can price match.  Usually the only store that I don’t do this for is Sobeys because I enjoy getting my airmiles…which I then turn into free groceries.  So for price matching you have to make sure you take your flyers in with you to walmart.  A good thing to do before hand is to circle the items that are on sale that you are planning on buying…(writing them down on a notepad and what store they are at is also handy at the cash register as then you aren’t in a frantic hurry trying to figure out which item is in what flyer).  Your cashier will need to see the flyer that the item is advertised in as she/he will have to write it down.  The first time I did this I was sweating…but now they all know me and they all know that I have everything organized so they are actually pretty  happy to see me.  (or at least I pretend they are).  It may seem like a lot of work but it’s really a good practice to get into especially when a store is having a HUGE sale on something and it’s not in stock….go to Walmart..price match it and get it!  Items/products need to be exactly what they advertise in the flyer and t he stores need to be in your area.  For example we don’t have a Giant Tiger store here…so I can’t take in a Giant Tiger flyer and expect to price match.  Won’t work.

Be organized.  Organization is wonderful for you and for the cashier!  Put your coupons in a special envelope (maybe divided into different envelopes for different stores) and have them matching the items when you go up to pay.  Saves EVERYBODY a lot of time.

Also don’t be intimated by the people behind you in line.  I try to go to the youngest cashier because they tend to know what they are doing and they tend to not be picky on every single coupon….as in asking customer service representatives a lot of questions.  If the are irate people behind you in line…..tell them that you are going to be a while.  Don’t apologize…couponing is your right…companies want you to coupon…to try their products….the store is getting reimbursed for them.  If people behind you want to pay full price for something that is their right, I guess…but if you want to save money that is your right as well.  Don’t be intimidated.

So as I’ve said before I get a lot of my coupons off of facebook or the internet.  Sometimes I print them, other times they are mailed to me.  Be careful with printed ones…not all stores will take them.

For printed coupons I go to www.smartsource.com    or www.livingwell.ca   (that is a good one for medicine..like tylenol and such) or some of the mail out coupons will have printable coupons as well.

Your local newspaper will come out with inserts with coupons in them usually once a month.  Smartsource, Red Plum and P&G are the main three in Canada.  If you check out the two websites I gave you above (savealoonie & extreme-couponingcanada.com) they will tell you when the new inserts will be out.

Mail out coupons that I get are from www.save.ca      www.brandsaver.ca    www.websaver.ca   www.gocoupons.ca

A few times a year there are also sample packets that are available to be mailed out.  P&G brandsaver has one and also www.samplesource.com  Get these samples!  they are free…usually pretty good and most of them usually come with coupons!

There is a survey that comes out once a year called shoppersvoice.  Do it!  Fill it out….send it back and wait for your AWESOME coupons  to come in the mail.

Superstore has their own coupons.  Most of you know that…but did you know that most Walmarts will accept competitors coupons.  YUP!  If something is on sale at Walmart and superstore has a coupon for $1.00 off or something like that…take it to Walmart…they will accept it…or most will anyway.

Like I said most things are on facebook……If you are friends with me on facebook click on my Coupon interest list and subscribe to it.  That will give you all the coupons that may be happening in the day.

A few good coupon groups/pages to like on facebook are maritimecouponing / Canadian coupons / Free samples Canada (that’s savealoonie’s facebook page)   If you aren’t a friend of mine on facebook you can request to be…just send me a message and say “from blog for coupons” so I don’t delete your request.  🙂  My facebook id is www.facebook.com/luvmyadopted1

One more thing before I close this gigantic post about coupons:

Another thing that I do is I trade coupons with other people all over Canada.  I belong to some Canadian trade groups for coupons.  It may sound weird…but I get a lot of my good coupons from these groups.  Basically I collect and grab any coupon I can find in the store/newspaper/handouts etc and put the ones I don’t want on my tradelist and then put my wishlist of ones that I do want…and I trade with people…send them in the mail….it’s great…it’s easy and it saves you money!  Look for them…they are out there.

Please if you have ANY questions at all, comment on here and I”ll answer them if I can.  Since starting this in November/December I have saved well over $2000!

Laura

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