How To Save Money By Using Coupons


This is a guest post by Young And Thrifty, one of my favourite bloggers that I read religiously whenever she publishes something new! She’s trying to “save generation Y” by writing her blog on personal finance for beginners like her sisters who don’t have a clue about how to manage their finances. So far I’d say she’s doing a fantastic job!

There's no secret to it, really. The trick is to get the coupons, sort them, and then use them when the items matching the coupons go on sale. Some advance planning is necessary because it usually takes a few business days for coupons requested online to be mailed out to you.

So, how does one sort all of these coupons anyway? I recently created a few envelopes that I have labeled “Food” and “Household” to start off. It certainly helps to keep things organized when you are in a pinch and rummaging around for the right coupon. In order for it to work, you need to keep your coupon stash handy, especially when you're going out and buying groceries. The other secret is to try and use coupons at stores where you can collect points (a shining example - Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points). I learned recently that even though you spend $5.99 on toilet paper and you have a $1.00 coupon off, the value you get for earning points is still $5.99! That means on those 20x the points days at Shoppers you don’t actually have to spend a full $50 out of pocket to get $50 worth of points. This, my friends, is double dipping and it is indeed a good thing.

Online Coupon Websites Where You Can Request Coupons By Mail

    • Depending on your postal code, there are different coupon offers you can get sent to you. You can only order a coupon once.
  • Websaver
    • Websaver even kicks it up a notch by donating $0.05 to Breakfast for Learning for every coupon you redeem.
  • Brandsaver
    • Brandsaver is by Proctor and Gamble and there are lots of great "high value" coupons here
  • Often if you email a manufacturer, they will mail you some high cash value coupons (I did this one for some premium brand dog food a la Natural Balance and it worked!)

Canadian Deal Websites

Here are a few websites that share with you the latest Canadian deals. Some of these websites even tell you how and when to use your coupons with the latest sales from the grocery stores. Basically they do all the work and research for you and all you need to do is buy the items they recommend with the coupons you have.

Here are a couple things that I have gotten for free (that's my favourite word, except when it comes to labour) since spending a few minutes checking out the above mentioned sites from time to time, or checking out their twitter feeds:

  • Origins face wash (full size)
  • Ziplock brand freezer/ storage bags
  • Oceanspray cranberry juice
  • Organic mascara (though I must say I wish it were Organic waterproof mascara) with a Mail In Rebate yet to be received
  • Free shipping coupon codes on various websites

I think coupons are a great way to cut your monthly budget on groceries and household goods, though one must be cognizant of spending more money when you're trying to save money (I have a tendency to fall into trouble with this, as I go for the purpose of saving money and end up buying a few things that weren't on my 'list'). Making a list is definitely the way to go in order to avoid spending some extra money that you were meant to be saving. Another thing to be cognizant of that I mentioned briefly earlier is to not go overboard and hoard these consumer goods like a squirrel. There is no need for 100 sticks of antiperspirant in your basement, really, there isn't.

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Justine's picture

Thank you so much for the mention! is another good resource for ordering coupons.

August 15, 2011 @ 9:13 am
Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter's picture

Thanks for the great resource. My issue with coupons is that there are very few things I buy where I can actually get a coupon for. There never seems to be coupons on fresh produce, bulk items like rice,or go green products. It is very frustrating.

August 15, 2011 @ 3:41 pm
SavingMentor's picture

I agree with you Miss T, but most of use at least some products that coupons can be provided with. I've found some coupon resources for more natural or organic packaged products. If you have children, then diaper coupons are always nice unless you go the cloth diaper route. Coupons for toiletries are also widely available and most people still use that stuff even if they are green-minded.

It's more challenging, but it can still be done.

Do you ever watch for those $3 off $10 coupons at the bulk barn? That way you can get rice and pasta at a little bit of a discount. The best way to save on produce is to usually watch the sales and check out your local farmers markets to see if the prices are better than your supermarket. You may even be able to negotiate a deal directly with a farmer to save even more money but I've never tried that myself.

August 15, 2011 @ 4:37 pm
FinEngr's picture

If you know what you are looking for or buy a particular brand regularly, it's amazing what you can save.

My wife used to buy allergy medicine as needed, but now we save $5 coupons and wait for it to go on sale. We then stock up, easily saving 50% or more.

August 17, 2011 @ 12:55 am
SavingMentor's picture

That's exactly right FinEngr. Add a good rewards promotion to that + good credit cards rewards and you are really in business! Nothing like some good stacking.

August 17, 2011 @ 9:02 am
Cassie Howard's picture

Thanks for the mention!

Using coupons is one of the best ways to save money at the grocery store. Even if you only use a few coupons every time you shop - any savings is good savings! :)

August 17, 2011 @ 11:11 am
youngandthrifty's picture

Awe thanks for sharing my guest post and giving me such glowing accolades! (cool to have someone read my blog religiously).

I just got a coupon in the mail for $2.50 off Scott paper towels and 1000 SDM points to go with that.

Can you say "danger danger"?

I must admit I had fallen off the coupon bandwagon for a bit (just with life getting so harry and less time to look at flyers etc.) but I hope to be back soon.

August 20, 2011 @ 6:22 pm
SavingMentor's picture

Yes, I got that same coupon. I just took advantage of the combined promotion of a $10 SDM gift card when you spend $50 and 15x points on baby products to stock up on diapers and formula. Of course, I combined whatever coupons I had for diapers with that to save even more. I figured I got $110 worth of points and gift cards for slightly over $200 in spending. Not too shabby!

While I was there, I tried to find a way to use those 2 Scott coupons but those paper towels are so expensive, I don't think it makes sense to buy even with the coupons. I will try to keep my eyes peeled for a sale and then go ahead with it. I usually just get the $1.99 6-pack of life brand paper towels when they go on sale. Quality isn't as high but they work well enough for my purposes and are a lot cheaper.

August 22, 2011 @ 10:45 am
Steve Zussino's picture

That is interesting seeing all the freebies you have picked up!

I enjoy getting free stuff, as well. I have received concert tickets, wine tastings, food products and other nice wins.

Thanks for the mention.

August 27, 2011 @ 2:26 am

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