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 even kicks it up a notch by donating $0.05 to Breakfast for Learning for every coupon you redeem.
- 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.
- Mrs January
- Grocery Alerts
- The founder of Grocery Alerts has actually saved over $1700 in 9 months of tracking his coupon purchases. It might be interesting to start tracking how much you can save by using coupons too.
- Smart Canucks
- Fabulous Savings
- They have some exclusive coupons that you can't find anywhere else.
- Bargain Moose
- Canadian Daily Deals
- Red Flag Deals
- This is one of the biggest and best deals site and I know Saving Mentor and I both are #1 fans.
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.