Learn how to extreme coupon in Canada. Ever since the TLC show Extreme Couponing has aired, I have received numerous emails from readers begging me to give them tips on how to be an extreme couponer like the people they see on the show.
I’m sorry to break it to ya folks, but what you see on the show is not really how it all goes down. Those shoppers save up all of their “Free Product” and “High Value” coupons to use on the show so that their hauls will be much more impressive.
They know well in advance when their shopping date will be, so they have plenty of time to order coupons (many use a coupon clipping service at a cost – a cost that is never factored into their out of pocket total).
It’s television – pure entertainment.
Is it possible to be an extreme couponer in Canada?
Yes, but don’t expect to get the same types of deals as those you see on Extreme Couponing.
Many of the people on the show have stores in their community that will double (sometimes triple!) the value of coupons. They also have catalinas that print on your receipt, which are coupons you can use for future purchases (for example: save $5 on your next purchase of $20).
In addition, they often have better in-store promotions than those of us in Canada (for example: buy 5 General Mills products and get $5 off your purchase).
So, yes, you can be an extreme couponer in Canada. Just don’t expect to go to the store every week and buy $600 worth of groceries for $10. It’s near impossible.
How to Become an Extreme Couponer
Learning how to extreme coupon in Canada takes time. Becoming an extreme couponer and building a large stockpile doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to learn how to shop smart and get used to using coupons in large quantities. It took me well over a year to build my stockpile and I am still (and always will be) constantly taking from and adding items to it.
If you really want to get serious about couponing, the first thing you need to do is find coupons – and find a lot of them. There are many ways to do this: tear pad coupons, coupon inserts, online coupon companies, printable coupons, coupon trading, etc.
Once you find a bunch of coupons, you will then need to organize them. My favourite way to organize coupons is the binder method, but of course, there are many other options. Choose the organizational system that you think would work best for you.
It’s important to always stay on top of your coupons. When you get new ones, organize them right away. They start to pile up very fast! Also, don’t forget to go through your coupons at least once per month and remove all of the expired ones.
Check Your Flyers
There are new store flyers every week. When you receive them, look them over and make note of the items that you think are good deals and would like to buy. Then, check your coupons to see if you have any to match up to those sale items.
You always want to shop with a list when you go grocery shopping. Otherwise, you will just walk up and down the aisles adding random items to your cart with no real rhyme or reason. To save yourself some money, always shop with a list and never buy anything that is not on it (unless you find some great clearance deals, of course!).
Also, you need to fill your belly before you go shopping, otherwise you will shop on impulse and fill up your cart with junk food. Trust me on that one.
Stock-up on Sale Items
You always want to stock up on items when they are at their rock-bottom prices. This is how you build a grocery stockpile. Give yourself a monthly “stocking up” budget and use that money to stock up on items when they go on sale.
If you use lots of frozen vegetables and normally pay $1.99 a bag, wait until they go on sale for $1 or less and then stock up. Sales typically run about every 3 months, so purchase a 3 month supply (if you can afford it) at that low price and then you don’t have to worry about frozen vegetables for 3 months.
Always save your coupons to match up with great deals. I know it can be tempting to use a whole bunch of coupons when you first start out, but you will get the best bang for your buck if you hold on to those coupons and wait for a sale to combine them with. Avoid full price whenever possible, even if you have a coupon.
Organize Your Stockpile
Once you start using coupons for a while and purchasing things that are on sale, you will begin to amass a collection of items. This is called a stockpile. In order to avoid chaos in your home, you need to organize your stockpile. Basements work best, but if you don’t have one available to use, here are some other ideas for stockpile storage.
Remember to always add newer items to the back and move older items to the front, to prevent expiration issues. You’re not saving any money if you just end up throwing things out!
Donate Your Extras
When you start getting the hang of using coupons and stockpiling, you will probably end up having a whole heap of items that you can’t possibly use before they expire. I would suggest donating those stockpile items to local food banks, shelters and even friends and family. Help others in need. Pay it forward. If you do good, good will come to you.
Becoming an extreme couponer is hard. It takes a lot of time, and it can be stressful. You have to find coupons, clip coupons, organize coupons, plan shopping trips, go shopping and put everything away. You will sometimes deal with cashiers that don’t want to accept your coupons. There will be great big hauls and there will be very small hauls. Expect that.
If you want to be extreme, couponing becomes a job. It’s not easy – but it can certainly be worth it!
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