My friends laugh at me sometimes for using coupons in almost every situation. This includes paying for an oil change, eating out at a restaurant, or purchasing some food at the grocery store. I have a friend named James that has even nicknamed me the ‘Coupon King'! I enjoy using coupons and I look at it as a way to save additional money to keep in my pocket for other things (like paying off debt).
It is free money that shows you the large margins that companies have to work with.
Most consumers believe that clipping coupons and actively seeking coupons is a waste of time. The fact is that most people's income after paying all taxes is significantly less than their paycheck. One way I look at using coupons is trying to keep more money that you earned in your pocket.
There are lots of places to find coupons other than the weekly newspaper:
Download coupons online
Many coupons are going digital, and these days you don't even need to subscribe to the newspaper. Our website (www.groceryalerts.ca) has all the printable coupons you need to get started for many items (including a $5 off coupon for Motrin, 10% off coupon for M&M Meats, and a 25% off coupon for Chapters), and all you have to do is print, clip and save. All it costs you is the price of printer paper and ink (tip: print in draft to save your ink!).
Three other top Canadian websites to print coupons are: www.websaver.ca, www.couponclick.ca, and www.gocoupons.ca.
Join a coupon club train
A coupon club train is a group of people that exchange coupons via regular mail. The conductor is the person that starts the train and they gather the list of names and addresses of people who want to join the train. The conductor then takes a large amount of coupons and puts them into an envelope and sends it off to the first person on the list. When that person receives it, they take out what coupons they want, and then replace them with other coupons of the same value or more. For example, if I took out $5 in coupons, I would put back $5 in coupons into the envelope. That person mails the envelope off to the next person on the list (which will be included in the envelope) and so on.
Anyone can start a coupon train if they wish and of course more than one train can run at a time if there is enough interest. You can get some great money saving coupons by doing this. On the forums of our website is an area to create a coupon club train.
Contact the manufacturers of the products that you purchase.
Manufacturers love to hear good things from their customers. Sometimes manufacturers will reward their customers with a coupon or special offer. I often ask manufacturers of products that I frequently purchase for coupons or to be put on their mailing list so that they can send coupons if they become available.
Product packaging and store displays
You will find coupons hanging right beside the products in the stores. If you have the time, but you don't need many things during your shopping trip, gather up all the coupons so that you can use them for the future. You may find a coupon good for something you may need next month. Stock up on those coupons (take more than one if the expiry is far enough into the future that you will be making multiple purchases).
Sign up for shopper loyalty programs
Grocery stores are the most common examples of this type of program. Save-on-Foods in Alberta and British Columbia present members-only coupons at kiosks. Safeway Canada e-mails weekly Air Miles bonus coupons. Being a member of Scene Canada – the loyalty card for Cineplex Odeon – gives me 10% off concessions. Often, it is worth the time to register to receive these extra coupons.
Personally, as a family we keep track of all the money we save throughout the year using coupons and last year it added up to a romantic weekend in San Francisco. Other people may use the money they save from coupons to pay down any non-tax-deductible debt. Others may save the money to put towards an RRSP (another way to reduce taxable income).
Hopefully you find these tips to find extra coupons worthwhile.
Anyone know of any other ways to find coupons to save money?