How to Save Money » Coupons

How To Start Using Coupons


Ever since the economic crisis in 2008, people have been looking for ways to save money. Using coupons is a fantastic way to do this.

I know it may seem like a waste of time. How can you possibly save a whack of money using coupons, when many are only for a measly $0.50 off? I, too, was a skeptic. That is, until I started using coupons myself and saw my savings go up, up and up!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the whole aspect of using coupons, try these simple steps to get started:

Obtain Some Coupons

The very first step towards using coupons is to actually get your hands on some of those sweet little slips of paper.

  • There are many online coupon companies that will mail coupons directly to your home. All you have to do is sign up to the website, click on the coupons you want and then order them.
  • Don’t forget about printable coupons! Make sure you only print the coupons you know you are going to use so that you don’t waste any printer ink. If you’re worried about stores not accepting printable coupons, I suggest calling around to stores in your area and asking if they will accept them.
  • You can also go to your local grocery and drug stores to look for tear pad coupons. I always have good luck finding coupons at Metro, Rexall/Pharma Plus and Shoppers Drug Mart, but try looking at other stores as well. You never know where you’ll find those tear pads full of coupons!
  • Another way to get coupons sent to your mailbox is by writing to the manufacturers and simply asking them if they can send you some. Let them know how much your family likes their product(s) and then ask if they have any coupons that they could send to you. Check out our list of Canadian companies that will send you coupons.
  • Finally, check your local newspapers. Every few weeks you can find a coupon insert of some kind thrown in with your weekly store flyers. The ones you can expect to receive are Smart Source, Redplum and Brandsaver (but not all at the same time, unfortunately!).

Organize Your Coupons

If you have all of your coupons in a big heaping pile, it will be a pain to go through them when you need something specific. This will likely end in you not bothering with coupons at all, which would be very disappointing. So… you need to organize those coupons!

You can use a simple envelope system, where you just have all of your coupons in a few different envelopes (separated by category) or you can use an accordion file folder, which are already separated with different categories for you (usually with blank labels that you can fill in yourself). You can often find these folders at any dollar store.

If you have quite a few coupons to organize, I highly recommend the binder method. You may get some funny looks when you bring it out to the store with you, but it’s a fantastic way to keep your coupons organized. Using a binder to organize your coupons allows you to view many coupons on one page, making it easier and quicker to find what you’re looking for.

Use Your Coupons

Now that you have a bunch of coupons and they are all organized, you need to figure out how to use those coupons to save you the most amount of money possible.

As I mention in my eBook, Money In Your Pocket, combining coupons with store sales makes for big savings. Check out the sale flyers every week and make note of all the great deals. The cheapest items are usually located on the front page. Then, match those sales with coupons, and you will be saving lots of money at the store.

If you are lucky enough to live near a London Drugs or Save on Foods, you will be able to stack coupons (select locations only – call your local store to find out if they still participate in coupon stacking). This means that as long as each coupon has a different barcode, you can use multiple on one item (at any other store, you can only use one coupon per item).

For example, if you have a few coupons for Pampers diapers (say: $2, another $2, another $2, $1 and $1.50), and all of the barcodes are different, you can use all of those coupons on one single Pampers diapers product. So instead of saving $2, you would save $8.50!

A Few More Couponing Tips:

  1. Don’t use coupons on items that you would not normally buy, unless the end up being free (you can donate them).
  2. Don’t try to figure out all the deals yourself. MapleMoney.com can help you with this! Watch our blog to see the latest deals every day. We also post coupon match-ups every week.
  3. Don’t clip every coupon. If you don’t think you will use it, and the coupon value is a low amount (under $1), don’t even bother clipping it. Store these “extra” coupons somewhere in your home, just in case a deal does come along that makes the item free or cheap (or if you want to trade the coupons). By doing this, you are saving yourself tons of time by only clipping the coupons that you know you will definitely use.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family by clicking one of the social share buttons below (or at the top-right of this post)!

Related articles you may like:
How to be an Extreme Couponer in Canada
Where to Find Coupons
Minimalist Guide to Couponing
7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Couponing

Comments

  1. Diana

    Where do you find the baseball card sheet?

    • Cassie Howard

      I found them at Zellers, but I know that Walmart carries them as well.

  2. Dana

    The economic crisis was in 2008

    • Cassie Howard

      you’re right. my bad! that’s what happens when i write something early in the morning, i’m still in SLEEP mode.

  3. Theresa

    Great post. I only use coupons on things that we really always have used like razors, body wash, dog food etc. There is no savings if one buys stuff they got along fine without before finding a coupon.

    I don’t get much free like you do, however I can generally get body wash and toiletries for cheap. And I love that!

  4. Diana

    Thank you!! Great posts, enjoy reading them!

  5. Lattelady

    wonderful post !

  6. teachermum

    Great article!
    FYI, don’t assume you can stack store and manufacturer coupons though-my Rexall and RCSS do NOT allow it 🙁
    Susan

    • Cassie Howard

      teachermum – have you spoken to the owners of the stores (not the MANAGERS, but the person who actually OWNS the store)? i kept getting no’s from the managers and when i spoke to the owner they said YES. there shouldn’t be any issues because the stores WILL get their money back from the manufacturers.

  7. teachermum

    No Cassie, I just asked at the service desk…I’ll give that a try! RCSS is usually very coupon friendly, Rexall not so much, but it sure would be good to hear from the horse’s mouth!

    • Cassie Howard

      yeah, give it a shot! 🙂

  8. ida

    love ur coupons need more

  9. Tammy

    I check at Ebay and they have coupons too. Just search by coupons. Remember you are bidding in something, but sometimes you will find a LOT of 100 coupons for 50 cents, 99 cents, you are not paying for the actual coupons only for the seller’s time to cut, organize and mail it to you. With EBAY I got at least 600 coupons in less than a month, and only spend $15 in many sellers. Give a chance…you will surprise what you can find on Ebay. The best surprise was getting over 300 coupons and only paid to the seller $3.50 to mailed to me.
    Amazon doesn’t have any coupons. Does anyone knows any website that are offering free coupons?
    Thanks! Have a great day everyone!

  10. Sherri Anne Weeks

    Hi there Cassie, I have to say thank u for all the info u have given me, I am very hopeful about the coupons that I can use, But really don’t know how to get anything free, cause that’s what I am really lookin for, but I know that’s honestly impossible. So I need your help to please send me any and all info that you can about where else I can get these free items that I use on a daily basis. Please help me to learn how this wonderful system works. Thank you
    Sincerely
    Sherri weeks

  11. Betty Bakin

    I am new to couponing …. having a large family I have found it a true blessing to have found this site & other similar ones , that help me save money for my family.

    I am currently trying to learn the ropes & am trying to follow some tips & advise I have gotten from this site & others.
    What I am finding is that although Save On Foods in B.C. & also London Drugs allow stacking…they do not allow you to use the coupons that state, ” not allowed to use with any other offer or coupon”……well most coupons now say this, so how do you long time couponers stack at you London Drugs?
    I even asked their head office for their policy on this & they e-mailed me their couponing policy which does state this for both these stores. I would love to hear from you & find out where I am able to find the coupons you use for stacking , that do not have these restrictions. Any tips or suggestions for me on this is greatly appreciated.

    I contacted Superstores head office also & they jsut sent me an e-mail today….they have the same policy, so I am confused as to how this can be done. I am sure you long time couponers have figured it all out & are able to share your knowledge with a newbie like me. Thanks for the help I would really like to be able to stack & save for my large family. Any suggestions are welcome & appreciated. Have a great day!!

    Betty in B.C.

  12. Melanie

    Hi Miss January..im just starting out on this couponing thing please give me more feed back onthis all be cause i myself have a big family i try 2 support so i would love all your ideas and email me also would be great Thankyou for helping me so far havent got anywere yet like i said im just starting out

  13. Nicole

    Another quick tip to save money is to contact your cable provider. I have Internet, home phone and tv with Rogers (remember you get savings by having more items with one company). I called and told them I wanted some discounts. I’m saving 30% on my tv, 20% on my Internet and around 10% on my home phone, plus still getting the regular discount for having 3 items with them. In the end I’m saving almost $80 a month on the exact services I had before. The discounts last a year so when the year is up, I call and do it all over again. These discounts are there you just have to ask.

  14. Georgina

    Thank you for helping me with learning how to coupon …. with your ebook , posts and youtube videos you really don’t need to look anywhere else for help (just the coupons). I have been keeping track on all my savings since December 2011 and I saved loads and stocked up with households but yesterday was a big food haul of 64 items which would have costed me $274.63 but only cost me $120.59 (Total savings of $154.04) I am so happy but will hopefully try to cut it a little more than 56% lol within the next 4-5 months 🙂

  15. Marianne

    I just started couponing and price matching this past fall. I have seen some unbelievable savings! I became aware that Rexall would use store and manufacturers coupons together thanks to a very kind cashier but I didn’t know that Superstore would do this! I currently do all my groceries at Superstore thanks to their new pricematching policy and my new double point PC Mastercard. I can’t wait to try this!!
    I currently organize my coupons by expiry date which has been working OK for me but I am not sure this is the best way. I may have to try out a few different ways.

  16. Catherine

    MrsJanuary, thank you very much for the website! I don’t know how to stock up on items with coupons because I often only have one of each coupon. I don’t get the newspaper because it costs money. The sites you order coupons through the mail like brandsaver, only allow you to order once in a certain time period. Where is everyone getting all the coupons to create a stockpile? I also eat a vegan, whole foods diet and use natural/organic products, so a lot of coupons I cannot use =( Thank you for the healthyshopper website.

  17. Michelle Roy

    I have to say this is a great way to start but I have to disagree with you on one things you wrote. Clip all the coupons you can find because it’s easy to go online now and trade the coupons you won’t use with people who may trade you for coupons you WILL use.

    You can sometimes find baseball card sheets at dollarama or at walmart but they’re more expensive there.

    Don’t support people who sell coupons. You are only making it more lucrative for them to steal whole tear pads from stores and to sell them online. Thus creating an artificial market. People shouldn’t be selling coupons – bad karma. They say that they’re selling their time often but that is a cop-out really. The coupons although you are in their possession are still property of the manufacturer or company that releases them. Think of it as a gift from the manufacturer to you.

    And remember that couponing is a privilege and not a right. I just wish that more couponers and groups would teach learning to coupon with some ethics.

  18. Lynn

    I know most people use coupons and stockpiling to reduce their weekly grocery bill but sometimes it might you might only be able to use $.50 to $3.00 per week. I know of people who go why bother and so I suggest to them to get a bank at the dollar store that can’t be opened and put whatever coupon money they get into it. Leave it for as long as possible…a year if you can..open it and you’ll be amazed at how much is there. My family ususally ends up with around $1000.00 in December for what ever we want to do.

  19. Nishmeth

    I am looking for people who want to sell the products they don’t use at home after buying using coupons. Can you help me find some?

    • Cassie Howard

      I cannot, I’m sorry.

  20. I’m new to couponing and I’m wondering if you print coupons do they need to be in colour?

    • Cassie Howard

      No, they do not have to be printed in colour.

  21. I just started couponing the last couple of weeks and am finding that when I go to print free printable coupons it takes me to a site that is difficult to navigate through and find the “free printable coupon” – is this gig real or ? I am not ready to give up by any means but it seems like it takes a lot of time to get even 1 coupon…

    • Cassie Howard

      What site exactly are you having trouble navigate?

  22. Helena

    Hi, can you use a coupon for more than one unit of the same item? Ex. If i had a coupon for toothpaste and buy 2 tubes will it be applied to both? If not is there a max # of coupons you can use for multiples of the same item? Thanks.

  23. Jannette Day

    Most coupons available are for processed and prepackaged foods. I use most fresh vegs. fruit and meats. Staples never seem to have coupons available. I would like to be wrong but so far I can’t find savings from coupons.

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