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:
- Don’t use coupons on items that you would not normally buy, unless the end up being free (you can donate them).
- 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.
- 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.
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