Posted on Sunday 01 March 2015
Coupons, coupons, coupons! The word “coupon” comes from the French couper , meaning “to cut”, and it’s very appropriate: coupons are great for cutting your grocery bills . Redeemable for money off or even for free products, you can save a bundle by clipping before your trip to the store and arriving with a bundle of them. But where do savvy shoppers find their coupons? With a bit of research and know-how, all over the place. In this article, we’ll show you some of the best places to find all the coupons you’ll need for budget-friendly shopping.
Grocery stores. When you are next browsing the shelves, keep an eye out for tear pads full of coupons. Manufacturers often provide them to stores to increase sales, often for new products. Tear pads aren’t always easy to find, for a couple of reasons. First, not all stores have them. Second, you won’t be the only person out looking for them. While leaving some coupons for other people is a nice thing to do, not everyone does. To score some tear pad coupons for yourself, make regular trips to the store and arrive soon after opening. Even if they aren’t for a product you want, feel free to take a few: coupons are tradeable. Check the packaging on the products you buy, too. Some offer coupons on or inside the box, redeemable against your next purchase. A lot of people miss these and throw them away with the packaging.
Get your local newspaper. You don’t even have to read it. Many free and subscription city and local newspapers include coupon sheets from Canada’s major coupon insert providers, Redplum and SmartSource. Redplum sheets arrive once each month, and SmartSource sheets slightly more frequently. They contain coupons for all sorts of food and household products, and you can find exact release dates online. Your local newspaper is also a great source of store flyers. These aren’t coupons, but they will show savvy shoppers the week’s deals. If you like getting your coupons from publications, magazines have them too. Canadian Living magazine often comes with some coupons, as do other magazines aimed at homemakers.
Print your own coupons. No, nothing shady or counterfeit. There is a group of Canadian websites catering to smart coupon-hunters by providing printable coupons for popular products. You will need to make an account to enjoy them, but then you just download and print them at home. This can also get you email updates about the latest printable coupons. Sifting through the coupons you don’t want to find the ones you do can be time-consuming, but luckily there are websites and blogs that do nothing but point you towards the best coupons. With a bit of research, you can get all the coupons you need without leaving the house. Best of all, it’s typically free.
Coupons by mail. If you prefer a slightly lower-tech option, or if you don’t have a printer, you can sign up for coupon mailing services online. Some of these, like webSaver, give you the choice of printing your coupons at home or having them mailed to you. Like printing coupons, it’s free. Typically, you must order a minimum number of coupons per mailing, and you must wait a fixed amount of time before ordering the same coupon again. On the other hand, there is no reason why you couldn’t sign up to more than one coupons-by-mail service.
Coupon trading. The social side of coupon collecting! If you order coupons you didn’t need to meet a minimum, or if you took extras from the tear pad, this is how you get rid of them: trade them in for coupons you will use. The easiest way to trade is to swap with friends, family members, or coworkers. You may also be able to find coupon swap meets in your area, particularly if you live somewhere highly inhabited. Of course, for the biggest choice of coupons, you can use online coupon trading messageboards and social media groups. Arrange trades with people online and post your coupons to them. If arranging trades online sounds too risky or too difficult, sign up for a coupon train instead. A coupon train is like a chain letter. You sign up to add your name to the train, and then you receive a package through the mail. Take the coupons you want from the package, and replace them with coupons of equal value that you won’t use. Then mail the package to the next person on the list.
Couponing might not make you a millionaire, but it’s a perfect way for the homemaker on a budget to save money.