Are you ready to get Coupon Crazy?
Are you a mom who is struggling to figure out how to manage your family budget? A great way to carve back a little more of that cash that is flowing out the door like a tap left on by a toddler … may want to read on. You and your budget can be saved if you take a bit of time every week to clip a few coupons!
Here are a few tips for getting started on the coupon craze beyond watching TLC’s Extreme Couponing. The deals seen on TLC’s show are not all together possible in Canada but you can cross the border (see upcoming article) or follow these tips to save up to 50% on your grocery bill.
How to Start:
- Organize your pantry or hall Closet for Storage. (Ikea has a wonderful Bin system that I used in my closets. I have labelled these for storage, i.e. Baby, Supplies, Pet, and Cleaning)
- Buy only what is on sale… this means planning ahead when you see something marked down. Do not purchase items at full price. This takes time to stock pile what you use but it happens in a short while.
- Be Patient … it takes a while. Suddenly you will have 6 tubs of formula and a drawer full of kids snacks and not have paid full price in months.
- Set-up a email address specifically for this as your email will be spammed with multiple offers
- Watch the dates and clear out expired coupons monthly to save face at the check-out
- Look at the QTY limits and make sure you max out on what is posted … as it may not be on sale again for a while
Share, Search and Collect:
- Sunday Papers Are Where It’s At: Ask friends, Family or Co-Workers to share the inserts with you. You can also check with the local market to see if you can take the Sunday papers that were not purchased on Monday or leave a note in your condo. Some Condos even have a bin for unwanted mail inserts that may be full of great coupons
- Flyer Website Databases: Flyerland, E-Flyers,
- Register on your favorite brands Websites: If you are a Huggies Fan or Heinz lover… these guys will email you their coupons, and send them out every few weeks.
- Find Websites where you can print coupons: (Most have a limit per computer) Extreme Couponing Mom Lists all of the Canadian Links (Switch your printer to Econo Printing B/W)
- Choose Your Organization Method:
- File Box and Accordian File: File your inserts by date in the file box or folder, and have an extra hanging folder for those “To Be Sorted”. Sort loose coupons (Brand specific Coupons printed or received in the mail) in your wallet sized accordian file to take to the store with you. These can be matched with the weekly deals from the inserts.
- Binder and Accordian File: Coupons are organized by Category using Clear Pages and can be taken to the store all at one time for any Clearance items or specialty items you find. (Use a 3 Ring 3″ Binder – With Zip, 3 Ring Deviders that can be labelled and Baseball Card Collector Pages)
- Plan a coupon exchange date with fellow mom’s. You would be surprised who has Huggies to trade for Pampers and Similac for Enfamil
- Determine the Stores you shop at: If you are a No Frills, Safeway, Costco, SuperStore, London Drugs, Zellers or a Save-on Foods Shopper make sure you have these flyers pulled. You can also click on the links to access their pages to pull weekly flyers. Most Stores accept coupons but only a few of these stores offer coupon stacking: London Drugs and Super Store if the scan code is different for each)
- Take a look at the Coupon Databases to see if there was anything missed (Keep in mind that canadian coupons are different than US Coupons) Examples: Smart Canucks, Bargain Moose, Save.ca,
- Look at your 2 favorite stores and compare who has the best deals this week for the items you need now and in the future.
- Compare you clipped coupons with the deals printed in the Online or Newspaper Inserts
- Focus on the Value: $ off coupons as these are usually greater value compared to the 2 for 1 offers. Once matched with your clipped coupons you can calculate the ‘Real’ Savings. Only choose items that you save over 60%.
- Make a list of the QTY you will be purchasing and only buy what is on your list.
Extra Shopping Tips for Mom’s:
- Sign-up Loyalty Cards at Stores like Save-On Foods and Thrifties
- Dry Bulk Items are a great way to save money as well. If you are at Save-On Foods, you may want to pick up your chicken stock, dried beans, Quinoi, Cous Cous, and Pasta, Rice or Sugar. These are always way cheaper without packaging.
- For other items like Dairy and Meats your local Butcher Shop or Walmart. Surprising I know but they always have amazing deals on deli meats and cheese.
- For Produce you may want to shop at such places as your local farmers markets, Kin’s Market. No Frills is always by far the cheapest for produce in the Tri-Cities. They will always have better prices than the big box stores for your parishable staples items. Be sure to check their aged items as well. All of these stores group reduced items in the back of the store and these can be used for baby foods that are going to cooked and packaged for your little one.
- Take your shopping bags. At 10 cents a bag x 10 bags a trip x 3 shops a month= $36 a Year!
- Leave the baby at home and take an hour on your own to focus and have time away!
What are your Coupon Tips? Share your tips and the websites you use with our moms …