Looking to save money on groceries and pharmacy products? Combining coupons with sales can be the answer. But where can you find coupons in Canada? There are plenty of places to find these scraps of paper that drive down your cost of living if you know where to look.
Here are the best places to get coupons in Canada:
1. Tearpads in stores. Look for pads of coupons in grocery stores hanging on the shelves or sitting with the product provided by the manufacturers. DO NOT take them all because that denies other shoppers from the opportunity to save, but taking a couple you can use at the time or later is great.
2. Coupon Zones. In Lowlaws chain stores (Real Canadian Super Store, Extra Foods etc) there is usually a display of store savings at the front of the store. These can be used in store in combination with manufacturer coupons. Some competitors like Wal-Mart will accept them as well if they state a specific price or cents off value.
3. Peelies and Hangtags. Manufacturers will occasionally place coupons on specific products either by hanging them from the bottle neck or sticking the coupons right on the product. Sometimes they are for the product they are on and sometimes they are for some other product (often by the same company). It is very bad form to remove these coupons from the packaging without buying the product.
4. Coupons inside or printed on packages. Like peelies and hangtags, these are a bonus with the purchase of the product. The coupons may be printed right on the cardboard box (cereal companies do this a lot) or the back of a label (juice packages, pop bottles etc).
5. PIN Codes. Sometimes manufacturers will provide a pin code for a reward of some type. This can range from a T-Shirt, free product certificates from Kelloggs, iCoke rewards etc. that are then mailed out to the requester.
6. Internet printed coupons. Some companies allow a (usually limited) number of coupons to be printed off the internet. Johnson and Johnson's Livingwell.ca is a good example. Some of these coupon offers are tied to "Liking" the company on Facebook or signing up for a newsletter. A site like SmartCanucks is a good place to look for links to printable coupons.
7. Internet order. Selected websites distribute manufacturers coupons on request by mail. Set up an account and request away. These sites also have "hidden portals" for coupons that do not show up when you go to the main page. The portals are attached to company product pages or promotions, and the easiest way to find them is to check a major money saving website for the updated list. The main Canadian sites for internet order coupons are:
8. Call In or eMail In. Some companies will send out coupons to anyone that requests them by phone or email. You can try calling or emailing companies who's products you like, or check lists of companies that offer coupons on request that are maintained by the money saving fan forums.
9. Trading. One of the most effective ways to get a diversity of coupons is to trade with other couponers. You can find potential trade partners on forums or go to live trading events organized on the forums. If you don't have many coupons to trade, you can trade gift cards, Canadian Tire Money or stamps with coupon collectors that have excess coupons. While anyone can do any trade deal they can convince someone else to do, there is a generally accepted market value for trades that looks like this:
- cents off coupons for roughly the same in cents off coupons
- High Value (HV) and Free Product Coupons (FPC) for similar value
- Gift Cards, Postage Stamps and Canadian Tire Money is worth about 10x the value of traded regular coupons - so a $100 package of assorted coupons is worth a $10 gift card plus maybe some postage.
- Coupons that are about to expire within a month or so (short expire or short date) are worth far less in trades.
10. Coupon Trains. A form of trading where a Conductor sends a package of coupons to a rider who takes out what they want and inserts other coupons they wish to trade (of at least equal value to what they removed). The first rider sends the resulting envelope to the next rider who repeats the process. After 5 or 10 riders, the train is sent home to the Conductor.
There are many variations on the traditional coupon train including Virtual Wish Trains (VWT) where everyone sends in coupons off the riders' wish lists and the conductor then groups each riders coupons together and remails. The Virtual Wish Train is faster and gets everyone coupons off their wish list only, so it is more efficient.
11. Newspaper Inserts. One of the best known sources for coupons is the Sunday paper insert. These are not as common in Canada than in the USA, but they are a good source. Getting multiple inserts greatly expands your saving and trading ability.
12. eBay and Clipping Services. In the USA it is easy to buy envelopes of coupons for a small fee from sellers on eBay and elsewhere that offer a clipping service. Technically they are selling the service of collecting and clipping the coupons since it is usually illegal to sell manufacturers coupons. In Canada it is possible to buy coupons on eBay but trading for them in a forum like SmartCanucks is probably more reliable and flexible.
13. Magazines and Other. Watch for coupons that can be clipped from magazines, other product packaging, are given away in other stores, and anywhere else you can spot coupons. Once you start looking, you will find savings in all kinds of places.
Other Information for Couponing Success in Canada
A wide range of coupons in your collection allows you to take advantage of sales as you find them. Matching store sales and coupons is what gets the real deals in the couponing world.
As you start to amass a coupon collection you will want to think about the best way to organize coupons.
You may also want to read Does extreme couponing work in Canada?
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