If you haven’t heard of TLC’s smash hit Extreme Couponing, it is pretty much what it sounds like. The show features some of US’s crazy couponers. People who go through websites, garbage dumps and stealing neighbours newspapers in order to buy $600 worth of items for a penny. Most of these people seem like hoarders because they have stock piles of things in their homes that consist of 100 of each item. Those people are overdoing it a little bit, but there’s no reason why you can’t save money by using similar strategies.
Ever since watching the show, me and my sister have been finding ways to save money. We’re pretty well off family, but there’s quite a thrill from paying almost nothing for things. It’s probably the same sort of thrill thieves get from stealing, but in a legal sort of way. And hey, things add up, so maybe you can justify spending $500 on that purse you really want if you can save $500 worth in goods. We live in Canada so some of the rules in couponing are a little bit different, more strict, than in that of the show, but that doesn’t make it impossible. You just can’t do things like stack 2 coupons for 1 item (ex two 50cent coupons to equal a dollar off). Here are some Canadian tips to couponing.
1. You don’t have to be a hoarder
Anybody can coupon. You don’t have to have a stockpile of 1000 of the same item. Things will go on sale again, don’t panic or overbuy things you don’t need unless you plan to donate it to a good cause.
2. Sign up for online couponing sites
Sites like Save.ca, Brandsaver.ca and Websaver and GoCoupons are awesome. They have coupons from popular household brands and the awesome part is they send you the coupons in the mail, so you don’t even have to waste printer ink printing them out yourself. Thus, saving you even more money.
3. Check out Thinkcoupons.ca
If you’re a Canadian, ThinkCoupons is the greatest online site ever for coupons. It has both printable coupons, and online promos and codes. The interesting thing about this site is that it also has extra secret coupons from all the sites in the point above that don’t seem to appear when you just visit them directly. Sometimes they list coupons that have expired on those sites but the site database still has them for some reason so you can secretly still get them sent to you.
4. Keep an eye on inserts in newspapers
Most of the time, your local newspaper will have coupons, both inside the newspaper and as part of the flyers. Cut them out and keep them for later. You don’t need to be crazy and go stealing your neighbours newspapers though. I’ve gotten some crazy deals like $10 off all you can eat Sushi, so me and my sister went at lunch and with that coupon it was like only having to pay for one person.
5. Wait For Things to Be On Sale
If you watch Extreme Couponing, the secret to couponing is being patient enough to wait for things to be on sale. Keep an eye on your local flyers. It’s awesome when you see that $10 item drop to $5 and you just happen to have a coupon for $5 off, so guess what? It becomes free.
6. If you have a coupon that is over how much something costs while on sale, buy something else with it
Never leave your bill at -0.50cents. You see that happen a lot in the show, but most stores won’t actually pay you. However, if you end up buying something else with it will actually be credited toward that item instead. Don’t let the random credit go to waste!
7. Have fun
You always see those crazy people on TV bossing their husbands and kids around. Couponing doesn’t have to be like that, it can just be for fun. Have fun with it! It can just be a little hobby on the side that helped you save up for that pair of shoes you really wanted, or the vacation.
Any couponers/deal hunters out there? I’d love to hear from you!