Stretching your Dollar

I’m in New York City this morning doing The Today Show.

Here’s a guest post from Faith Hansen who post at her own blog http://www.frugallyfabulousmom.com. Since Faith is an American, a lot of this will only be applicable south of the border. But up here in the great white north, we too have opportunities to use coupons to stretch our dollars, which many of us never really take advantage of. Here are a couple great Canadian sites that you may want to visit if Faith turns you on to coupon shopping. If you’re planning your shopping list anyway, why not make a pit stop at these sites to see if you can save a few bucks by extending your planning to gathering coupons?

http://forum.smartcanucks.ca

www.save.ca

www.gocoupons.ca

www.brandsaver.ca/en_ca/coupons/

http://www.websaver.ca/en_ca/coupons/

http://www.fabuloussavings.ca/

At at www.dealstreet.ca, you can enter your postal code to see what’s on special in your neck of the woods.

Thanks again to Faith for her contribution, and if you have something that you’re passionate on writing about, drop me a line and let me know.

Now, here’s Faith:

I don’t know about you, but I love to stretch each and every hard earned dollar to the max. The more money I can save, the better I feel. Spending money on frivolous items can be quite painful for me. In fact, the thought of losing a quarter in a slot machine makes my tummy turn. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a nice vacation, or a beautiful pair of shoes every once in a while, but I have to think long and hard before I spend the money.

Out of my need to spend money wisely, I came across the world of coupon shopping. My first thought was, “This is not for me.” Who wants to spend time clipping, sorting, and filing little pieces of paper all to save 50 cents? Well it only took one shopping trip to figure out that there was something to this coupon phenomenon. I walked out of the store with $30 worth of groceries (that I needed) for just $6! My 50 cent coupons had really added up! I was hooked, and my savings account was thankful.

Over the next few weeks, I discovered that it really only took me one to two hours per week to get my coupons in order. And, in investing that amount of time, I was saving over 50% on all my daily household needs! It was, and is, definitely time well spent!

Couponing, along with Gail’s budgeting program has helped my husband and I climb out of debt. Obviously, when we sat down to create our budget, we had to cut money somewhere. Food, health and beauty items, household items, and pet items were all areas that had room for improvement and so it was the first area to get cut back. By using coupons, and being a smart shopper our grocery bill is cut back 70% of what if used to be and all that extra money goes toward paying of debt!

I am happy to say, that we are getting very close to being debt free these days and we could not be more excited! If you have ever thought about seriously stretching your dollar at the grocery store, then you need to know the tips and tricks of the trade.

1. No Brand Loyalty! – Be willing to try new things! Coupons change and if your willing to branch out a little bit, you can get some great deals! The same goes for store loyalty. When you start couponing, you will want to go where the best deals are. Now, I don’t mean drive 100 miles to get free ice cream. But if you have a few stores within a couple miles of each other, it would be worth it to make an extra stop.

2. Stockpile – This is key to paying the least amount on your grocery bills. When you find a product at it’s rock bottom price stock up! And I don’t mean buy 2 or 3. If it’s something you use often (like pasta sauce) buy 8, 10, or more! Buy enough to hold you till the next sale (usually 6 to 8 weeks). Of course the amount you need will depend on how big your family is and how often you use a product. Also, remember that you can always get rain checks. If you know your going to buy a large quantity, most stores will let you call ahead and place your order so you don’t wipe out the shelves (your fellow shoppers will appreciate it!).

3. Match Coupons with Sales – This is a must to maximize your savings. If you use a coupon while something is on sale you will save WAY more than if you use your coupon on a regularly priced item. Make your coupon work for you! For example: Cereal is priced at $4.39 a box and you have a $1.00/1 coupon. If you use it on the full priced cereal you will still pay $3.39. If you wait for the sale when cereal is 2 for $3.00 and then you use your $1 coupon it will only cost you $.50!

4. Meal Plan – This goes along with tip #3. Meal Planning with the weekly sales ad can save you massive amounts of money. It will also help you make healthier choices. You won’t be standing in front of the refrigerator, with a blank look on your face, trying to figure out what to make and then just grabbing a burrito. Every week your local grocery store will have a sale on different kinds of meat, produce, etc. If you can plan your meals around what is on sale your savings account will thank you!

5. Sunday Papers – Buy your Sunday Paper! It will have all the local sales ads and coupons in it.

6. Organization – Being organized will not only make couponing easier, it will save you money. There are many different ways to organize your coupons. The key is to find the way that works for you. Some people use and envelope system, others use the box method. I prefer the coupon binder.

7. Be Willing to Buy Products You Don’t Need – Sometimes in order to get products you need for free or cheap, you need to buy products you don’t need. For example, when I first started couponing, there was a deal on blood sugar testing machines. They were priced at $30 and I had coupons for $30 off of 1 machine. Also, for every machine that I bought, I received a $10 RR (Register Reward) from Walgreens. So, they payed me $10 to buy each machine!! I didn’t need them, but I bought 10 of them and donated them to a local Dr.’s office. Then I used the $100 in RR to buy diapers!!

8. Pick Your Cashiers Wisely! – Whenever I go to the store, I always look at the cashiers. All cashiers are not created equal! For the most part, they are all very friendly and helpful. But, occasionally you will find a cashier that gives you a hard time. Don’t let them make you feel bad. Sometimes, they are hesitant because they don’t know too much about coupons. Other times they just might be having a bad day. Then there are the cashiers that love to watch your total go down and are amazed at how much you saved! As you start to do more couponing, you will remember whose line to go through, and whose not to. If you have a bad experience, don’t get discouraged. Your next cashier might be as excited as you!

9. Go Slow – As a new couponer, things can become overwhelming. I still feel overwhelmed at times. Just try to slow down and ease into things. Also, don’t try to get every deal out there. If you miss one, it will come around again. If you need a break, take it! Make couponing work for you. If you have kids old enough, have them help you clip coupons. I clip coupons on Sunday nights while I watch Desperate Housewives. Just have fun, and do what works for you and your family!

Have you ever thought about coupon shopping? Do you think you could spare an hour or two a week to stretch your dollar?

47 Responses to “Stretching your Dollar”

  1. avatar Michelle Says:
    June 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I love coupon clipping, but the problem arises when I take just my debit card to the grocery store and see 1/2 dozen items that are on sale that I KNOW I have coupons for. I didn’t bring my handbag, the items aren’t on sale when I do go back, and I get frustrated with all the lost effort, because the coupon expires by the time the sale comes back!

    I’m a work in progress, but I definitely am a coupon-er when I shop with my wits about me and a grocery list with the coupon clearly identified next to the list item. That’s what works for me.

  2. I’m not a big couponer and probably will never be one. I don’t have the time to devote to the kind of couponing described above, and would never consider buying something I didn’t need just because I had a coupon. Periodically I will use them, if they are for products I use regularly that I know go on sale – usually for personal care items. But that’s about it. I generally cook from scratch so rarely have used food coupons.

    If I had to really cut back on spending because of circumstances I probably would do more couponing but right now I am managing all my savings goals and keeping within budget so I don’t see the urgency to change.

  3. When we were getting out of debt and living in a big city we found it great to visit all the stores we could to see what coupons were available. Now that we have moved to a small town we only have one grocery store. We still use coupons when we can however we don’t have the same opportunities as we did in the big city.

    regards,

    Jason

  4. avatar Melaniesd Says:
    June 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I don’t find that there is a lot of opportunity for cuponing in Nova Scotia. If there are cupons available, I absolutely take advantage, but for the most part it’s not frequent. I’ve tried many of the websites listed, but they are for stores we do not have, or the item still costs more than the generic brand.

    I do comparison shop. Many of the stores I frequent are close together, so it’s not difficult. I do take advantage of rewards systems. I use my Airmiles card and my Optimum points, I also use the Momentum Visa for everything and pay it in full each month.

    I agree with the point of stocking up, if it’s an item you use frequently. For us, that’s cereal, can milk, soup, bread we can freeze, toilet paper & kleenex. I also do not focus on brand loyalty.

    Sometimes we also have to thing about things from different angles. For example I invested in a Bissel Green machine recently. It was $115.00. I have considered buying one for a long time but didn’t want to spend the money on it. My sofa set was getting really dirty and I just couldn’t get it as clean as I wanted. When I considered the cost of having it professionally cleaned or even renting a steam cleaner a few times, it was worth buy it. I took the funds from my ‘car maintenance’ account as I considered that I can also use it for detailing my car. I’m so pleased with the purchase! It works awesome and not only is my sofa cleaner and will last me longer, but my car looks great too!

  5. Great post and good ideas from Faith. I however hesitate to print my own coupons as the savings from these do not justify my expense for printer ink/paper and the environmental cost of it. If the I find coupons from the manufacture, I am a happy lady!

  6. I’ve been saving with coupons for years now and it’s worth every moment it takes to clip and file. On average hubby and I can save up to $100. per month and any money left in my pocket at the end of the day has to be a good thing.

    Here’s an extra savings tip for seniors. Most big stores have a Seniors Day where they can get extra savings of 10% or 20%. I’m not a senior yet but hubby is!

  7. avatar Leslie P Says:
    June 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I have found that in the last few years opportunities for coupons in my area have fallen off. The coupon clippers in the paper on Saturdays tend to have lots of cleaning/personal supplies but little food. I also find that most pages are advertisements for items to purchase. Sometimes there are coupons on the shelves in the stores but for the most part I only get coupons for shampoo, laundry detergent, paper products.
    Frustrating because in past years I used to carry a little coupon wallet filled to the brim and saw substantial savings. Maybe there are more coupons available in the States.

  8. avatar Tracey H Says:
    June 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I used to be a very enthusiastic couponer (I started 30 years ago), but these days I don’t use nearly as many as I used to (though I try just as hard to). As someone else said, many are for personal care items or cleaning products and not food. And while we used to have the occasional double-coupon day here, I haven’t seen one in decades (unlike in the States, where they’re quite common). I once got 2 overfilled grocery carts full of groceries (mostly food) for free because of a double-coupon day.

  9. I really don’t see coupons out much anymore….there’s the occasional one, but these days it seems the stores are pushing savings through their point systems or membership cards. Our Sunday flyer is filled with vehicle ads…..and the flyers we get rarely have coupons….it’s filled with “sale prices”. I’ll have to check out the websites Gail mentioned…perhaps the place to look is online rather than in the paper flyers.

  10. I don’t coupon, mostly because when I go to my usual grocery store, all the coupons are for things I don’t use or eat. I do eat processed food, but not in huge quantities nor of the sort that always seems to be offered on the coupons. I can’t buy huge quantities of stuff because while I have a relatively large pantry, my fridge freezer is tiny and I simply can’t store a lot of stuff to use at a later time. I do think that it would be worth my while if I could find coupons to use on a regular basis, but so far, no luck. Never mind those double coupon days…

  11. since i live in the states, i coupon like a madwoman. as already mentioned though, i won’t buy what i don’t need. it just doesn’t make sense to me….though i understand faith’s general idea on that one.
    i have found that as our economy sinks even lower, there are more & more coupons. i have no brand loyalty; however, i will not drive to 3 or 4 stores just to make a $2 or $3 savings. for a grander amount i probably would. and i carry my silly little coupons (as my girliefriends scoff) in my handbag at all times. when i’m ready to shop, out comes the list & the coupons are there.
    i do agree that more & more frequently i see coupons for personal care items, cleaning products, etc, but we have great competition between the huge warehouse stores, wal-mart, and the smaller target-type stores. i don’t shop the warehouse stores because i end up spending too much on items i don’t truly need-lesson learned. but i will choose between wal-mart and target, especially considering my local target is now offering fresh groceries. it’s a one-stop shop for me.
    i love the comments as i watch my total go down as the cashier rings up the coupon savings; i’ve never made a completely free shop yet and i don’t know that i will. i have found, for the most part, that the cashiers here are very happy to see me save & will even ask me how i do it. same as faith says; it takes an hour or two and then i’m off to the store. and, the savings is only savings (thank you gail for reminding me) if i take that amount & set it aside. i don’t spend it elsewhere; for the moment as i continue climbing out of debt it goes to repayment. i feel very empowered taking this small step toward clearing all my debt and it’s well worth the feeling of control to know i’ve made one more change in my life & spending habits.

  12. avatar CouponUser Says:
    June 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I do use coupons. I started last year in May and I can’t believed how much stuff I got for free (and just paid taxes). It does takes a little bit of time but once you get a hand of it…it’s very easy. The key is knowing how to look for coupons and using more than one to see the savings. I like to have at least 3 for things I use the most.

    Things I got for FREE since using coupons (full size, not sample size):
    Shampoos
    Body Washes
    Laundry Detergents
    Anti-persiprants
    Shaving Gels
    Razors
    Toliet Paper
    Facial Tisses
    Candles
    Toothbrushes
    Toothpastes (Dental offices now are giving coupons for free full size Crest ProHealth toothpaste…..they told me they are trying to give them away and people are NOT taking them?!?!?! This is a savings of $3.99!!! And you can use more than one coupon per transaction. They gave me 4…so that saves me $16 and it will last me at least 4 months)
    Female Pads
    Bandaids
    Body Lotions
    Tide to go sticks
    Rubber Gloves
    Ziploc Bags

    Chocolate Bars
    Soups
    Tetley Ice Teas
    Oasis OJs
    Yogurt Drinks
    Egg Creations
    Breads
    Cereals
    Pasta Sauce
    Pasta
    Cheese

  13. Very rarely are the coupons for things I use, and I agree that we don’t have the sorts of savings that the States can get.

    However, when the Europe’s Best berries had coupons for buy 2, save $3, I was all over that one, especially as our Loblaws dropped the price on the berries while changing to a new brand. I go through at least one bag of berries a week, so that was quite helpful at the time!

    My main way to save money at the grocery store is to just not go on the weekend. Our (small) neighbourhood Loblaws marks down all the perishables to 50% off if they are expiring within the next few days (or if they got a new shipment in). Thursday’s and Monday’s are the best days – Thursday’s, they mark down meats that were part of this past week’s sales, and Monday’s they mark down anything from the weekend!

  14. I do my grocery shopping online, so coupons don’t work for me, but I look for sale items. I’m not getting the best deal on my groceries, but the convenience of grocery delivery after work, when I don’t own a car, far outweighs the extra cost for me.

  15. We tried to coupon as Faith outlined, but the stores here don’t allow you to mix a coupon with a sale, nor to double up on coupons, nor are there many coupons for our area period. It’s frustrating.

  16. While we were paying down our debt I learned to squeeze every nickle until the beaver pooped. Coupons often made the difference between buying an item or not. Stocking up was hard to do on our small grocery budget but as the first debts (catching up on utility and phone bills) were paid off we got a little extra money for the grocery budget and we started a separate jar for Grocery Stock Up – just $20 at first but this gradually increased and now when I see a good sale I can buy a lot without messing up the regular grocery budget.

  17. avatar Cynthia Says:
    June 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I use coupons for products that I need. Coupons I usually get are Laundry detergent, dryer sheets, paper towels, tissues, Feminine Hygiene products: $2 off $4.99, that’s a good deal. Allergy medicine. I am brand loyal to my FHPs, but for laundry detergents I have switched from a highly recognized brand: Tide to a less but equally great laundry soap: Arm and Hammer, I bought several bottles for $3.99/each. I have keep the old tap dispenser laundry soap, funnel in the laundry soap. I mix in fabric softener in and shake. I buy the FS with a coupon or on sale. I stock up then 1 or 2 bottles. It goes a long way adding it to your own laundry detergent then buying it already mixed.

    Not a coupon, but as good as a coupon on Senior’s Days. If I need to go to the Bulk Barn, I go on Wednesdays with my mom, she’s a senior, hence the discount. If I am remember correctly 10%, maybe 15%. Same can be said for Senior’s Day at Rexall. If you need stuff there, and you can save 15% I say go for it.

    Food items don’t tend to have that many coupons out on the market. Occasionally you will see them from McCains. But few and far between. The sales are better than a coupon.

    I wish we had sales like the USA on milk. Seen one US ad, 4-1Gallon jug milk $10. It costs $4.29 for 1- 4l/1Gal here.

    Cynthia

  18. I love to use coupons! I am in Alberta and absolutly love cheap Tuesday! For those who don’r know what I’m talking about, here, on the first Tuesday of the month Safeway, Sobeys, and Extra Foods have 15% off discounts depending on how much money you spend! This is when I do my big shop for the month. I usually do two of the store since Extra Foods has Mondays included in their sale. This is when I feel my coupons go a little further! Plus if I’m shopping at Sobey’s the points add up! Since January I have earned enough points to get $105 worth of groceries for free! I am saving them for December.

  19. oh maureen, i nearly died laughing when i read about squeezing til the beaver poops – i’ve never heard that but it is such a fitting phrase. i came back to read through & see what others are doing to stretch that budget & save a bit more and i have to say, you added a great smile to my day. it’s tough enough to stick with it, but i just wanted to say “huge thank you” for making it a touch easier today. that one i will certainly remember!

  20. I don’t see much benefit from using coupons. I will, on occasion – especially if they’re right at the store and I can see that it creates the cheapest option. However, I find that most coupons are for pricey brand names and processed food, neither of which we buy with any regularity. On the “personal care & cleaners” side of things we tend to shop organic / green, which cuts down on the coupon possibilities. However, using pricier products does make me more conscious of the amount of these that I use 🙂

    My favourite grocery bill reducer is my vegetable garden!

  21. I buy very little processed food (mostly fruit, veg, pulses, grains, some meat) and tend to buy green cleaning products and organic food – and I have never yet come across a coupon yet that targets these product lines! Most coupons I see are for processed food or for cleaning products with a lot of chemicals in them so sadly I pass on them …

  22. I also like the Bargain Moose and Flyerland sites for savings…

  23. I occasionally use coupons at our local Costco, but not much else, as like others have mentioned, I don’t eat processed food much and buy mostly organic/green products that are rarely on sale. But when I see a coupon or a sale I can use, I stock up! We got about 36 cans of coffee last year when there was a 30% off no limit coupon!

  24. avatar Maureen Says:
    June 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    ste – happy to have made you laugh! I honestly don’t know where I even learned that expression about the beaver because it has always been a part of my life. Not that I did a lot of squeezing in the bad old days before we straightened out our financial life and debts.. It is hard work and sometimes tough to stick with it but it is soooooo worth it. And the longer you stick with it the easier it becomes. Truly. Believe me I still remember the days when the doorbell would ring and we would dive behind the couch and stop breathing until the landlord went away and I never want to go back to that. It took years to re-shape our lives but the peace of mind and sense of security makes each day a joy. I have to admit we both still enjoy squeezing the nickles but it is planned squeezing for planned spending. And the last time we looked at our savings account and saw that we finally had 3 months of emergency money saved we laughed like a couple of Loonies.

  25. Wonderful article on couponing and saving money.

    Please, however, either figure out how to use “your” and “you’re” properly, or get a professional editor. Here is a small excerpt from http://www.youryoure.com:

    learn the rule: your / you’re

    * your is a possessive adjective, indicating ownership of something
    o That is your sock.
    o Where is your potato?
    * you’re is a contraction (combination) of you and are
    o Do you know what you’re doing?
    o You’re stupid.
    * The two are not interchangeable.

  26. Okay, I’m confused–where are ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ mixed up?? I’ve read the article twice now, and can’t seem to find them…..

  27. Eh, only once. And it’s a daily blog… a few typos are to be expected.

  28. I have used coupons for green products and for produce. You just have to keep your eyes open at the store and you’ll find them.

  29. Oh, Red Flag Deals is another great site as well for coupons and freebies!

  30. avatar Melaniesd Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Is a ‘typo’ that big of a deal? REALLY? Nothing better to complain about??

  31. Did anyone see Gail on the Today show? She looked fabulous – love the longer hair! and she scored over Jean Chatski on the question about credit scores!

  32. avatar Suzanne Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Wow Gail, do I ever need you now!! A bike rider spooked my dog (75 pound Golden Retriever) Monday afternoon, she bolted right into my left knee (which has already had 8 operations), and while falling, I heard my ankle snap!!! Yep, broken ankle, two huge syringes of blood pulled out of the knee joint, and almost 8 weeks off work. I would have been in my 90 hour pay period, and July has three pay periods, and would have got me set up, caught up and a bit ahead – finally!! What do they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? I am able to get EI, but that takes 4 weeks, and only pays 55%!! If the morphine didn’t already have me sick to my stomach, I would really be sick! Every one of my utilities is due, and would have been paid with the week of work that I can’t do now. Only option I can see is to call each of them, explain the situation, and ask them to wait for my EI. I have Vacation pay available to me, but then EI just takes longer. My dollars will be stretched beyond belief this summer, and going to visit my granddaughter is now just a dream. Why does it seem that getting that EF started just doesn’t happen? If nothing else, this is a good time to quit my pop drinking habit 🙂

  33. Suzanne – I am so sorry to hear about your accident and circumstances. The same thing happened to me a few years ago with my dog – scared by a bicyclist coming down the WALKING path at 1000 silent miles an hour. He was old at the time, kinda deaf and doing the doggy thing – reading his mail by sniffing the grass and bushes along the path – so was completely absorbed and heard nothing. Dawg knocked me right over and knocked my knee out. I did not break an ankle but hit my elbow so hard that it blew up instantly and was bruised and immobile for weeks. I hope that you will recover quickly and am sorry that this sets you back again. You sure have had a hard year with accidents. I think this is 3 now so that is it for you! Thinking of you and always enjoy your posts.

  34. Thanks Maureen, you are right – coming off the horse and hurting my back = #1; breaking my rib a few days later = #2; broken ankle, FUBAR-ed knee = #3. Funny tho, just had conversation with sister-in-law who said I need to get out my bible and down on my good knee and have a good talk with Jesus – I had just been to church on Sunday, and prayed that my aimless teenager would find some direction with his life and get out of his friend’s house where they do nothing but play video games!!!! Voila – he is back home taking care of me. They do say that the Lord works in mysterious ways, but dang, does it have to hurt me so much??? I should be slightly ok, till EI kicks in, just have one truck payment to get covered somehow, before the disability insurance on that loan kicks in and pays me back, then starts covering the payments. Luckily, I have lots of food and no appetite, no need to drive around, and the horse is going to my mom’s farm (for free). And Joy of Joys, I got to have a bath today finally!!:)) I guess I will have lots of time now to catch up on my missed weeks of posts from when my computer was being fixed up. thanks for your thoughts…

  35. avatar Allison Says:
    June 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I can’t STAND junk mail, so we don’t get the coupons. They don’t do much for us anyways, as I have celiac disease and am also allergic to dairy and eggs, and I find that food coupons are aimed at packaged food. My fiance is trained as a chef (went back to school, is doing business right now!), so she knows how to make food that is better than anything I can get in a package anyways. What I buy (6 different kinds of flour, 4 different kinds of starch, other stuff I need) isn’t covered by coupons, as the sell rate is low. We can also find it cheaper in different stores, but we know where to shop!

  36. How do people who use coupons organize them so that they can find what they need when they find an unexpected deal while at the grocery store?

    What is a “coupon binder” (Faith mentioned this in her article)? I have tried the coupon holder many years ago but each section seemed to get so big that it took so long to go through them while at the store.

    Any suggestions about organizing and being able to find the coupn before the expiry date would be most appreciated. Thanks

  37. cate, this is how i do it, and i’m certain there are others with great ideas for you…i file by category (you can make your own, i use something like: cereals, detergent/cleaning, etc…) and within the category i file by expiration date. so the coupons set to expire first are at the front.
    it works for me. and as i make my marketing list, i check my little coupons to see what i have against what i need to purchase that week. sounds like a bit of work, i know, but it very soon became automatic for me because i realized i was making a reasonable savings with each shopping trip.
    i will tell you this, i don’t save a coupon if it’s an item i know i’ll not purchase. while i am not stuck to any given brand-names, there are just some things i either don’t need, don’t want, or have no use for. i.e., m&ms. there was an awesome offer for buy 2 bags, get the 3rd free. since i consider chocolate an entire food group (ha!) that was a real find for me. unfortunately, since i’m recovering from a total knee replacement & not able to work out as i’m accustomed to doing, i DO NOT need chocolate sitting around home. particularly not in that quantity. so i by-passed that coupon, gave myself a pat on the back, and clipped out the one for laundry softener.
    you might give this a try…if it doesn’t work, check back in. i’m certain others will have ideas for you too. good luck. i promise, it will soon be well worth it as you find yourself saving those bits here & there. it adds up & you’ll be proud of yourself for having found yet another way to stretch & save!

  38. As I am reading the comments left, I see that many people are saying they can’t find coupons on green and/or organic products. I just did a post full of places to find these coupons. Here is the link to that post:

    http://www.frugallyfabulousmom.com/2010/06/organic-coupon-round-up.html

  39. I’m no stranger to saving money as I started to work full time at the age of 12, delivering newspapers, worked at Dairy Queen and my parents shop. I saved all my money and only bought what I needed. I love business and money and helping others save! I was introduced to couponing last october 2009 by a friend. I started small and now own a huge binder which I take shopping with me each time. I order coupons from all the sites above that Gail mentioned and am devoted to smartcanucks.ca and flyerscoupons.ca. I have learned SO much from this community of savers it has been amazing. My husband can’t believe the savings and the amount of produt we get for free not to mention SDM Optimum redemptions etc. I am completley stocked for about 3 years for laundry.toiletries,cleaning supplies etc and paid only the taxes or a dollar or less. I purchased my 3 ring zip binder at value village and if you go to dollarama you can purchase hockey card plastic holders to put in the 3 ring binder along with dividers to seperate your coupons. You can trade coupons you don’t want or won’t use with people in ontario and canada for coupons you will use. If you think for one minute that the time it takes to do this is not worth it, then YOU can go ahead and pay FULL-PRICE for your products! I keep every reciept I get and my savings for 2010 are already into the thousands! Don’t forget the SPC card you can use at Zellers for 10% off your purchase and if you aren’t a student Lou Lou Mag has a promo each year for VIP SPC cards- no ID required. Don’t forget to price match, check bargain bins, 50% off stickers, flyers, the biggest tip I can give is to stay organized and to READ the forum at http://www.smartcanucks.ca... you will be THANKfUL you did and you will save, save, save. If you pay too much at Rogers give them a call and bargain with them and watch your bill drop! Its all about the customer and keeping them happy! I’ve introduced so many of my friends/family to coupons etc that I am now putting together a coupon introductory course for others who want to learn how to save that is in my community. Not everyone is well informed and believe me…. it’s worth the time! Do you know what the Scanning Code of Practice is? It’s right in front of you at the cash where you swipe your debit card or on the walls of many stores in Canada. I would advise you read about SCOP as many of us have reaped the rewards from this program! I’ve been frugal all my life as my family will all agree although you would never know it. This has been to my benefit… I’m in my mid 30’s have NO Debt except a Mortgage in which we put a HUGE down payment on and our retirement fund is healthy, new vheicles paid with cash, student loans all paid and a healthy savings account. This happened because I always knew the difference between Need and Want and I’m happy I did. Now I can continue to wake up every morning with a smile on my face and no MONEY stress… everyone can do it, even if you have kids and a family! If you make 10.00 an hour or 50.00 an hour you can save.

  40. I’ve been an avid couponer for years now, and I love it! Don’t forget this great coupon site that has over 600 coupons live and updating all the time – http://www.thinkcoupons.ca

    🙂

  41. avatar mac1960 Says:
    June 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks to smart canucks like watergirl73 I have learned numerous facts regarding coupons. I have always been a coupon user but never to this extreme. Sometimes I am sure I drive my husband nuts with all this coupon business until yesterday when I made him come shopping with me yesterday. Between a SDM rdemption, FPC, regular coupons and PC points I was able to buy $416.50 of groceries and household supplies that were needed for only $60.08. Not bad I would say as I only joined SC in May. If your looking to save money for a little bit of time then you should check out SC.

  42. Another great website is redflagdeals.ca… Great way to get freebies, and see what “deals” are to be found — good to know when McD’s or Timmy’s or Country Style are giving out their free coffee, plus lots of other great sales and discounts across the country — travel, food, entertainment, etc.

  43. I agree with Cas. redflagdeals is the ebst Canadian site available. Much better than smartcanucks.ca. Larger memebr base, better run and more popular so you find the better deals there. In fact that is where smartcanucks get their deals from that are posted.

  44. In Canada you can stretch your health care dental dollars. Did you know that legislation changed to provide Canadaians more more access to affordable health care
    so when having your families teeth cleaned look for a dental hygienist that owns their own clinic, rather than go to the dentist owned clinic who pays the hygienist for his/her services to you…cut out the middleman or middle woman

    you are getting the exact same services (except the dentist check up) from a Registered hygienist who can either work on their own, or as an employee of the dentist. Have dental insurance- no problem – they pay hygienists just like they pay dentists,and likely you won’t be paying out of pockets fees as the hygiene clinics tend to charge less.

    plus no dental drills or dental smells. Continue to see your dentist for annual check up- but save dental money in provinces like Alberta where the dentists don’t folow a provincial fee guide – they charge whatever they want. Other provinces have fee guides, but clinic can still set the fees higher.

    it can add up for a family of 4 to pay the “out of pocket” cost that the 80% dental insurance doesn’t cover.

    likely you;’ll even find some of the hygienists that work in hygiene clincis – also work in dentaist owned clinics as well…they are the same clinican.

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