This blog post is for those people who have never used coupons before and those of you who have always wanted to start using coupons but have no idea where to start.
Do you envy those other people you see online that are posting all the fantastic savings they have achieved and the tons of FREE products they are receiving? Well, I am one of those Canadian coupon crazy people and I am going to attempt to teach you what I have learned over the past 5 years since I started serious couponing.
So where do you start? Everyone is different. I can only suggest if you are intimidated or feel unsure the best way to start is slowly. Learn a bit at a time and put what you learn into practical use. Some ideas don’t work for everyone, but hopefully you will discover some innovative ways to start saving more money in 2012.
If you want to save money on your weekly grocery bill than the first thing you have to do is take a good look around your house and figure out what products you use all the time. I spent one rainy afternoon in April of 2007 just looking around my home and writing down what items I always buy. I started with household cleaners. Pledge, Windex, Vim, Dawn Dish Soap, Cascade Action Pacs, Scrubbing Bubbles and many, many more. I then sat down at my computer and started searching for the company names that produce these products. I found companies like Unilever, P & G and SC Johnson. Then I started googling these products and their companies. I started adding them to my favourites list and started exploring. Some of these companies actually had coupons on their website.
For example, if you sign up and register on the SC Johnson website, you can than access their coupon area. Their Canadian coupons are only available to people who register. I was a little intimidated about giving out my information so I decided to create a separate e-mail address just in case it didn’t work out. I had heard horror stories of people signing up to websites and then being inundated with spam. I created a new hotmail account and crossed my fingers. I was elated to find lots of valuable Canadian coupons I could use. At that time the coupons were printable ones, so the next step was to make sure my printer would actually print these goodies. Please note that sometimes you will be required to download a coupon printing program to allow you to print them. I did this once 5 years ago and have never had to download another one from any other site. It appears that most of them use the same program. Please note that the SC Johnson website know as rightathome.ca now offers mailed out coupons! This is so much better since some stores refuse to accept printable coupons.
I continued this process of looking around my house and office to see what products I wanted coupons for. Some products, of course, never offer coupons and some are only USA, but I was amazed once I started to look further how many products are actually produced by the same companies. I recorded all my beauty products. shampoo, gel, hairspray, toothpaste, toilet paper and soap. This list kept growing. Crackers, chips, juice, rice, frozen dinners, spices, baking goods and so on. I spent weeks looking at products and scouring the net to find their websites. Kellogg’s, for example, branches out into tons of individual sites for all their different products. There will be a lot of surfing, but as you find sites of interest just save them to your favourites list and re-visit them again and again. You just never know when they will post a new coupon.
Another great way to get started is to just simply look around your environment. There are Canadian coupons just about everywhere you look. No, really, once you open your eyes and start looking you will be amazed at what you have been missing. Check all that junk mail that you receive every week and just throw out. Check flyers, they are usually on the front page but not always. Look near entranceway of your grocery and department stores as well as in the aisles. Manufacturer coupons are often displayed right above or below the product they are for. You can even find coupons on the packaging of the products you already buy. Sometimes they are on the front or back of the package but sometimes they are a little more sneaky and print them on the inside of the packaging. This is especially true with cereal and rice boxes. One last way to start your Canadian coupon collection is to get your local newspaper.
Once you have learned what coupons to search for you will learn how to find the circulation schedule and will only have to pick up the paper when you know the coupon inserts will be in there. There are a lot of different ways to find coupons in Canada but these are just the first few steps to get you started.
So get out there and start your search. Dedicate this week to opening your eyes and doing a little online research and I am sure you will be amazed at what you have been missing.
Stay tuned for more creative ways to start or continue using coupons in Canada.
This is just the first of many Extreme Canadian Coupon Blog Posts to come.
THIS IS JUST ONE IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES I HAVE WRITTEN ON COUPONING.