Extreme Couponing Canada for Beginners

Extreme Couponing Canada for Beginners

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.


~ Cheetah




  1. I never see any coupons for things I buy! Guess it’s because I buy the cheapest products as I can

  2. Hey I was just wondering if you know much about cross boarder shopping and couponing. I live close to an American boarder and do a lot of shopping over there and wondered if you knew anything about coming back through the Canadian boarder if they would charge tax on full price or final price. Thanks Jenny

  3. cheryl,

    Not really sure if this is a comment or question- but yes If you are unsure of a stores coupon policy it is always better to ask. Ask if they take printables. Ask if they will take more than one coupon on a single item (eg. one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon). Is there a limit to how many “like” coupons you can use? Do they allow overages to be applied to the rest of your groceries? etc.

  4. marnyj,

    Well just do what I do. Since I work full time, I go through the flyers vs my coupons and plan a grocery/coupon shopping trip. Pick the store that has best deals and the most items on sale that you want and head there. Get your sale/coupon items first and then blast through the rest. My husband will now take my list and my coupons and do it all himself. He even remembers to get rainchecks when the sale items are out of stock. Once the spouse figured out how much we were saving he got on board pretty quick. He even uses the scop (scanning code of practice) and brings me home more coupons from the newspaper and store sheves that he find. (he used to not understand it all- but now loves it and is very proud when he finds new deals all on his own) cheers-cheetah

  5. cheetah,

    that’s great. thanks for your help! i guess the more you do it, the better you get at it. :) my husband usually gets the groceries since we’ve had our two daughters, partly because it’s just way easier for him to run out than me, in between nursing and feeding and then naps for the kids… but he’s also just much faster, and sticks to the list! haha i just need to start doing it myself so i can learn where i can save.

  6. marnyj: hi!i’vejustrecentlybeenlookingintohowtocouponincanada.ijusthaveaquestion…itseemsfromwatching“extremecouponing”thatmostoftheitemsboughtwithacouponareshelfitems;cleaners,detergents,personalitems,andthenasfarasfood;canned,jarred,pre-packagedorprocessedfoodsthatyoucanstoreformonthswithouthavingtoworry.myhusbandandidon’tbuyalotofpre-packagedfoods.i’mjustwonderingifyoufindyoucansavealotofmoneyonthingslikefreshproduce,dairy,eggs,ormeat?thatisalwaysthebulkofourgrocerybill!eventhoughproducedoesn’tringuptoohigh.thanks!

    It is very hard to find coupons for meat,eggs, dairy and produce-since most of these items are not branded it is very hard to create a coupon for them. For example banana come from all different farms -who would offer the coupon? and since the mark-up is no where what it is on cleaning supplies, cereals etc. It might even hurt the amount of money the farmers actually receive for their good. The large name brand companies like p & G, kraft, nestle etc can cetainly afford to offer discount coupons and still make a hefty profit. If it ecourages even one customer to change brands or try a new product they have just launched it is well worth it for them. I am however finding more coupons on packaging to save on meat, eggs , milk fruit and veggies. For example buy a box of cereal and save on a bunch of bananas or by hamburger helper and save on the ground beef. Hopefully we will see more in the future or even discounts for buying a product on a regular basis would be nice. Good luck and happy couponing!

  7. hi! i’ve just recently been looking into how to coupon in canada. i just have a question… it seems from watching “extreme couponing” that most of the items bought with a coupon are shelf items; cleaners, detergents, personal items, and then as far as food; canned, jarred, pre-packaged or processed foods that you can store for months without having to worry. my husband and i don’t buy a lot of pre-packaged foods. i’m just wondering if you find you can save a lot of money on things like fresh produce, dairy, eggs, or meat? that is always the bulk of our grocery bill! even though produce doesn’t ring up too high. thanks!

  8. cheetah,

    Hi! just wanted to clear up the misunderstood coupons that say only one coupon per purchase/product means that you cant use 2 coupons with the same serial/bar code. I live in Red Deer Alberta and 2 stores in town, london drugs and save on foods both allow coupon stacking. I use those specific coupons along with other manuafcturer coupons on one product. If the coupon says buy 2 save $.. then you have to buy 2. The rule is you can use as many coupons on one product as you want but they must all have different serial/bar codes.
    Great Forum btw! Cheers!

  9. Thanks for this. The show is fun to watch, but I don’t think I’ll be shopping to that extreme anytime soon.

    Hoping my Pharmasave participates the next time they do double coupons!

  10. Andrea F,

    I feel the same way about the difference in couponing from the same MFG’s offering different deals for both US and Canada. I have been wondering how to get the American Coupons mailed to me from the US and then go over for the day and shop. Just wondered if there would be any problems coming back over the border with so much. Did you or anyone else ever start US shopping? and what were your experiences?
    Thanks Lynne

  11. Maria,

    My daughter has found a great app for her ipod that does much the same- it is so easy to search and see what coupons you currently have and it alerts us when coupons are going to expire soon. I love having this extra bit of organization. When shopping I just ask her if we have a coupon and I get a quick yes or no and then head to the binder to reteive it. Saves tons of time and money!

  12. Denise,

    Denise, If you are buying two products you can use two coupons. If you are only buying one product and it says one coupon per purchase or cannot be combined with any other offer than I don’t think you can use more than one. The only place I believe you can use more than one coupon is at London Drugs out West. They do allow what we call “coupon-stacking” using more than one coupon (that has different UPC’s ) on the same item. Hope this helps. BUT remember if you have a coupon for a product say .50¢ off and you have a BOGO (buy one get one free) most stores will allow this since you are still buying the first item and it is just reduced by the .50¢. Always better to ask at customer service first or print out your stores coupon policy to be sure. Sometimes it is just up to the manager how they deal with coupons -so two of the same stores might have different ideas about accepting coupons. :o) Good Luck and Happy Couponing!

  13. For extreme couponing, you need to manage your coupon. So that you can find and utilize coupons at exact time to avail maximum savings. For doing this you need a very fast and well managed Software.

    I have found a very useful software – couponsavingsoftware (search in google).

    -Fastest way to save coupon data.

    -Search coupon data like you search in Google.

    -You can edit and delete data manually.

    -Auto-delete option for expired coupons.

    -Stores a large number of informations.

    -No cutting and clipping of coupons required.

    And for more, visit couponsavingsoftware(search in google) or you can just simply search in google for couponsavingsoftware.

  14. Denise: cheetah,Iwascuriousaboutcombiningcouponsforoneproduct.CanyoustillcombineifthecouponsaysLimitOneCouponPerPurchaseandtheupccodesaredifferentforeachcoupon?Thanks!!

  15. cheetah,

    I was curious about combining coupons for one product. Can you still combine if the coupon says Limit One Coupon Per Purchase and the upc codes for different for each coupon?

  16. Deb,

    If you are buying 4 Dove Products and you have a coupon for each of them, than yes you can use all four. Some stores even allow you to use a coupon to buy the first item and then you can use a BOGO (buy one get one free coupon) too. If you have both a discount coupon and a buy one get one free I always ask if they will take both. Hope this helps. I also know that at London Drugs on the west coast you can use two different coupons on one product just as long as they have two different upc codes. Here in Ontario, you can use a Rexall coupon from their flyer and a brandsaver.ca coupon together to save even more. (I haven’t done the later yet-but just read it in this weeks flyer ad) :o) Happy Shopping!-Cheetah

  17. Thank .being a new comes I have so many uestions and reading your blogs and other great information is answering a few questions,I cannot believe in 13 years I only used coupons about 10x and since mid May I have used the same amount,My questions is
    EG I buy 4 Dove products can I ues 4 different coupons for all ,or only allowed to use 1


  18. Thanks for the great tips!

    Couponing in Canada can be a bit of a disappointment compared to our American neighbors. With the help of other couponers, I have a great list of Canadian coupon sites on my blog. Feel free to drop by!

  19. Hi VioletM!

    Congratulations on your amazing savings!

    I too have just recently caught the coupon bug and am trying to learn all the tips I can! You mentioned that you drive back to the store to make additional purchases….from what I’m reading you can make multiple purchases using the coupons within one transaction. I’ve tried it and so far it has worked! Each item you buy is a purchase and all of those purchases are a transaction! Hopefully this will work and save you some gas money!

    Good Luck and continued savings!



  20. VioletM,

    Thank you for your comment and words of encouragement for new couponers. I agree 100% you really can save a bundle once you know what you are doing-thanks and happy couponing-cheetah

  21. For those getting started, I had been a tepid couponer for ever. Here and there I would use coupons if I remembered or if I had see something in store with coupon attached. But since about the end of January I’ve really started to go coupon crrazzzy! My total is about $1500 in savings so far! I keep a running total of how much the coupons are worth and how much off regular price I get by using them when things are on sale only! I never use a coupon when things are not on sale as that defeats the whole purpose. Sometimes I have to go back and buy the same item everyday for a week since I can only purchase 1 item with the coupon per day, but I do it! lol My husband thinks I am crazy sometimes but you CAN save, you just have to be organized enough! And wen I cut the grocery bill in half, he doesn’t think I am crazy anymore! Good luck everyone! You can do this!

  22. Kelly: Cheetah, Hello cheetah, I’m just getting into it and a bit of a “newbie” any tips other then that on your blog on how to start out

    Start Slow- don’t get overwhelmed by it all. Start collecting coupons for items you already use or ones you would really like to try. Take your coupons everwhere you go shopping, that way if you see a sale you will remember to use your coupon. Make sure you know your local stores coupon policy so you won’t have any problems at the checkout. Get familar with pricing in your city/town. Just because they advertise an item in a flyer or in the store dosen’t necessarily mean it is a good price. Some stores advertise the reg price and it is not a sale at all. Don’t feel the need to use a coupon right away. Wait for the really great sales and then use your coupon on the item. That way the savings are even more. (unless you need the item right away) Lots of stores refuse printable coupons, so sometimes you can e-mail the Company and ask them to send you one instead. Hope this help -Happy Shopping-cheetah

  23. Cheetah,

    Hello cheetah, I’m just getting into it and a bit of a “newbie” any tips other then that on your blog on how to start out

  24. Sarah,

    what they mean by double and triple coupon days at the stores in the states is that you use one coupon but the store itsself actually redeems it at either double or triple the value of the coupon. i used to live in new york.

  25. I love saving money by using coupons but there is a fine line between couponing and hoarding

    I agree

  26. Chanice: I was just watch extreme couponing,How come you can’t double coupons in Canada? Is there some law stopping it? What’s the best way to organize your coupons?Can u recycling bin dive in Canada?And damn we need those customer cards with them coupons

    I wish stores in Canada would allow double coupon days, but I have never heard or seen any store here that allows that. I organize my coupons in a large three ring binder. If you read my post of sorting and organizing you can watch a video tour of my coupon binder. I am seriously considering checking out all the recycling bins in my neighbourhood the day after smart source coupons come out next time. The big difference is in the states they get coupons every single Sunday. We only get them about twice a month in the paper here. I hope Canada will adopt the idea of downloading coupons to an e-card and extra discounts for frequent shopping. That would be awesome. However you have to wonder after watching such a show is maybe this part of the economical problems that are happening in the USA? Just a thought. Our economy is so much stronger than theirs and I wonder if their coupon policies might not be harming them more? I love saving money by using coupons but there is a fine line between couponing and hoarding LOL I personally do not have 60+ hours a week to dedicate to just couponing- I have a life! Love to save -but love to live life too. :o)

  27. I was just watch extreme couponing,

    How come you can’t double coupons in Canada? Is there some law stopping it?

    What’s the best way to organize your coupons?

    Can u recycling bin dive in Canada?

    And damn we need those customer cards with them coupons

  28. @ Andrea F. I agree I wish there where more coupons for food items too. The best new coupons I am finding lately are actually coming from Facebook. I started “liking” all sorts of companies like Maple Leaf and Catelli and I am amazed that Canada is starting to get it and are posting coupon offers on their facebook pages. The best thing is most of these get mailed to you, so no issue of “printables” Start thinking about what food companies you purchase and look for their websites or facebook pages. Also My local grocery store puts out a recipe/ bar-b-q booket in the meat section and the last time I picked it up to have a look there where coupons for chicken, ribs, and other meat products. Score! Start hunting and see what you can find. :o)

  29. @Sarah Sorry I don’t know of any stores here in Ontario that allow double or triple coupon use for one item. The only one I have heard of is London Drugs out West. When a coupon states cannot be used with any other offer this means with any other coupon. You can indeed use coupons on sale items, I do it every single week. The best thing to do is to contact your local stores and request their coupon policy that way you know what you can do where. Here are some I got by simply e-mailing my local stores. :o)

  30. I live close to owen sound ontario, and i dont know any grocery store that will let you use more than one coupon for each item at a time, most coupons i get say not valid with any other offer, so you cant use it with a sale …. and that u can only use one coupon per product and they all expire within 2 weeks usually….any idea what stores will allow this or if any stores will double or tripple coupons?

  31. I started couponing in January and although I have found P&G and the common ones like Save.ca, I can’t seem to go ‘extreme’…Shoppers is great because you get points but when it comes to finding coupons for food, there’s not a lot of choices…where are all the Canadian coupons for food ? Or maybe I should set up a USA hotmail account and start going across the border. I dunno, I’d rater give my money to Canadian stores but if the coupons just don’t exsist, what do you do ?

  32. I just learned that photocopying coupons is wrong. Since threre was no print limit on the coupon page I printed it twice and then thought I will save ink and just copy it on the laser copier. It worked at the store just fine, but I am reading that’s it’s not allowed so I wouldn’t suggest doing that, I won’t do it again.

  33. Well, I went shopping at London Drugs (as they price match and accept multiple coupons) I got Stay Free Ultra Thin Liners for $1.49 (pack of 18’s and 24’s) They are on sale $3.99 – $2.00 coupon – $.50c price match from Extra Foods Flyer so $3.99-2.00-.50 = $1.50 that’s $10.50 as opposed to $31.43 when not on sale and without coupons. I photocopied the printed coupon 7 times and got a good supply :) you can get the coupon here http://www.stayfree.ca/sampling/en/coupon-print.asp

  34. I Googled couponing in Canada after watching my first TLC Extreme Couponing show this week. I was turned onto the idea after my brother was in a horrific car accident. The cost of his recovery is and will continue to be extensive. I am now on a mission! Looking for anything that will possibly save my Mother and I money.
    I want to talk you all so much for your amazing tips and tricks. I have registered to all the above sites and will continue to check them weekly. Please if you have any more ideas or web sites I would love to hear from you.
    Again … On behalf of my whole family. We can’t thank you enough.
    I will keep you posted on our savings

  35. I too am dissappointed that we can’t coupon like the US.However you can still get decent deals in Canada. One of the best I have found is the Tide coupon buy 2 get $5.00 off. When it goes on sale use it. I got 2 for 2.50 each. Excellent deal. You just keep your eyes open. I wish TLC had done a show aimed at Canadians though. I love this sight it tells you how and when to use those coupons.

  36. I found that its pretty much impossible to do extreme couponing in Canada, all our coupons say 1 per purchase and cannot be combined. So $1.00 off is just $1.00 off. Then I went to 4 local stores (save-on foods, Shoppers, London Drugs and Wal-Mart) to collect tearpad coupons, they didn’t have any. I found 2 at Shoppers. Do canadian stores not offer these? So I am feeling discouraged, I have yet to save money.

  37. thanks for the info. I recently watched “extreme couponing on tlc ,too. I will start making my list of fav. brands. Hope this works :D
    I would love to see the list of stores that do not take printable coupons.
    thank you for takin the time to share this with the rest of us.

  38. I’ve moved from the states and now live in Canada. I can say there is a huge difference when it comes to the kind of extreme couponing that’s possible in the USA. In the US there are many stores that double your cupons but I’ve never seen or heard of a store here that does that. The doubling is esential for that kinds of crazy couponing that we see on the TLC show.

  39. I saw that “Extreme Shopping” show as well and got hooked. I have been diving into it like a chicken with my head cut off, lol, and have no idea what I am doing. I think I am signed up with all the right sites, lol. Very grateful for this post and will be reading the others. I was told that in Canada you don’t’ get those type of savings as in the U.S. But mostly on toiletries. I haven’t received any coupons or freebies in the mail yet, so I am getting edgy, lol. I hope to make this all work, could really use a break on the bills!

  40. Terra, I watched that same show. Thus I’ve began my quest to a new couponing lifestyle. :)

    I would also like to know if that type of extreme couponing is possible in Canada. So far I have been finding great coupons, but I seriously want to master what those people did on that show.

    Did anyone else see that show? Is it possible to achieve the same results in Canada?

  41. I’ve never used coupons but really want to learn how to use them. It’s the least I can do as I can no longer work due to illness and this would be a great way to help out my amazing Husband who works so hard. So please any help you can give to me would be so greatly appreciated. I live in Ontario Canada. Thank you again for doing this.

  42. I watched “Extreme Couponing” this evening and was amazed at what I was watching! I use coupons but I feel clueless after watching these people! I want to save like that! I heard one guy say that the store doubles up on the coupon!? What exactly does that mean? Is it in Canada too and what stores offer that? I have 3 kids and need to save every penny I can! Thanks for any info you can give. :)

  43. Thanks for your comment Laura- I never considered making a list of stores that take printed coupons. I will have to look into that-great idea!

  44. I’ve recently started “serious” couponing and am really looking forward to reading your posts especially when you get to how to better organize them. I don’t know if you plan to cover this topic but many stores will not accept coupons printed from the internet. Do you have a list of stores that do?

  45. Thank you to all my readers- I love getting comments from you all. I am currently working on tomorrows blog post- so stay tuned in. :O)

  46. After watching the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” I am convinced I can save much much more on my grocery bill. Right now I am only saving between 8-10% off my grocery and B&B products so I hope after looking through this and other sites I can take it up a notch and hope to eventually save 50% wouldn’t that be amazing!!?? Thanks so much for the great article and tips Cheetah!!

  47. Can’t wait to read more…I’ve been couponing now seriously for about 8 months and am getting really good. Between the coupons and weekly sales..I’m buying stuff for next to nothing…especially at Shoppers Drug Mart on my favorite stuff. Thanks Cheetah:) Hope to learn even more great sites like save.ca and P&G’s Brandsaver/sampler.

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