Extreme Couponing USA vs Canada

Extreme Couponing-USA-vs-Canada

 

 

Extreme Couponing USA vs Canada

Lately, I have been asked many times, is Extreme Couponing like what has featured on the TLC show something that can happen here in Canada?

 

 

Today I am going to talk about the differences when couponing in Canada vs. in the USA. Since I don’t live in the USA, this is just an observation of what I have learned so far.

 

Extrme Couponing TV show logo

 

 

There are a lot of differences as to what can be done in the USA and here in Canada. In the USA, some stores allow what they call coupon stacking.

 

 

Coupon Stacking is when you can use more than one coupon on a single item.

 

The only place I am aware of that will allow this here in Canada is London Drugs on the West Coast.

 

According to what I have read from fellow couponers, as long as you have different coupons (ones that do not have the same UPCs), you can use them together on one single item.

 

For example, if you have a save.ca coupon and a tear-pad coupon, you would be able to use them both and at the same time. This allows for extra savings, often resulting in products completely FREE.

 

coupons being used in grocery store

Another difference is that in the USA, some stores have special days when they will double or even triple your coupons.

 

A lot of stores will “double-up” to $1.00. This means if you present the cashier with a coupon for .50¢ off, they will automatically double that coupon to be $1.00 off instead of the original .50¢.

 

This, combined with weekly sales, can equal huge savings and, again, items completely FREE. I have NEVER heard of any company here in Canada that allows doubling-up.

 

coupons in newspapers

 

When I was recently in Florida on vacation this year, I was amazed when the weekend paper arrived.

 

There were lots and lots of coupons available.

 

About double what we typically see in our coupon flyers. Also, remember that they get coupon flyers every weekend.

 

 

 

 

Here in Canada, we only get coupon inserts once or twice a month. Red Plum and Smart Source inserts are only scheduled once every month, and the Brandsaver insert is only a few times a year.

 

I also noticed that many grocery stores also have their very own coupon insert flyers that are available to pick up at their front door. Extra savings again.

 

Some stores (at least here in Ontario) have caught onto this idea and are also posting coupons at their entrances.

 

I also found that while on vacation, there were lots of different coupons available that we would not usually see here in Canada.

 

I stopped by a hotel to get directions to a restaurant and found a whole collection on coupons in their front lobby. Brochures just chalked full of great money-saving vouchers.

Brochure Coupons

You can easily save on everything from dry cleaning, mini-golf, lots of tourist attractions and even the local liquor store. Yup, that’s right. I saved $5.00 off when I spent $40.00 at Joe’s Liquor store.

I amazed when I visited the Dollar General Store in the USA. Yes, you guessed it-not only do they allow coupons, but the cash register receipt printed out with coupons for $$ off my next purchase printed on the back.

 

AMAZING! However, please note the dollar stores over there are very different. T

hey have clothing, name brand makeup and lotions as well as a lot of different foods and yes-booze. LOL, I doubt we will ever see this in Canada.

 

coupons inside grocery cart

 

 

Coupon Clipping Companies

I also noticed while watching the TLC Extreme Couponing series that many couponers that were featured mentioned that they use Coupon Clipping Companies.

 

 

If you are not familiar with this, they are companies that clip, collect and sell coupons. You can go online and order as many coupons as you wish for a price.

 

I often wish this service was also available here in Canada.

 

This week I had the opportunity to read an article about this particular topic. According to this article, there is a new investigation into the legalities of these coupon clipping sites.

 

It is illegal to sell large quantities of coupons. People who work for newspapers are not allowed to take more than one coupon insert for themselves.

 

Any un-used coupon inserts are supposed to be destroyed. They are not supposed to be retrievable from recycling facilities either.

 

There is a class action suit building right now to make sure that the only coupons out there are obtained through legitimate sources.

 

 

Now, if you buy multiple newspapers that are entirely legal, however, if you are spending hundreds of extra dollars a year on extra newspapers, this should be taken into account when calculating how much you are saving.

 

 

The TLC never shows these extra expenses. If you live here in Canada, I suggest getting all your friends, family and co-workers to collect and save the coupon inserts for you. This is legal, easy and will cost you nothing other than maybe a friendly thank-you hug.

 

Frequent Shoppers Cards

 

FREQUENT SHOPPERS CARD

In the USA, they also sometimes have a frequent shopper card. This card, from my understanding, tracks your purchases and rewards you with cents off your next shopping.

 

I have also seen and heard about store cards where you can download all the store’s coupons to a card and then just swipe the card at the checkout, and it will automatically take off any appropriate coupons. I so want this here in Canada.

 

 

And how about those Catalina coupons. These are little machines at the checkout that print out extra coupons that can be used the next time you visit the store.

 

The only ones I have ever seen here are actually on the back of my receipts and generally are just for cents off Dry Cleaning.

So let’s have a closer look.

 

USA flag

In the USA you could do the following:

  • -Create a price book and learn what a great price on certain items is.
  • -Follow the store flyer sales and combine them with coupons for extra savings
  • -Order multiple coupons from a coupon clipping company and stockpile your coupons and wait for a huge sale
  • -Cash in by using a store loyalty card at the checkout
  • -Find a store that allows doubling-up of coupons to cash in on the savings quickly
  • -Gain Catalina coupons to use on your future purchases.

Canada Flag

 

Now what you can do here in Canada

  • -Create a price book and learn what a great price on certain items is.
  • -Follow the store flyer sales and combine them with coupons for extra savings
  • -Collect as many coupons as you can. Ask family, friends, neighbours and co-workers to give you any unused coupons.
  • -Remember to ask for rain checks when certain items are on sale but out of stock.
  • -Price Match one store to another- bring your flyers and have the store match the best-advertised price
  • -Join coupon trades and trains -this way, you can get rid of coupons you would never use and gain ones that you want.
  • -Take advantage of Mail– Rebates. For the price of a stamp, you will get the majority if not all your money back that you spent on an item.

 

Here in Canada, you can enjoy huge savings. If you get organized and follow a routine, you can start saving money in no time at all. You can get items at low prices and many things FREE.

 

Extreme Couponing

Extreme couponing can and does happen in Canada, and it is just at a different level.

You can easily purchase $130.00 worth of items for just under $35.00. I have done this many times. 70-80% of saving is possible in Canada. Maybe not every single week, but more often than most people think.

 

We rarely have coupons off fruit and vegetables, and only every once and a while will you score $$ off meats.

 

But when it comes to toiletries, health care items and many pantry and freezer products, the savings are there for the taking.

 

Another point to make is a lot of stores in the USA allow what they call overages. This is where the coupon value exceeds the dollar value of that particular item.

 

So if you have a $1.00 off coupon and the item is only .75¢ you can still use the $1.00 off coupon, and they will allow you a .25¢ credit toward the rest of the items in your cart.

 

Multiply this times a hundred or so items, and the fruits, veggies and meat will pay for themselves with the overages you gained by using your coupons.

According to my local grocery store manager, overages are not supposed to be allowed in Canada. Some avid coupons would disagree with me, and I have read stores of people here in Canada getting overages applied to other items in their cart.

 

You must put it all in perspective. I have a feeling that most of the people on Extreme Couponing spent an immense amount of time and effort building their basement/garage stockpiles.

 

This is not something that just happens overnight. It takes a lot of dedication, time and effort to see such results. Remember, they paid for these items; they only didn’t pay full price.

 

It is like a full-time job for most of these extreme couponers, and as mentioned in almost every single show-” this is the most significant coupon shop I have ever attempted”. They don’t do this all the time. They spend months, if not years compiling their stockpiles.

 

I also have recently started to build a stockpile. It wasn’t intentional, but since I have been able to score some fabulous deals lately, my multiples are growing. I feel it is a very fine line between saving money as an extreme couponer and crossing the line and becoming a hoarder.

 

image

Have a look at my office wall. This is strictly cleaning supplies and beauty products. All food is in my kitchen, and I only buy what will be consumed in a reasonable amount of time.

 

No walls of soap cans or pasta sauce here. I think this is mainly because of a phobia I have of eating older food.

 

If I have something in the cupboard for too long, I can’t eat it. I fear having an abundance of food that will expire before my family ever has a chance to consume it.

I have about four extra boxes of crackers, a few extra pasta sauces and surplus chicken broth, but that is about it.

The freezer is always full of lots of frozen vegetables, convenient meals and some treats.

Cereal is never purchased at full price, and rice is always bought at a considerable discount too.

 

 

 

I use a coupon every single week. Sometimes it is just one or two, and sometimes it is more like 15-30 coupons in one single shopping trip; it just depends on the sales vs. available coupons.

Please remember that some items are a lot less expensive in the USA while others are much more expensive. You have to take into account the overall cost of living in the USA right now too. Are their wages the same as here? Probably not. We pay more for our groceries, but we also make more in wages.

There is a lot of ways to save here in Canada.

Create a system that works for you. Get into a routine and stick with it. You will be saving money in no time, and who knows, maybe you will start a stockpile of your own.

If you are interested in finding out how to get started couponing in Canada, you might want to check out some previous articles I wrote on “How To Coupon” Just click here for easy access.

As always, I welcome comments and questions-so just scroll down and leave me to comment below. :o)

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1 COMMENT

  1. I have picked up that the Dollar Tree does in fact accept coupons here in Canada! – I would call ahead to confirm to save an embarrassing moment at the counter.
    I too have “on occasion” been given credit coupon overage amounts amounts to deduct from my other groceries -it’s rare but does happen on rare occasions
    Taking a complete inventory of the products you use every month and buying two or three at a time when on sale also helps save money for the next months groceries.
    I agree with food items though, they do have an expiry date and have personally pulled back buying any more than two to three months worth.
    With the repetitive sales cycle buying paper towels and toilet paper when large paks are on sale – buy for 3 motnhs to make it to the next sales cycle.

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