Extreme Couponing is Alive and Thriving in Canada
Despite news reports that contend that unlike the United States, where the extreme couponing trend can result in 97% savings on your average grocery bill because of lax coupon rules and greater retail competition, Canada still provides incredible opportunities for BIG savings!
In my December 10th post in the Buckingham Portal blog titled “Cut your grocery bill in half at stores in Buckingham,” I explained how we reduced our grocery bill (including diapers, personal grooming products etc.) from $1,500 per month for a family of 6 to $850 per month.
Here are a few examples of how smart couponing can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
Rather than using the coupon and buying at that time when the product was offered at its regular price, we knew that it would go on sale sometime down the road. Well yesterday the item went on sale for $2.00 each . . . less our .75 coupon we paid $1.25 each for 12 packs. That is as much as a $2.00 saving per package or $24 total.
In another example of how you can really cut your grocery bill . . . about six weeks ago we came across $2.00 off shelf display coupons at Metro for Flamingo premium brand white chicken nuggets.
Rather than use them at that time (when the product was available at its usual $13.00 a box price), we waited for it to go on sale. Sure enough, today it was available at $5.00 per box as opposed to the $13.00. With our $2.00 coupon we paid $3.00 per box for 4 boxes or $12.00 total, saving a whopping $40.00 in the process!
One more big savings example . . . 2L Seven-up and Schwepps Ginger Ale . . . $2 off when you buy qty. 4 shelf display coupons were available in the Metro store 3 weeks ago.
Again, rather than using them when the product was available at its regular price of between $1.99 and $2.29 we waited until it went on sale at .99 cents a bottle.
At the .99 cent sale price, we purchased 4 bottles costing $3.96 total as opposed to $8.00. Using the $2.00 coupon meant that we paid $1.96 for 4 bottles of 7-Up, or less than .50 per 2L bottle.
While these savings are in and of themselves very exciting, where you really notice the collective impact on your grocery bill is at mealtime.
Last night we used the chicken from 1 of the Flamingo boxes (that’s $3.00), and two packages of the Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express rice ($2.50), and about a quarter of the bottle of 7-UP (.50) to feed 5 of us – two adults and three young chidren.
Total cost of the meal with couponing was $6.00 or $1.20 per person. Without couponing, that same meal would have cost as much as $18.58 or $3.71 per person. Multiply this price difference over 3 meals per day, 7 days per week and you can really see how your savings will quickly add up.
The big tip here is that you should always be on the lookout for coupons offered in stores such as Metro and Maxi keeping in mind that you should hold onto them until the product goes on sale . . . and it always does.
Another key point to remember is that you do not have to use the coupons at the store in which they were made available.
For example, Metro had coupons offering .75 cents off the price of French’s mustard and International Delight Cafe Expressions coffee flavoring.
While both products will go on sale at some point in time at the Metro store, other stores also offer the same products and in some cases their sale price will be much lower than Metro’s.
With the International Delight product which usually sells for between $2.99 and $3.29, Shoppers Drug Mart had a special in which they offered it at a price of $1.99. Less our .75 coupon we only paid $1.24. With an expiration date of March 2012, you can stock up on this item.
The French’s mustard coupons illustrates the amazing savings you can realize when you use a coupon from one store in another as we were able to buy the product on sale at Shoppers at a price of .25 for a 500 ml jar. That’s right, .25 cents. With the long shelf life you can really stock up on this product as well.
All-in-all, and as a former cynic of the couponing craze, I am now convinced that this is indeed a way to make a dollar go that much further.
Of course the Pièce de résistance of just how extremecouponing can get in Canada occurred last evening with Van Houtte 225g bags of coffee sell for $7.49.
A week ago we found $3.00 off coupons on the Internet. Once again instead of using the coupons when the product was not on sale we waited and today at Shoppers Drug Mart the 225g bags went on sale for $2.97. Net result . . . the store paid us back .03 cents a bag.
If you have questions or would like to share your own story of incredible savings through extreme couponing use the comment section below.
In the meantime . . . happy shopping!