4 Do’s and Don’ts of Couponing

Even with the world economy slowly recovering, I still find myself coming up a little short at the register. The cost of everything seems to be going up; however, my monthly paycheck does not. I spoke with the experts in free coupons from Canadian Savers, wondering how I could easily save a few dollars here and there and they had plenty of great tips for both novice and experienced savers. Following these simple and logical do’s and don’ts has easily helped me save hundreds of dollars each month.

Canadian Savers’ Do’s

“Like” brand pages on Facebook for exclusive coupon offers. With most of us on Facebook, this should be simple and easy. Simply by “Liking” and subscribing to your favorite products’ pages, you can learn about upcoming specials, participate in contests for free products, and receive exclusive manufacturer coupons. All this and just for doing what most of us do each and every day.

Shop at stores that accept competitor coupons. This should be a no-brainer, especially if you’re heavy into couponing. However, for those of us just starting out, this is a key piece of advice. Save both time and money going to stores that will accept any and all coupons, regardless of where they’re from. If you’re uncertain as to whether or not a store accepts competitor’s coupons, take a look at their coupon policy online.

Always remember to stack coupons. This can save savvy shoppers a lot of money. Try to shop at stores that not only have sales, but allow you to use both a manufacturer and store coupon at the same time. Couple that with double coupon day, and you’ll really start to see some serious savings.

Subscribe to blogs that share coupon information. Couponing can take a lot of time if you want to see some significant savings. If you don’t know where to look or what to do, you can actually end up wasting more time and money than you’d actually save (and saving is the point!). There are many dedicated and thorough coupon bloggers out there that devote their time and resources to getting the word out on product deals, where to find loads of great coupons, and upcoming events. These resources are invaluable to those of us looking for the best deals around. The experts at Canadian Saver’s, for example, are an excellent resource to start learning about the couponing trade!

Canadian Saver’s Don’ts

Do not stockpile items that you will never use or that will expire before you can use them. Even if you’ve been couponing for a long time, we sometimes convince ourselves that it’s a great idea to buy 150 tubes of toothpaste for pennies on the dollar, what with all of our coupons on double coupon day. We all use toothpaste, and we may even prefer the product; however, is it rational or even cost-effective to have that much toothpaste on hand? If you use 10 tubes a year, it’ll take 15 years to use that much. Plus, toothpaste does expire—it becomes less effective after the expiry date and should be thrown out. And let’s not forget the space such a mother lode of fluoride would take up, room which could be used to store other goods that you’ll actually use in a timely manner. Be rational when buying in bulk. Sometimes it’s better to only buy a few things at time rather than be wasteful.

Do not buy coupons online as they may be fraudulent. Whenever there’s a new trend, I can guarantee you that someone will find a way to make a scam out of it. Couponing is no different. Since we’re susceptible to great deals, it’s easy for us to fall into this trap. Anyone with Photoshop and a decent printer can create fake coupons. If you do decide to buy coupons, be very cautious. There are legitimate sellers out there that hawk their unwanted coupons, so be sure to check them out. Don’t just snatch up the first coupon deal you see without a little investigating first. If the seller has no reputation or scores of bad reviews, you’re likely not going to get such a great deal in the long run.

Don’t be intimidated! This is kind of a tricky one. At every turn, you’ll find plenty of obstacles in the way of your quest to save big money. Cashiers will give you gruff about stacking coupons and store managers may tell you that they can’t accept coupons you printed online. Most times, and this is no excuse, cashiers and store managers are not fully aware of the store’s coupon policy. Be polite, but stand your ground, and especially if you’re confident that the store’s coupon policy supports your transaction. Have said policy on hand. This is easy to do nowadays with smart phones and tablets readily on our person.

Don’t get ‘brand vision’. ‘Brand vision’ is the same as tunnel vision. We know and come to love a brand and that’s all we ‘see’ when we shop. If that’s the case, you’re going to miss out on a lot of great deals. Buy your brand when it’s on sale and you have a coupon for it; however, be open to new and store brand products if you can get them on the cheap. There’s usually not much—if any—difference between the two products. In some cases, each brand is made by the very same manufacturer!

Sophie is a freelance writer who loves writing about ways to save money. This article was a collaboration between her and Canadian Savers who specialize in free coupons and helping people save money.

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