Friday, 7 December 2012

Food Savings: Coupons

Grocery bills can be huge over the holidays, as we stock up on treats and comfort foods, as well as special dishes for entertaining in our homes or bringing to potluck meals.  This week I'll focus on ideas for food savings. Today is the fourth post in this series.

Coupons are a great way to save money on food items, especially when you can use a coupon on an item that is already on sale.

You don't need to go overboard and become coupon crazy.  If routine couponing isn't for you, that's okay.  You can still keep your eyes open at the holiday season for coupons on store shelves, in newspapers, or magazines, and save yourself a few dollars here and there. 

One of the two easiest types of coupons for you to use will be regular tearpad coupons -- little pads with tear-away coupons located on the shelves of the store placed right above or below the product itself.  When you're reaching for the chocolate chips and spot a coupon to save $1 off the package of chocolate chips you were already going to buy, you may as well tear one off and present it to the cashier when you check out.

The next easiest type of coupon is essentially the same tearpad style, but that are all centrally located on one bulletin board at the entrance to the store.  These "coupon zone" tear pad coupons appear at all Loblaws family stores (Loblaws, Independent, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, etc).  On your way in to the store, just pause for a moment at the board and take a quick peek to see if there are any coupons to save on items you already plan to purchase that day.

Of course, you can always get more seriously into couponing and hunt down coupons from multiple sources including newspapers, flyer inserts, Facebook promotions and product packaging and then match those coupons up with fabulous sales.  But if you aren't already used to it, there is a bit of learning involved in the first month or so, which may be a bit time consuming at this busy holiday season. 

If you're interested in knowing more about couponing and price matching,  I recommend you visit and check out the "How to coupon" button or and look for the "Start here" tab.  These sites explain all the basics of couponing in Canada, post links to new coupons and deals daily, and also offer weekly lists of the best sale prices and coupon match ups for the major Canadian grocery chains, saving you a lot of work.

Remember, coupons work just like legal tender.  You wouldn't pass buy a loonie or toonie just sitting there waiting to be picked up ... so don't pass by a coupon that's just sitting there waiting to be spent!

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