Your Coupon Questions Answered: A Guide to Couponing

Coupon Tips

Everyone loves coupons. For the companies that offer them it’s easy publicity—the perfect way to drum up sales. For the people that use them, it’s a great way to save money and there are few things more satisfying than securing a sizeable discount on household essentials.

As soon as the “Extreme Couponing” fad crossed the border into Canada the popularity of these little money-savers increased exponentially, with millions of companies in the Great White North offering them on billions of products. So, if you’re new to coupons and need some help, checkout this couponing guide for Canadians:

How to Use Coupons

Coupons are used at the point of sale. Just hand them over and let the cashier work their magic. Make sure you keep the following in mind:

  • “Only One Coupon Per Purchase” means one coupon per single item.
  • “Only One Coupon Per Transaction” means one coupon per order.
  • “Only One Coupon Per Customer” means one coupon per person, not including other shoppers with you.

How to Get Coupons

The best place to find coupons is online. We have loads of them on this site, covering every niche and every product imaginable. You can also find them in newspapers, on store promotional material and on store social media accounts, but that requires more work for a smaller haul.

How to Organize Coupons

All aspiring extreme couponers should invest in a printer so they can print the coupons they find online. You can keep these coupons safe and secure by binding them with elastic bands, stuffing them in envelopes clearly marked with the type/date, or using coupon binders. You can sort them anyway you choose, but we find that sorting by expiry date and then categorizing into piles is the best options.

What Are the Best Coupons?

The best coupons can be found on the items that have the biggest margins. If a manufacturer sells a product to a retailer for $1 and that product has a suggested retail price of $2, they don’t have a lot of space in which to maneuver. But if that retailer is producing an item for $0.50 that they can then sell for $5, then they can introduce some huge savings.

This is why restaurants and fast food chains typically have the best coupons. Not only do they have higher margins, but they know that most customers that get a free drink or a free burger will not simply order the drink or burger and will also buy many other items at full price.

For the biggest savings, look for pizza chains, soft drinks, toiletries, stationery and branded goods.

Is Extreme Couponing Possible in Canada?

Of course! It’s not as easy as it is south of the border, but it’s definitely possible. There are a few issues with this though. Firstly, the shows you see on TV about couponing are made to be entertaining. The show’s stars save up all of their big money coupons (which they often spend countless hours acquiring) for a big shop, which is what the TV cameras films.

You only see the impressive savings. You don’t see the time or the money they spent cutting, trading, downloading and even buying those coupons. You don’t see the many grocery shops they did where they only saved a few dollars and only see the big one where they got $500 worth of groceries for $20.

So yes, it is possible here in Canada, albeit to a lesser extent. But don’t expect to live the life of an extreme couponer here or anywhere else.

What are Double Coupons?

Every now and then stores will offer to double the value of their coupons. This only applies during a specific time period and there are terms and conditions involved, but for the most part it’s pretty straightforward. If you have a coupon for $1 worth of free food from McDonalds then this becomes $2 when a double coupon offer is made available.

How to Double Coupons

Here in Canada, coupon doubling is quite rare. There are stores that will allow this though and one such store is Pharmasave. Just make sure you stock up on Pharmasave coupons and keep a close eye on their promotional materials (flyers, newsletters, social media accounts) to see when they are offering to double coupons.

Can you use Coupons Online?

Coupons Canada

There are codes that you can use online. The issue with these coupons is how they are acquired. If a site makes an online code available then it will be snapped up by hundreds—if not thousands—of shoppers straight away. By the time you get to it the offer might be over.

You need to be on the ball to catch these offers. Here on we provide readers with access to thousands of fresh coupons and codes every day so that every reader has something they can use. The ones who get here first are still the ones with the best deals though, so make sure you bookmark us and check back every day.

Will Stores Accept Expired Coupons?

They don’t have to, but they might. You have to remember that the stores offer coupons because they want to lure you into making a purchase. If you are already in the store and you’re already going to make a purchase then they might just refuse the expired coupon and take their chances. They have you where they want you after all. But in some cases they will still honour the coupon, especially if only a short amount of time has passed and they still have the promotional product in stock.

Do Companies Accept Competitor Coupons?

This is more common than you might think. Retailers are always looking for ways to get one-up on their rivals and if they can keep the customer happy in the process then it’s a win-win. In the eyes of the retail industry a coupon is a promise to purchase. You are a paying customer ready to buy a specific item, which makes you a valuable commodity. If they can get you to spend money in their shop then they consider it a huge win over their rivals.

Why do so Many Online Coupons Expire?

There are two issues at play here. The first is usage. When a coupon is made available online and picked up by a large site it is used by countless customers and then quickly reaches its limit. The retailer may decide that they no longer want to offer that promotion or they may have moved onto other promotions.

The second issue is the site on which you found the coupon. There are many sites out there that list coupons that are invalid simply to get you to visit the site in question and earn them money through a pay-per-click or pay-per-lead affiliate scheme. There are also communities where members post coupons and a lot of these are fake.

We make it our mission to eradicate the nonsense, to eliminate the false and expired codes and to focus only on the coupons that work and the coupons that you want to see.