Secrets of a Canadian Couponing Mom

Secrets of a Canadian Couponing Mom
A couple weeks ago, I mused aloud on my Facebook page about whether Canadian Moms could successfully save money using coupons. Many people responded with their tips for using coupons, apps and price-matching policies to save on groceries and other goods for their families. One particular Mama responded with such passion that I had to ask her to write a guest post! Enjoy!

 Dawn’s Secrets for Couponing in Canada

Let me introduce myself. My name is Dawn, I’m a mother of four and pregnant with our fifth. I’ve been married for four years now to a wonderful, patient Nigerian man. We eat a lot of healthy foods, but the kids and I do enjoy the occasional snack. I started couponing here in Ontario, Canada, over a year ago to help save my family some money while we were going through some tough financial times. I’ve been able to stock up on things we use, things we can donate and even a few gifts over the course of becoming frugal shoppers. It’s saved our family so much money that we are now in a position to shop weekly for our family of six (almost seven). On these weekly shops we buy fresh foods and then look for the odd sale that will help replenish our stockpile. We spend on average $20-$40 a week on groceries, laundry soap, toilet paper etc. 

Tricks of the Trade

The best way I’ve found to keep getting good deals on my groceries is to stay organized and stocked up. If it gets to be overwhelming, it could be easy to stop trying. I start by finding coupons, even coupons I won’t use. There are groups on Facebook where people are looking for coupons you might have, and are willing to trade their first born for them (maybe not literally, since their first born may be the reason they have started couponing)! [A favourite is Mrs January Canadian Coupon Trading.]
You can find coupons by emailing companies you love and asking them for coupons for their products. You can also find them on store shelves. Every once in a while, they come in your local paper. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your paper boy for any left overs he has after he’s delivered, or to ask your friends and neighbours to save theirs for you. 

Getting Started & Keeping Organized

Let’s start with the basics. The best way to get the most for your money, is to buy something while it’s on sale, with a coupon and/or offered on a cash back app [Maman Loup is currently trying out a bunch of these and will get back to you with her feedback!]


Some popular cash back apps are:

Checkout 51

If the deal is good enough, stock up! Start a good stockpile, to reduce how often you’ll be shopping on the inside aisles of your supermarket, or even in your bakery, dairy and fresh meat sections, if you have a large enough freezer to do so. If you find you’ve stocked up much more than you’ll need, because it was cheap enough to justify, or it even paid you to buy it, then you can always donate it to a local charity. If you’re planning a trip to an impoverished country, you could donate it there too (toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant etc.) Once you have a good stockpile, you’ll find you only need to shop once a week for fresh produce, dairy, and a few things you found on sale (with coupons and/or cash back apps) to keep the pantry stocked. 
Dawn's Stockpile ~ Secrets of a Canadian Couponing Mom
I keep an organized binder of coupons, classified by how I walk through my preferred store. So if I were to start in the dairy section, dairy would be the coupons on the first few pages of my binder etc. I then make sure to go through them at least once a month, to be sure I’m getting rid of coupons that expire, saving the embarrassment of being in a long line up, and having to put things back that I know I can get much cheaper. 
Secrets of a Canadian Couponing Mom
If you’re going to be price matching, before you go out, look for sales that apply to your family’s needs. You can do this one of two ways: with an actual flyer, or an app or screenshot on your mobile device. (Two flyer-viewing apps are Flyerify and Flipp.) If you don’t have access to a cell phone or tablet, mark your flyers as clearly as you can before you leave the house. Use sticky notes, highlighters or whatever you need to make your deal stick out.
If you’re using technology, try and take screen shots of your deal before you leave. You never know how well the wifi is going to work when you get there. Be sure that your screen shot includes the date of the sale and the name of the store. (Most stores accept a screenshot on your device, as long as it has the date the ad is good for and the name of the store. I know here in my area, I use Walmart a lot to price match, as they will ad-match across Ontario. So as long as the ad I have is in Ontario, I’m good to use it!) 

Don’t Be Afraid to Save

Secrets of a Canadian Couponing Mom

Often times, people won’t price match or coupon because they’re afraid of what other people will think of them: will they suddenly be responsible for the growing line up of impatient people behind them, and feel obligated to compensate their children that are freaking out all because they were “trying to save twenty cents on a loaf of bread!” Slow down! Get it together, world hunger is not your fault! Breathe! I like to tell everyone behind me (or have my 12 year old politely tell them) that I’m price matching and couponing, and will take longer than most other line ups will. If they stay, that’s great, you may just be teaching them new skills too. If I’m doing a large shop, where I’m getting lots of things for free, or even being paid to take them, I offer a few of the freebies to the cashier and the person who was patient enough to make smiley faces at my little ones, to save the gift cards from hitting the floor again….who makes the checkout lanes so small anyways! 

Wait- what? You can be paid to buy something?
Here’s Dawn’s example scenario:
…so if I found ketchup, for instance, on sale for .99 and I had a coupon for $2 off, I would make the difference back on my receipt, depending on where I shop, and what their policy is. Where I live, No Frills will only put the coupon in for .99 if that’s what the total price is. Walmart would put the extra money back on my receipt
Be sure to check your store’s price matching and coupon policy before you leave the house. Some stores change their policy regularly, and some don’t accept coupons at all. Some places will price match province wide, some are local, some are nation wide! 

Score Points

Secrets of a Canadian Couponing Mom ~ Score Points

Another great way to save money is to take advantage of points programs. Shoppers Drug Mart offers one of the best. President’s Choice offers a good points program too. There are Air Miles, gas points cards, even credit cards that offer points or money towards purchases. Just be sure to check if they have a yearly or monthly fee, and pay it off ASAP! It’s not saving you money if it’s a 24% interest rate and you make minimal monthly payments. I like to pay it off as fast as I make the transaction, to be sure I don’t forget about it.  


Follow the Rules

I know it sounds crazy to even have to tell you there are rules for this, but if a store gets enough people trying to be dishonest, it could ruin price matching and couponing for everyone. After all, stores that offer these privileges to us  are not obligated to. Never try to price match a deal that you know is incorrect. Don’t yell at cashiers or managers. Don’t get greedy. If a coupons says one per customer, only use one. Remember who you are and the example you want to be for your family and others. Could you imagine having to drive to each individual store, dragging your screaming, hungry, nap deprived children through countless line ups? It would be torture for everyone involved! Don’t abuse these great privileges that are offered to us. 


Last but not least, enjoy the fruits of your labor! Invite friends over for meals more often, have the neighbour kids over for lunch, donate to charities or people you know personally that are going through a hard time. Pay it forward. Happy saving!
Here are websites and brands where you can sign up for coupons:
6. Go Coupons :
10. HealthyShopper :
12. U By Kotex :
13. Les Surgelé :
17. Ficello :
20. Clorox :
21. Tena :
The brands below are known to send out coupons if you write to them, so try your luck!
10. Michelina —-Recu 1 coupons de 0.50 sous
11. La mère Poule
12. ET TU Salad kit —— Recu 1 coupon de 0.75 sous
13. Maison le grand
15. Fantino et mondello
49. Cordon bleu
40. Tofu Sunrise
81. Jazz potato
86. Mr. Felix et Norton
90. Organic meadows
Here are some stores that definitely have coupons available on racks or store shelves:
1. Metro
2. Sobeys
3. Shoppers Drug Mart

4. Loblaws and The Real Canadian Superstore, on a giant board right inside the door.

And don’t forget to check your local paper for coupon inserts from Smart Source, Red Plum and P&G. The odd time there’s something extra in there with coupons, so keep your eyes peeled! 

I want to extend a HUGE thank you to Dawn for sharing all of her wisdom with us. I will be putting some of her tips to the test and letting you know how it goes! ~ Lindsay

Do you have any Couponing in Canada tips to add?

3 responses to “Secrets of a Canadian Couponing Mom”

  1. […] saving money. Food, health & beauty products, cleaning supplies and clothes can be expensive. Learn the basics of couponing and yes, this includes the slang for better understanding. Create an email account strictly for the […]

  2. […] If you’re really into price-matching using various store coupons, this app is your best friend. (I have a post about couponing for Canadians here.)  […]

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Welcome to my Wolf Pack!

My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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