One of the most common questions we receive from our readers, is where can I find coupons in Canada?
To shrink your grocery bill by more than 50% it is going to take a little time, effort and organization, but it is easily achievable. It is only a combination of careful planning and collecting coupons before you can start to develop a strategy that will save you thousands every year.
Coupons are everywhere that once you become consciously aware of coupons you will spot them in the most unlikely places. It also depends on how much time you spend and how hard you look for them.
List of places to find coupons:
Canadian Coupon Websites
There are four online Canadian coupon companies that specialize in working with manufacturers in Canada to provide coupons. These sites all require users to resister and create an account with your email and mailing address. Coupons are then ordered through their website and sent directly through Canada Post.
These sites include:
There is also a minimum and maximum number of coupons that can be ordered online on each site, however each site will be different depending on how often they get updated.
The best way to know if there has been a new coupon added to any of these sites is to subscribe to a website like Grocery Alerts.ca. Grocery Alerts will keep you updated, so you don’t have to worry about continuously visiting these online sources looking for new coupons.
You can also look into sites like MyPoints who offers many different types of coupons including coupons for Bath and Body Works.
The second most reliable source of coupons is through newspapers that provide a wide range of products. There are three main newspaper inserts. They are released periodically every 3-4 weeks and will offer coupons inserts in both free newspapers as well as paid newspapers. The companies that offer newspaper inserts are:
- Proctor and Gamble BrandSaver
Here is a link to the Canadian 2012 Coupon Insert schedule.
If you see a coupon you really like or want, it is a good idea to acquire a few copies of that particular newspaper. If you don’t receive the inserts make sure you call the newspaper an let them know to have that insert delivered to you.
Don’t forget to check at the local coffee shop like Starbucks or McDonalds for extra newspaper inserts or anywhere people buy newspapers. Often many people leave them behind.
In-store coupons tend to be overlooked. All major manufacturers will often run a campaign using coupons or mail in rebates. There are a wide variety of coupons available in grocery stores, and knowing where to find these are the key to extreme savings. Mind you that not all product coupons are easy to spot especially mail in rebates.
Some common in-store coupons include:
- Tear pads – displayed directly above or below product, where you can tear the coupon off the pad.
- Catalinas or Back-of-Receipt coupons - Catalina coupons are coupons that print on the back of your receipt. The only retailer in Canada that has catalina coupons is Safeway. The coupons are usually for local merchants and we don’t see any food offers (unlike the United States).
- Store magazines - are generally found in grocery store chains. These are provided by the grocery store itself where they sell advertising and offer recipes with selected products they are promoting. These magazines also offer coupons to use only at that grocery store. Thrifty Foods offers a great quarterly magazine with coupons and discounts. Some stores even have a calendar that contains money saving coupons in their pharmacy department (i.e. Rexall, Pharmasave, Safeway).
- Peelies – These coupons are attached directly to the product and can be used when you purchase the product. These coupons go unnoticed at time of purchase or get removed by others who generously help themselves to the whole lot. Make sure to check the item to ensure the coupon is still there.
- In store wall displays – Always check to see if the grocery store has a display of coupons. The wall display is generally posted at the front of the store. An example is the picture below at the Real Canadian Superstore.
- On package coupon – Common with major brands such as Kraft and Kellogg’s, are coupons on the products. These coupons often give a higher value in coupons than the actual product itself. The manufacturer places more value into the coupon instead of the promotional cost to display them in a grocery store. An example is this picture below. It shows a coupon for a free package of Kraft shredded cheese (worth $5.99) on the box of the El Paso kit.
E-mail or call your favourite manufacturer
Manufacturers appreciate your feedback and want to hear what you have to say about their products. It is the best way to get high value or even free product coupons by going directly to the source and often offer longer expiration dates on these coupons. These in house coupons are printed once a year and are reserve coupons for specifically for customers who call in and provide feedback and requests. To reward you they will offer coupons on request especially for your favorite products.
Some examples of Canadian manufacturers that send you coupons include:
Chapman’s Ice Cream: 1-800-265-9110 $5 coupon (once per year)
Some of the manufacturer’s we have emailed and been successful receiving coupons includes: Chapman’s, Michelina’s, Happy Planet, Dole, Nature’s Path, Popchips, Primo, Amy’s Kitchen, POM, Eden Foods.
*PLEASE NOTE: There are no guarantees that you will receive something from any companies above. Manufacturers can discontinue sending out coupons at anytime.
Great coupon savings are offered through junk mail so before you discard flyers or postcards take a second look and watch out for coupons. The local coffee shop in the village where I live offered a free coffee on a postcard last year and it was surprising to see how many of these postcards were thrown in the recycle bin in my condo. I ended up with over 12 free coffee coupons.
Grocery Store Websites
Many Canadian grocery store chains have introduced their own e-mail mailing lists to provide exclusive in-store coupons or extra loyalty program points. These are great because sometimes you can coupon the grocery store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on an item (depending on the coupon language).
Some stores with bonus coupons include:
- Safeway (bonus coupons for new products)
- Save-on-Foods (receive 1,000 Save-on-More points for e-mail signup)
- Shoppers Drug Mart (bonus Optimum offers)
- Sobeys (Club Sobeys bonus offers)
Free Product Samples
Sampling manufacturer products is another great way you can get coupons. They offer the product with the intention you will like the product and offer a coupon to entice you to purchase the products.
eBay also offers great quality coupons. Here is an example of a seller on eBay selling 5 inserts for $4.50.
When searching for coupons on EBay it’s helpful to be as specific and know what you are looking for because there are thousand of coupons. Keep in mind, that sellers will generally be selling a group of related coupons (usually coupon inserts).
Ebay and other websites such as Craigslist are great places to get coupons for non-grocery related items such as restaurant and attraction coupons.
Magazines have always been a great source of coupons.
The coupon booklet, Clip n’ Save is found in magazines like Chatelaine, Home Makers, Canadian Gardening, Style at Home and Canadian Living. Here is a screenshot of what the booklet looks like.
The great thing about the coupons found in magazines are they are more targeted towards the audience purchasing the magazine. Cosmopolitan or Elle will usually contain coupons for make up and beauty products.
Once you become accustomed to clipping coupons, you will begin to find them all around you. However, you will find that not all will be suitable to your needs. Before tossing them out consider trading them for coupons that you do use. Grocery Alerts has created a special application that allows you browse, trade coupons and swap for your unused coupons. An advantage to trading is that you are also providing someone with a coupon that is valuable to them. Check out the coupon trader. It is a simple application that will easily help you offer your coupons to others who might need them and receive coupons you will find useful.
Another great source of acquiring coupons is joining a coupon train. This involves signing up to exchange coupons by postal mail. The pile of coupons you were going to throw out might be just what the next person is looking for.
Starting up a coupon train in your community involves setting up specific goals and rules for that group. You can even start a coupon train in our Grocery Alerts Canada forum.
There are a few key things to consider before joining or starting up a coupon train.
- The person setting up or starting up should make sure the group consists of 5-6 members with different mailing addresses.
- Start a coupon train with an envelope filled with approx 100 coupons from the fist person who starts the train before mailing it to the first person on the list. The next person to receive the coupons will replace the coupons with other coupons of the same value or same amount of coupons they took out. Each person should be passing along the envelope of coupons within one week if not sooner while pulling out the expired coupons.
- Each train could have a theme (i.e. Cleaning or baby coupons or just food) and rules for trading (no store coupons or printables).
All your favorite brands now have a Facebook page and/or Twitter account. Don’t forget to like your favorite brands on Facebook because it is getting more and more common for these brands to promote through social media tools in order to interact with their fans and followers. We always publish the latest coupons posted from their accounts on our coupon newsletter to save you time.
Consumer surveys can be a decent source of coupons. The Diane Simon Shopper’s Voice Survey is a Canadian example. While some companies pay for completing surveys, Shopper’s Voice is unique because their members receive ongoing rewards of membership both by postal mail and email in the form of high-value money-saving coupons, free trial offers, and other relevant information, based upon the survey information you provide about your household.
I received a Full Product Coupon for Arm & Hammer Detergent and several nice samples.
Library / Community Center swap box
I recently went to a local senior community centre for an event and found coupons in the reception area in a small box where people can contribute and take coupons. Their was a box of coupons labeled help yourself. Seniors do not generally need baby coupons, which is what I found in this box. Bingo! Another great place to pick up baby coupons, at the seniors centre!
Grocery Alerts Canada
Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to GroceryAlerts.ca. We will provide you all the new coupons from all the different sources delivered straight into your email. These include Facebook coupons, manufacturer coupons and specialized coupon sites. Make sure you subscribe for our free coupon newsletter and like our Facebook page for the latest coupons and other great money saving tips.