Is TLC Extreme Couponing Possible in Canada?

TLC Extreme Couponing fever is here! The original Extreme Couponing episode has been aired multiple times and it looks like it is now going to be a weekly show(2 x 1/2hr).

I have been contacted many times by TV producers, newspapers and blog readers about every time TLC Extreme Couponing airs. I always get asked about coupons, in store deals, coupon stacking and stockpiles. The number one question I get asked is-

Is it possible to shop like TLC Extreme Couponing here in Canada? 

The answer isn't a simple yes or no. The answer is- It's different. Why?

  • In the USA they have much more competition because they have a lot more grocery stores. (they have more population then we do here in Canada)

  • All of these stores are in competition with one another to get YOUR money. So in short, we can get some great deals but not like the US can.
SmartSource Printable Coupons CanadaStockpile
I'm selective about what and how much I stockpile. I don't feel that I need 50 bottles of shampoo, 5-6 would last my family quite a while. I would really like to know if the woman who has 75 boxes of cereal gets all the product eaten before it expires. You can bet even though she has 75 boxes of cereal stored conveniently on the very top shelf of her master closet she would get more if she get's it free or almost free. She also has over 1,000 rolls of toilet paper under her son's bed. No thanks.

These people purchase items as if this is the last time it will ever, ever go on sale and that's not the case. If you have a keen eye you will notice something. Sales run in cycles, some by the season and some every 3 months or so. 

Store Reward Cards

Many US stores offer a store reward card that give the shopper additional discounts.For example, let's say that:
  • A popular brand name cereal that is usually $4.50 per box is on sale for $2. You go to the store and purchase 4 boxes that total $8.

  • Now you also have 4 $1 off coupons. Once you use your coupons your total is $4 for 4 boxes of cereal.

  • Now you use your store rewards card and take advantage of a in store promotion that is "buy 4 boxes of XXX cereal and save $4" Guess what? You got it free. If you would have purchased at full price it would have been $18.
Catalina Coupons
Catalina Coupons are coupons that print out with your receipt. The crazy thing about these coupons is that other stores will sometimes accept competitors Catalina Coupons. This allows the shopper to combine sales from other stores with Catalina coupon from a competitor to get the lowest price. 

Let's say you received a Catalina Coupon from Target for $1 off goldfish. You notice that Goldfish are on sale for $1 at Kroger and they accept competitors Catalina Coupons. Guess what? You got it for free again.

Coupon Stacking

Coupon stacking goes like this.
  • You go to the store to purchase salad dressing that is on sale for $2.29.

  • You have a $1 coupon from a coupon clipper and you also have a 75 cent  printable coupon.

  • As long as they are 2 different coupons with different bar codes you can use them both on 1 bottle of dressing.
$2.29-$1-$0.75 you pay 54cents. The only place I know of in Canada where you can stack coupons in at London Drugs which is only in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.(A US reader has informed me that in the US they need to use 1 store coupon plus 1 manufacturer coupon to stack unlike London Drugs here in Canada.While I was on holidays in Florida I used some printable Target coupons and combined then with some printable manufacturer coupons and saved a lot!)

Double Coupons

We are really missing out in Canada with this one. Basically Double Couponing is when a store will take your coupon and double the value. Depending on the store they will double a value of a 0.50 coupon to $1 or $1 coupon to a value of $2. I have heard that Kmart will double up a $2 coupon to a $4 value. Crazy!
For example, on last night`s show a woman purchased mustard that was:
  • On sale for $1.39

  • She had a 0.50 coupon that you store will double to equal $1.

  • She had 77 coupons but the store did not have 77 bottles so she settled with 62 bottles. The funny thing is, her husband said he does not eat mustard!
62 bottles of mustard at 39 cents per bottle works out to costing $24.18. Personally I would have got 4 bottles which would last a year or more at my house and spent $1.56 on it. I don't want to store 62 bottles of mustard in my bedroom. I guess that`s why the show is called "Extreme" Couponing.
Gift Card with Purchase or $10 discount

On last night's show there was a couple who were taking advantage of a store promotion that was buy $50 and get $10 off. They had their shopping trip separated into several separate transactions to get $10 off several times. Now, while watching this I said to my husband,"How can they do that?" Well they couldn't. Store policy was one $10 off promo per person. So of course they called 5 friends and had them come to the store ASAP so they could get the promo for each transaction.

Shopper's will run a promo sometimes where you spend $75 and get a $10 gift card for gas or Tim Horton's but let's be real here. SDM is really expensive so if you are not purchasing $75 worth of goods at sale price and using coupons you may as well just go to Tim Horton's and just buy yourself a $10 gift card.

Seasonal Cycles
Earlier in the year you will find healthier items on sale for people who think losing weight is a great New Year's Resolution. In the summer months you will find good sales on things like sports drinks, Jello, sunscreen, frozen quick meals and condiments. For back to school there are always juice boxes, prepackaged items like cereal bars, juice boxes and oatmeal/cereals.

My favourite time of year to shop is at year end around the holidays. In store you will find mini recipe books with coupons. I combine those with sales and usually get things like:skim evaporated milk, large bags of flour, oats, baking powder, chocolate chips, crackers, Low fat cream cheese canned pumpkin, tea, coffee,Glade candles(usually free with coupon and sales)

I actually just picked up a few coupons yesterday for condensed milk that I use for holiday baking.that are good til Dec 31and French's Mustard Buy 2 save $1 because I know it will be going on sale soon. Always keep your eye open for coupons on the store shelf so that when that items goes on sale you have coupons for it. 
Monthly Cycles

Sales generally run in cycles. Let's say you really like Ragu pasta sauce
  • Regular price is $2.29

  • Ragu goes on sale for 99 cents every 3 months

  • If you purchase 8 jars a month for 3 months you would need about 24 jars.
In store the usual limit is 6 jars. What I would do is purchase 6 jars and get my husband to purchase 6 jars and we would pay $11.88 total. Then I would head down the road to Zellers or Walmart and Price Match the item. Zellers will let you Price Match up to 6 of one item. I would do another 6 for me and 6 for my husband. So all together I paid $23.76 for 24 jars as opposed to 24 jars @ $2.29= $54.96 That's a difference of $31.20!

Offers of Interest

Checkout 51 Offers

Check out Ebates.ca! It's a great website that actually pays you Cash Back every time you shop online and it's free to join! Ebates.ca works with over 650 stores that ship to Canada including Indigo.ca, Amazon.ca, eBay, Sears, Old Navy, SHOP.ca, Forever21 and Groupon.

Looking for more money earning surveys for Canadians?  Get more here!

Happy Couponing!
Deanna aka Money Saving Canadian Mom