Learning: Extreme Couponing in Alberta Video

Featured on a recent episode of Alberta Prime Time, this video is a great example of extreme couponing in Canada! This mother of 5 buys her food, formula, groceries, diapers, laundry detergent and more with just $50 a week! Watch this video to learn how she accomplishes this and see pictures of her amazing stockpile!

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To learn how to accomplish savings like this when you shop, subscribe to Coupons Canada blog and start extreme couponing to save money just like Carrie!

Review: Extreme Couponing {S1E9}

TLC Extreme Couponing Review

Review: Season 1, Episode 9

Here’s my review of Extreme Couponing – Season 1, Episode #9, which aired May 25, 2011:

First up was coupon shopper Amber, a 30 year-old mother of 4 from Sahuarita, Arizona, boasting about her ability to feed her family of 6 for $50/week. Her 600 lbs. of frozen food stockpile is displayed in 6 various freezers, and says she “needs to restock” hand soap because currently she only has 20. Really, 20 hand soap isn’t enough? Maybe because she’s a nurse she believes in excessive hand washing, I’m not sure. Amber blatantly asks “why get 1 when you can get 100?”, which makes me wonder if she’s a better candidate for the show Hoarders.

Amber is a “rookie couponer”, and admits that starting couponing was intimidating at first, but adds that she makes her family collect and clip coupons while she’s away at work in the day. Her family is shown clipping together at the dining room table, as well as going along on the shopping trip.

On her “biggest haul ever”, one of the items Amber buys is Motrin for $2.49. She has a coupon that gives her $6 off the purchase of 2, so that is why she fills her cart with pain medication – she gets the overage (or credit) of $1 applied to the other items she is buying, not because she suffers from frequent headaches.

Lessons from Amber: I like the fact that Amber involves her whole family in the coupon process, and her story is a great example of how family support can make coupon shopping easier. In addition, Amber’s smart use of the $6 coupon for the $5 item shows that buying the Motrin with a coupon resulted in a profit, not just free product. However, not all stores give the full price of the coupon on the purchase of an item that costs less, but currently in Canada you can get the overage applied to your basket at Walmart – so make sure you know the store policy and don’t assume you will get the overage amount.

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The second part of tonight TLC’s Extreme Couponing episode featured Amanda, age 24, a return couponer from a previous show. Amanda shops in Cincinnati, Ohio, and on this episode she goes shopping for herself, her husband Billy, and her 85-year old grandmother, in which she achieves a 99% savings on her grocery shopping! However, to accomplish these tremendous savings, she has to check out with 8 different transactions, with 3 simultaneous registers, and keep her 500 coupons organized for each of the 8 individual transactions.

Amanda on Extreme Couponing

Amanda from Ohio

It was interesting that Amanda compared the high of coupon shopping to “being on crack” and says she feels like she’s “just done a bunch of crystal meth”. I think TLC could have deleted that part of the interview, since this is a couponing show, and not A&E’s Intervention.

Anyways, Amanada’s husband Billy accompanies her to do her shopping, but she emasculates him often, first by telling him to “keep walking, keep walking”, and although she admits he is helpful, she says “he must follow her direct orders”. She barks “out of my way” and then yells at him for misplacing the last envelope of coupons at the till. I think Billy should make her do her shopping by herself, and refuse to carry all that stuff upstairs when she gets home. If you missed Amanda’s initial appearance on the show, in which Billy dutifully carried all her purchases into his man cave, you can watch it here.

Anyways, on today’s show, Amanda has ordered some of her items ahead, and for the first time I was encouraged to hear someone on the show say that “wiping the shelves is BAD”! Almost every week I watch Extreme Couponing only to be left frustrated at the shoppers who clear off the shelf and have no consideration of other people who might want to buy that item. It was refreshing to hear someone had planned ahead and say that shelf clearing is not an accepted couponing practice!

Lessons from Amanda: Well, one lesson we don’t want to learn is that couponing is similar to drugs! However, we can learn from Amanda’s organization – her coupons divided into envelopes for each transaction is a good tip for staying organized at the checkout. And as already mentioned, we can learn that shelf clearing is not acceptable, and if you plan on buying a large amount you should call the store and pre-order the quantity you need.

Coupon Stacking in Edmonton, Alberta

CTV Edmonton News

Local media reports on coupon stacking, May 2011.

CTV Edmonton aired a story called “The Scoop on Clipping Coupons” yesterday, which said coupon stacking was a “new twist on something old”. Serena Mah (reporter) covered the story and went along with the coupon shoppers to make a purchase with coupons stacks at London Drugs. If you do not know what “coupon stacking” is, please read this post.

Serena was amazed to find that girl who used coupons (stacking) paid $27, but without the coupons the total would have been $140 for the same items! In my opinion, it was a good demonstration of how using coupons can really add up to huge savings on things you buy everyday (they showed diapers, cat litter and laundry soap in her cart). It was great to see a local station put coupon use in the spotlight, and was encouraged by the positive feedback and interest the story generated on the CTV Edmonton Facebook page.

Here is the video of the story, feel free to leave your comments below.

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To learn how to accomplish savings like this when you shop, subscribe to Coupons Canada blog and learn extreme couponing, Canadian style!

Saving Money vs. Retail Price

Have you seen these statements before? “We guarantee the lowest prices!” or “We’ll beat any advertised price!” or “If you find a cheaper price, simply show us and we will match.” These are examples of wording used by retailers to advertise that their stores offers a price guarantee. Do you really know what that means?

You’ve probably heard these claims before, often from major retailers who want you to shop at their store. Price guarantees are beneficial for retailers to gain a competitive edge, as well as a great money saving tool for consumers! Here is a few notes on how price guarantees can be utilized by both:

the lowest price ad

A smart shopper knows that "we can't be beat" is not always true.

Retailers: Often retailers advertise price guarantees to communicate with consumers that they have the lowest price. They want you to put your confidence in their store as being the “best” store to shop at, which will result in you spending more money at their store. Psychology has a major part to do with marketing, but in general, if the company can instill confidence in the mind of the buyer, they will often succeed at selling more of their product. However, as a smart shopper you need to realize that just because they claim to have the lowest price, it is not always true! That’s where price matching comes in handy because it allows you to get the lowest price possible on what you are buying, so learning this skill becomes a necessity for consumers looking to save money.

Consumers: From the opposite perspective, consumers can use price guarantees as a tool for saving money, as well as a way to always get sale prices on the things you buy! First, realize that just because the store advertises their “lowest” price, doesn’t mean that you can’t find it cheaper somewhere else. Second, do your research–look at all your flyers in detail and determine which stores offer price guarantees. Some stores print it in bold print right on the front, but some will list it in the fine print on the last page. For example, Walmart Canada recently started advertising their “Ad Match” right on the front of their flyer–look for it in a blue circle. If you are unsure if a store will match an advertised sale price, call the store and ask, then make a list of which stores in your area offer price guarantees. Also research the items you want to buy and compare the prices of that particular item throughout all the current flyers and find the lowest sale price. Finally, if you find a lower price on something you want to buy, take the ad with you to the store that offers price guarantee to prove a lower advertised price. Following these steps can help you avoid paying full retail price on almost anything ever again!

So, now you know what price guarantees are and how they are used by both retailers and consumers. In part two of this series we will focus on how to use price guarantees effectively.

What is Extreme Couponing?

Many people are looking for ways to save money, especially as prices rise and our economy remains stagnant. The notion of buying everyday household essentials at little or not cost may sound too good to be true at first, but it is actually a reality across Canada! More and more Canadian consumers are learning the skill of using coupons to save huge amounts of money, and this method of shopping has been labeled ‘extreme couponing’. So, if you’ve been looking for a great way to reduce your expenses and save money on the stuff you buy all the time, you might be very interested in learning what this technique is all about!

A simple definition of extreme couponing is this:

Coupons + Store sales and rewards = Huge savings and free products

So although coupons are not a new concept, their rise in popularity and use is. This method of shopping with coupons has even grabbed the attention of television and is featured on TLC’s show Extreme Couponing every Wednesday.

Discovery TLC

'Extreme Couponing' airs on TLC every Wednesday

With this new attention to super coupon use, more and more Canadian consumers are learning how to achieve extreme savings. By learning how to use coupons and various store points programs you can stock up on everyday essentials and food at little or no cost, which will save you money and make you an extreme couponer!

Shopping with Coupons: Myth #3

Myth #3: Coupons are complicated and confusing

It is easy for new coupon users to get overwhelmed with the different types of coupons and the various store coupon policies, or find themselves confused with all the online terms on coupon forums. However, if you are serious about saving money, you must approach couponing as a learned skill that has to be taught and practiced in order to be successful.

Shopping with coupons

Myth #3

Extreme Couponing is like any other skill you learn in life—it takes study and some practice, but the result of your hard work will be rewarded when you save lots of money using coupons. Don’t expect to learn everything in one or two days, or think you are going to go out shopping tomorrow after reading this and save 92% on your grocery bill. Instead, set realistic goals like learning one new technique each week, and practice each one before you try the next. Retraining yourself and the way you shop cannot happen overnight, but the benefits can be tremendous if you take the necessary steps to learn the art of shopping with coupons one step at a time.

Shopping with Coupons: Myth #2

Myth #2: Using coupons makes you look cheap or poor

Does shopping with coupons make you Ebenezer Scrooge?

The idea that coupons make you look like tight-wad Ebenezer Scrooge is a stereotype many people have adapted. To shop with coupons and start saving money, you will need to overcome this stereotype and realize that couponing will result in more money in your pocket, and ultimately you will be a smarter shopper, not a cheap one. Furthermore, once you stand at the till with the line up behind you gawking with amazement at your savings, you will overcome any feeling of frugality, and proudly hold up your arms-length receipt with pride! Coupon shopping is empowering! Once you learn how to save money with coupons, you will be a smarter, more educated, and wiser consumer–and probably wealthier too. So take those preconceived ideas of couponing out of your mind and say “Bah humbug!” to paying high retail prices ever again!

Shopping with Coupons: Myth #1

Myth #1: Coupons only result in small savings

This is the number one reason why most Canadians don’t use coupons—they believe that a coupon for $1 off isn’t worth their time or effort because they are only saving one dollar. However, if you saw a loonie lying on the ground in the parking lot when you came out of the store, would you keep on walking and not bend over and pick it up? Of course not!

Loonie

Would you leave a loonie on the ground?

So why would you ignore the savings a coupon can offer but pick up the coin? Essentially they are the same thing—you must change your perspective and view coupons the same as cash in your pocket. Just imagine if you picked up a loonie every time you came out of a store! You would soon have enough change to buy a donut and coffee at Tim Horton’s! Therefore, if you could save a $1 at every store you shop at this week, you would also have enough extra money to buy a donut and coffee—they both have the same output. Changing your perspective is the first step to unleashing the power of coupons.


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