Category Archives: Couponing

I Waited for the Right Promo and Got What I Wanted!

Save-at-Home-Mom Christa Clips finds a laundry solution without having to pay $49.99 full price for this Neat Freak quad at Canadian Tire

Save-at-Home-Mom Christa Clips finds a laundry solution without paying $49.99 full price for this Neat Freak quad sorter at Canadian Tire.

“Saving” includes cutting down on time AND money on household chores for me.  Our kids (6+8) are coming home blissfully filthy from the school playground each day and I’ve  found myself spending more and more time in the laundry room sorting colours – time I’d much rather devote to being outside with the kids getting blissfully filthy, too! I’ve had my eye on these laundry sorters for a while now and have been waiting for a good promotion to go along with a sale price. The two storms collided today!

This Neat Freak quad sorter was on sale for $37.49 (reg.$49.99) and I had several dollars in Canadian Tire money to redeem. Being able to tack on a 3rd layer of savings sealed the deal for me today:

June 5, 2014 Canadian Tire Gift Card Promotion

  • Spend $100 or more and get a $25 Canadian Tire Gift Card
  • Gift Card valid June 6-July 5, 2014
  • no minimum purchase required when redeeming gift card
  • gift card cannot be combined with any other coupons. Do you suppose Canadian Tire money counts as coupons? hmmmm….
Gift Card promotions with no minimum purchase required can be considered TRUE % savings. If you have to spend $100 to redeem the gfit card, consider whether or not it's really saving you money in the end.

Gift Card promotions with no minimum purchase required can be considered TRUE % savings. If you have to spend $100 to redeem the gift card, consider whether or not it’s really saving you money in the end.

And while at the cashier, I picked up a coupon for $2 OFF our next BBQ propane tank exchange, and 12x Canadian Tire Money with my next gas fill-up over 15L.

I love these layers of savings! And now that I will have my laundry loads pre-sorted, it will be even easier to pop in a load during Off-Peak hydro hours and get outside to enjoy the day!

How do you save time and money on laundry? I’d love to hear your ideas – drop a line in the comments below!

 

 

Save on your Summer Outings with Coupons!

The not-so 'spensive stuff is what they'll remember about their summer by Christa Clips Save-at-Home-MomLooking back at the best summers of my life, it’s the not-so-‘spensive stuff like sprinklers, kites, campfires, and sandcastles that stand out in my mind. And while many of us are trying to cling to the notion of frugal fun by keeping our summer plans simple and affordable, there are some pretty fantastic attractions that we’d hate to miss out on.

Here is a (continually growing) list of coupons and discounts for admission to Canadian tourist attractions and family activities. Check back often to see which coupons and savings tips have been added, and please drop a line in the comments below with other suggestions to add to the list!

Why pay full price for your summer outings when there are discounts to be had?! Don’t forget to be a tourist in your own community and check online before heading out to a museum, festival, park, or restaurant – there are often coupons to print or flash on your mobile device!

Ontario Coupons:

Quebec Coupons:

  • Passeport Vacances Coupons – printable coupons for major attractions throughout the Province of Quebec including LaRonde coupons, Parc Omega coupons, Parc Safari coupons, IMAX coupons, coupons for white water rafting, etc.

British Columbia Coupons:

  • Hello BC Tourism Coupons – printable coupons & online deals for attractions throughout the Province of British Columbia
  • Coupons BC – a collection of printable coupons for restaurants, activities and attractions in BC

Daily Deal Sites

Entertainment Book

The Entertainment Coupon Savings Book has several Canadian editions for major cities with 100s of perforated coupons and discounts on the mobile app for tourist attractions, museums, restaurants, and services. The new editions are released in August of each year and Entertainment Book coupons expire in November – get one per city that you’re visiting and leave it with your host or hotel staff when you leave if you’re not coming back!

CAA

Check your CCA or other automotive club membership package to see which discounts you are entitled to as a member.

Free Admission

Many museums and festivals have FREE admission during certain times. Take a few minutes to check the official website and/or facebook page of your destination before heading out to find out when the FREE admission times are.

UsedEverywhere.com

Swap out your old gear and update your backyard with new-to-you toys and summer accessories – you’ll be surprised at what your neighbours have to sell on your city’s UsedEverywhere site. Think “sprinklers”!!

So whether you’re keeping your summer plans simple or you’re preparing for the staycation of a lifetime, be savvy about your summer plans and set aside a few minutes to plan ahead and save some money along the way with coupons and discounts on Canadian summer attractions. Wishing y’all a safe & happy summer!

 

 

 

 

4 Ways to Save on Fresh Produce

Part of the Save-at-Home-Mom stragey for Christa Clips is spending less at the grocery store without cutting down on fresh fruit and vegetables.

Christa Clips: Save-at-Home-Mom shares tips for saving money on fresh fruit and vegetables at the grocery store.

The price of fresh fruit and vegetables can be shockingly high at times and this has given rise to the notion that feeding our families whole foods is more expensive than processed and prepared foods. There are coupons for fresh produce in Canada every now and then: I redeemed the last of my strawberry coupons this week, but they’re too few and far between to be relied upon for any consistent savings.  And while growing vegetables from scraps has been a lot of fun for the kids to watch, we’d likely develop scurvy if we relied solely the meager crop yield from our frugal garden!

Trying to stay within budget while providing 2 servings of fresh fruit in each of our children’s lunchboxes plus a 3rd and often 4th serving after school and/or as dinnertime dessert is hands down the biggest challenge when it comes to grocery shopping for me. It takes a little extra time, but I try to take these 4 extra steps when grocery shopping to try to save at the grocery store.

4 Ways to Save on Fresh Produce

 

Christa Clips uses mobile apps to find the best price for produce and price-matches with her mobile phone.

Christa Clips uses mobile apps to find the best price for produce and price-matches with her mobile phone.

1. Price Match the lowest flyer price on fruits and vegetables. With the advent of so many Apps that Save You Time & Money at the Grocery Store, saving on your grocery bill has become so slick and effortless. By finding the lowest price for whichever fruits and vegetables are on sale on any given week, I use my mobile phone or iPad to “flash at the cash” and price-match all of my produce. Yes! We can price-match fruit and vegetables at the grocery store! My favourite flyer app has got to be Flipp – I can search by item, clip the best price to my shopping list, and flash the flyer on my phone to make sure I’m paying the lowest possible price on an item with just a few simple taps on my phone screen.

2. Claim Cash Back Rebates. Checkout51 and SnapSaves are offering more and more cash back rebate offers for fresh produce these days. Download the apps to your mobile device and/or your home computer and upload your grocery store receipts to earn money. The fresh produce offers seem to run out early so be to apply for the rebates as early as possible when they’re offered.

3. Buy early, mid and late in the sale week.  We have a small kitchen and a small fridge. We don’t have room for 4 melons on the counter,for example, nor will we through it all before it over-ripens and/or we’re just plain sick of it! I try, therefore, to buy just enough for 1 or 2 servings of each fruit that is on sale (or that I’m price-matching) when the new flyer week starts (Thursday in Quebec, Friday in Ontario – I shop in both provinces). I’ll pop in again early in the week to buy a 2nd round of servings and then one last visit on the last day of the flyer sale. On that last trip, I sometimes get 2 servings of the fruit if I’m able to get some that are ready to eat now and some that will ripen in a few days’ time.  It seems simple, but keeping to this rhythm really helps to space out our servings (avoiding strawberry overdose!) and keeps our waste to a minimum.

Tip:  don’t hesitate to ask your produce manager which days certain fruits or vegetables are due to arrive at the store:  it’s my experience that they”re usually able to share the details right off the top of their head and are more than happy to do so.

Apple picking each fall is a family favourite for Christa Clips: Save-at-Home-Mom

Apple picking each fall is a family favourite for Christa Clips: Save-at-Home-Mom

4. Buy in Season.  Most fruit comes down in price at one time or another during the calendar year. We enjoyed our easy peel clementines all winter, for example, and will just have to wait until they come down in price again before we start buying them on a regular basis again. Watermelons are due to come down any week now (yay!) and it won’t be long before we’re into autumn blueberries and apples on sale. If there are not enough sale prices in any given week to provide a diversity in fruits, sure, I’ll splurge on something full price (eek!) … I’m not going to make my family eat strawberries, grapes and bananas every day of the week. More often than not though, there are at least 5 or 6 different fruits on sale and we are able to make it through without any overdoses!

 Tip:  picking your own, or buying directly from the fruit producer in season at farmers markets is usually the least expensive option. Flying to the tropics to buy fresh bananas, however, makes slightly less economic sense pointed out our 8 year old daughter.  Smarty pants!

Some things that I do NOT rely on to save money on fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Clearance Rack.  I’ve just not had luck when buying fruit or vegetables on the clearance rack (usually 50% OFF) which are marked down because they are “ready-to-eat” aka past their peak in terms of ripeness and shelf life. That being said, if I were going to be making a big batch of sauce or soup it would likely be just fine; I just never seem to find the right fruits/veggies for my needs on the rack. I supsect my friend Maranda of Propel Wellness is beating me to the good stuff … this town just ain’t big enough for two savvy shoppers! Check out Maranda’s tips in her blog post Never Throw Out a Banana Again.
  •  Overage.  Some stores (e.g. Walmart) will credit your transaction with the left-over value of any coupons for which the price of the item was less than the coupon’s worth. There are often items which turn out to be “money makers” and couponers who have multiple copies of coupons are able to earn enough money to offset the cost items which rarely have coupons: namely their produce and meat. I’m on the fence about how I feel about this practice when it’s conducted on “extreme” scale and can’t personally justify the savings at the expense of other shoppers who find an empty shelf when they’re hoping to redeem a coupon on a sale item that week.

Even though there are not often Canadian coupons for fresh produce, by sticking to the 4 savings methods above, I consistently pay the lowest advertised price each week and keep our family eating a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. 

#CDNmoney chat co-hosts @christaclips and @commoncentsmom will chatting about How to Eat Better, for LESS at this week's twitter chat. Join us!

#CDNmoney chat co-hosts @christaclips and @commoncentsmom are hosting a twitter chat about How to Eat Better, for LESS for this week’s #CDNmoney chat. Join us!

How do you save on fresh produce? Drop a line in the comments below, and join Common Cents Mom and I for this week’s #CDNmoney twitter chat when we talk about Eating Healthy for Less!