Category Archives: Couponing

Layers of Savings: How to Save on Groceries


I rarely pay full price for  anything at the grocery store and try to stack on as many layers of savings as possible! And while I’ve not yet encountered the “perfect storm” in terms of being able to combine all of these layers at the same time, I have had some pretty extreme savings by combining 5 or 6 of these discounts.

Sale Price

  • Most grocery items go on sale at least once every few months. I use the Flipp app to check sale prices of every item on my shopping list and price-match it at Walmart or Real Canadian Superstore so that I’m not spending more time/money/energy hopping from store to store. Starting with a sale price is the foundation of all of the other layers – I don’t usually redeem a coupon or claim a cash back refund unless the item is on sale to begin with.

Manufacturer’s Coupon

  • I have a fairly complete collection of coupons ready to redeem when an item goes on sale. Again, I rarely redeem a coupon on a full-priced item – it will go on sale, eventually!  There are lots of places to get coupons in Canada:
  1. mail order coupons (WebSaver,, GoCoupons, P&G BrandSaver, brand facebook pages, etc.)
  2. tear pad coupons (on the coupon wall at the store entrance or in the aisles)
  3. printable coupons (SmartSource, WebSaver,, HealthyEssentials, The Healthy Shopper)
  4. coupon swaps (many communities have a facebook group of members that meet locally. I belong to Rockland & Ottawa East Coupon Clippers – feel free to join us virtually and/or in person!)
  5. online coupon trading (Coupon Spare)
  6. specially marked packaging (coupons on cereal boxes are common – check out this Savings Train that ended up saving me over $40 with cereal box coupons)

Cash Back Rebate

  • I check the cash back rebate apps regularly and will purchase featured items on my shopping list if they match my coupons and are on sale. I earned enough money with Checkout51 to pay for my iPad within a year of signing up! There are a number of cash back rebate programs available to Canadians – here’s my blog post over on CommonCentsMom with more details about how you can Get Cash Back on your Grocery Receipt.
  1. Checkout51
  2. SnapSaves
  3. CartSmart
  4. Zweet

Store Coupon

  • Retail stores often have their own coupons to pick up in the store, clip from their flyer, flash on your mobile device, or print online. Some stores (Walmart, for example) will accept a competitor’s store coupon for a specific product (not store-wide savings) so I’m always on the lookout for coupons to print/clip to match to sale prices. Some of my favourites are:
  1. Shoppers Drug Mart printable coupons with e-mail subscription e.g. $20 OFF when you spend $75 or more
  2. Target SmartSource printable coupons can be stacked with a manufacturer’s coupon
  3. Coupon Zone tear pad coupons can be stacked with a manufacture’s coupon at the Loblaws family of stores
  4. Rexall printable coupons with e-mail subscription e.g. 20% OFF entire purchase when you spend $25 or more

Other major chains that have their own printable coupons include Metro, Whole Foods, and the Overwaitea Food Group family of stores. Check the website and facebook page of your favourite stores to find out if they offer store coupons.

Mail-in Rebate

  • Cleaning and household products in particular often have a mail-in rebate to try a new product for FREE. Dishwasher tab, air freshner, and handsoap companies are particularly fond of mail-in rebate products. Be sure to submit the rebate form with receipt immediately after purchasing the item so that you don’t miss the expiry date or limited supply offer. Check for specially marked packaging, tear pad rebate forms, or the product websites and facebook pages for printable rebate forms.

Loyalty Program

  • Earning back loyalty points is an easy way to tack on another layer of savings at the grocery store. If you take the time to calculate how much your points are worth when you redeem them, you can roughly calculate whether or not it’s worth shopping at a particular store to earn the loyalty points, or save money on gas by price-matching with the rest of your grocery items. Some of my favourite loyalty points programs for groceries include:
  1. Shoppers Optimum Points
  2. Air Miles
  3. PC Plus
  4. Club Sobeys

Credit Card Reward

  • Although the savings are minimal in comparison to sale prices, coupons, and rebates, earning 1-3% back in points/cash dividend is another simple way to add on another layer of savings at the grocery store. Bit by bit, a cash back dividend, travel rewards, or points towards a gift catalog or gift cards do add up. If you end up paying any interest on the credit card, however, you’ll be negating these savings, and beyond. Credit Card rewards are only applicable if you’re able to pay the entire statement balance by the due date each month.

Store Perk

  • No tax, a free gift with purchase, scratch & save cards, bonus loyalty points, etc. are another way to save money at the grocery store and might be enough of a perk to make it worth driving to a particular store instead of price-matching in a one-stop shop. Be wary of some of the free gift card offers, however, which require a future minimum purchase with limited expiration dates – those aren’t necessarily a guaranteed layer of savings if you have no need, or are unable to make it back to the store within the specified dates.

When an item has multiple layers of savings … try to stock up

Keeping this kind of layered saving in mind, we should look past the sale price or the value of a coupon and calculate the out of pocket price (oop). When an item has multiple layers of savings and the oop price is as low as it’s going to get, try to stock up on the item. Within reason, of course! No basements full of bbq sauce and toothpaste, please – they both have expiry dates!

Do you have any additional layers of savings to help you cut costs at the grocery store? Drop a line in the comments below – I love hearing from other savvy shoppers!

Christa Clips Coupons in Flyers!

Flyers are another place to find coupons to clip. Christa Clips shares 3 Easy Steps to maximize your coupon savings!

Flyers are another place to find coupons to clip. Christa Clips shares 3 Easy Steps to maximize your coupon savings!

I’m often asked about where to find coupons to save on groceries. Now that I’m relying more and more on online flyers and mobile flyer apps, I have to remind myself to check my flyer bag for coupons to clip – there are often 5-10 coupons to clip each week. And while I may never redeem the coupons, I feel it’s worth the few extra minutes of my time to clip the coupons and have them handy as I’m building my shopping list or for when there’s an unadvertised or clearance sale while I’m out shopping.

3 Easy steps for Using Coupons in Flyers:

  1. Scan your flyers and clip coupons for products that you use, even if you don’t don’t shop at that store
  2. Use the Flipp app to find out if the product is on sale anywhere during the dates that the coupon is valid and “clip” the best price to your Clippings List
  3. Redeem your coupon AND price-match your clipped price with Flipp at a store that price-matches and accepts competitor’s coupons.

Mix + Match your flyer coupons while price-matching for Extreme Couponing Savings!

Walmart is an example of a store that will permit you to price match a competitor’s sale price and use a competitor’s coupon. The stores don’t have to match each other, either!


  • Coupon for FREE Axe shave gel with purchase of men’s Axe facial care product clipped from Jean Coutu flyer
  • Axe facial care products on sale for $3.99 in Shoppers Drug Mart flyer
  • Price-match the flyer sale price and redeem the coupon for the FREE product at Walmart

Don’t stop there … keep adding on more layers of savings!

To add more layers of savings to the coupon and sale price, check for a cash back rebate using one/all of these cash back rebate apps:

Using coupons from flyers, price-matching a competitor’s flyer, and claiming cash back rebates are all easy ways to cut your grocery bill. Here are some other blog posts I’ve written with more step-by-step tips about how to price match and use the cash back apps here in Canada:

Happy Couponing!

The Little Coupon that Could! (How Couponing Has Changed My Saving Philosophy)

The Little Coupon that Could!

Christa Clips: Save-at-Home-Mom shares how small savings like this have helped shape her savings philosophy and justify leaving her career as a teacher to save her family money.

This little $1 OFF coupon would only make a small dent against the full price of $10.99 for 24 rolls of toilet paper. I totally “get” why the naysayers believe “it’s not worth my time to clip coupons!” and certainly would never expect anyone to buy into the notion that couponing allows people to quit their jobs.
Yet…that’s exactly what I did!

Added to a sale price and another $1 cash back rebate from Snap Saves, this little $1 OFF coupon (from GoCoupons) ended up contributing to 88% savings. And while I certainly don’t save that much on every item on my grocery list, it’s rare for me to pay more than 50% for most items.

Having the time to watch for sales, clip coupons, and stay on top of the latest apps and saving programs is one of the perks of being a Save-at-Home-Mom! I’m working hard to find ways to cut our spending in all areas of our family budget, and let’s face it. This is one grocery staple that I’m not willing to cut!

Learning to coupon has played a big role in helping me shape my philosophy about saving & spending.

Couponing on it’s own does not provide enough weekly savings for me to justify leaving my career as a teacher trainer in order to save money. But learning to coupon over the past 3 years has played a big role in helping shape my saving/spending philosophy. In a nutshell, I find myself thinking “I just spent a few minutes trying to save $2 on that item, I’m going to be careful not to waste it on something else.”

This frame of mind has helped me embrace some good ole fashioned frugality that I’d lost somewhere along the way:

  • do not waste.  Hydro, water, food.
  • new-to-me is just fine.  Hand-me-downs, consignment, garage sales, community buy & sell groups are a great way to save AND earn.
  • wait for a sale. Appliances, vehicles, insurance, phone/tv services, clothing, entertainment, groceries. It all goes on sale, has a coupon, or comes with a perk at some point. Spending a bit of extra time and effort can result in big savings.

And so my new job includes finding ways for our family to save money so that I can be home with our children. Bit by bit, it all adds up, and so far, our weekly savings and work-from-home income are greater than what I’d be making if I was to return to a job outside of the home (saving over $40/day on daycare is a good start).

Can I continue to find ways to save as the cost of living increases and our children grow into more expensive activities, appetites, & apparel?

I know i can. I know i can!