Many of us have seen the savvy Couponing Moms on television getting unbelievable deals across the United States. Due to different laws, we are unable to do the same in Canada. However, there are some Moms who know how to save and coupon, like Karen Del Ben, The Canadian Couponing Chick! Thebabyspot.ca sat down with Karen to give us the scoop on couponing
How did you start couponing?
I started couponing approximately 5 years ago, shortly after I got married. I had never really gone grocery shopping on my own, since I had lived at home until I got married. I quickly noticed how much a simple grocery shopping outing cost, and started following my mother’s footsteps with clipping coupons. However now, I have surpassed what my mother has taught me and she frequently calls me to trade coupons and to help her with online coupons.
How did you start the Canadian Couponing Chick?
Canadian Couponing Chick is a hobby of mine. I was encouraged by friends and family to start documenting my shopping trips and tips. I started blogging about my weekly shopping trips on http://canadiancouponingchick.blogspot.ca/ and have also done some private couponing classes to help teach others the basics of couponing. Within the past year, I have also started a Facebook page where I post links to online freebies only to help others save more money.
How many hours a week does it take to coupon?
It really depends on what coupons are released on Facebook or websites every day. Some days it might take me 20 minutes to search and order my online coupons or it could take me up to an hour to cut them out of flyers and organizing them into my binder.
How can a busy parent stay organized while couponing, do you have any tips?
The best advice I have for couponing parents is to do a little every day. It can be a daunting task to stay organized. During the work week, its best to collect your coupons and organize them in your binders or folders; Thursday and Friday grocery flyers are delivered to your door. These are the days to start planning out your next shopping trip. Meal planning will help you stay organized with exactly what you need to buy each week and will help eliminate any wasted food. Another important tip is to follow product companies on Facebook. Many companies post coupons on Facebook that can be either printed or sent to your home. You can also follow me on Facebook to get up to date freebies that are posted daily.
What has been your biggest save?
Over the years I have had many big saving shopping trips. My most recent trip was a trip to No Frills where I stocked up on bottles of Sunlight Laundry detergent. The sale price was $2.88 and I had 4 coupons for $2.00off which made each bottle 0.88₵. Laundry soap and fabric softener are the only two items that I tend to keep a stockpile of. Anytime there is a sale, I try and buy as much as I can. It’s my guilty obsession.
What free things have you received in Canada?
Over the past couple of years, I have been lucky enough to get many baby items for free. There are many companies that offer free samples of their products online. Many times when you receive the product in the mail it is accompanied by coupons to purchase more. Those coupons have really come in handy after having a baby, especially being on Maternity leave and having less of an income coming in. I keep an updated list of companies that give out freebies to new moms on my blog for anyone that is interested in following in my footsteps.
How can someone start couponing?
The best place to start is following my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/CanadianCouponChick. Every day I post links to companies that are offering coupons, freebies or contest for free items. Why go online and search out every company that had a current offer. By following me on Facebook you save yourself the time of searching multiple sites and get exactly what you want and what you need in one place.