As I talked a little about yesterday, there are many differences between American and Canadian coupons and coupon usage. My manager at work, Alana, suggested I do extreme couponing as one of my months after watching TLC’s Extreme Couponing. Since then, I’ve had many people mention the show to me. I don’t have cable, but I have watched some clips of the show online (click here to see a few). And because of the huge interest in the show, TLC is now making a series out of Extreme Couponing, premiering Wednesday April 6th – for those of you that have cable and want to watch some serious (and sometimes seriously crazy) couponers. These people (mostly women) dumpster dive for coupons, stockpile hundreds (or even thousands) of the same item, and save hundreds of dollars at the register by using and combining their coupons. Unfortunately, things here in Canada are different. Over the next two days I will examine a few of the differences between Canadian and American coupon policies and why it’s harder to save as much money in Canada.
#1. The biggest reason Americans can save more money with coupons than Canadians can is because of coupon stacking. Coupon stacking is when more than one coupon is used for the same product (each coupon must have a different UPC code). In the United States, products can be bought for free by getting things on sale and using more than one coupon. The only store in Canada that allows coupon stacking is London Drugs. Unfortunately, they are only in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and not in Ontario where I am. All other stores in Canada only permit using one coupon for each product. That means it’s much harder to get a great deal, especially on higher priced items.
#2. Canada rarely has coupons for produce, meat, and fish (besides the $1 or $2 off coupons for products that are to be at their best before date the following day). Quoting from a great Wallet Pop article on the differences between American and Canadian couponing:
“They have a lot more promotions in American stores and they will print coupons on the back of receipts,” says Steven Zussino, a Victoria resident who manages the coupon blog Grocery Alerts with his wife Lina. “We don’t have coupons for fresh produce, chicken, ground beef or ribs and it also comes down to the difference in population. With 350 million people there are many more grocery chains, so there are many more incentives to get people into the store.”
More to come about the differences between American and Canadian couponing tomorrow…