This is a guest post from Mr. CBB. Mr. CBB is an awesome blogger, with a very popular blog, and I’m so excited to have a guest post from him. Mr.CBB runs Canadian Budget Binder where he talks to his fans about how they designed their budget, frugal tips and recipes. He also shares his family income and net worth updates.
When I first moved to Canada I never really gave much thought to coupons as I really didn’t use them back home in the UK. I mean if I noticed one I would certainly use it but I never would see them to the extent we do in Canada.
Our refrigerators for the most part in the UK are built in under the counter, similar in size to a Canadian dishwasher - maybe a bit smaller. I couldn’t fit much food into it. I was lucky to get a few vegetables, milk, juice and cheese and that’s about it. My mum and dad have the larger refrigerator like we now have here in Canada. I had to be careful what I bought as space is premium back home and I wasn’t able to stockpile like we can here.
After moving to Canada I was surfing the internet one day and came across a site called save.ca and realized you could order coupons and they would mail them to you. How cool was that? So easy! This is where couponing began for both Mrs. CBB and I. At the time we were both students so every penny mattered to us because we were saving for a down payment to purchase our first home.
A sample of the coupons you can use!
Shortly after that dream came true the real couponing took off. We now had our own space and crossed paths with other like-minded people in our community. We’ve managed to stock enough health and beauty for the next few years – some products we had enough for 10 years! We did get to the point where we felt we were spending too much money using coupons. We were 2 Newlyweds and we needed a budget. Once we started to document our expenses it was clear we were overspending even using coupons.
We have since cut back to purchasing only what we need and began meal planning. Are coupons dominating the family budget? Absolutely! More and more families are relying on coupons to make it to the next pay check simply to put a meal on the table. Students are struggling to find jobs and are left with student loans they struggle to pay back. Jobs are slim and some have to take what they can get just to get money coming in.
How Do Coupons help families save money?
- Helps to pay down debt
- Helps to stash money in a TFSA, RRSP, or RESP
- Helps pay the mortgage or rent
- Helps pay for renovations or save money in an emergency fund
- Helps take the stress off families who live pay check to pay check
- Brings families closer together by working together on the budget
- Helps encourage families to spend less than they earn and to be mindful of what they are purchasing
- Helps put food on the table
I can go on but for the most part coupons are a way of life for some people and families. The most important part I stress is to make sure you budget and don’t spend money you haven’t earned. When I hear of people using coupons and putting the shop on a credit card I hope they pay it off in full at the end of the month. Recognizing that paying the minimum balance on a credit card is not saving you money when you are using coupons with credit is imperative.
I recognize that not everyone will have the passion nor drive to use a coupon especially men although some women find frugal men sexy! I’m betting you will start to see more and more men looking to save a buck or two.
I often get asked if you can eat healthy while using coupons. Sure you can! When you are saving money on the items you would be paying full price for you are saving money you can put towards vegetables and meat, two food groups that many struggle to find coupons for. It’s important to know your pricing at the grocery store because sometimes you don’t even need a coupon to get the “best price” on a product.
To help with lowering our grocery budget (aside from coupons and sales) I started The Grocery Game Challenge on my blog. I post my weekly grocery shop along with how much I have to spend that week in the budget. I then post what coupons and savings I received and whether I beat the budget that week. We have had many fans come on board to play and post their shops. When you document what you are spending you are mindful of what is happening around you.
Many of my fans have significantly lowered their grocery budget and are happy to report they are on track now that they know where the money is going. I hope this game will encourage people to start a budget if they haven’t already.
Coupons may be dominating the family grocery budget but I leave you with this. I would rather see a family with food on the table than a family with nothing at all.
Happy Couponing.. and remember “It’s Not About How Much Money You Make It’s How You Save It”.
You can contact Mr.CBB at firstname.lastname@example.org with your success stories about debt recovery or how you paid for something big using cash. You never know it may end up on his blog!
You might also like these posts by Canadian Budget Binder
Coupons are very helpful and beneficial for families – coupons by answers.com has various coupons ranging from food to clothing, that can help you and your family save money.