Okay, so its a Saturday and there isn’t much to talk about with the markets closed and of course the awesome long weekend filled with food, football and friggen deals. Today I was at the store and probably bought about $45 worth of groceries and my bill came up to only about $7. Mistake? no. Coupons.

Some of my female friends laugh when they accompany me to the grocery store while I scavenge the lanes for products that are listed on my coupons. I either send away for these freebies, or simply get in the mail for time to time for being on a mailing list. Its all name brand items of course, sometimes new products, but mainly its staple goods like milk, bread, and cereals.

Just today, I called my friend and told her what my plans were for today, some family things, close a house sale, and then get some groceries before I come home. There was a pause, a long one for that matter, I thought my Blackberry had dropped the call. But as usual, this girl sighed and gave me a lecture about how I am being cheap. I know she is just joking around, but I know others that actually have an issue with using coupons. But my question is, how do you save money? Do you buy a less known brand of cola instead of Pepsi/Coke? I mean, there has to be some sort of cutting of corners in order to save money.

Also, companies are giving these coupons out to anyone, its not like I spend hours a day or week looking for a free bread coupon. They come in the mail, I collect them and then use them when I make my regular rounds. Sometimes when I use more than a few coupons for free goods, I get looks from the cashier, maybe its because I am smiling at the fact I saved money or maybe she thinks I’m some sort of nut for having an envelope of coupons in my jacket pocket. Whatever her reason, it does not bother me, I know deep inside, she is jealous for having to pay full price for something I got for 50% less or not more.

Coupons have been around since the beginning…

[ according to a few sites, the origin of the coupon came from the Coca-Cola company in 1887 who decided to give out free drinks when they first started. This was marketing genius as more people were given the chance to get addicted (literally if you know what I mean hehe) ]

Coca-cola coupon first used

Coca-cola coupon first used

…and they are only getting more popular as times get tough with the current economy. For me, it has nothing to do with the current fiscal situation, but its habit from years of finding ways to cut costs without any sacrifice. Saving 50 cents here, a free jug of milk which normally cost $3, it all adds up to hundreds of dollars each year. Wouldn’t you like that? I know do.

Anyways, here are the links I use depending on the country I am in:

USA: www.slickdeals.net <----website with tonnes of deals, coupons, freebies, I remember getting free Pizza, free Starbucks, coupons, samples, free gas cards, a deal on a LCD TV and might I also add, a rock bottom price on the laptop that I'm currently typing from.

USA: www.coupons.com <---a site with just that, hundreds of coupons for almost anything you can think of. They all add up and you can use them all the time. Just select, print, save!

CANADA: www.redflagdeals.ca <---- its the same as the slickdeals site, only for Canadian stores. Its pretty good, I have only used it lately and must admit, I got free coupons for full size foods, products, coupons for dinners and many other things. I wish I knew about it before but hey, its never too late!

CANADA: www.save.ca <---- this is a site with coupons (hundreds) for Canadian stores. They are very useful and saved me a lot of money on MACH 3 Razors this year and many other things that I normally purchase. Any guy, or girl that get them for their man knows, razors are an expensive, but necessary item and I cant thank that site enough for the coupons it provided.

Another tip that anyone can use is, search the company that makes your favorite items, like Nabisco, Kellogs, Post, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, etc. Just look at who made the cookies you love or the bread you normally eat (Sara Lee perhaps?) and there are email lists you can subscribe to or coupons you can directly print off. I have a "junk" email address I use for my coupon subscriptions and look at that once in a while to see what is being offered.

Hopefully this all helps a few of you out there who like me have a coupon fetish (as my friend calls it)

Until next time...

Aman, MBA

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