More Canadians turning to coupons as food prices rise

A new survey by Dalhousie University finds even as food prices rise, many Canadians are not regular users of coupons to lower their grocery bill.

The 2022 study on coupon use in Canada found that while 45 per cent of Canadians have never used coupons, 15 per cent say they are now trying to use them more often.

“Couponing in Canada is very restrictive and to use coupons in Canada is really like a full-time job,” according to Sylvain Charlebois, a professor and researcher with Dalhousie University.

Charlebois said there is a “coupon culture” in the United States where coupons are easy to access and use and cashiers are trained to deal with coupons more efficiently at the checkout.

Charlebois feels that’s not the case in Canada.

But with food prices so high, more people are trying to use them and a food saving expert says if you do, you really can save money.

Nicole Shaubroeck, of Domain, Man., is known as Canada’s “Coupon Cutie” and has developed a loyal following on social media with her money-saving advice and tips on coupon use.

Shaubroeck said consumers want to save money and can do that using coupons, price matching, and buying items in bulk when they’re on sale.

Shaubroek said it does take time and effort, but the savings are worth it.

“I think the last big haul I did, and my total was $150 or something like that, I got my final bill down to $60 after points and coupons and all the discounts,” Shaubroeck told CTV News Toronto.

Shaubroeck said you can often find coupons in front of products on tear pads in the grocery aisle and she also has a website linked to companies where you can find coupons to print off.

Shaubroeck said she feels knowing your prices and using cash-saving apps, such as Checkout 51, can lead to big savings.

“You use things like coupons, price matching, and cash back apps and stack all these different things together and that’s when you can really get stuff for free or for cheap,” she said.

The study also found that 49 per cent feel coupons have too many restrictions and 38 per cent worried about holding up the line at the checkout. Charlebois feels the food industry should do more to promote a more coupon-friendly culture.

If you’re worried about holding up the checkout line you can start off with one or two coupons and use more as you become organized. If food prices continue to rise, expect to see more people using them at the checkout.

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