Extreme couponers: Shoppers seek deals amid high food costs, weak loonie

TORONTO -- As the founder of savings blog Coupon Nannie, Dana Calder is always looking for a good bargain -- and she's had plenty of company lately.

See Full Article

The number of questions on her Facebook page has skyrocketed since January, and she says most of the inquiries are related to food.

"Right now, obviously groceries -- especially fruits and vegetables -- are so expensive," said the North River, N.S., resident.

Calder likes to keep site visitors and social media followers in the loop about added ways to retain cash through shop-and-save cashback apps like Checkout 51 and Zweet. But even with a wealth of digital options currently available, she still makes a point of poring through printed flyers each week to circle items that look like good deals.

"I always take coupons with me," said Calder, who keeps a folder of discount vouchers. "You never know when you'll go the store and find a sale."

Whether flyers are printed on paper or scanned for sharing online, the traditional promotional tools are proving to be more valuable than ever to cost-conscious consumers in a tough economy. As a result, distributors of discount-touting ads are seeking to widen their reach of potential shoppers.

Flyergo recently launched its sealed flyer packs within Toronto's subway system, with plans to distribute them to 50,000 commuters weekly. The intention was to reach highrise residents who may not have access to the printed promotions where they live and work, said Flyergo president Bill McDonald.

"There continues to be a strong interest in print when it comes to flyers and coupons and other deal-oriented incentives. We know a whole number of websites and apps that exist to meet that need," said McDonald, former president and publisher of Metro English Canada.

"There continues to be a strong interest, though, in print when it comes to flyers and coupons and other deal-oriented incentives. We see that both through the number of marketers that use this tool, and continue to use it in an aggressive fashion, but also just in terms of consumer experience."

He pointed to research conducted by Canadian firm BrandSpark, whose 2015 Canadian Shopper Study found print flyers "remain crucial to influencing the purchase behaviour of Canadians."

The poll of more than 65,000 shoppers found that 91 per cent check grocery store flyers on a weekly or monthly basis. While 62 per cent polled checked digital flyers on a regular basis, the majority still preferred print, the study found.

"You know you want deals but you don't know what they are -- and they're presented in a format that's appealing to the consumer," said McDonald.

Jeff Novak, brand director of RedFlagDeals.com, said online flyers are among the popular sections on the site since they started aggregating them several years ago.

"Anecdotally, we're seeing a rise in people wanting to save money on groceries and doing that price comparison.

"Previously, a lot of talk about price comparison on our site or price matching was ... 'I'm at Best Buy and I want to buy a TV and Wal-Mart has it cheaper.' ... But we're seeing it a lot more now on groceries and on packaged goods."

With the loonie hovering in the low 70-cent US range, Canadian consumers are also more sensitive to shipping charges, duties and taxes incurred from international shopping, Novak noted.

"We're seeing a lot more conversations like that: people trying to find the best way to save even small amounts of money," he said. "It doesn't seem like a lot, but if you can save 50 cents, a dollar here and there and you do it enough times, it can add up."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Asian stocks rise after Wall Street gain

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING - Asian stocks rose Wednesday after Wall Street hit new highs ahead of the two-day U.S. break for the Thanksgiving holiday. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 per cent to 3,427.66 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 per cent to 22,579.18. Source
  • Uber admits covering up 2016 hack that affected millions

    Economic CBC News
    Uber is coming clean about its coverup of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of the beleaguered ride-hailing service's customers and drivers. The revelation Tuesday marks the latest stain on Uber's reputation. Source
  • Uber reveals coverup of hack affecting 57M riders worldwide

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO - Uber is coming clean about its coverup of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of the beleaguered ride-hailing service's customers and drivers. The revelation Tuesday marks the latest stain on Uber's reputation. Source
  • Cheesecake Factory opens 1st Canadian location in Toronto

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Sweet treat lovers near Toronto can now have their cheesecake and eat it too with the opening of Canada's first Cheesecake Factory location today. The U.S. restaurant chain, which serves dozens of different kinds of desserts, announced earlier this year that it would bring its restaurant to Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre in the fall. Source
  • Meg Whitman steps down as HP Enterprise CEO

    Economic CBC News
    Meg Whitman is stepping down as the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She'll be replaced by Antonio Neri, the company's president. Whitman became CEO of the former Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2011. That company split into two in 2015, with Whitman taking helm of HPE, which is focused on selling data-centre hardware and other commercial tech gear to other big organizations. Source
  • TransCanada says Keystone oil leak was a sudden, 'immediate' event

    Economic CTV News
    BRITTON, S.D. -- A TransCanada Corp. official says he believes an estimated 210,000-gallon oil leak discovered last week in South Dakota from the Keystone pipeline was a sudden and "immediate" event. The American News reports that Erik Tatarchuk, a TransCanada vice-president, said at a Marshall County Commission meeting Tuesday that it is unlikely oil leaked long enough to soak into the soil. Source
  • Canada 'prepared for the worst' amid squabbles over NAFTA, Freeland says

    Economic CBC News
    Despite making progress on "bread and butter" issues, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said differences remain between Canada and the U.S. on a number of key chapters of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Speaking to reporters as the fifth round of negotiations concluded in Mexico City, the Toronto-area minister said "significant" sticking points include the U.S. Source
  • TTC CEO Andy Byford leaving Toronto to head up New York City Transit

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The chief executive officer of Toronto's transit agency is leaving his post to take a job as president and CEO of New York City Transit. Andy Byford -- who announced his resignation Tuesday, six years after joining the Toronto Transit Commission -- will remain on the job until Dec. Source
  • NAFTA: Deadlock on hard issues as round concludes

    Economic CTV News
    MEXICO CITY -- Another round of NAFTA talks wrapped up with all key issues still deadlocked Tuesday as negotiators prepared to leave Mexico City with a plethora of question marks lingering over the trade deal. Source
  • Shareholders urge TransCanada to back Keystone XL despite risk

    Economic CBC News
    TransCanada Corp. should push ahead with a $10-billion Keystone XL pipeline expansion after the state of Nebraska on Monday approved a route that would raise the cost of the controversial project, some shareholders said. The approval quashed the last regulatory hurdle for the nearly decade-old project, but the Nebraska Public Service Commission denied TransCanada's preferred route. Source