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Want to save on groceries and more in Canada? Learn how to use coupons, store policies and tricks of the trade to start saving yourself hundreds of dollars every month! Now you can take the ExtremeShopping (CDN version) online in the comfort of your own home! I've heard from so many of you who live outside of the GVRD area or who could not make it to a live class, but wanted to learn the secrets to saving hundreds of dollars each month. Now you can do so, with the online class!

Please visit the ExtremeShopping (CDN) Online class page to sign up for the class, available NOW!

Read what others are saying about the class here.

PaperMate is giving away a new pen product with the cutest name: "Inkjoy." Cute, right? You can order your free sample here. (While supplies last).

Hurray! The annual Superbowl Tostitos rebate is back, and this time it's "Spend $20 and receive $20 back in coupons!" All you have to do is buy at least $20 in participating products (listed below) all in one receipt, and submit the receipt, UPC codes and the official mail in rebate form.

I am excited to let you know that instead of just being restricted to certain stores only, this time around this deal is good at all participating retailers AND the list of items and size requirements have improved from last year's deal.

All of the coupons you will receive back are for FREE products, so they are not for $ off a product, they will be completely free!

Participating products include:

  • Lay's Potato chips
  • Tostitos tortilla chips
  • Ruffles potato chips (180g-420g/all flavours)
  • Tostitos
  • Ruffles salsa/dips (400ml-645ml/425g-432g/all varieties)
  • Pepsi
  • Mountain Dew
  • Mug
  • 7Up
  • Dr Pepper
  • Crush
  • Schweppes (all sizes/varieties)
  • Brisk beverages (all flavours/varieties/sizes)
  • Gatorade (all flavours/varieties/sizes)
  • G2 beverages (all flavours/varieties/sizes)

All items must be purchased on one receipt between December 25 2011 and February 13 2012. Circle the purchase price of each product on the receipt. The officials rules indicate the UPCs from the eligible package sizes and brands must be mailed in. However this might be a problem for chip bags as it would cause the product to become stale if you cut out the UPC and if the item is not consumed immediately. Last year we were allowed to just write the UPC code onto the receipt instead of mailing in the UPC code. I'll email the company to double check and post here when I know. UPDATE FROM TOSTITOS: If the UPCs are not included on the receipt but there is a brief explanation of the product on the receipt, that is fine. Usually if UPCs are not included there is at least a brief product description and/or manufacturer code on the receipt which is enough for us to know that it is a participating PepsiCo product. There is no need to write the UPCs on the receipt unless you choose to do it. Hope that helps!

To get the official Tostitos mail in form please visit and click on the upper left corner where you see the Buy $20 and Score $20 graphic. Please read the official rules which will print when you print the official mail in coupon offer form. It does indicate that "restrictions/conditions may apply to coupons" and to "see individual coupons for details." Limit one offer per family.

Mail and postmark by Febrruary 29 2012.

If you're in the market for Holista products, then check out the $1 coupon available here. There's also another $1 coupon in VIVA magazine.

This week's Zellers' Facebook coupon is $10 off when you spend at least $40 (before taxes) on small appliances, good for Dec 23 and 24th only.

The next time you are in your local Loblaws (in BC that would mean Superstore) location, check out the natural foods aisle and pick up your free VIVA magazine. It's got 2 pages of coupons as well as some tea samples, and interesting articles and links to eco-friendly and natural health products.

A great way to get coupons and give your two cents as a consumer is to participate in Shopper's Voice surveys - you know, the ones that come in the mail, signed "Diane Simon." Believe it or not, they are worth their weight in gold, or at least, coupons.

I received a pack of coupons courtesy of Shopper's Voice recently and thought I'd share what was in it. Coupons from Finish Quantum, Immunity-FX, Highliner, Sensodyne, Powerade, Tetley, Hydro 5 and more, even free product coupons for Arctic Gardens and Powerade. Also included was a sample of Finish Quantum.

From experience, I know their partner companies will also send out coupons and samples randomly at various times throughout the year so it really is worth your while to fill in the surveys. Even though traditionally they have asked some personal questions, there is always the opportunity to tick the box "prefer not to answer" or something similiar. I usually pick those boxes for when they ask about what bank I use and so on.

The economies in the USA and Canada are forcing consumers to watch their dollars closely, and national brands and stores are having to find ways to influence the way we spend. It may be naive to think that we are 100% in charge of making our decisions on how, what, when and why we buy - you can bet there are multiple retailers and major players figuring out how to catch and keep our attention (and hence our wallets).

I thought I'd share a few up and coming trends and behind the scenes that might be interesting to you as a consumer. First up, did you know that in the States, in some stores surveillance cameras aren't just there to watch for shoplifters? Now your actions and decision on what to buy will be captured on camera for analysis. Pepsico announced earlier this year they were partnering with Videomining to capture consumers "pathway to purchase" - basically following your feet across the store floor and capturing your shopping behaviour. Last month Videomining announced their C-Store Foodshopper Service study that will capture consumer behaviour on digital film at select Circle K, am/pm and other stores. If this seems a little "Big Brother is Watching," it's because they are - all in the interest of learning consumer behaviour and leveraging that information on how to design consumer programs, planograms, and displays - to earn your loyalty, and ultimately, your dollars.

Major brands are also diversifying their contact locations with their target market. Now not only will you find Dove products at your local grocery/pharmacy store, you can now have spa services using Dove products at Dove Spa. Similiar to that, Tide Dry Cleaners (with six locations in Canada) and Mr Clean Car Washes (only in the USA at the moment) also provide dry cleaning and oil services. (Source)

Instore experiences will also be enhanced, with instore coupons, instore new product tasting/testing, and instore reward programs seem to be on trend in regards to consumer marketing. Look for stores partnering up with programs like AirMiles to attract you to make purchases, and watch for different store brand marketing campaigns. For example, Loblaws will be distributing a new magazine called JUICE, six times a year, beginning in March 2012, to 400,00 of their loyal customers (source). Coupons, special promotions, bonus points and more will be part of the campaign to get you into Loblaw locations, purchasing Loblaw products.

Digital coupons are here to stay. Factor in the print prices, the fact that newspaper subscriptions are dropping, the increase in smartphone technology and ownership PLUS the ability to restrict mass redemption or coupon abuse, and you'll see more retailers partnering with online coupon suppliers in the future. Social media will increase even more in importance, and online sites like Facebook will become even more influential in offering coupon offers. Brands will still need to market for those who are not web-savvy or who do not want to provide their information in exchange for a coupon, or jump through the hoops to receive a coupon.

The discussion as to whether group buying sites such was Groupon and WagJag are sustainable as a means of offering deals to consumers will continue. Wagjag has now entered the grocery market, according to Techvibes. As a consumer, I enjoy getting the deals but am very aware that I am spending more as a result (buying deals that are just too good to resist). Having spoken to several vendors and finding out that they are required to provide substantial discounts as well as more than half of the purchase price to these group buy sites makes me feel a little guilty as well - and so I would prefer to buy a "groupon-esque" deal directly from the vendor versus group buy sites, but find the group buy sites to be invaluable in introducing new vendors to me in the first place.

Lower prices might mean no unions, as Target is challenging 15 Zellers' unionized locations, according to The Globe and Mail.

**UPDATE: Cindy has chosen the two winners using! The first winner (can choose either the Women's or Men's Gift Pack) is Shelby Hannah! The second winner (receives remaining Gift Pack) is Julia Edwards! Shelby and Julia, please check your emails for details on how to claim your prizes!! Thank you!***

It's crunch time and Christmas is 10 days away, and we are still promoting local businesses to help you fill your stockings! Today's feature is for Cindy Le Grier, Independent Arbonne Consultant.

Cindy is graciously offering 2 giveaways:

A. Women's Gift Set, Valued at $117

Peach Shea Butter Hair Care set, $26
Bring the sweet scent of peach and the richness of shea butter to your hair with new Peach Shea Butter Shampoo (236 mL) and Conditioner (236 mL). This gentle, sulfate-free cleansing system is infused with beneficial soy proteins and amino acids to cleanse, strengthen and condition. Safe for colour-treated hair.
The Art of Red Lipstick Limited Edition, $31
Get our show-stopping Strawberry Lipstick in a signature limited-edition Arbonne Cosmetics case. This festive, full colour red glides on easily, intensely conditions and hydrates lips, and is sure to steal the scene with each glamorous smile. (3.4g)
Eye Shadow Quad, $60
Be daring and dazzling with our richly pigmented, mineral-infused eye shadow quads and stunning new metallic shades! Designed by a professional makeup artist to deliver a high-impact expression of colour, each eye shadow palette comes with four hues and a dual-end sponge tip/defining brush applicator. Arbonne Cosmetics Smoky Eyes instruction included. (may not be colours shown)

B. Men's Gift Set, Valued at $123

FC5 Travel Mini Set, $23
Set of 6 travel-size products including Nourishing Daily Shampoo, Nourishing Daily Conditioner, Invigorating Body Cleanser, Conditioning Body Moisture, Ultra-Hydrating Hand Creme and Cooling Foot Creme in a convenient travel bag.
Aromatic Woods Candle Set, $70
Let our signature scents infuse your home and lift your spirits. Close your eyes and you're in a fragrant forest. Our candles are made from exclusive, botanically based soy blends with 100% cotton wicks for longer-lasting burn. Set includes Vanilla Amber, Cypress Bark, Bay Leaf & Ivy, Winter Woods, and White Birch candles in a beautiful, giftable box. (5 candles, 48 g each)
SKY for Men After Shave Balm, $32
Cooler than a cloud, this balm leaves the face feeling sleek and strong. (147mL)

For a chance to win one of these two gift sets (both to be given away, first name drawn gets to choose which set they want, 2nd name drawn gets the remaining set), visit AND sign the guestbook on Cindy's website, saying "MrsSmithExtremeShopper sent me to win!" and fill out your pertinent information. (Note from MrsSmith: The guestbook link is on the right side of the scroll bar when you get to Cindy's site).Gift sets will either be sent by ground shipping, or if local - hand delivered.

I think those are awesome gifts, and if you do too, and want to order, Cindy is offering some deep discounts as well. For all orders placed by January 30, 2012, you can choose one (or both!) of the following offers:
A) Receive 35% off Retail Price on anything* in the current Arbonne catalog plus $5 flat rate shipping (when paying by credit card) OR
B) Receive 40% off Retail Price on anything* currently in stock (updated list will be sent) plus $5 flat rate shipping (when paying by COD) ($3 shipping if local)
* no discount on PwP items
NOTE: According to Canadian law, 12% tax will be charged on Retail Price of all items, before the discount

Thank you, Cindy, for the giveaways and also for the discounts. You can also visit Cindy's Facebook page here. Thank you, readers, for supporting local businesses this Christmas season and beyond.

Disclaimer: MrsSmith-ExtremeShopper has provided this space to Cindy Le Grier, Independent Arbonne Consultant, at no cost and has not been compensated in any way. This is my way of helping local women advertise about their products and services as I believe we should support small businesses, especially during this time of year! Please join me in supporting local and buying handmade whenever possible!

A quick shop at London Drugs today yielded this haul:

  • 4 Arm & Hammer Toothpastes
  • 1 Scrubbing Bubbles Power Spray
  • 2 Advil Cold & Sinus (40s)
  • 1 Halls pack
  • 3 Dove shampoos
  • 2 Dove antiperspirants
  • 1 1L Listerine
  • 1 4-pack Lever soap
  • 1 Arm & Hammer kids' spinbrush

Everything was free except for the Halls which cost me 10cents, and the Spinbrush cost me 49cents plus a 25cent levy. Total was $9.12, of which tax was $8.32 which meant my out of pocket was a whopping 80cents! Total savings of $68.57!

I've posted the how-tos and the coupon match ups in the class blog, so class students, please log in to access.

I finally spent a few hours culling my binder and cutting up my coupon inserts and organizing my coupons. As some of you know, I've not been clipping my coupons regularly for a while now, since I was pretty much stocked up on my staples. That's the beauty of Extreme shopping - you don't have to coupon all the time, and you can even take a nice long break. Anyway, with a lot of my coupons expiring Dec 31, I decided it was time to get the coupon binder all squared away and it feels good to be organized again.

I noticed I had a few P&G inserts and there is a coupon for $2 off any Olay Hand & Body product. At Superstore, they have 2 pack Olay soaps on sale for $1.49. Off I went with my $2 coupons and asked the supervisor if they would take the coupons. No problem, she said, as soap qualifies as a hand & body product. I was able to get 6 2-pack soaps for free! (note: there is a limit of 6 at that price).

So if you have your P&G Olay coupon, try your Superstore and get your Olay soap for free this week!