I am asked a lot where are the Canadian coupon inserts and why you are not getting them?
Firstly, what is a coupon insert? In Canada there are 4 inserts: SmartSource, Red Plum, Unilever and Brandsaver. They are a coupon booklet (8 x 11) and come on a glossy/shiny paper material. Coupons in each of these booklets varies each time they are distributed, however, you can expect a wide variety of laundry, food, baby, hygiene and cleaning/candle coupons to name just a few. I post sneak peeks on CouponChristine.com when I’m made aware of what is inside the inserts ~ some inserts excite couponers, others tend to leave us wanting more.
When do Inserts come out in Canada? Every year, coupon inserts have a set schedule in which they will be delivered. Smartsource appears to be every 3 weeks, Red Plum is about once per month and Brandsaver is 4x a year (schedule for Brandsaver is not released, but typically happens Jan./ April/ July and Oct). Unilever appears to be about 4x year, no dates available at this time. Click here to see the schedule for 2015.
OK – How do I get my hands on some? To guarantee you will get inserts when they are scheduled to come out, you can subscribe to your local newspaper (ex. London Free Press, Toronto Star, etc. See list of newspapers at the bottom of this document ). On the Saturday when these inserts are slotted to be delivered (See insert schedule) they will be in the middle of your Saturday newspaper. But this isn’t very frugal to have to pay for the newspaper JUST to get inserts. So I have a few great ways to score some FREE inserts without the investment of the local newspaper.
Frugal Ways to get your Hands on Inserts ~
1) Visit Tim Hortons, McDonalds, or other breakfast establishments that typically get the newspaper on Saturday morning and leave them out for their patrons to enjoy. Typically they throw out the flyers/”junk mail” and advertisements before leaving them out in the public sitting area ~ please make sure you ask before you take the inserts off the premises.
2) Visit your local convenience stores/grocery stores/ Shoppers Drug Mart/ gas station locations and check inside their Saturday paper. Sometimes you can purchase a few papers that have inserts inside them 🙂 Sometimes making friends with the convenience store manager/owner allows you to ask them to leave the papers and inserts aside for you if they don’t sell by end of day Sunday;)
3) Asking friends/families/colleagues. Just remind them that you LOVE coupons and want to give them a proper home in your coupon binders and to their final loving home, in the hands of your favourite store
Other places to keep in mind .. and I am sure there is more:
- Libraries on Saturday morning
- If you are going to get your car fixed on a Saturday morning, they typically have a newspaper or two in the waiting room
- Doctor/dentist offices on Saturday morning (walk in clinics)
- Coupon trading groups 🙂
Another place to *sometimes* find inserts is with your delivered weekly flyers. Why do some areas get inserts with their flyers and some do not? Why is it not consistent, such that you once got SmartSource, but not Red Plum? I interviewed the Londoner a few months back to ask this question and here was their response:
Based on market research, reporting of where coupons are being used the most in communities/cities and tracking from the head offices at Smart Source/RedPlum and Brandsaver, coupon insert distribution is based on where coupons are being used the most from week to week as well as demographic information and areas that they would like to test out to see the reaction and use of coupon inserts. It is important to note that if you get an insert one week, it won’t necessarily mean you will get them again. Some areas always get the inserts, some areas are hit and miss. It is not determined by the flyer company who and what areas get inserts, it is determined from Smart Source, Red Plum and Brandsaver which areas get them. You cannot go and complain to your local flyer carrier that you are not getting them and want them, they distribute everything they get from these 3 companies to their carriers and have no left overs. London (specifically) gets about 1/5 of our population for inserts (of which there is a mandatory number that is distributed with London Free Press for those who are set home delivery (see point #1 above). Some cities/communities get more than London, some smaller cities get more inserts because the market research has determined their use is more in smaller towns. This is applicable to whichever area you may be in.
This information above also goes for why some newspapers in the area where they are dropped (example in convenience stores/libraries/McDonald’s/ etc.) do not NECESSARILY always have inserts in them. I visit Real Canadian Superstore at Hyde Park and Oxford in London when there is a decent coupon insert and they do not have them inside, however, if I go to the RCSS at Gammage, their papers have the coupon insert inside – its HIT or MISS! Check your local stores!
In the end, coupon inserts are a very hot commodity when they have AWESOME coupons inside, sometimes you just need to look and ask around and you will be surprised what you can get on coupon insert weeks!