Diane Leblanc, 36, of Brampton is a extreme couponer who saves some $150/week as a result of it.

Diane Leblanc, 36, of Brampton is a extreme couponer who saves some $150/week as a result of it.

When Brampton’s Diane Leblanc, 36, does her weekly shopping, sometimes she comes home with more money in her pockets than what she had going into the store.

This happens when a savvy couponer like Leblanc offers the cashier a coupon or two that’s higher in value than the cost of the product itself. When that happens, some stores will pay the difference back to the customer.

The Brampton woman who has mastered the art of couponing belongs to an elite class of extreme couponers. This means she enjoys substantial savings on products compared to an average shopper who pays a full tab for the same purchases.

Leblanc reckons she saves approximately $250 per week on groceries and other items.

“Couponing is very empowering because you get access to things that are free or very low prices,” said the resident, who works as a flight attendant. “I get a lot of items for free or for a very low prices which I give away to charities, family and friends.”

Leblanc’s curiosity was piqued when she watched the TLC show— Extreme Couponing and wondered if couponing concepts prevalent in the U.S. could be applied here in Canada as well.

At first, she began her quest by reaching out to veteran couponers in cyberspace through Facebook and other social media. Then once she mastered the nuances, she launched a website .

“We can do couponing in Canada, although it’s different here,” she said. “I really became interested in it after my first experience. I was in the store buying mouthwash and had with me some high-value coupons that I had printed off the Internet. Since the item was also on sale, I ended up getting 12 bottles of mouthwash for $4. I gave away a lot of it because obviously I don’t need 12 bottles of mouthwash.”

For people who don’t have the time or patience to collect coupons, Leblanc offers to do the hard work for them. All they have to do is contact her through her website.

After cutting, sorting and organizing coupons and putting them away in transparent blue folders. Leblanc waits for the item she wants to go on sale before embarking to the store with her folder.

In the beginning, couponing consumed a few hours of Leblanc’s day, but now she spends minimum time and effort, but enjoys maximum savings.

Anyone interested in couponing should start off by learning the coupon policies of individual retailers including their rules on stacking and paying overage, she says. Organizing, planning ahead and being courteous to other shoppers and the cashiers are equally important.  

“To be a successful couponer, you have to change the way you shop,” she says. “You don’t buy things when you need something, rather you buy it when it’s on sale and you have a coupon for it.”

For more information visit www.theflyingcouponer.com .