Canadian Coupon Expert, @livingonaloonie
Mediaplanet sat down with Kathleen Cassidy (also known as @livingonaloonie) to learn about her experience with couponing and ways that Canadians can become smart shoppers and save more.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Kat (Kathleen) and I am the founder of Living on a Loonie, a social media persona helping Canadians save money!
I have been couponing in Canada for about 10 years now, and it all started as a University student, who just wanted more financial freedom over student loans.
How did you first get interested in couponing?
When I was in University, I was looking for extra ways to save money as we all know post-secondary schooling can be expensive. I was in school full time and working two part time jobs, but I still was struggling to do the things I loved that required extra funds.
I went grocery shopping one day and noticed a large coupon board at the front of the store. It was like a light bulb just went off in my head in that moment. I grabbed coupons for the few of the products I used on a regular basis. I went home and started to figure out how to coupon in Canada!
What inspired you to create and grow a platform to educate Canadians on couponing and saving money?
Living on a Loonie was created to hold myself accountable for saving money. Over time people would continued to ask how I couponed, so I started sharing static pictures of deals and coupons I was using. During the pandemic, like most people, I joined TikTok. I taught myself how to make videos and those took off fast! After my first, poorly edited, video, I had over 100,000 followers so I knew there was an interest for this type of content. I slowly got better at making videos and communicating my tips and tricks to saving money in Canada.
Living on a Loonie is now across social media platforms and has been sharing video content for about 2 years now. Videos can be anything from using coupons in Canada, to crazy online deals or even how to score freebies!
How do you stay motivated to continue saving money and sticking to your financial goals over time?
When I first started couponing, I thought it would just be while I was a University student, and then I would stop when I got a full-time job. Safe to say I never stopped looking for ways to save money. Finding new ways to save money in Canada became a hobby for me. Once you see how much you can get for free or drastically cheap it would be hard to go back. From couponing to tracking my spending, it has become fun for me!
The biggest motivation for me to saving money and sticking to my financial goals is the freedom you feel. I can take back my money and put that into whatever I want. I have the ability to save on everyday items such as groceries and put that money towards what I want to do like traveling or live events. Because of couponing, I have also been able to do more community work than ever before. With couponing comes a lot of free items I may not use, but I am able to donate those to individuals in need and make a difference.
Can you share your top tips for finding and using coupons effectively?
- Look for coupons in store
- A lot of savings can be found right in stores, but a lot of Canadians are in a rush and don’t notice.
- Look for coupons on packaging of products or by the shelfs
- Do your research
- Lots of Canadians online show you have to save and different ways to do so!
- Look on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or on other platforms for what you have an interest in
- Think before using coupons
- Make sure the item is on sale. Don’t just use the coupon because you have one. Most have long expiry dates – hang onto it!
- Do you use the product? If you don’t use the product – don’t buy it (unless it’s free).
- Start small and grow
- There is a lot of different aspects to couponing (physical coupons, digital offers, loyalty points programs, price matching, etc.) – pick one aspect and master it. Then add more savings in. For example, if you go to a store that price matches – start week 1 by matching one item and each week add another one in!
- A little time and effort goes a long way
- Like any new hobby saving money takes time! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get something right away.