Tear pad coupons are manufacturer’s coupons that you find hanging on pads in stores. Some stores have a central wall (usually at the entrance of the store) and others have them only in the aisles with the product featured on the coupon. Some have both. Wherever you find, them, it’s worth taking a minute or two of your time to cruise the aisles or check-out the coupon wall to see which Canadian Coupons are available to help you lower your grocery costs.
Unlike peelie stickers, you do not have to use tear pad coupons immediately or even at the store where you found them (although there are some which are specific to certain stores or families of stores. Loblaws/Real Canadian Super Store Coupon Zone coupons, for example). Coupons that are affixed to a package (with an elastic, sticker, glue, etc.) are meant to be used by the person buying the product at that store, however, and are usually peeled off by the cashier. Don’t be a “Patty-Peeler” … she’s not popular with fellow couponers!
Patty-Peeler, Suzy-Shelf-Clearer & the Evil Dr. Tear-Pad-Take’em-All are not the most popular shoppers on the block!
One of the most basic principles of tear pad coupon etiquette is “don’t take ’em all!” If the coupon has a long expiry date and it’s a product that you are likely to buy more than once, my personal opinion is that it’s ok to take more than one. Swiping the entire pad, however, will earn you the nickname Dr. Tear-Pad-Take’em-All here on Canadian Coupons! I saw the evil Dr. at work once – she walked off with the entire pad including the plastic display frame. Imagine! Just because all of the coupons are gone on a tear pad is not necessarily evidence that the evil Dr. has struck again – but when we see folks trading away large quantities of tear pad coupons, it certainly makes us wonder about the ethics of their collection methods. You’ve heard of ethically traded diamonds? We’re on a separate mission to advocate for ethically traded coupons! Thinking about getting into swaps? Check out our Guide to Coupon Trading.
As with any Canadian Coupon, the best time to redeem tear pad coupons is when they can be matched with a sale price. Even if a tear pad coupon is only worth $.50 or $.75, if it’s for a product that I am likely to purchase before the expiry date on the coupon, I’ll take one. Bic’s and Barilla pasta come to mind. Both brands had $.50 OFF tear pads coupons in 2012 with long expiry dates. I waited until the products went on sale for $1 and only paid $.50 for products that were regularly priced over $2. Belvita Breakfast Cookies had $1 OFF tearpads when their products were first launched in the fall of 2012. My children & I participated in a taste-test event at Real Canadian Super Store and the Brand Ambassador gave us a each a couple of tear pad coupons as thanks for stopping by the sampling booth. We used a few of the coupons when the bars were on sale, and then just before Christmas, the store was clearing out boxes for $.99 and we ended up getting 5 boxes for FREE!
Things to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to take a tear pad coupon to add to your binder:
- Is this a product that I will buy for myself or donate to the foodbank?
- If the product is not on sale today, is it likely to go on sale before the expiry date?
- How many of this product will I buy? If it’s a high quantity, do I feel “good” about taking this many coupons from the tear pad?
- Is the tear pad coupon valid only in a specific store or family of stores? If so, do those stores offer the lowest price for that item?
If you double check with yourself first, you’ll play your part in making sure tear pad coupons aren’t wasted and withering away in binders, destined for the trash bin once they expire.
I most often collect my tear pad coupons at the following stores in the Ottawa/Gatineau region and post pictures and details of them here on CanadianCoupons.net under the heading TPS! Tear Pads Spotted – click here to see my most recent finds!
- Food Basics
- Independent Grocer & Real Canadian Superstore
- Jean Coutu
- Shoppers Drug Mart
If you spot some tear pads, we’d love for you to share them with the Canadian Coupons community over on the Canadian Coupons facebook page – it’s great to have almost 23,000 Canadian Couponers working together to save!
Christa Clips ~ January 31, 2013Want more samples & coupons? Subscribe and we'll deliver the best samples & coupons to your inbox!