10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Food in Canada

There is no denying it – what we spend on food can cost us a huge portion of our income. And, with prices of food seemingly going up continuously, we all are looking for ways to save on our weekly grocery bills. Here are our top 10 ways to save on groceries. Have more ideas to share? Please leave a comment!

  1. Change supermarkets – I know, you’ve shopped at your favourite store forever and so did your Mama and your grandmother. Maybe the store you shop at is very comfortable for you – you know where everything is located, and you even know the names of your favourite cashiers! I get it. But, changing to a lower-cost supermarket can save you immense amounts of money. Stores like Walmart and No-Frills are much lower cost than high-end grocery stores.
  2. Shop at multiple stores – Instead of hitting up only one store every week, make a detailed list of the best sales (or loss leaders) at every store, and stock up on those.
  3. Search grocery flyers or flyer apps before you head out – Apps like Flipp have made browsing through grocery flyers a way easier task! You can even create a shopping list of all the specials at each store, and then access that list easily on your smartphone. Or, of course there are still paper flyers that you can peruse. This way you are armed with the information on what each store has on sale this week, allowing you to get the best deals. And therefore – save your money!
  4. Make a price book – This has been an frugal living tip for a long time, as any longtime frugalites will know! What is a price book? Basically, a notebook (or digital file on your phone or tablet) where you keep track of the best prices in your area for the food you buy. This is helpful because it is such a personal document – you will know what is truly a good deal when organic strawberries are on sale, for instance. You only need to keep track of the things you regularly purchase. It’ll help you understand when something is actually a very good deal.
  5. Farmer’s Markets – Ahhh, I love an afternoon at the Farmer’s Market! But, some of these markets are quite pricey along with their charm and quaintness. Ask around to find the best markets with the lowest prices. Sometimes shopping nearer the end of the day means you can snag a deal on produce that the grower doesn’t want to drag back home with them.
  6. Outlet food stores – I was recently told a tip about an Italian outlet market here in Calgary! It’s called Scarpone’s, and is located in the North of Calgary. There you can get amazing deals on their own canned tomatoes, and items like olives, olive oils, capers and pasta sauces. Ask around in your area, or head to trusty Google and type in ‘outlet food stores’ + ‘your city’ to find some hidden treasures you may never have known existed. (Another good resource to know about is McGavin’s Bread Basket. This store sells bread that is still a number of days out from being past its Best Before date. You can stock up, and freeze the bread, rolls, bagels or English muffins. It is a huge savings on the cost of a regular loaf of bread!)
  7. Coupons – Coupons are one of those things you either love, or you roll your eyes in disgust at the very thought of! I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I usually have a few clipped coupons in my wallet, but only on items that I would normally buy. And apps like Checkout 51 make clipping coupons as easy as tapping your smartphone screen. (In fact, you get credited a cash amount – say, $1.00 – after you purchase a certain product and prove that you purchased it by scanning the receipt and sometimes also the UPC. Once you reach a $20.00 threshold, you are sent a cheque! I have indeed received such a cheque, and can verify that this is a worthwhile app to have.)
  8. Check clearance sections – The clearance sections of your grocery store can provide all sorts of goodies! Sometimes you can even match a clearance price with a coupon, or a digital coupon on Checkout 51. Score! Double savings, folks. You can find a regular merchandise clearance, a produce clearance, and often a fresh foods clearance. You’ll have to keep your eyes open to find where your store has all the different reduced food sections. Usually these food items have a short best before date, so use up this good food and know that you’re preventing it from being dumped in the landfill!
  9. Try a generic version – Generic or no name products are often just as good as their more highly-advertised, brand name counterparts. Store brands are a good compromise of a product that is just as good as a brand name, but usually quite a bit cheaper.
  10. Shop for groceries online – Many of my friends swear by online grocery shopping. You choose all the food items you want, and then simply go to the store to pick your order up. Some stores have a fee for this service, but it might be worthwhile if it prevents you from impulse buying.

We hope that our list of grocery shopping savings tips will help you save some of your hard earned money. With a little pre-planning, a bit of browsing through flyers or flyer apps, and a little effort you can both save money AND eat like a king or queen!

Does Amazon price match? Comparing 5 products at Amazon and Walmart

Love them or hate them – let’s compare prices!

In the hunt for the lowest prices, many of us choose to shop at Amazon online or Walmart in our town or city. Before you next head out to shop, though, it’ll be helpful to know who really does have the lowest prices. With this in mind, we ask: “Does Amazon price match?”

To discover if Amazon price matches Walmart, we’ll compare 5 totally different products. Then, we’ll make our entirely unscientific – but hopefully helpful – verdict! All of the prices listed are current as of time of writing.

As always – clicking on a photo will take you directly to the product page for more information. If you make a purchase, I make a small commission without your being charged a penny more! Thanks all. 🙂

Starbucks coffee 24-count K-cups (Dark French Roast)

Price at Walmart: $19.97 Price at Amazon: $19.97 PRICE MATCH!

Boy, has this blog been coffee-centric lately! And no, I won’t apologize for that (as I sip on a homemade latte, and think longingly of making another.) So, first up is a bulk pack of 24 K-cups for your Keurig coffee maker. Want a delicious Starbucks coffee without leaving home? Voila! And yes, the prices are exactly the same – to the penny! Who has the better price on K-cups? It’s a tie.

Brita Mini Plus Water filter pitcher

Price at Walmart: $22.47 Price at Amazon: $22.47 PRICE MATCH!

Hmmm, are you sensing a trend here like I am? Yes, again – to the penny – the price at Amazon.ca is exactly the same as Walmart’s flyer price. This handy 6-cup pitcher is pretty cute in a shade of oceanic turquoise, and comes with one filter to get you started. The better price on Brita? It’s once more a tie!

Ninja 72 oz. Professional Blender

Price at Walmart: $88.00 (Markdown from $108.00) Price at Amazon: $198.22!! WALMART WINS BIG!

Okay, so in an attempt to see beyond price matching with flyer items, I wanted to check out another product – one not featured on this week’s Walmart flyer. Instead, I just searched for this product on Walmart’s website. This super heavy-duty Ninja blender has very high ratings, but we want to know who has the best price. At less than half the price, Walmart kills this price comparison! So, maybe we’re starting to see a trend – that it truly is flyer specials that Amazon price matches.

Pampers Pure Protection diapers – 4 month size – 52 count

Price at Walmart: $22.97 Price at Amazon: $27.99 — Walmart Wins!

These new, more natural Pampers diapers have different prices at our two mega retailers. Even though they are featured currently in Walmart’s Baby Book flyer, this is not price matched by Amazon. So, Walmart has the lower price on Pampers diapers, but let’s be fair. Sometimes a poor, exhausted new parent just wants to flop on the sofa and order some diapers online! We feel you, new parents, we feel you.

Tide Pods 72-count

Walmart price: $18.76 Amazon price: $18.76 — PRICE MATCH!

And there we have it – another price match product from Walmart’s current flyer! This mega pack of 72 Tide pods make laundry SO quick and easy, and almost effortless. Just pop in a pod! And yes, the price is exactly the same.

Our verdict: Does Amazon price match?

I think it’s fair to say that YES, Amazon does price match some of Walmart’s deals of the week in their flyer. But, it doesn’t appear that all prices are exactly the same – so make sure to check online before purchasing. And, if you’re planning an Amazon order – just do a quick check first on some of your favourite products to see if Amazon has lowered their price to match Walmart.

So, bargain hunters – the deals are out there! And we are determined to find them. I hope that this article helped you to make some wise shopping decisions, and keep a few extra nickels safely tucked away in your wallets.