Black Friday: Not just a one day sale anymore



No more crossing the border for Black Friday as the sales are set to begin on our home turf, many starting today or at the stroke of midnight.

If you are not sure what to expect for Black Friday 2013 which falls on Friday, November 29 this year get ready to save some serious cash if you know what you are looking for.

Black Friday is just about here and in some places the lines of people camping out in some cases for days at a time have already begun.

There are lots of great deals to be found on Black Friday, many of which are in limited quantities meaning a lot of people are hoping to get their hands on one and many who have been unable to in the past.

With Black Friday planned around the American Thanksgiving and originally being only an American sale day, Canadian retailers are trying their best to keep Canadians shopping for some exclusive Black Friday deals in Canada.

red-thursday-canadian-tireAs part of an attempt to keep more Canadians shopping at home instead of crossing over the border into the United States, many retailers are now offering, Pre-Black Friday sales.

Canadian Tire is advertising their first Red Thursday this year which some also call Black Thursday.

Though many people will still cross the border for what most would agree are still the better cheaper deals, Canadian retailers are certainly putting in a lot more effort this year with a lot more deals being offered and many having longer store hours.


Getting the heads up


Many retailers, big and small, send emails to customers who have signed up for their email subscription with the latest offers and promotions. If you have your favourite stores that you visit often going to their website and subscribing to their emails can be of great benefit to you.

With Black Friday coming up various companies offered a sneak preview of their flyer to their email subscribers. These emails regularly often include exclusive coupons and promo codes.

Personalized email offers are also becoming more common among retailers where they will track your purchases by your email address and offer deals exclusively to you based on your past purchases.

I do recommend that if you are going to subscribe to multiple companies that you make a separate email for this purpose as you may find your inbox will fill up quickly with these emails.

I am signed up with many retailers, do I read every single email? No, but if I am planning a shopping trip or need something in particular it is nice to be able to take a quick look at what deals are currently being offered.


Price Matching



Knowing a retailers price matching policy ahead of time and whether it applies to Black Friday will be something good to know. You can find an full list of store policies at Coupon Christine.

Certain stores such as Best Buy have advertised that their price matching policy will be taking a hiatus during their Black Friday sale, allowing no price matching to local competitors for any limited quantity Black Friday deal.

Walmart’s price matching policy hasn’t changed for Black Friday, though you may find some stores at their own discretion may choose not to allow price matching that day so don’t be surprised if you are refused. Having a copy of the policy in your hand though may help your case in getting them on your side.


Flyers App


In this day and age there is an app for everything it seems, including your weekly flyers. Reebee is a great app that is free to download and it loads current and upcoming flyers to your smart phone or tablet for easy and convenient viewing of multiple flyers available.

You are able to set what city you live in to obtain local flyers and can also change the city if you are shopping out-of-town and hoping to score some good sales.

Not only can this help in finding the best possible deals for Black Friday but can also be used in most stores to price match, given that the store offers price matching.

I often use Reebee to price match, it is a very handy app to have and a great paper saver with all your flyers being right at your fingertips.

A few things to remember when price matching

  • With the rare exception, price matching applies only to local competitors so even if you are using an app such as Reebee, a flyer from a store that is nowhere near the store you are shopping at it will not be accepted so don’t get your hopes up on price matching a sale offered in Toronto if you live in Niagara Falls.
  • Price matching applies only to identical products advertised that are in stock in the store, no substitutions allowed for a similar product. There is the exception with produce (product of USA versus product of Canada) sometimes though I’m sure bananas aren’t a big Black Friday item.
  • Some stores may want to confirm with the store that you are price matching to that they are out of stock, if the store advertising the sale has the item in stock you may be refused the price match as – technically you can just go there and buy it.

Walmart’s one hour in-stock guarantee will have a big part in a lot more people getting their hands on an awesome deal this year.

Creating a positive customer experience is something that is important to all retail stores, an unhappy customer who walks out that door may never come back and who knows how many other people will be told about their negative experience.

Stores want happy customers and we are starting to see more of these efforts applied to Black Friday sales.


The early bird gets the worm


The majority of stores will open earlier than normal so if you are hoping to score some good deals, shop early, plan ahead and if you are really eager to get a great deal camping out or lining up really early may be an option for you.

If you wait too long you may be out of luck, going into a store even a few hours after opening you risk the chance of the stores being sold out.


Resist the impulse buys


Black Friday is a great opportunity for retailers to get a lot of foot traffic through their doors and they will try to get you to make impulse purchases while you are in the store.

Sometimes the great deals will be stocked at the back of the store requiring you to walk through the store and past all the other products, sometimes clearance items or items that have not sold as well in the past will be displayed with a significant price drop, resist these items if you are hoping to stick to your budget for that shopping day.

Impulse buying is a great way for them to get you to spend more money than you had originally intended especially on one of the best days of the year to snag a bargain aside from boxing day.

Are you shopping in Canada, crossing the border or just staying home this Black Friday?

Check out the full 2013 Black Friday guide at Bargain Moose Canada for up to the minute flyers and deals… so you don’t miss one!



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How super are supermarkets in Canada?



Every year I’m a resident in Canada it seems to me were getting more and more like the Britain I left behind.

The Supermarket is a prime example of the changing face that always seems to be behind the times. But what I tend to notice is a large shift to emulating the old country and the ways we do things.


The point of points


The brand new PC Plus points and coupon scheme recently launched caught my eye mainly due to the fact that is so similar to Tesco’s Clubcard points program in the UK.

Every time you shop in that supermarket data is collected and used to determine what you buy most often, how much, your average budget spend on groceries and other revealing facts etc.

This data collected is analysed and used to send you offers and coupons that are more tailored to the individual rather than the masses through a flyer.

Tesco’s Clubcard rewards launched in the UK approximately 9 years ago has been part of the huge success leading to the company’s phenomenal growth.

The highly personalized Clubcard vouchers or coupons and offers it generates for its customer base tries to encourage more spending by targeting a specific part of our spending habits.


Delivering the goods


I can’t say that I’ve seen it yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see an online shopping and delivery service start here in Canada very soon. I would imagine that for geographical reasons that the delivery service would probably be restricted to more densely populated areas.

Back home (yes, it is still considered home) in the UK before I left there was a growing trend in online grocery shopping combined with a delivery service. The idea being that those of us with extremely busy lives or those who don’t have a car can still do the weekly shop without the hassle of actually going there.

There is Tesco groceries online, Waitrose online groceries and Sainsbury’s online groceries to mention but a few. There could well be many more that have since jumped on to the home delivery service bandwagon.

It sounds great, but it’s not something I ever indulged in. I’m a much more tactile guy who actually likes to see what he’s buying and check the quality of the fruit and veg that I’m going to purchase. I like to pick up products and compare them side by side.

The problem is with the online experience is that you only click what you want to buy. Someone in a picking and distribution warehouse actually does the shopping for you and they’re not as picky as you.

I’ve seen first had the results of online shopping because my sister used the service on multiple occasions and some of the product does not look pretty upon receiving the goods.

The other concern with online grocery shopping is the fact that if the product is out of stock then nothing will be sent to you unless you have stated an alternative. This leads to the question, How do I know that they really ran out of stock and they aren’t just pushing another product?


The finest


Our-Finest-Walmart-Dijon-MustardWhen you visit a Wal-mart these days you’ll notice they introduced a range called “Our Finest” which is presented in snazzy silver cardboard presentation packaging. Looks pretty good, like an up market no name brand.

Sorry Wal-mart but Tesco’s from the UK was there before you and by quite a number of years. Strangely enough Tesco’s Finest range is also presented in a snazzy silver cardboard presentation package.

Does this mean that Wal-mart is trying to emulate Tesco’s success? Maybe, considering they do already compete directly with each other in the UK with Wal-mart going under a different moniker that is Asda.


Check it out


I’ve previously talked about the self-scan checkout and how they were already in use in the UK approximately 10 years ago.

It just seems we’re a little behind the times here on a constant basis. That being said I still enjoy the face to face experience you get with a cashier. The friendly and sometimes not so friendly faces that serve you at the checkout can actually process your shopping faster than you can at the self-service.

The point of the self scan I’m guessing is to get as many people through the exit with shopping in hand without having to pay out more wages. Machines don’t need health benefits either and certainly don’t require breaks. It makes me wonder what the face of the future supermarket will look like.


The British invasion


I couldn’t believe my eyes a few weeks ago when I saw Chef Jaime Oliver doing a celebrity endorsement for Sobey’s and then again promoting his new Jaime Oliver Discovers Canada range for the supermarket chain. He’s probably one of the more likeable TV chefs possibly because he’s so down to earth and honest when he’s showing the audience that cooking can be fun and flavourful at the same time.

The thing that worried me is the fact that Mr Oliver always prided himself on the fresh ingredients used in his cooking but now his knocking out pre-made dinners in plastic tubs. There’s always a bunch of UK cooking shows on TV these days too, mainly on the wife’s favourite “Food Network”. Unfortunately they haven’t got my favourite in to the country yet, Nigella Lawson, but they do have Nigella Lawson recipes and her TV show.




Correct me if I’m wrong people of the UK but I could have swore shopping bags were not free when I left the country. I believe you have to pay for a plastic shopping bags just as we do in Canada but yet again I think we got stung for those first too.

The going rate for a shopping bag in Canadian supermarkets is 5 cents, but it’s been so long I don’t know how much is costs my fellow Brits to buy a bag. There are alternatives to paying for bags though. Take you own reusable shopping bags or use the free traditional cardboard boxes from the front of the store.

Shopping carts here in Canada take a deposit of 25 cents which is crazy cheap for the deposit while shopping trolleys in the UK usually take a £1 coin, which converted to Canadian dollars is $1.68. Would you pay that much for a shopping cart? I know one thing for certain, you wouldn’t find many carts with the deposit left inside.


Expanding the influence


Now I have seen a small number of these gas stations owned and operated I’m assuming by the associated supermarket they share the land with. Grocery stores with Petrol filling stations combined together in the UK are very popular.

All the big players in the UK have gas stations attached and usually combine deals to get more customers spending more of their money at one store.

The main idea is, when you spend “X” amount in store you’ll receive a discount or coupon for the filling station to get cheaper gas per litre. That’s great and I should know because I used to take advantage of that one every time.

Now I just use the online application Ontario Gas Prices to check the local area and save myself some extra cash. Knowledge is power.

No doubt the face of the Canadian Supermarket will change over the coming years, but will it be Super?




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The Grocery Game Challenge Oct 28-Nov 3, 2013 #4- When the price is right and wrong

Walmart-kraft-dinner-whole-wheatI’LL TAKE TEN AT THAT PRICE…NOT!


For the most part as customers we expect product pricing to be accurate when we grocery shop.

I’m betting that a good majority of people don’t watch the computer screen when their order is being scanned in.

Not being mindful at the cash may mean you might miss out on opportunities to score some freebies and or help the store to correct issues in the system and in this case today outside of the scanning system.


Speak up and help


As a regular customer to a few local grocery stores I always do my best to help the store out if I see a problem and I at least hope they appreciate it.

In my eyes we are the watch dogs for the grocery store because it’s such an intense system that even the slightest error could cause a customer to get upset or in this case laugh a little, OK I laughed lots.

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty sure my wages won’t allow for me to purchase a box of Kraft Dinner at $172 a box.

I’m also pretty sure that I’ll never have an opportunity to see if Kraft Dinner hits the high price of $172 in my life-time but maybe your kids, kids, kids, kids might.

If you are a pricing warrior at the grocery store like I am you know your prices and you know when you see a product price error instantly.

The scanning code of practice if you are not aware is when a product price is labelled on the shelf $1.00 for example and rings up at the cash register for $2.00.

In that instance you could ask the cashier to adjust the price after checking the correct price as well as to apply the scanning code of practice (SCOP).

The shops do this so they are held accountable for pricing errors that may be charging the customer too much money.

While on a trip out-of-town for work I stopped in a local Wal-mart on my lunch break to be nosey.

OK, the truth is I wanted a free McDonald’s coffee too but decided to waste some time and walk around to see what goodies I could find.


Price is right and wrong


I just so happened to stumble upon this beautiful photo opportunity that I posted above of Whole Wheat Kraft Dinner and the ridiculous price.

There was only one other customer in the vicinity who watched me take a photo and say there was no way I’d ever pay $172 for a box of Kraft Dinner. I don’t eat the stuff but it’s pricing errors like this that make you go hmm. Who was half asleep when they posted this price?

I’m sure you have seen many errors in the grocery store if you are mindful but do you bring it to the attention of the staff to get it changed like I did yesterday with this Kraft Dinner? That wasn’t the only pricing error I spotted neither.

I don’t have a photo but they had the cases of Nestle water on sale on the front page of their weekly flyer for $2.44 a case of 24 Nestle but the giant sign in front of the wall of water was listed at $2.47.

Now, some of you might laugh at me saying it’s only a few pennies but in my head what do you think the first thing was that I thought? That is correct if you said, scanning code of practice.

I grabbed a case only to find out that it was in fact scanning in at the sale price of $2.44 so my only conclusion was the pricing person that night either didn’t sleep so well or really didn’t give a rats about pricing the products.

Heck it could have been 2 different people for all I know as I’m only having a laugh but it’s errors like these that could potentially cost the customer and the store depending on how the pricing error falls.

When I got to the cash I did inform the cashier of the price of the water and pointed it to her as it was in plain view. She laughed and said she would get someone to change it right away. I waited in line for a good 5 minutes and she did nothing at that time.

I am hoping that she did inform someone to make that change but it leaves me to question whether the grocery store is as fired up about pricing on the shelf if it rings up correct as opposed to when a customer can get a SCOP and the system price is wrong? I’ve been to shops where SCOP was applied and they immediately fixed the pricing error in the computer system but this was different.

Would you tell the grocery store if you saw an abnormal or incorrect price on a product that was scanning the proper price?

Do you find incorrect scanned products are still incorrect the next time you go shopping and you can get another SCOP because of the grocery stores lack of not correcting the pricing error?


Grocery saving tips


Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the saving process in your grocery budget today.

Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!


October Grocery Game Challenge Posts



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Missed past Grocery Game posts? Catch up on all the latest grocery saving posts below!


Food food and more food



Food Basics

  • 4 x granulated sugar Sale 2/$3.00
  • Sweet potatoes $6.00 ( I bought lots but they can get pricey)
  • Tre-Stelle Ricotta $4.99-30% ($1.50)
  • Reduced produce pomegranate x3 $2.49
  • Reduced produce cauliflower $0.99
  • Reduced produce oranges and apples $0.99
  • Bananas $1.97
  • 6x OB Tampons 40′s Sale $3.99-$2.00

Total out-of-pocket $ 35.64


  • Carrots $1.67
  • 1 x cucumber Sale $0.97
  • 4 x sesame oil sale $3.98
  • Kraft Peanut Butter $3.97
  • Tub of bread crumbs $1.68

Total out-of-pocket $24.21

grocery shop 4 October

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Budget For October $235.00-$21.12 (overage September)= $213.88
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $12.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $0 Used $20.00 (ham)
  • Total Spent This Week: $24.21+$35.64= $59.85
  • Total Spent So Far for October $67.71=$69.08+$59.85=$196.64
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of (October): $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $77.09-$59.85=$17.24 left to spend this month
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $2.25+$12.00=$14.25
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83 + (August) $182.35 + (September) $255.69 + (October) $196.64=  $2177.28 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38+$17.24 =$82.62<> This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.
  • Weekly Overview: We didn’t have too much to buy this week as we have plenty of food to use up. With us being gone one week this month and considering we should have a no shop week we were happy with this months grocery game challenge success.


 Canadian Coupons Found




Frequently Asked Questions



Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.


  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?


No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.


  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?


The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.


  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?


Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.



Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week including Checkout 51 from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.


  • What is an FPC?


An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.



You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.



I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices. Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this t of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

You’ve made a wise decision.

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada!




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PF Weekly grab a brew #33: Kindness from a stranger

Grab A Brew

Would You Do The Right Thing?

I’d like to think that there are good people still in this world and I am one of them. There is nothing wrong with coming in second or third or not at all as long as you play the game right. We fear failure but when we see a way to buck the system we jump on it and for many with no guilt or after-thought.

I can’t say that I’ve stumbled upon anything more than some loose change on the ground in a parking lot but you can bet if I found something that wasn’t mine I’d do my best to get it back to its rightful owner. My luck seems to be finding pets and  well, you can bet I’ll be do my best to get them home. So where are all these good people then? There are amongst us and although not everyone wants their good deeds broadcast to the world every so often something spectacular like this happens.

Finding money

One of those good people, Paul Williams of Sacramento who works at Wal-Mart did the right thing. He was on his way home and ready to catch the bus when he spotted a walled in a shopping cart. He was surprised when he opened it up to find $4000 inside including a cheque for $1000 and no identification. He brought the wallet home and called in to the store to let them know what he had found. That is when a less than hopeful Lynne Andries returned to the store not thinking she would see a penny of her money. To her surprise she received just the opposite, every penny back and a some new friends, Paul and Debra Williams.

It’s stories like these that make my days brighter especially when it is a stranger who simply wants to do the right thing. We watch or listen to the news media every day and most often it is the darkness of the world that garners the most attention. Most often we are more entangled with what’s happening in the lives of the rich and famous and those that are including themselves in the line-up of illegal activity.

I just wanted to show that there are still good people in this world who do the right thing and to let them see it’s ok. – Paul Williams

Slow down

This is a great example of why we need to slow down and not always multi-task or think of a million things at the same time when we are completing a task, as tempting as it is. Lynn was in a rush and nearly lost the money to put down on her second mortgage had her money not landed in the hands of someone who cared how the person who lost the money would feel.

So, today I ask all of you to slow down a bit and take a look around you. Don’t be in a rush to get where you need to get and take a few extra minutes if you need to so you are on time and not rushing to get the job done.

You can watch the news story here. 

Have you ever found money or an item before that didn’t belong to you? How did you handle the situation and how did it turn out?

Top Recipe

Kahlua Toffee Cheesecake

You know before I let you get on with my weekly reading line-up I must share a treat with all of you. When Erica’s recipes posted her Kahlua Toffee Cheesecake on my Foodie Facebook Page The Free Recipe Depot this week, I knew this was going to be the TOP RECIPE PICK for the week at Canadian Budget Binder. Congratulations Erica, well done with this recipe.

PF weekly reading line-Up

What a great week I had for reading blog posts from my amazing personal finance friends. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t learn something new. Without continuous improvement and education we let life pass us by.

Take some time out today to read a few or all of these amazing blog posts below. Many of these bloggers I showcase here at CBB because their writing style is one that I connect with and hope you that you will to.

Top story: The Gift of Time- Planting Our Pennies 

What a great story of a family that came together to get the job done.Building a house from the ground up, the gardening, preserving, flea markets etc. Times have sure changed but in many ways we still do the same things. My time is valuable to me and to be honest I do think about where I spend my time. I’ve done lots of thinking lately. I can’t think of any one time in my life where time was the best time that I spent as I try to make the most of every day, every event, every memory.

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #33 Kindness From A Stranger . Join me again next Friday when I do it all over again.


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PF Weekly Grab A Brew #25:The Box by No Frills a smaller discount-store experience

Grab A Brew Reading Line-Up

Loblaws Ready To Help Canadians Save More 

A few weeks ago Calgary got its first taste of a smaller discount-store experience with the opening of The Box a No Frills store. From reading the CBC article the new store stands at 10,000 sq ft compared to the big daddy No Frills stores at 25,000 sq ft. My understanding is that Loblaws which is Canada’s biggest grocer is testing out a smaller version of the larger No Frills stores to see if it meets the consumers needs in urban areas.

I’m betting consumers will put this new store to the test wanting discounts and low prices just like they do any other store. It’s not going to be any different for those who want to save money so if the prices aren’t right they might just head else-where.

What is an Urban area in Canada? 

According to Statistics Canada, an urban area in Canada is an area with a population of at least 1,000 people where the density is no fewer than 400 persons per square km.- Wikipedia

Loblaws already has over 1000 grocery stores from coast to coast but changing up the retail space and paring down what they sell might make a difference to some shoppers. Also, if you haven’t heard Sobeys is taking over for Safe-way out West which may bring some big changes to those that frequent Safe-way and shop there each week. A few of our fans who participate in the Grocery Game Challenge have shared some excellent shopping deals from Safe-way. It seems there’s something going on all around us behind the scenes with the grocery shopping giants.

Pick Me

It feels like everyone is saying, pick me, pick me and we are waiting to see who is going to give us the best bang for our buck and with all the bells and whistles, but not everyone wants that. With Target recently coming to town here in Ontario it seems the competition keeps getting bigger in the bid for customer loyalty.

Target brought us the 5% discount Target RedCard that gives it’s customers an automatic discount on what they purchase. Sobeys has Club Sobeys points and Metro has Air-miles, there’s a program every where we turn around these days. Even Shoppers Drug Mart that sells grocery items has the Shoppers Optimum Program which is lucrative to many who shop their even if the prices are higher than the grocery store.

I’ve also noticed that President’s Choice now has a PC PLUS program where you can load products each week that are personalized for you. If you purchase them you get even more PC Points added to your account. This is over and above what you already get for PC points and is exclusive to Loblaws stores only.

I for one haven’t shopped in Target since our first road trip to the grand opening of the store. The prices are still far from comparable to No Frills, Food Basics. We rarely go to Wal-mart simply due to travel time and again the prices aren’t always as comparable either and if we do find a deal we simply price match it at No Frills.

There are many people I’ve spoken to over the course of running this blog that do enjoy shopping in the smaller type grocery stores or markets in their community simply for ease of shopping. Lots of little towns have Foodland a smaller grocery store part of the Sobeys family along with Freshco, Price Chopper, IGA, Thrifty Foods and Lawtons Drugs. Although higher priced Foodland does have sales like every other grocery store but also delivers a personal appeal to many who frequent the shop.

I’ve been to Foodland locations before and it’s quaint and everything seems with a pleasant atmosphere. You can stroll around up and down aisles and get in and get out in a reasonable amount of time. At least in the shops I went into. I don’t get that feel in the bigger grocery stores and for some that can be overwhelming when there is too much going on.

Not everyone wants to have to travel a 10 minutes across a grocery store floor just to grab a bag of milk and loaf of bread to take home for dinner. I’m not stranger to these big grocery stores like The Real Canadian Superstore, Wal-mart and even No Frills although the stores are far from the size of RCSS and Wal-mart they still are big enough.

Tesco UK

Back home we  have Tesco UK  a multi-national grocery and retailer with many formats and I guess how I see the various Loblaws stores. I shopped at Tesco’s on occasion but I also frequented the smaller discount grocery stores to save even more money on the same products. I also shopped often since I only had a refrigerator the size of a beer fridge in my kitchen so getting in and out and great prices were important to me.

The big box grocery stores are full-service, one-stop shop type stores where you can do it all without wasting time and gas running from shop to shop. It may be ideal for those that don’t have the time to travel around and want to get it all done in one area.

Tesco’s also opened Tesco Express approx 2000 sq ft which is a convenience type store that stocks the higher end products. Essentially a very small version of the big box but aiming for convenience for shoppers that want to get in and get out which you might find in smaller villages and towns or petrol (gas) stations. Maybe this is where we are going to start seeing Loblaws heading scaling down the store into smaller versions spread out across Canada.

You don’t always need one big presence to make an impact, many small ones do as well. It’s like seeing a Tim Horton’s on every corner and you know that you are guaranteed to see at least one. The same may ring true with the grocery stores. They say out of sight out of mind but if you’re always seeing it then it may be the first place you turn to shop just like many get their morning coffee fix.

You never know, it may just be a better way to shop for those that don’t want to spend all day in a store and enjoy the small town feel, personal touch. It might bring a joy to those looking for ease of shopping if they aren’t able to make their way around a big store without discomfort and other distractions.

From No Frills, to the The Box by No Frills to who knows a convenience store called the “The Little Box” might pop up one day in a community near you. When competition gets hot anything is possible so get ready Canada.

Would you shop at The BOX if it were in your town or city?

Do you shop in any smaller grocers where you live?

What do you really want as a consumer?

On that note…. let’s grab a brew and something sweet.

Top Recipe


If you haven’t had a change to check out my New Facebook Page titled The Free Recipe Depot please come around and Like my page. It’s a place where I share recipes and only recipes from blogs and websites from around the web. You come share your recipe and I’ll share it with my fans. It’s that easy.

Today’s top recipe goes to Walking On Sunshine for sharing their Chocolate Bliss Cheesecake on my new Facebook page this week. I wouldn’t pass it up if it were served to me.

Don’t forget to pass by my Canadian Budget Binder Facebook Page every Sunday for Frugal Food Sunday to share a blog recipe so I can share it with my over 5800 fans!!

PF Weekly Reading Line-Up

Here are a few (20) blog posts that I thought were worth mentioning this week from blogs that I connect with here at Canadian Budget Binder.

Top Story:Avoiding the impulse buy after getting out of debt- How to buy new stuff after getting our of debt- Eyes on the Dollar

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my PF Weekly#25 Grab a Brew.


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