The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

The grocery game challenge #4 Sept 23-29, 2013: Does size really matter?


Yes Size Really Does Matter

Of course size matters so you should keep your eyes peeled for all marketing and pricing strategies although many are not tricks. It’s up to you as the consumer to find out what the difference is even if it is staring us right in the face. If you are smart about grocery shopping you will always keep size and weight in the back of your mind especially if you aim to stick to your grocery budget.

Don’t beat yourself up though if you miss something we all do it and we pay more but what can you do but be aware the next time around.

Pricing strategy


It’s not the first time I noticed pricing strategies at grocery stores but at Metro the other evening while we were doing a quick run around for coupons and picking up our lotto max ticket we noticed tonnes of Cashmere 8 pack toilet paper reg price $8.33 on an actual sign posted on these skids. My instant reaction was …”yeah right”.

It was later in the day but I thought to myself that there is no way I’d pay that kind of money for toilet paper unless I was forced to. I recall having a $1.00 off Cashmere toilet paper and getting those 8 packs on sale minus the coupon which I thought was a decent price even though we still paid $0.28 per double roll of toilet paper after coupon. If you do the math $2.88 *1.13 =$3.25/8 rolls= $0.40 per roll which I still think is pricey but that’s the frugal man in me talking.

Even with the $1.00 coupon we had last year at the same sale price we were paying $0.28 which I thought was reasonable for a double roll. I noticed people loading their shopping cart up with the toilet paper on sale because they also had the regular price listed. You’d be a fool not to load up at that price coupon or no coupon.

You may find cheaper toilet paper but we haven’t found coupons for toilet paper this year, at least not like we used to in the past. So if you were to buy 4 packs of the Cashmere on sale you would pay $13.00 for 32 double rolls of toilet paper which makes me just shake my head especially since we will just flush it down the toilet.

What I would have done in this case since I didn’t have coupons is check for any larger packs of double roll Cashmere to see if the price comes in cheaper than the 8 pack even though it’s on sale. By putting up the high price people think they are getting a smashing deal but to be honest with toilet paper these days you probably are. The prices of toilet paper make me just shake my head most days but I’m glad we are stocked for a few years at least.

Just this past week I was happy to see Dempster’s bread go on sale for $1.75 but it wasn’t until my friend brought it to my attention that the packaging was smaller otherwise I would never have thought anything even though it is clearly labelled. I missed that so that just goes to show you how easy as consumer we might look at the price and dismiss the size of the product or the weight. It’s important to be mindful. Dempsters is even being smart about their packaging and not hiding anything from us because they straight up tell us that the loaf of bread is smaller, hence the lowered price.

The problem is if you miss this marketing then you might not see that you might not be getting a bargain comed to if you bought the bigger loaf. You may find the price is comable in nature where one package just gives you more product but the price reflects that increase.

I noticed many people had quite a few loaves of bread in their carts so the marketing was working. It’s fun to watch and see what’s on sale and to see how many people load up their carts and then I get out the calculator to start doing some math.

It’s too bad we don’t see more shoppers using their math skills to find out if they are getting the best price for the product they are buying. We are often drawn in by price alone followed by label or brand of the product.

Dollar Days

One other time that size really does matter is during dollar days at any of the major grocery store chains. Don’t be afraid to do the math. Just because something is priced at a dollar and packaged doesn’t make it the best bargain for you.

Some consumers see the $1.00 flyer debut and go nutty but most times you are actually spending more than if you would have just bought the bigger package of a product at regular price or on sale. You must notice that many of the products for these sales are smaller versions or product sizes you don’t normally find at the store. We avoid dollar days and just price match if we find a bargain because it’s a zoo in the grocery store but also because we don’t really see the value in most products. You might find the products are smaller and priced accordingly, well $1.00.

One example was a package of Schneider’s sausages for $1.88 but if you look close and come the packages in the freezer as opposed the bunker where they stockpile the sale item you will notice the other package which is identical actually has more sausages inside. So they give you less product for a cheaper price but are you really scoring a deal then? You have to do the math.

Do you think that size matters? Do you do the math?

September grocery game recap

I will post the previous week’s grocery game here for ease of finding them each week if you need to go back and post your shops for the month.

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads is lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comison list and much more all for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.


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Food food and more food

What's In MrCBB's Shopping Cart


  • 2 x Philadelphia Cream Cheese Sale $1.99
  • 1 x Lactancia cream Sale $1.99- $0.75
  • Avocado bag of 5 Sale $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $7.21

Food Basics

  • 2 x sauerkraut Sale $0.99
  • 3 Tomatoes $0.80
  • Fresh Ginger $0.84
  • Mushrooms Sale $0.99-$0.50 sticker
  • Graham crackers $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $6.01


  • 2 x Mushrooms PM Food Basics Sale $0.94
  • Iceberg Lettuce PM Wal-Mart $0.76
  • Limes $1.00
  • Cucumber Sale $0.66
  • Dempsters Vegetable Bread Sale $2.00-$1.50 coupon

Total out-of-pocket $4.80

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Milk 4L Sale $3.99

Total out-of-pocket $3.99

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 September: $234.57 which is $235.00-$0.43 overspend in August
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $2.25
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $22.01
  • Total Spent So Far for September $222.73+$2.01=$224.74
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of (September): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month:$11.84-$2.01=$9.83 left to spend in September
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$2.25
  • 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=$1724.95 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 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: Well we wiped out the stockpile budget this week with our purchases as we needed to use it up with the amount of cheese that we purchased last week. We have one week left for the month of September which will likely mean we will get milk and maybe some vegetables with the $9.83 left to spend in our grocery budget.

Canadian Coupons


dempsters coupon

Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES  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.

  1. 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 a few players from around the world.
  2. 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.
  3. Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry? 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.
  4. Where can I find Canadian Coupons? 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.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop? 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.


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