The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

How a sale flyer can be confusing: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Feb 10-16, 2014

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flyer sales Canada DON’T RUSH YOUR MONEY


Reading through the sale flyer of each store is something I do each week in order to make a list of what we need to shop for.

I have probably told you over and over again how important a list is because without it I’d likely deviate and buy all sorts we probably didn’t need or could do without.

Saying that, there are times when a great deal is before you and you have to make that split second decision yes or no, like we did this week as you will read in our grocery shop. Making sure you have the funds in your budget is imperative though.

How many of you can relate? Probably lots but that’s not what I’m here to chat about today.

I always tell you to read your receipt before you leave the store just in case there is an error either made by the computer or the cashier which does happen.

I should also add to that to make sure you are not in a huge rush when shopping because that is when you make more errors or maybe miss an error.

We were in a rush and we mis-read or mis-understood is more likely a better choice of words how a sale flyer with limits work at Shoppers Drug Mart.

We all know mistakes happen but for some stores they have the scanning code of practice which you can read all about if you are not familiar and for others they don’t.

If you don’t catch a manual error you are out that cash depending on if it was in your favour or not but we should still be honest either way.


Sale flyer


My wife has to attend a family baby shower next month so we’ve watched for a baby sale flyer at Shoppers Drug Mart to see if we can match some great baby deals with our Shoppers Optimum Points coupons.

We have almost 400,000 Shoppers Optimum Points now over the past year so they send us all sorts of coupons for 20x the points, or get x amount of points if you spend x amount.

We like to use them only if we need to pick up items or if the math means it’s in our favour paired with a sale flyer. This was a great week to use our printable Shoppers Drug Mart 20x point coupon if you spent $50 because the sale flyer stated that Johnson’s Baby products were on sale for $2.99 Sunday and Monday with a limit of 4.

The rest of the week the baby products would be $3.99 with a limit of 4. There’s a catch though to this type of sale flyer ad. Maybe it’s obvious to some but for us, not so obvious.

At $3.99 that’s still a decent price after we compared prices at many other stores ranging from $5.99 and up. So we needed to spend $50 which was reasonable since we needed to pick up 2 bags of milk which would cost us just under $8.00.

Off to the baby section we went and it was great to see that there were so many products on sale for $2.99. It was like hitting the baby shower jackpot. We were going to pick up a nice basket at Value Village and some clear cellophane from the dollar store and jazz up the basket with bits and bobs for the mom to be for her baby.

While at Shoppers my wife left me in charge to pick out baby products and all she said was get one of everything that was on sale so we could hit the $50 mark. She ran off to the pharmacy to order a prescription she needed and to chat to her friend who was working who also gave her a bonus 3000 points coupon with the prescription beeper.

This was an unplanned shower so the expense is going under miscellaneous this month but none the less we needed to make a nice gift up. We went to check out and to be honest we were paying attention but the sales don’t factor in until then end on the new cash registers so nothing registered in our minds until after we left the store.

I read over the receipt and thought the flyer sale said that select Johnson’s baby products were on sale for $2.99 but for many of them we were charged $3.99.

I went back into the store with the Johnson’s baby products and I’m already dealing with a 3 day migraine and I’m almost late for an appointment with my real estate agent. We bought everything from baby shampoo, baby wash, baby powder, Vaseline etc. for $2.99, supposedly.

I talk to a cashier who said we weren’t the only ones who have noticed this but that just lately that Shoppers Drug Mart has been advertising products in the sale flyer with a limit although that limit may include the entire line of products even if they are all different.

He said we have to really watch the limits and what products the sale flyer describes otherwise after you reach the limit on any of the products you pay the next step price.

The confusing part if you are not aware is that it is the entire Johnson’s line of products that are on sale that you have a limit on, not just per product ie baby wash, baby shampoo or UPC code. I thought that was a bit odd since they were all different products but that’s what he says they do now.

So, even though each shelf price tag has the sale price and limit of 4 it’s not just for that one product the limit it’s for the entire line that’s on sale. We thought it was per product as the sales tag read, limit 4 which is what had us confused. I’m sure there must be an easier way to market the sale so it’s not so confusing to customers like us although we get it now.

If you are reading the flyer sales be warned that what you see in that little box may mean that there is a limit of 4 on all of those products not per product. If you read the shelf price it says the product name, the sale price and limit of 4 and that may mean more than just that product you are buying.

We don’t normally buy lots of products like this so it was a bit new to us and maybe for you seasoned Shoppers Drug Mart shoppers you caught on to this faster than we did and that’s great.

It’s no different from a multi-buy sale flyer and if you don’t buy the 2/$5.00 and only buy 1 you pay a regular price of let’s say, $3.99 if that’s what the flyer sale states. It’s so important to read and read that fine print just so you don’t get confused at the cash like we did.

If believed you were getting all those products for $2.99 and are someone who doesn’t read their receipts you likely just paid $1.00 more per product than you thought if you went over that 4 product limit.

Like I said, $3.99 is still a great deal so we didn’t bother returning the products. It’s just something to be aware of and I thought I would let you know how we handled it.

Have you ever paid more for a product because of a product limit on an entire line of different products and UPC’s or a multi-buy where you only purchased one item?


February grocery game challenge posts


If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you.


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 FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet 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!


Ultimate grocery shopping guide


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Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email and let me know.



Food food and more food




  • Premium plus crackers whole wheat $2.50
  • Split pea beans $2.76
  • Celery- $1.27
  • 4 x chunk light tuna $1.07
  • Tomatoes $1.77
  • 6 x Grapefruit  Sale $0.47 each $2.82
  • Mini Carrots Sale $2.00
  • Bag of coleslaw $1.47
  • Bag of yellow onions 3lb $1.00
  • Bag of carrots 3lb $1.00

Total out-of-pocket $ 21.87

Food Basics

  • Panko Bread Crumbs Sale $1.50
  • Bean Sprouts $1.50
  • Light Rye Bread Sale $1.99
  • Beef cubes $1.00
  • Red Peppers Sweet $1.87
  • Anjou pears $0.91
  • Bosc pears $1.12
  • 2 x White mushrooms 1lb Sale $1.97 each
  • Romaine hearts $1.97
  • Asparagus x2 bunches Sale $4.30
  • Red onions $1.97
  • 2 x Axe Body Spray minus coupon BOGO $4.47

Total out-of-pocket $28.71

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x 4 L Neilson Milk $7.94

Total out-of-pocket $7.94


  • President’s Choice fruit condiment $0.44 (blowout not on list…eesh)
  • Raspberry and Strawberry jam $0.97 (blowout not on list)
  • Green Giant green cut beans Sale $2.49
  • 2 x bags of shredded mozzarella with flax  Sale $2.99 (reg $8.99)
  • 2 x Dempsters whole grains bread $3.79-pink stickers $1.90 each
  • Pillers Knackwurst sausages Sale $2.99
  • Pillers Bratwurst sausages Sale $3.99

Total out-of-pocket $21.52

Grocery Game Challenge Feb 2014 flyer sales

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820


(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially 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 February $235.00-$7.66 overpspend in January =$227.34
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $4.94
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $21.25
  • Total Discounts this Week: $3.80
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $0
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $80.04
  • Total Spent So Far February: $7.66 over budget January+$25.97+$80.04
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $227.34-$25.97-$80.04=$121.33
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: Jan $242.66 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Weekly Overview: Not too bad of a week as we found a few items on blow-out that weren’t on our list but the price was too good to pass up. Otherwise, a good shop for us.


Canadian Coupons Found


If you want to know the specifics of any of the following coupons as they are hard to read simply email me or leave a comment and I’ll let you know as soon as possible.


Canadian Coupons February 2014

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 and your weekly Checkout 51 offers 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 grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 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.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!



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