The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

Why you should always get a product price check: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Oct 13-19, 2014

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price checker free productBE A GROCERY BUDGET MONEY SAVER


Not everyone has patience when they are grocery shopping and the last thing you want is to hop into a line when the customer ahead of you needs a price check.

I know what you might be thinking….Moron, why didn’t you check for a price before throwing it in your grocery cart!! Don’t be so harsh because one day it might be you.

These days we rely on computer scanning systems along with a UPC scanning bar code to bring up the price automatically.

The problem is not every product has this code and some stores don’t have computer technology. Back in the day the cashier had to manually input prices which was even more reason to watch your prices. Even the cashier can make a mistake today putting in codes to bring up a product’s price.

While watching a comedy show on Just For Laughs the other evening with my wife one comedian had me think of all the times I shut down a line for a price check. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco said he has a problem with people who hold up the grocery line and he would rather tell the cashier to forget the product and move on.

Clearly it’s no big deal to him but it might be to you. Not everyone values a meal or groceries like the next person. Personally I’m not one that is bothered so much by the reactions of people behind me when it’s my turn at the cash but some people apparently are.

We tend to plan our meals so when we buy products we are buying them to include in a recipe so to let the emotions of customers sway my decision to not buy a product is something I’m not prepared to do.

I’m also not willing to waste my time going to customer service because a customer behind me can’t wait for Timmy to find a price for a product I’m buying. My theory is if you are in a rush go to the self-checkout and even then you are not guaranteed to get in and get out without a hitch.

Another reason you should get a price check is because the price label was missing on the shelf and you know another store could be cheaper. It’s also always worth getting a price check because sometimes that item is on sale but was not included in the flyer.

Money matters to us so we aren’t willing to sacrifice our hard-earned dollars because someone behind us has an issue with waiting a few minutes for a price check.

If you want to eliminate hold up in the grocery line and you know a sticker price, label or barcode is missing it’s easy to find a price scanner or talk to anyone who works in the store to get the price check before getting into the line-up.

For us, we’ve had the odd price check where the item was actually on clearance and was a lot cheaper than expected which is always a nice surprise.


Price check for accuracy


Any grocery shopping money saving expert will know about the scanning code of practice (SCOP) and if you aren’t familiar with it I’d suggest you read up about it.

To summarize SCOP, if a product scans higher than the shelf-price than you get that product free up to $10. Of course there is more to the code so educate yourself on how to be a money saver rather than shrugging a pricing error off. Not all stores follow SCOP either but a good majority of big box stores and grocery stores do.

This still seems to be the number one reason for us to hold up a line and with good reason. Unless you’re loaded or are that bothered by the feelings about the customers you are potentially upsetting behind you then get the price check. It happens more often than you think even with the all the new technology they have for pricing and stock control.


Price check to eliminate paying more


Items that have no bar-code such as fruits and vegetables could end up costing you more especially if your cashier doesn’t know what the product is.

How many times has your cashier asked you what a certain fruit or vegetable is? You might also find that you’ve checked your receipt only to find the cashier has charged you a different price from what was posted or if you do catch the error as it happens they say, “Oh, I thought that was (insert fruit or veg here).” More than a few times we have discovered that our bargain apples weren’t that much of a bargain.

Sometimes this issue is related to SCOP because someone put the wrong price on the product label or we made a mistake because the wrong label was on the product and didn’t notice. Either way, we’ve had some shockers at the checkout.


Price check for correct sale product


Sometimes you might pick up the wrong item from what was advertised on the shelf all because someone else moved stock around and you thought that flavour/brand was also in the sale.

If you aren’t sure get a price check before you cash out but always take note of the cash register to make sure the prices show up as they should. If your luck has been like ours in the past you might find you’ve conveniently picked up the one variety that’s not included in the sale.

Numerous times this has happened to us, you read the flyers, get to the supermarket and then the sale shelf has multiple flavours. The sign on the shelf says “selected varieties” which is vague for starters but a money maker for the store if you buy the regular priced item.

Whichever reason you have for holding up a line it does result in the same effect. The people standing behind you get rather annoyed to say the least. Some move to a different line but some come right out say what they think.

The people who start muttering under their breath about how annoyed they are with you must have a lot more money than us because they obviously don’t care about what things cost.

If they’ve got money to burn in their budget then sure, why not moan a little. I haven’t got money to burn and I’ve also got some patience to go along with it.

Are you worried about holding up the grocery line for a price check?


October 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. Join in the Grocery Game Challenge fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each blog post… here are the GGC rules!


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 savings 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 FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!


Ultimate grocery shopping guide


Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly. If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.

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.


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If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB foodie Nicola and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out! Try a recipe and leave a review for other fans!


Grocery shop results


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 October $235.00-$49.30 (overspend in September)=$185.70
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $61.19
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $51.71
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $20.00
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $ 19.92 (6 x Bavarian bread and 2 x Ta Ta Tea)
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+$15.10 + $20.00 (June)+ $22.44 (July) + (August) $8.00+ (September) $0 + October $
  • Snap Groupon to date: $19.25
  • Zweet to date: $4.00
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $12.75
  • Total Spent This Week: $0
  • Total Spent So Far October:$40.92+$77.99+$118.91+$0
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $66.79
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $n/a
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $235.07+May $223.62+June $275.37+ July $203.36+ August $228.26+ Sept $272.80+ Oct $
  • Weekly Overview: This week has been busy like most Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving. Although we didn’t cook a turkey dinner we travelled to my wife’s parents house for good eats and lots of love and thanks. This means we did no shopping this week. We have found with having the baby now we hardly cook like we used to. We are trying but it’s going to take time once we sort out more of a stable timetable with our son.



 Coupon Sleuth


Dempsters apple pie bagel coupon

Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.

Since we did not go grocery shopping this week we do not have any in-store coupon finds however CBB Grocery Game Pro Christine found a great coupon to share with all of us.

Found a new .50 coupon for Dempster’s Apple Pie bagels at Foodland. Expiry is Dec 31, 2014. The younger boy loves his bagels every morning and he tried these. Says they are quite tasty toasted with a bit of cinnamon/ sugar mix on top!!! They smell like apples a bit too.


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.
  • 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.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • 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 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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