Negotiation skills take time and practice so don’t be shy to haggle because you won’t become the master communicator you need to get the discounts you deserve.
It may sound deceiving when you use influence to get what you want but if you use the right negotiation skills it’s a win-win for both parties.
Often when we go grocery shopping there is a product we find that we are able to get reduced in price.
If you saw a box of cereal where the box was crushed you’d likely just leave it on the shelf and find one that is not damaged. Right? Not us!
Throughout the day and night there is a stock person who goes around the store to stock and find products that are damaged or close to expiry and they typically reduce the price.
They don’t always find every product so it’s up to you, the consumer to make sure you negotiate the price you want to buy that product.
Besides, whenever you want to buy something you should inspect it for freshness, quality and expiry if the product is required to have one. This is the only way you will find out if you have ammunition to grab a deal.
So, you leave the cereal and we swoop in for the savings.
How to Negotiate…
You have to always be ahead of the negotiation process which means you have to know what you are talking about PLUS you must have alternative reasons why you should get a deal. I like to call this ‘power negotiating‘ because you aren’t sweating you’re waiting for their answer.
Think outside the box, if you can do that but in time it will come easy to you.
Why should you negotiate at the grocery store anyways?
Well, there is money to be saved and if you are on a tight grocery budget like most people the savings can add up to big dollars at the end of the year.
Mrs. CBB and I would first take that box of cereal provided it was on sale and a kind we like to a cashier. Once we get the cashiers attention we simply ask if it would be possible to reduce the price of the produce due to the damage.
Make sure you are pointing to the damage and looking the cashier in the eyes when you talk to him/her. He/She needs to know that you really want this product and besides they likely will reduce the price anyways or throw it out.
Since we can’t go dumpster diving in Canada (I wouldn’t) some people would be upset to see good food tossed in the bin for nothing. Sometimes it goes to feed animals as well but not likely cereal.
You could certainly use that as part of your argument if he/she were to say no but if there is a refusal of your negotiation you move on to set 2 in the negotiation process.
You ask for a manager.
I know it may seem petty at this point having to take a manager away from their busy schedule but don’t worry, it’s their job. They have the title manager to solve problems with-in the grocery store and this I’m afraid, is a problem that needs higher-up assistance.
Not all cashiers have the power to get involved with negotiations so don’t be alarmed if he/she declines to help you. I’m sure the cashier will be polite and let you know this isn’t territory he/she is able to have final say on.
Before you speak to the manager make sure you have your negotiation ready in your head. Know exactly what you will say.
Make sure to talk to the manager by looking at him/her, point out the problem, ask if he/she will reduce the price by x amount and that you would be willing to take it if he/she does.
We did this once with some vanilla packets we found at Zehrs. My wife knew they were expensive but they were in a section marked off strictly for reduced products with pink stickers (50% off). My wife took the vanilla to customer service who wouldn’t reduce the price.
My wife always asks for a manager or has even went as far as head office if she has to depending on how she is treated. There are always rude customers but we’ve also experienced rude employees.
When the manager asked her what she wanted she explained to him that the vanilla packets were not scanning via the in-store scanner and they were on the reduced rack.
He keyed in the UPC code and it came up with “not in the system” which apparently means they are getting rid of them.
He asked her what she wanted to pay for the box of vanilla and she said $3.00. They retail for about $0.99 for each little sachet of vanilla powder. There had to have been 100 little sachets in the box.
The manager was willing to take part in the negotiations and came back with $4.00 and at this point my wife knew that was reasonable because she knows her prices and agreed.
The manager was even cracking jokes and making my wife laugh. That was excellent customer service and the ideal situation however they don’t always go this easy.
If you are armed with a defective product which may be a dented can, opened package or damaged package always be prepared for rejection of negotiations but remember that there are always different layers of management or service reps.
You don’t have to wait for damaged products, close to expiry either to snag a deal. If you are buying in bulk at the grocery store, speak up. Talk to a manager and see if he/she can give you a better price.
Make sure to tell the manager how much you love the grocery store, you are a weekly customer and it’s your go-to store for the best deals. It’s not buttering them up if it’s the truth!
If you can get the manager to smile you should have no problems getting a discount even if it is tax-free or a percentage off the price.
This is why I always suggest to get to know your grocery store team so they know who you are and when you are ready to get involved with negotiations they already know who you are.
Always use their names and smile!!
Learning to Negotiate
The art of negotiation takes time BUT if you don’t do it you won’t get better at it. Don’t be shy because this happens all the time at the grocery store. If they view you as cheap so be it, you don’t know them on a personal basis so what’s the problem?
Even if we did know someone who worked at the grocery store that still wouldn’t stop us from negotiating to get a better price.
Another time we found milk that was 2 days away from expiry back when Zellers was open. We asked a sales clerk on the floor if she would be able to mark the produce down and she said no.
Once we asked for the grocery manager she came out and checked other products after we informed her there were more close to expiry.
She apologized as they typically mark them down but one of her sales associates were ill so it hadn’t been done. When we spoke to a floor clerk we attempted negotiations apparently with the health and beauty stock clerk who worked across the aisles.
Be mindful who you are talking to and if they even work in the same department because if they don’t know the first answer will be, no. You may get lucky and the sales clerk or stocker will tell you that it isn’t their department and recommend you to someone else.
Never give up but make sure you have valid reasons for wanting a product reduced. The last thing they want is you wasting their time. If there is a tiny dent don’t make a big deal over it.
Be reasonable when it comes to defective or damaged items because if it’s small it likely will stay on the shelf to be sold at full-price.
Your influencing skills are only as good as you want them to be. Make sure you are approachable and not acting like a total jerk, that won’t help your case. Most times managers have no problems offering a discount.
If you don’t get the discount you want you can try negotiating further but if no is no or a final price is final don’t push it. Make your decision to purchase the product based on the final offer price and be done with it.
Don’t forget the manager and cashiers will remember who you are so you don’t want to burn your bridges for the next time you come in and find something else.
The Negotiation Formula
- What are you negotiating?
- Who’s the best person to negotiate with?
- Keep your desired results with-in reason
- Go higher if you’re not happy with the result
- Settle/Compromise to get a result if necessary
- Always smile and be friendly
- = Savings
Negotiating at the grocery store is probably the best place to start perfecting your negotiating skills so you can move on to other things like negotiating a price on a new or used vehicle, negotiating while on vacation etc.
Are you ready to negotiate at the grocery store if you have to? What do you say and how do you prepare for the process to help others who are too nervous to speak up?
May 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!
- How to grocery shop 7 days a week and save money- The Grocery Game Challenge #1 May 4-10, 2015
- Top 5 Reasons Your Food Shopping Bill Is Expensive- The Grocery Game Challenge #2 May 11- 17, 2015
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
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.
2015 Grocery shop results
If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB Home Chef Nicola Don and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out!
Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month.
- Cheerios cereal $4.79-50%
- PC Creamy Strawberry Yogurt $1.99
- 3 x Astro Coconut Yogurt $2.99-$1.00 coupon (one only)
- Bananas $3.21-50% +200 PC Plus points
- 2 x Extra Old Cheddar $6.29-50% and $5.31-50% plus 1000 PC Plus points
Total out-of-pocket $19.26
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $190.03
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $190.03
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $20.00
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 77576
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Snap Groupon to date: $1.50
- Zweet to date: $6.50
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $4.50
GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
- Total to spend this month $190.03 (this is minus overage $44.97 April)
- Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$
- Stockpile budget used this month: $0
- Total coupons used this week: $8.00
- Total coupons used to date: $21.00
- Total in-store discounts this week: $9.30
- Total in-store discounts to date: $399.40
- Total spent this week: $55.60 (not including what I get back from coupon apps)
- Total spent so far this month: $46.57+$55.60+$19.26=$121.43
- Total over/Under spend this shop: under $under
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $68.60
- Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44+May $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) With my parents on the way I didn’t buy too much as we will go shopping next week. We have lots of meat in the freezer so mostly just vegetables, bread and fruits along with some milk is on the list.
Canadian Coupons Found This Week
Last week we found quite a few coupons so check last weeks GGC post if you missed reading it as I’ve scanned in all the great coupons found in Ontario stores right now.
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!
No coupons to report this week.
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 but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?:
YesNo, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. 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.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- 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 2015 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. If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
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 2015!
Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.
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