The Grocery Game

Should using the self checkout qualify you for a customer discount? – The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept 21-27, 2015

should using a self checkout quality you for a customer discount 3(1)NO EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT!


As of right now I don’t know of any grocery stores that will qualify a customer to a discount if they use the self checkout.

Not even a loyalty card that states if you use the self checkout 10 times you get a Free Steak is available as a perk. I like Steak!

You get ZIP Diddly as my wife would say, nothing.

While standing in line the other day waiting for a product check watching and shuffling my feet another customer spoke up from behind me.

“Hey, why doesn’t someone open up another cash register so we can get out of here faster?” says an older gentleman wearing a black business suit.

You see this grocery store has 10 checkout lanes but only 2 of them were open although the self checkout was also available. Was it even worth moving over to the self checkout?

Is the store purposely not bringing in enough staff to open the grocery checkout lanes because they rely on the self checkout? It’s all about the money. I’m sure there is some truth to this because if there wasn’t there would be more staff on duty to handle those customers who don’t enjoy the self checkout.

There are pros and cons to the self checkout as I detailed back in 2013 in a past Grocery Game post. What intrigued me about the gentleman behind me who seemed very upset about the way they were handling the situation was that there was NO incentive for him to use the self checkout.

They can’t even guarantee that it will be faster for a customer to use the self-checkout because let’s face it, we haven’t been trained on how to use them. Not only that but all the same issues happen at the self checkout as it does at the cashier.

Employees get full training on how to use the self checkout systems and the customers are supposed to just walk in and master it. As comedian Sebastian Maniscalco would say, “It doesn’t work that way.” He jokes in his video “Whats Wrong With People?” that the grocery stores gave up on us and that we weren’t properly trained on how to use these self checkout scanners, and he’s right.

He goes on to joke saying that he goes in at 3am to learn the self checkout system because he doesn’t want to be the problem. In other words, he doesn’t want to be the customer that holds everyone up.

The more I listened to Sebastian joke about the self checkout I knew one thing was for sure, we aren’t getting paid as employees to use the self checkout.

Scroll to 6:57 in the video to see his comedy skit about the self checkout at the grocery store. I will warn you, be prepared to laugh your socks off as he’s one funny guy. If you can’t help but continue listening enjoy the video but read the rest of my post first or please come back and read it.


Self Checkout for Free


There are no perks, not even a customer discount for saving the grocery store staff members, nothing. Hey, wait a minute here I want something out of the deal for using this self checkout.

Ever since then I’ve stopped using them because I don’t find them to be of any use to us. Not only are they cutting down on hiring staff which means cashiers are getting laid off but they aren’t offering incentives for the customers to scan and bag their own groceries.

Why would you want to do the hard work of a cashier when you can stand there and let the staff member getting paid to do it ring up your groceries? Are we being brain-washed into believing that the self checkout is the better way to go because it will get you out faster?

It hardly ever does because we always have to ask the one cashier they have monitoring the 8 or so self checkout stations to help us process our reduced items. If you have coupons you still have to wait until he/she is free to help you. So again I ask, what are the perks to you as a customer?

Unless you are someone who REALLY wants to know what it’s like to be a cashier you might enjoy this tedious process but it’s not for everyone and it’s not for me either. Hats off to anyone who works at a grocery store as a cashier because you need to have a certain patience and personality and that wouldn’t be me.

Let’s be honest, prices at the grocery store are only going up and now they want us to do the job of someone they typically pay without a discount or so much as a thanks for doing our job for you. Nah.


Paying for a full-service cashier


So, after we get groceries of course the gas light comes on so I cross the road and head to the gas station to fill up. It was there where I had this epiphany.

Back in the day if you didn’t want to pump your own gas you would pull into full-service where an attendant would come to your window, you’d roll it down and say, “Fill her up please.” You can still do this at many gas stations across Canada.

You’d roll up your window and stare outside basically doing nothing until it came time to pay. You’d pay a premium for this service because they did the work for you.

These days if you go to the gas station and you pull up to self-serve you will see that there is a distinct price difference per gallon for your gas. Why? Well, you’re doing the work so they compensate you while offering you a cheaper price. Hey, that’s great isn’t it. Of course it is as long as you are able-bodied.

So, that lead me to wonder if grocery stores should be giving customers who use the self checkout a bonus but wait just one minute. Does that mean if you use the cashier they can add a premium price to your grocery bill because you used full-service cashier?

Ah ha, I bet you never thought of that one coming and don’t be surprised if in the future we see something like this happen. If there is a way to make money businesses will do it but I think in this case there has to be more than just one place starting this new trend if it were to happen.

Could you imagine the grocery flyers… “This week shop at Papa Bobs Grocery and Use Our Cashier Free of Charge to Checkout” or “Enjoy a 10% discount if you use the self-checkout at Papa Bobs Grocery.”

What do you think about getting a discount for using the self checkout and paying a premium for using a cashier?

Either way someone is getting the raw end of the deal.


September Grocery Game Challenge posts


Join in the Grocery Game Challenge Fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post.  Here are the rules to get you started and if you have any questions feel free to email me.

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week here for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. This just makes posting a bit easier although all you need to do is click on The Grocery Game Challenge on the homepage sidebar and you will see them all.



Free Tools to get you started with your grocery budget


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

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsFree 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


the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything 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.


2015 Grocery shop results


Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $235 per year or $25 per month.

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $120.00
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $140.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 7975
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Snap Groupon to date: $15.00
  • Zweet to date: $14.50
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $6.00


Grocery Shop This Week


(add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

No Frills

  • 10 x Sugar Sale $1.44
  • 6 x Lactancia Butter $2.99
  • Carrots $0.99
  • Celery $0.99
  • Red Onion $1.25
  • Bananas $1.50

Total Out-of-Pocket $36.41- Stockpile $25.00 = 11.41


  • 4 x Pineapple Juice No Sugar Added $5.00
  • PC Stuffer Mushrooms $4.69-$2.35 pink sticker
  • 2x PC Organic Oyster Mushrooms $8.98 -pink sticker $4.50/2
  • Baby Bok Choy $2.34-50%= $1.17
  • Gourds $3.99
  • Oliveri Tortellini Large package and awesome deal! On Sale for $6.99-50%=$3.50
  • 2 x Oliveri Tortellini Large Packages On Sale $4.99-50%=$2.50 each

Total Out-of-Pocket $25.51

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2% Neilson Milk $3.97

Total Out-of-Pocket $3.97

  • Total to spend this month $235
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$25.00+ May $25.00+ June $25.00+July $14.44+Aug $25.00+Sept$
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $34.50
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $16.52
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $581.11
  • Total spent this week: $40.89
  • Total spent so far this month: $73.80
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over $under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $161.21
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44+May $218.12+ June $235.67+July $212.16+August $118.15+ September $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) We only needed a few things this week where the butter and sugar was a great stockpile item for us. Since Christmas is around the corner so we stocked up for baking. Last week we pulled all the basil and made our yearly basil cubes and were given lots of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, swiss chard and more. I’m sure we will use up the remainder of the grocery budget for our last shop but we’ll just have to wait and see.


Canadian Coupons Found


Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!

We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

 Game Coupons Sept 2015


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?: Yes No, 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 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 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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