5 Ways Price Matching Can Significantly Lower Your Grocery Budget

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Many Canadian grocery stores have a price matching guarantee which means if you’re not taking advantage of this money-saving tool then you’re leaving money on the table.

Don’t believe me?

You are because what takes a few minutes of your time might take you longer to earn the money you are splashing without cashing in on the savings.

Prices hardly ever go down on groceries these days and with produce prices going up consumers better start thinking about how their grocery budget will be affected.

Have you seen the price of cauliflower these days? One head runs from $5.99-$8.00 at some grocery stores.

My wife wanted me to buy one for her but I’m not “Splurging” on cauliflower when it was $0.99 in the summer.

She can wait to indulge when it’s cheaper.

If spending money on food is not a big deal to you then you probably won’t care but you likely wouldn’t be here reading this in the first place.

If you are critical about the money you spend in your grocery budget or you’re trying to get back on track with your spending you should learn about price matching.

Related: How much should my grocery budget be?

Grocery Stores That Allow Price Matching

Not all grocery stores allow price matching and if they do be aware that if a sale item that you are attempting to price match is out of stock you likely won’t be allowed to price match.

Some stores are on top of competitors’ sales and they know what’s going on and when they are sold out.

I’ve never been denied a price match because a store was out of stock but there’s always a first so don’t be alarmed if you are told no.

I could type out everything I know about price matching but the reality is that every retailer has several things they like to include and exclude in their price matching policy.

The best way to get informed is to call the grocery store direct, read the flyer for details or ask to read the store price matching policy.

Most stores should have a copy at the customer service desk for the customers to review.

Below are the price matching policies and links to grocery stores around Canada.

FreshCo Canada price matching policy

FreshCo Canada has the “Cheaper Guaranteed” price matching policy

Our guarantee that we’re cheaper means that if a major supermarket competitor within this store’s geographic trade area offers a lower price on any item that we carry in our store, simply show us their price in their flyer/ad (current) or on their receipt (within 7 days of purchase) and we will sell you that item for 1¢ less.

Applies to identical items (same brand, item type (in the case of produce, meat and bakery), size and attributes) or comparable items in the case of private label. Does not apply to prescriptions or gift cards.

Excludes ‘spend x get x’; clearance sales and ‘free’ promotions and discounts obtained through loyalty or other preferred customer programs.

Does not apply to competition misprints or withdrawn or corrected advertisements. We reserve the right to verify competitor prices and to limit quantities to 2 identical products/flavours.

“Our major supermarket competitors”, “geographic trade areas” and “comparable items” are determined solely by us and are based on a number of factors that can change from time to time.

We reserve the right to make changes to this program without prior notice.

Real Canadian Super Store price matching policy

When you go to the RCSS website and input where you live just search the FAQ’s to see the price matching policy in your area.

For Ontario Superstore Locations Only. In order to price match or ad match online you will first need to place and pick up your PC Express order. After picking up your order, please contact us using the Contact Us Form.

Select PC EXPRESS as your reason for contacting us, PRODUCT INFORMATION / PRICING as your issue, and HOW DO I MAKE AN AD MATCH REQUEST as your issue details. Fill out the required fields for each item you would like to ad match.

For multiple items click the + Add Another Product button. Our Customer Support team will respond within 2-4 business days. Online ad match is available for Real Canadian Superstore customers in Ontario only.

Please note the limit for price matching is 4 units for each UPC.

Source: RCSS Ontario

No Frills Price Matching Policy

No Frills Canada

We say ‘no’ to extras like: costly displays, expensive fixtures, big advertising budgets, costly overhead, in-store meat cutting or baking in-store.

Look for “won’t be beat” slogan throughout our store and on some of your favourite items so that you don’t forget to simply show us if you find a lower price and we will match it.

If a major supermarket competitor within this store’s geographical trade area offers a lower price on any item (whether the item has the above symbol or not) that we carry in our store simply show us an advertisement or receipt and we will sell you that item at the same price.

We reserve the right to limit price match quantities to a limit of 4 per item.

No Frills will match the competitor’s price only during the effective date of the competitor’s advertisement or within 7 days of the receipt date.  

We match identical items defined as same brand, item type (in the case of produce, meat and bakery), size and attributes or comparable items in the case of private label. ‘Our major supermarket competitors’, ‘geographical trade areas’, and “comparable items” are determined solely by us and are based on a number of factors which can change from time to time.

Excludes ‘spend x get x’; ‘Free’; and discounts obtained through loyalty programs.

We reserve the right to limit quantities. The “won’t be beat” program is applicable only to departments owned and operated by the No Frills Franchisee or Franchisor and does not apply to Gas Stations, or Pharmacy and prescriptions as defined under applicable legislation.

The “won’t be beat” program does not apply to any other third party operators on our premises such as:  Fresh Meat, Fresh Seafood,Fresh Barbecue or Fresh Bakery Counters.

Giant Tiger Canada Price Matching Policy

Giant Tiger Canada

Your confidence in our pricing is critical and the Ad Match Guarantee is our promise to you!

Our Ad Match Guarantee means “We will beat the advertised price of any competitor” If you happen to find a local competitor offering a lower price on any identical item we carry in-store, simply show us their current flyer and we will sell you that item for 1 cent less than their price.

Why do we do that? Because delivering the most outstanding value for your family budget is our mission, every day.

*Not applicable to clearance sales, percentage discounts, rebates, combination promotions (e.g. Buy 2, Get 1 Free), private label products, online offers, preferred customer discounts or random discounts (Scratch and Save events), or to competitor misprints, withdrawn or corrected advertisements. Applicable only to products currently in stock at this location.

We reserve the right to limit quantities. We reserve the right to make changes to this program without prior notice. Local competitors reflect each store’s market trading area within Canada as determined by Giant Tiger Stores Limited.

London Drugs Canada Price Matching Policy

London Drugs Canada

London Drugs guarantees the best price

We offer what you need at a price that’s right. If you find the same merchandise advertised in print at a lower price and we confirm the competitor has the product in stock, we’ll match that price for one product.

Even if you find that lower advertised price after you buy, we’ll step up and match that price for 30 days.* This does not apply to online pricing and this guarantee can not be extended to items purchased through our online store.

Please see our STORE LOCATOR for a location nearest you.

*Excluding Prescriptions, PhotoLab and internet pricing.

Walmart Canada Price Matching Policy

Update 2020: Unfortunately Walmart has discontinued their price matching policy.

Walmart Canada

Will Walmart match competitor prices?

We will gladly Ad Match with proof of the current in-store retail price of any local competitor’s ad (printed or digital) for an identical item provided that the item is in stock.

Not applicable to used or refurbished items, clearance sales, combination promotions (e.g., gift with purchase), double or triple coupons, after-sale rebate offers, preferred customer discounts or random discounts (e.g., scratch and save events) offered by other retailers, or to competitor misprints or withdrawn or corrected advertisements.

We reserve the right to limit quantities.  Our “local competitors” and ‘identical items’ are determined by us.

Walmart’s Ad Match program may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice.

The Bargain Shop Canada Price Matching Policy

The Bargain Shop Canada

Savings Guaranteed
We shop our competitors* regularly to ensure you won’t pay less elsewhere!

The Bargain Shop will match the current advertised prices of our competitors, just bring us the ad.

* Competitive store list varies by market.

Everyday Low Prices Are Not Enough

Some stores advertise that they have everyday low prices but that’s not going to get you the best savings for your grocery budget.

You must take it a step further and use all the tools available to you to lower your food costs including price matching, coupons, coupon apps, rewards programs and any promos offered throughout the year.

What Is Price Matching?

Price matching also known as ‘ad matching’ is where you can take a grocery store flyer or show your smartphone to the cashier when checking out to get the same sale price on a product as advertised by a competitor.

Some stores put limits on amounts you can price match so you don’t go in and wipe them out of product in one shot.


What happens is after you price match a limit of 4 products you would then pay whatever the price is initially for the product.

  • Flyer Price $3.99
  • Product Price $5.99
  • Price Matching Flyer $3.99 x 4
  • After price matching limits $5.99 each.

Price matching can be a bit overwhelming when you first try it out but do it a few times and you’ll be a pro at it.

My first-time price matching I was nervous because typically my wife is with me grocery shopping but one particular time I was alone and I survived.

It wasn’t so bad as long as I was organized and friendly with the cashier.

I always make it a priority to say first names, hello and maybe a create a laugh or two to break the ice.

Some cashiers actually like their job and if your attempt at friendliness fails just keep on going because your cashier should know the store policy about price matching.

How To Price Match (Price Matching 101)

You want to find the best price on products you buy at the grocery store and the best way to do that is by price matching.

Take it a step further and you can add coupons along with price matching and then apply any coupon app savings to keep more money in your pocket.

When a huge sale is happening at a grocery store and you want to price match you better be there early or risk not getting any of the product or you can price match at other participating retailers and save yourself the line-up hassle.

Here’s How Price Matching Happens

  • Create a grocery list of items we need that week
  • Look through the weekly flyers to see what is on sale
  • Write down what products I can price match and to what store
  • Circle the products in the flyer for easy reference or I fold the paper over
  • Always make sure that the date is present on the flyers even if you are using a cell phone or print copy as some stores allow printed flyers from the computer for price matching.
  • Find the exact products that I am price matching in-store. Although most products have to be identical some stores allow you to get similar products. A dozen eggs for example or sugar that goes on sale may be from 2 different companies but both the same size and the store allows price matching. Some stores like Freshco will never be undersold nor will No Frills. This may be different if you venture into the electronics world of price matching. Always consult with the store before making price-matching plans.
  • Keep the grocery cart organized so it’s easier to place on the checkout belt
  • I use a cashier when available instead of self-checkout as it takes forever
  • I always let the cashier know first that I am price matching
  • I organize the items I will be price matching first on the belt with the UPC code down for all items which makes it easier to scan and gets me out of there faster.
  • As the product is scanned I provide the grocery flyer I am price matching to the cashier to check. If you have any other means to price match you would then show the cashier.
  • That’s it!
  • Painless but if you’re not organized it can get messy with the flyers and wasted time but it does take a bit of a learning curve.

How to Handle A Refusal To Price Match

If you run into a cashier who is not willing to price match for you then ask to speak to a manager politely.

Don’t get in a huff as that won’t get you what you want if the store does, in fact, promote price matching.

If the manager will not budge then you take it to the next level BUT before you do that review the price matching policy at the store to make sure you are armed with all the information.

Don’t waste your time calling if the cashier and manager were right because you “assumed” you could.

Speaking with head office will likely yield you the correct answers and if you were incorrectly given information at the store level head office will correct the problem and make good on their honour of price matching what you need.

Price Matching Benefits Your Grocery Budget

For those of you who are still skeptical about price matching, there are many benefits to engaging in this way of saving your money.

Saves You money

Obviously, the biggest pro is saving money when you are price matching your grocery products.

Consider how much gas you save to not having to run from store to store.

Money should be important to all Canadians so why miss out on all the savings action unless you don’t mind blowing your money away.

If you think that price matching takes too much time to do, you’re wrong.

I’ve heard the same thing about using coupons or coupon apps.

Compare the time you spend price matching to save money to the time it takes you to earn the money and the answer should be clear.

The money you save grocery shopping you can put towards your emergency savings, retirement savings, paying down debt or other bills or paying for a kids education.

Huge Time Saver

Going from shop to shop unless they are very close to each other will take time but when you are price matching you only go to one store and that’s it.

Saving time is a huge bonus as you skip the hoards of people who show up for flyer sales especially if it is on Dollar Days.

Standing in line waiting to check out wastes time so if you are price matching at a different store may eliminate the wasted time.

However, be warned that some stores might not allow price matching on sale days.

Less Stress

I find it easier to spend money if I am stressed out or have too much on the brain so I make sure that going to one grocery store is a priority as opposed to 2 or 3 which is the norm sometimes.

There may be reasons you shop at various stores such as better produce but no price matching where the store that price matches have crappy produce and lower prices.

Sometimes there has to be some give or take if you want the savings or you shop where you want to shop, price match and the most you are out is time and gas. Your choice.

Price Matching Promotes Price Awareness

One thing I’ve noticed at the grocery store or from people I chat with is that they are not aware of store policies such as The Scanning Code of Practice, Rain Checks and Price Matching and other in-store policies that are attractive to the customer.

Some stores offer to price match and give you a percentage above that amount to beat the customer’s prices. I like that idea.

My RCSS does price match against any flyers that I bring, including some from ethnic stores. They also allow smart phone flyers. One good thing about fresco is that they will price match for you minus 1 cents.

So basically saving you another cent!- Juyenty T (CBB FAN)

The other perk of grocery price awareness is that you get to learn the prices of the products when they are on sale, regular price and prices you wouldn’t dare to spend your money on.

If you start price matching you will automatically start learning the skill of grocery shopping to save money.

It was worth it for my family and I hope it will be worth it for you.

My biggest tip would be to start price matching out slowly and introduce more items every time you shop until you are comfortable.

Honestly, it won’t take long unless your organizational skills need improving but I’m sure you will surpass any obstacles.

Happy Saving!

Discussion: What other price matching tips could you add?

If I’ve missed any price matching policies at your favorite grocery store please let me know so I can include it.

December Grocery Game Challenge Post

Join in the Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) 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 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.

If you have any ideas you’d like to add to the Grocery Game Challenge please email me as soon as possible.

Free Grocery Budget Tools

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 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.

2015 Grocery Shop Results

Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 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 $174.05
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00 $174.05
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $90.00
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $230.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 31,947
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0.98

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

  • Snap Groupon to date: $28.00
  • Zweet to date: $18.00
  • Checkout51 to date: $7.00

Grocery Shop This Week

  • Total to spend this month $235.00-$60.94=$174.05 (overspend from November)
  • 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 $25.00+ Oct $25.00+ Nov $25.00+ Dec $166.17
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $23.28
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $40.77
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $718.82
  • Total spent this week: $0
  • Total spent so far this month: $114.71
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: Under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over : Under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $7.88
  • 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 $130.37+ October $281.89+ November $249.04+ December $166.17

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

This is the last GGC post for 2015~Congrats to all of you who have followed the GGC so closely all year I wish you luck and hope to see you back here next week for the start of the GGC 2016!

Not too much going on this week as we’ve been eating at the relative’s house and are still enjoying leftovers.

Canadian Coupons

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!

These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money.

We’re finding fewer and fewer coupons in the stores these days.

What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

Canadian Coupons 2016

Grocery Game Challenge FAQ’s

  • 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. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
  • 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. If you choose to post monthly  or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. 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 Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our iPhone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • 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 as 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 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!

Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.


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Photo credit: Cauliflower photo under main photo by Christine Battrick Mclean

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