The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

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 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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  1. price match is just a grocery store game .u have to match every thing exactly .its just a rip off .

  2. Personally, I’m not a fan of Flipp, especially if I’m in a hurry. looks far more promising because it tells me exactly what flyer the lowest priced product is in. That’s a huge deal for me. Just give me the info I want so I can be on my way 🙂

  3. Actually… it’s called a Challenge for a reason, so I’ll go down 10$ with my food budget and it’ll look like this (weekly)
    Food $80
    Household, Beauty, Health: $10

    Midterm I want this to go down to $70/$10

  4. Sorry, I just realized I posted in the wrong week….
    SHOP: Metro 01-Jan
    2x Dole Fruit jar – on sale – 2.99 each
    2x naturally raised Pork Shoulder – on sale – 22.58
    2x Pillers smoked Salami on sale – w 75 Cent coupon – 5.24 each
    Total Coupons used: $1.50
    Total out of pocket $39.15
    SHOP: Sobeys Urban Fresh 01-Jan
    4x Barilla Pasta – on sale 4/5$
    2x Arborio Rice 1kg – on sale – 3.49 each
    6x DelMonte Fruit Jars – on sale – 3.29 each
    Total Coupons used: $0
    Total out of pocket $31.72
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $360
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Plus points earned to date: 32,100
    Airmiles earned to date: 139 (23 this week)
    Shoppers Points earned to date: 76,168
    SCOP to date: $0

    Zweet: $0.25
    Checkout51: $12 $0.50
    Snap: $1.00
    Total coupons used this week: $ 1.50
    Total coupons used to date: $ 1.50
    Total in-store discounts this week: $ 10.76
    Total in-store discounts to date: $ 10.76
    Total spent this week: $ 70.87
    Total spent so far this month: $ 70.87
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $ 0
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $ 0
    Total left to spend for the month: $ 289.13
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $70.87
    Hi everyone!
    So…. it’s the first day of the New Year and I learned a few things already:
    1. Sobeys is not the same as Sobeys “Urban Fresh” which means, the flyer doesnt apply to their stores. Bummer.
    2. I am spending too much money on canned fruit. But I am assuming it’s just one of those times when I crave something really strange and it’ll pass soon.
    3. I already spent $70 of my (granted way too high compared with others here) food budget and I am trying not to go shopping again until later this week – possibly even until next weekend.
    4. I have already spent my monthly allowance for bodycare/hygiene/cleaning things at Rexall LOL
    5. The dog has spent his monthly allowance as well. Nail clipping and a bag of kibble. But it will last for the month and longer.
    My menu plan this week includes:
    – Cream of Wheat, Rice Pudding and different cold cereals for breakfasts
    – Frozen fruit with the cream of wheat and rice pudding
    – canned fruit, cereal bars and a cinnamon swirl cake (homemade) for snacks and desserts
    – Homemade bread with cheese, salami or pulled pork for diners
    – Pasta bake with peas and cheese for lunches (portioned and frozen)
    – Chili (portioned and frozen) with or without rice for lunches
    I definitely paid high prices for my shops this week, at least most of them. And 25$ for canned fruit is waaaaaay over the top. Well. A good place to start saving! Next week I am back at No Frills again!

    1. Hi Birgit,
      I had no idea about the 2 different Sobey’s stores. We don’t shop there but that’s good to know. They don’t price match either do they?
      What is your monthly allowance for health and beauty? Is this in your grocery budget? Also, do you add cleaning and other items to your grocery budget or is that separate? I love that you add your menu plan for the week at the end of you post. I hope you continue to do this all year as I would love to see how it works out for you. I think you will see as the months go on that your spending will taper off and you will gradually see that you are spending less because you know you are posting your shops. This has happened to all of us but the best part is that it conditions us to realize that we don’t necessarily need to buy everything we desire. Like you mention the canned fruit can get pricey. Maybe you can buy fruit on sale, chop it up and freeze it or can it. We all have made mistakes here at the GGC and we do our best to learn from them. If we overspend one month we carry that to the next month to try and catch up and keep our yearly budget on the right track. I welcome you once again and I trust you will enjoy your stay. If you need anything just shout!! We’re all listening. Mr.CBB you get ballot 22. MR.CBB

      1. Thank you Mr. CBB,

        I didn’t even ask if they’d price-match since I didn’t have the flyer handy. It wasn’t really a big deal anyway. I wanted some Glad wrap for 99 cents – but it’s not the end of the world. 🙂

        My monthly allowance for health, beauty, cleaning and household (HBCH) supplies is $40. Is that little or a lot in your experience??
        I figured I would start with that and see how it goes. Generally I have planned for $100 spending money, $10 for HBCH and $90 for groceries in the widest sense. I would like to bring the groceries down to $60-70 in the long run.

        And to be honest I can already see how keeping book and writing down each cent makes a difference in my behavior. Last month I was crazy for points and this week I can actually hold myself back quite well. No shopping for the sake of collecting PC plus points.

        I’ll stay away from the fruit jars next week – they are super high in sugar anyway – and go back to buying a box of clementines. Those are yummy too!

        Now – one thing I am wondering is: Where do you all get grocery coupons from? I have printed the max coupons from already (and Kelloggs and Kashi) and while those are fine and dandy, most printable coupons are for HBCH and not food items. Do you get those usually in the stores from tear-off-pads? Or from newspapers / magazines? I doubt it would be worthwhile to subscribe to a newspaper just for the sake of coupons though….

  5. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300 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 $650.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650.00
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $-120.00
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 22200
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Snap Groupon to date: $3.00
    Zweet to date: $2.00($25.75)
    Checkout51 to date: $6.76($25.50)
    Air Miles cash used to date -$70.00

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 packs Ziplock containers @4.49, 2X1.00 coupons
    2 cases pop @3.33
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.99
    2 pasta sauce @2.29
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 yogurt -2.99
    Bananas -1.03
    2 packs turkey franks @4.99, 50% stickers
    3 packs ground turkey @4.49, 50% stickers
    1 honey garlic sausage -4.38, 50% sticker
    2 bagels @2.75
    Tax -2.03
    Total OOP -$61.90, 2.00 coupons, 13.94 discounts
    1 pack large freezer bags -1.83
    1 216 count Tetley teabags -9.27
    Bananas -.80
    Total OOP -$11.90
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -3.98
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 yogurt -2.99
    2 bagels @2.75
    1 W/W bread -3.19
    Total OOP -$30.91

    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): Jan $22.20+ Feb $24.50+ (Mar)+$22.18+ April)+$18.32+ May $40.95+ June $24.15+ July $45.32+ Aug $32.92+ Sept $22.43+ Oct $0+ Nov $0+ Dec $0 =$301.49
    Stockpile budget used this month: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $2.00
    Total coupons used to date: $194.60
    Total in-store discounts this week: $13.94
    Total in-store discounts to date: $201.11
    Total spent this week: $104.71
    Total spent so far this month: $606.94
    Total over/Under spend this shop: Under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: over : Under
    Total left to spend for the month: $43.06
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $640.13+ Feb $572.63+ Mar $786.52+ April $515.95+ May $621.33+ June $760.66+ July $552.91+ August $674.89+ September $610.32+ October $646.30+ November $650.45+ December $606.94= $7639.03!!!
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)Under for the year!!!! By $160.97!! Yippee!! Things would have been a lot closer without the gift card from my sisters-in-law and the Air Miles cash I used. But bottom line is I came in under! For the first time!! My plan is to keep working on the budget as costs are going up but the income is not. I’m going to hold off as much as I can using the Air Miles cash and let it build up for next Christmas. That as well as the other points I collect like Shoppers Optimum and the ones from the local drug store. I scored some extra PC points as the gas bar at Zehrs now gives you those and I got gas for the truck after leaving Walmart the other day. I thought I was going to have to pay close to .95-.96 litre but the Zehrs gas are was posting $0.91.6 so I went there. Filling up there got me 950 points! Something for me to keep in mind for the truck, if I’m going to be in town anyway it’s nice to know the prices are good and I get those points!

    1. Hi Christine,
      You loaded up on the reduced sales this week on meat, good for you. They have some good deals at Foodland if you are there at the right time. Like I said if I lived where you lived they’d be sick of seeing me everyday twice a day lol. That is awesome that you came under for the year! I’m proud of you Christine. You worked VERY hard to achieve this. Oh your Zehrs has a gas bar? Yes I heard something about getting PC points with gas. You might as well get what you can get while you can. Although we all save throughout the year with sales it really is the price matching, SCOP, coupons, reduced items and points that get us over the hump. Yes, 2016 will be challenging and more so than ever will the wife and I need the GGC because we are worried about whether we can sustain our current budget BUT we will give a shot for the year and see what happens. What other ways can you think of that you might save money at the grocery store? Can you use printable coupons at Foodland? You get ballot 21. Happy New Year and here’s to 2016!!!

  6. I have price matched for as long as it’s been available in our community. First Walmart, then RCSS joined in. Sadly our RCSS doesn’t follow policy, they go my local competitors only. So, some stores I matched to in Ontario are no longer available to me. It’s a shame, but I can work with it. At least I can keep some idea of what I can and can’t price match. Overall our RCSS is my top choice for PMing. I have never tracked how much I actually save, but that can change from sale to sale and store to store. While RCSS may have a higher price to start off with than another store locally, to track the savings would only been store specific. I would never buy peanut butter regular price at RCSS, if I had to buy some at regular price I would go to Food Basics. It’s no savings to spend a higher price, therefore I can’t track the higher price as my base price, the other store would be my base price. Too confusing and hard to track. I save a bundle of money PMing and won’t stop until the service stops. Some things I won’t buy unless on sale or PMd, but it all works out in the end. Anyone who doesn’t take the opportunity to PM really needs to take a look at what they can really save. It doesn’t take a lot of time to work it out either. I always have a general idea what I would pay for something and then base my PM choices from that. PM will be critical this next year when produce is going to be ridiculous, meat increases and eggs too. It’s so hard to pay the price of eggs when we can see one of the major egg farms every day. I just wish being local had some benefit, but sadly it doesn’t.

  7. Week 5 – December 27 – January 2

    • Grocery budget to work with in December over 5 weeks: $250
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $155.11
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $19.71
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $360
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $73.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $0
    • Total student discounts to date: $224.45
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $13.60
    • Total spent this week: $51.55
    • Total spent so far this month: $250.85
    • Total left to spend for the month: $-0.85
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $79.30
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $3,040.70

    Valumart: Bernadin snap lids clearance 2 x 1.00, Chapmans peppermint ice cream sandwiches 2 x 2.99, Extra lean ground beef 11.20 club pack size (don’t recall what the sale was priced at, but it was a decent amount in the package and we needed something that night and the butcher wasn’t open), tax 1.04: Total 20.20 rounded down 2 cents

    Walmart: Herbal Essences shampoo 2 x 2.72, tax .71: Total 6:15

    Freshco: Coke Zero 24 can 6.47, tostitos 5 x 1.97, Mozzarella 4.79, tax 2.12: total paid 25.20

    Well, the final shop for the year is done. This year has been an emotional roller coaster for me, and I am just glad we managed it. It’s just frustrating that 5 years ago a grocery budget of $30 for food and products that we consume in the home was a healthy amount and we ate like kings. Annoying at best the cost of food skyrocketing. So, our budget compared to then is increased to accommodate, and the types of food have changed – no more steak every other week anymore – to eliminate many things from our life. Yes, we have room to cut out some things. Absolutely. But, if we cut out some of the cheaper treats from our life, the budget constraints will be harder to handle emotionally. So, we don’t eat steak, but we can buy a bag of chips or a few at cheap prices and make them last. It’s not an emotional tie to the eating exactly, but it’s an emotional reaction to the limitations. I am ok with the chips every now and then as long as I can still buy healthy food. Seems this year will be tougher for that and cutting back a few of the occasional luxuries (ice cream) may have to happen. It is what it is.

    In the end, I think we are going to go with a $50 weekly amount again, we did it most of 2015 and we can do it again. I don’t guarantee that I won’t be frustrated or near tears again at the store putting many things back, but I have to try. School is done in April and I hope to be employed more solidly after. I did accept a part-time job at the end of the month. With so many bills going up, I had to. I will figure out the scheduling soon, but it’s a student job, so it ends when I am done school, but it’s something to help with the increase in electricity especially. That way we don’t have to cut back any more on the groceries. Thanks to family over the Christmas holidays, our pantry is looking healthy and I have a gift card in my back pocket. For the next couple of months, I am hoping for some of my smallest shops ever. I don’t anticipate no shop weeks as milk can be unpredictable in the amount we consume, so I don’t like buying too much of it at once. After visiting my sister’s place, I have come home with two baskets of food, including a large bottle of extra virgin olive oil and a bag of whole wheat flour, as well as more of my favourite coffee. The weight that had been on my shoulders for a few months has lifted for now and it feels great!

    We came in just over $3,000 for this year fully including food and basic life needs (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc). This is good because those items are expensive and have no other place in our budget. Anything we consume will still be entered into grocery category. Thank goodness for my student discount at RCSS, I will miss it when it’s gone, we saved over $200! And PC Plus points, we redeemed $360 this year alone. Yes, some of those points had built up in anticipation of our very tough year, and we are at the point we are unable to redeem, but it will come again. And, some of those points were used off of my mom’s PC Plus card who convinced us to use hers as well. We will have to account for that extra that won’t be available to us this year, so we will have to find a way.

    The carryover jar still has money in it. We had planned to use the extra to help us buy a TV on Boxing Day for the one that burned up on us (smoking wires) over the summer. We had been saving for months. Instead, we scored one on Black Friday at RCSS and we could afford it because it was NO Tax on electronics that day. So, our plans for the carryover have changed. We have had to book a hotel for the first time for an out of town hockey tournament that my son is playing in the first weekend of March. So, we will make the carryover for 2016 start fresh at $0 and take the current amount, stuff it in an envelope and take it with us to the tournament for eating out. Inevitably the team will have a dinner out together and it’s nice knowing that meal is already paid for, and hopefully we can work in a few grocery items from this year’s budget to go with us to keep the rest of the costs down. So, yay!

    I am hoping that 2016 will look up for our family, and I can stick with the grocery budget as is. At least I am going to give it my best shot. Also, it’s time to empty out the freezers and start from scratch this summer. I hope we use up every last thing in the freezers this year. And, it will help reduce the costs for at least the next two months, maybe more!

    Happy New Year everyone!

    1. Congratulations Angela,
      Following your story this year has been very motivational in the sense that if you can do it anyone can. When times are tough like in your case being back in school you do what you have to in order to save money. Some of your deals using coupons, price matching and your student discounts were outrageous this year. Many times I wondered how you were able to fit it all in but you did it. You have a great support system here with the GGC team and your family which is most important. I salute you going back to work part-time to help offset the increase in bills for 2016. Many people would rather suffer and create debt by using credit but this is not you and I’m proud of you for that. As far as 2016 is concerned all you can do it the best you can. If you fall, get right back up. If you are struggling and need help let us know and I’m sure we can all help you out somehow. I bet you are counting down the days until April but like you said you’ll miss that student discount. Happy New Year. You get ballot 19. Mr.CBB

      1. The support system from family in December when they truly realized what was going on in our house was amazing. It was appreciated, and even my in-laws got on board, which is not usually the case. So, I am very fortunate this year. While I am not officially making a goal list this year (I don’t do resolutions), one of my goals last year was to waste less food. We didn’t waste a lot to start off with, but there was always waste for some reason or another. While we weren’t perfect last year, we did waste a great deal less than ever before. We didn’t let food get lost in the fridge, expire on the shelves (and I’m not talking within a day or two because I would still have used most things only expired for a short time, but it’s the stuff I would miss by a couple of months that would hit the trash), or produce go rotten in the fridge. While I don’t think we can ever be perfect for it, I know we can do better this year, so that is the desire and I will work toward it. As for the student discount, I was looking at my ID card and it doesn’t expire until August, so as long as I don’t have to turn it in at the end of the semester, I am classified as a student until August. I will cross my fingers that we can get the discount for half of this year, how exciting would that be? It was a lot of money saved last year. And, this site and the people on it helped me get through 2015 when no one else seemed to understand, including my husband (he’s not as determined not to take on debt). That is amazing! Everyone here is so wonderful.

        The part-time job will offset the cut in hours my hubby gets in January, February and March every year. We won’t get too much ahead, but it is definitely going to keep us on track. As many times as I filled out that OSAP application, updated it, etc., I never submitted it. I don’t want any extra from school hanging over my head when I graduate. I want to get back to working down the debt we had prior to school when I was whittling away at it before being downsized. That debt has to go, I can’t take on more. We have used the credit card, but all of the purchases were paid for prior to the use. Hubby needed new steel-toed shoes for work, we put it on the card and paid it when we were reimbursed within 24 hours. We had to book a hotel for an upcoming hockey tournament to hold our room, but we already have the money set aside for that, the payment will be made to the card before the signature is put down on it when we check in. I cannot say that the credit card has no use, but we don’t make purchases on it that can’t be paid right off. It’s important that our debt doesn’t rise. I scrimp and save to make sure. I am a little nervous about this year being able to handle the work load, but I have to make it work. Perhaps hubby will not be as frustrated because he is seeing that I am totally overworking myself, and he feels like I am criticizing him when I say we don’t have enough money to do whatever activity he wants (He thinks I’m implying that he’s not working hard enough when I’ve told him repeatedly that I think it’s the absolute opposite, we just don’t have enough to maintain our current lifestyle and have the extras, for now, someday he will participate in the budgeting, I hope). However, I am crossing my fingers that my grades won’t be affected. I still have the Dean’s list in sight for the end of this year. I’m on track, but not perfect. It was a 4.0 for year 1, but I’m sitting at a 3.99 for year two. It’s not a brag, I was very disappointed that I didn’t manage my goal, but as long as I am a 3.5 and up, I reach that goal, get the certificate, and it is absolutely doable. It looks good on a resume and I feel like I did everything I could to show my son that you should never skate by, but apply yourself. I’m also showing him that it’s ok not to be perfect, but you can certainly strive to do your best. Now, those grades have never included a perfect 100% in any class, I don’t think anyone can pull that off! I’m satisfied with close! My goal is always 95% and up. Sadly, I had one class that fell below that this semester and that is what caused the drop. And, that is OK. I knew I misunderstood a couple of questions on the exam, and that is the consequence. But, really, if I got those marks the first time in college, I would have been dancing! So, nothing to be ashamed about, maturity has brought me a different desire. The part-time job is also amazing experience because it’s in my field, and an extension of my placement. The time there flies, not like my job in the past. So, that part is easy and it feels so good to be working again. While school is great, it is not a lifetime thing for me, like a few of my classmates that just jump from one program to another. Bring on 2016! I’m ready for it!

        1. WOW you did awesome in school congrats!!! I’m glad the blog and fans have helped you through such a busy time in your life. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts. I hope you get your discounts until August as that would really help get you started after school is done. I’m sure your son has a deep appreciation for all that you do.

  8. Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $ 20.16 (superbucks)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $6.55
    Gift card- $31.68+4.25=$35.93
    PC points redeemed—$40+ $30=$70.00
    plastic bag rebate- $0.01+0.02+

    month of Dec 1-31 2015
    Zesty Italian salad dressing 2 @ $0.46=$0.92
    mushrooms $2.79 (-reduced)=$1.39
    Naan bread 2 @ $2.49 (-reduced)= $2.48
    brown sugar 1 kg – 2 @ $1.49 =$2.98
    tostitos-(100 pc pts) =$2.99
    coffee mate flav creams 2 @ $ 3.99 (1400 pc pts) = $7.98
    NN mozzarella cheese – $5.79
    tomatoes $3.99 (reduced)(400 pc pts) = $1.99
    mushrooms 2 @ $2./ $5.00 ( reduced) = $2.50
    reduced produce =$1.49
    bananas- $2.52
    honey garlic sausage $4.99 (reduced) = $2.49
    PC oval flatbread $2.49 (reduced) (500 pc pts)= $1.25
    gourmet hummus $3.99 (reduced) $1.99
    $50 PC gift card- used pts, but will deduct as I use it
    4 pk chocolate bars=$3.50
    bag variety rolls =$4.49
    PC Naan bread 3 @ $2.49 =$7.47(reduced)= $3.72
    pumpkin pie =$5.99
    trisket crackers 6 @ $1.67=$10.02
    1L whipping cream- $6.29
    10 lbs potatoes 1 @ 2/$4.00 (reduced) =$1.00
    reduced produce 4 @ $1.49 = $5.96
    apple pie= $5.99
    butter tarts – $5.49 (reduced) = $2.74
    cannoli – $1.29 (reduced) =$0.64
    ragu pasta sauce 2 @ $1.25 = $2.50
    mushrooms $2.99 (reduced) =$1.49
    1.66L ice cream –$2.99
    Five Alive juice- $1.00
    10 lbs potatoes- $2.00
    reduced produce =$1.49
    whole chicken- raw =$7.35
    whole chicken- raw =$6.59
    pork chops- $5.41
    pork chops- $4.32
    400g sole fish=$5.00
    croissants = $1.99 (reduced) =$0.99

    Name Your Store: i.e. Shoppers Drug Mart(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $49.49

    doz eggs 2 @ $1.99= $1.99
    4L milk 2 @ $ 5.39= $10.78
    4L milk 2 @ $ 5.39= $10.78
    4L milk 2 @ $5.59= $11.18
    4L milk 2 @ $5.59= $11.18
    doz eggs 2 @ $1.99= $1.99

    Name Your Store: i.e. Walmart(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.88

    4.73kg turkey – $0.00 (scanning code of practice)
    450g cheese 3 @$3.97= $11.91
    3L veg oil- $4.97

    Name Your Store: i.e. Bulk Barn (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $3.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $21.50
    gift card- $5.00

    Hickory smoked almonds- $8.33
    chocolate macaroons-$2.79

    Name Your Store: i.e. Giant Tiger (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.45

    10 lbs potatoes= $2.44

    Name Your Store: i.e. Lawton’s Drug store (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.80

    1L ketchup- 3 @ $1.99 (-20% senior’s discount)=$4.80

    Name Your Store: i.e. Sobeys (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card-(Purchased with cash) $4.97
    redeemed Airmiles- $10.00

    Compliments Cheese Whiz 6 @ $4.99 BOGO= $14.97

    Overall for the month of December

    $101.67 out of pocket (does not includes the $200 gift card I paid cash for, as I will deduct as I use it)
    $ 23.19 coupons (coupon and star bucks)
    $ 40.93 gift cards
    $ 80.00- airmiles/ pc points redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $ 50.00 (I use my PC points and Air miles to buy them )
    $ 4.97 (Sobeys gift card that I purchased from cash)

    Do the above for each receipt you have then copy the template below and paste it to the bottom of your shop so we can see your results.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $216.67 (averages $50 week)
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $

    Total Gift Cards used to date: =$76.08+$6.46=(25-31 May)=$82.54 + $50.39 (month of June)= $132.93= $86.07 (July) = $219.00+$60.64 (Aug)=$279.64+$24.21 (Sept)=$303.85+$15.16 (Oct)=$319.01+$15.51 (Nov)=$334.52+$40.93 (Dec) =$375.45
    Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $10.00
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Snap Groupon to date: $0
    Zweet to date: $0
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($0.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $9.73+24.23 (month of June) =$33.96+$18.52 (month of July) =$52.48+$32.92 (Sept)=$85.40+$20.73 (Oct)=$106.13+$6.00 (Nov)=$112.13+23.19 (Dec) =$135.32
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: 0.00
    Total spent this week: $0
    Total spent so far this month: $106.67
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month $106.67

    Total left to spend for the month : $353.02+$216.67 June=$569.69-$36.90 (spent in June)=$532.79+ $216.67 –$4.15 (spent in July ) =$745.31+$216.67-$149.53(spent in Aug)=$812.45+$216.67-$313.05 (spent in Sept)=$716.07+$216.67-$145.94(spent in Oct)=$786.80+$216.67-$192.06 (spent in Nov)=$811.41+216.67-106.67=$921.41

    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) $730.33+ $36.90 ( month of June)=$767.23+ $4.15 (month of July) =$771.38+$149.53 (Aug)=$920.91+$313.05 (Sept)=$1233.96+$145.94(Oct) =$1379.90+$192.06( Nov) =$1571.96+$106.67=$1678.63

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Looking back at what I have purchased in Dec, it really isn’t that much, but I have so much food in or fridge and cupboards !! Loved getting our Xmas turkey for free. We spent an average of $32.28 a week, for my husband and myself. Very pleased. I love having lots of food in the house. Air miles and PC Points have really helped a lot….and of course stocking up on sales. Looking forward to see what 2016 holds for us.

    1. Hi Kathryn,
      What an awesome year you both had. I knew you would make it through the year and yes the PC Points do help. If we didn’t have the PC points we would have simply adjusted what we purchased. Most times I think we know the points are there so we can use them if we need to. Happy New Year Kathryn!! You get ballot 16. P.S Having lots of food sure feels nice.

    2. Hey Kathryn,
      what an amazing score! You got such a HUGE turkey for free?!? Congratulations!!!

      4.73kg turkey – $0.00 (scanning code of practice)

      And I completely understand that warm and fuzzy feeling, knowing that fridge and pantry are full. going into the new year with so many options really feels good!
      Happy New Year!

  9. I always do price matching and update myself on this on a regular basis so that I can save money and time. It’s really good to know where the cheapest products are located.

  10. I’d love to read about the specific items everyone is price-matching! This will be a thing I want to work on this coming year. The grocery coupons I find are often for household items, not for food.

    Does anyone know if Metro in Toronto is price matching? I couldn’t find anything on their website.

    Yesterday, when the flyers were in my mailbox it was hard to resist planning a shopping trip for this week. But having vowed to not shop until the weekend (next year) I’ll do my best to stay clear.

    What really bugs me though is that Shoppers had Kraft peanut butter on sale this week for 3.99 and I bought 2 jars of the all natural kind. Now I see no frills has Kraft Peanut Butter on sale this week for 2.47 ! Grmpf!!!!

    How do you guys keep a price log in order to avoid this kind of disappointment??

    1. I don’t think Metro price matches unfortunately. Yes that happens all the time but if you buy something at the same store and the next week it goes on sale they typically will refund you the difference if you bring your receipt in. If in doubt ring them up and ask. Prices vary from week to week and there is no way to know just what products will go on sale. It’s hit or miss in my opinion. Does anyone else have anything to add?

  11. I can’t price match here in town as both stores here are the higher end types but I still work to save what I can at the Foodland across the street from me. I do save on gas there. I will price match going into the nearest city to us. I try to make the trip in worth while bu combining a grocery shop with a visit to my Dad or a doctors appointment for hubby. I have never had an issue price matching at the new No Frills there. I do try to keep all the coupon product in one section of the cart, price matches close by there,( I will price match and then use a coupon) and I have the flyers in hand at checkout. I get asked if I’m price matching as soon as the cashier sees those flyers in hand! One time I didn’t even have to show the flyer to match some butter as the girl had already had a number of people come through ahead of me matching that butter so she knew the price without having to look. I find if I try to make things as easy as possible for both of us it goes much faster. The cashiers love it if you are organized as you hit the checkout!!
    My sister-in-law works at a Walmart and she was telling us about some of the crap people have tried to pull with price matching and coupons. It makes it hard for those of us that follow the rules but there are jerks no matter where you go. They just don’t get far with her as she won’t take it from them…..her bosses love her and her work so the jerks don’t get far complaining either.
    I need to watch what we spend on groceries and it isn’t getting easier, so the extra time and effort I put in is worth it for us…

    1. I think most cashiers know that if a customer has flyers they will be price matching. That’s just it about trying to beat the system as it only ruins it for those who do it right. This year will be even tougher with the price hikes at the grocery store so we will have to put extra effort into grocery shopping. If a cashier is PM’ing the same product all day then she already knows BUT she should follow the rules and visibly see that the customer brought the flyer in or it’s on a smartphone. That’s up to the managers to deal with though.

  12. 2015 is almost over, and my husband and I averaged $32 total a week for food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. Gotta love the store incentives, reduced to clear produce and meat. Am I concerned about the price of groceries? Actually no. Stores are always having great sales, and it is our job to take advantage of it. Buy enough so you are able to eat it before it goes bad, and also so you don’t need to pay full price.
    Happy New Year !!

    1. You are exactly right Kathryn but for those who don’t check out the sales or make use of all the tools available to save money it’s hard for them to see how much it helps. I hope by spreading the word and by fans like you sharing your experience that it will make a difference. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.

      1. Exactly. Tonight, I received a phone call from my daughter…she scored a lot of pink sticker 50% products at our Superstore. Her new husband was slightly embarrassed by all the stickers…and commented that his Mother in Law (me) wouldn’t have that many in her shopping cart. Daughter says “are you kidding, we would be having a contest on who got the best deals.” Very proud moment 🙂
        Son in Law is slowly coming around.. lol

  13. I am noticing that No Frills in two different towns that I go to ,now have a list on their window stating which flyers they will Price Match to. We feed a family of 10 and I have to price match and pantry shop to make it work in budget. But it blew me away when No Frills would not Price Match to Basic store. Superstore does. I have had issues with Superstore Price Matching. It can not be a PC product even if it’s the same size and country it comes from. Eg. Raspberries 250ml from Mexico. I also has issues in the past with meat Price Matching there, however I can say I rarely buy meat at Superstore anyway. Mr. CBB I have been playing your game but not writing it here. Hopefully come 2016 I can share with you on your blog.

    1. Hi Marlyn,
      I just read another article that said meat was going up again another 4% this year as if it wasn’t already high enough. Eggs up another 2% and so on. Yes you are correct as I’ve seen the same flyer in the window at our No Frills stores. So they won’t price match Food Basics? Interesting. I’m going to read the sign at our store to see what stores I can PM from. Price matching is going to get tougher just like couponing became over the years but it’s still a huge money saver. We’d all love if you posted with us. The gang is still small about 5 or 6 of us right now but I’d like to see it grow so I can offer bigger prizes. Right now I give away gift cards to PC stores. 🙂 If you need any help at all please email me or ask here as the GGC gang reads the comments and help out. I will be posting the new schedule next week which is the first GGC post for 2016. Thanks Marlyn, Mr.CBB

      1. I’m glad that my RCSS price matches against Food Basics. If they didn’t, well it’s not that far of a drive away. I look at it this way, the stores are wanting to keep us as customers and not drive us to another store for our shopping, which will happen if they don’t provide the convenience of coupons and price matching.

  14. My RCSS does allow price matching of X for $X.XX as I’ve done it and I’ve seen many others do it. What they don’t allow any longer is to price match at the self check outs.

    One tip that I have is have the regular prices or that store sale items go thru first and leave a space so that it’s easier to determine when the price matching items start and then organize them by store so that when you are either flipping thru the flyer or on your device, it’s easier to complete each store individually….but that’s all part of the organization of check out.

  15. Last GGC of the year…

    Dec 25 – 31, 2015
    Name Your Store: Walmart
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = N/A
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.95

    Pad = $2.95

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $40.40

    Chips Ahoy & Fudgee-O Cookies – 2/$5.88 = $5.88
    585 g Cheerios = $3.99
    2 Tubs Danone = $5.97
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    1.66 L Breyers Butterscotch Ripple Ice Cream = $3.98
    2 – 750 g NN Peas – 400 PC Points = $3.56
    Bananas = $1.32
    2 Wonder WW Bread = $4.44

    1.6 Kg Hard Cat Food = $6.48

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Human Year ($2080.00, for the pay period – $80.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Cat Year ($390, for the pay period – $15.00)

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $13.25
    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week Period: $
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $10.86
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week Period: $
    Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $10.00
    Total Snap rebates this Week Period: $
    Total Snap rebates to Date: $1.00
    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $524.76
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $629.17
    Total Produce this Week Period: $
    Total Produce to Date: $274.81
    Total Adhoc Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Adhoc Stockpile to Date: $528.37
    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 15270

    Total Over/Under spend this Human shop: $under
    Total Left to Spend for the Human Month: $1.40
    Total Spent To Date – Human: Jan $234.85; Feb $130.22; Mar $146.35; Apr $186.85; May $187.95; Jun $156.49; Jul $137.58; Aug $174.29; Sept $194.80; Oct $198.63; Nov $99.41; Dec $158.60 = $2,006.02

    Total Over/Under spend this Cat shop: $under
    Total Left to Spend for the Cat Month: $3.40
    Total Spent To Date – Cat: Jan $47.65; Feb $22.08; Mar $33.69; Apr $21.35; May $26.96; Jun $29.06; Jul $16.91; Aug $41.06; Sept $48.82; Oct $26.83; Nov $34.51; Dec $26.60 = $375.52

    Overview: Well this year is now over and both the cats and humans ended up in the black, which is a huge accomplishment for me. Next year will bring a whole new bunch of challenges but I’m up for it. 2nd job is done for the year and won’t be back until about March.

    1. Hi Dee,
      Well, here we are at the end of the year and the last grocery game post!! I’m so excited for all of us once again. First off I want to say how proud I am of you. I remember the first time you started posting and how little detail you gave but now you are on top of your game and then some with your grocery goals. YOU my friend will be successful if you continue to motivate yourself to reach your grocery goals. Like I mentioned to Mary I don’t think anyone could accomplish what we all do by simply having a budget and going shopping without documentation. It’s just not possible. Will you be making any changes to your grocery budget for next year? What areas do you feel you need to improve on the most? High Five… You did it!! Thanks for joining me on another Grocery Game Journey Dee… I look forward to crushing it in 2016! Mr.CBB You get ballot 14. 🙂

      1. The biggest change to my budget will be pulling out the items like laundry, personal hygiene, TP….things like that so the grocery budget will be just that…groceries. I know that I’ve learned lots from the WFD ladies which has helped my budget this past year. I plan on still tap into that resource to keep learning.

        The one thing I’m excited about is seeing the Canadian sale cycles, like I showed you for the States.

        1. Right so you will be doing what I do so you can see exactly what “food” is costing you for the year. That is why we did that. I wonder how we can track the sales cycles for one year? Any ideas what we can do? If we plan now and do it for a year we will be armed with more information for the GGC and maybe a blog post to detail sales cycles better. Thoughts?

          1. I think the easiest would probably be to start with the US list and go from there to determine where we have changes. It could be a question that’s on the WFD once per month to see if anybody notices a trend of certain foods that are on sale. Maybe the CBB gang that works in the retail industry might have some suggestions as to determining what types of products go on sale when.

            This might be the case that it takes more than 1 year to complete but even after 1 year, the listing should have some body to it to help see the trends starting to form.

    2. Dee, Mary, Mr. CBB – your posts are really amazing and very inspirational!

      I cant even imagine how to stay within budget over a whole year by such small numbers like Mary with $6.30 or Dee with roughly 15$ for the cat(s). It’s remarkable!! I wouldn’t even manage that for a month! But … I’ll try! 🙂 And I will also try to cut down somewhat. Seeing how you all work with 50$ per person per week motivates me to look at my budget and see if I can bring it down from 100$ per week (granted, including household and bodycare items) to maybe 75$ over the next year.

      1. Hi Birgit,
        I’m sure Mary, Dee, Christine and the rest of the GGC gang will agree that we all thought we couldn’t achieve what we have, but we are. We have learned so much over the years here that sticking to the budget is a bit easier but always challenging. If you set your mind to something and have people to support you it helps. I know that for a fact as it’s been tough going with our grocery budget for years.

        1. Hi Birgit,

          While growing up, I wasn’t involved with cooking very much so I didn’t have the experience(s) of learning how to make many different time and money saving dishes. In fact, when I moved out on my own, I had to ask my mom how much I should budget for groceries and that’s the only time my mother ever (from what I can remember) gave me financial advice and she told me to budget $50/person/week. So for my house, I should be budgeting $100/week but currently finances doesn’t allow for that so I make my grocery budget for $40/week for 2 people. I must admit that I’m over in some months and I’m under in others but as long as I have the funds to make it work and stay on budget by the end of the year, all is good.

          I’ll tell you a secret Birgit, until this past year, I would never make my own broth. Never even knew that it was possible because it wasn’t something that was done at home. Because of the WFD ladies, I have now learned how to make my own broth so I can make my own homemade soups and therefore save myself some money. As Mr. CBB said, this is a learning experience and everybody “falls” off the wagon. You have started on a journey that only you can determine how far you want to go.

          1. Hi Dee,

            thanks so much for your reply and ideas! Wow… 40$ for two per week? I applaud you! And I also have made my own broth and would love to learn in the future. It must be so much tastier than the shelfstable stuff I buy.

            Will you tell me another secret? Who are the WFD ladies?? I think I could learn a lot from you/them! At least it sounds like it!

            Once I moved out – very early with 17 – I had my mother only nagging about me saving money, but she never really told me HOW. I do remember dishes we ate as kids. Cheap foods like omelettes with canned mushrooms or potatoes roasted in a pan with melted cheese on top. And yes, I remember my mom making chicken stew, but dont think she ever made her own broth.

            Well. I’ll be watching closely your weekly shops and dishes you prepare and definitely try to have one no-shop-week per month. It seems to me right now that the only way to save money is not to go into the stores. Apparently I am compensating for not being “allowed” to shop for luxuries like shoes and clothes or fancy foods by going to discount stores and buying everything that is on sale or that I have a coupon for. Geee…. it’ll be a long journey!

  16. DECEMBER – Week #4 of 4- Dec 28-Jan 3, 2016


    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults



    At the start of this week, we had the following funds available to spend:

    Regular Groceries $0.00
    Holiday Groceries ($6.30) < Y-T-D Overage
    USA Groceries $0.00
    PC.Plus Points: $80.00

    Even though I am over $6.30 for the year, I have $80 worth of PC.Plus Points that I never used. I like having an emergency cushion! 🙂

    We also did not vacation in 2015 so we have 5 weeks worth of grocery money ($47.50 x 5 = $237.50) still sitting in our vacation savings. Therefore, we are still in the black if you count those funds. I don't though. I'll just use them for an even better holiday season next year! 🙂 After all my health issues in 2015, I'll be truly ready to celebrate by then! LOL

    We started to redeem points for our milk purchases this year to the tune of $87.81 for the entire year. I have month-to-month moved an equal amount of cash out of our budget into the points redemption reserve so really, we are ahead of the game. We used the points instead of cash & left that cash in the bank where I like to have it. 🙂 I wanted to see if I could cover the milk costs if I had to and yes, I could. Next year, my plan is to allocate any funds I saved with my milk points redeemed to beef up our "holiday reserve" for use in December 2016. Bring on those fully funded celebrations!

    I did however use some of our carry forward "reserves" money this year and we are now closing the year as follows:

    $217.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $537.50 Borscht Fund
    ($ 6.30) Holiday Season Fund
    $100.00 Summer Season Fund

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $848.70. This means the $1,230.00 that we carried forward from 2013 & 2014 less the $381.30 that we used to help fund a happy holiday season at home. That $381.30 is more than the $237.50 that's sitting in the travel savings so I need to step up my Holiday Season Reserve for 2016.

    HOWEVER – I am this week transferring my "points reserve" into the holiday reserve so it's back in the black to close out the year. (-$6.30+$87.81 = $81.51).

    NOW – the Year-End Reserves are now as follows:

    $217.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $537.50 Borscht Fund
    $ 81.51 Holiday Season Fund
    $100.00 Summer Season Fund
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Fund
    $ 0.00 US Shopping Reserve

    Realizing we have 4 holiday meals in restaurants with friends and family this week, this needs to be a "NO SHOP" week for us as we have tons of leftovers to use up to ensure we don't finish the year with wasting food. It's hard to stay out of the stores when I know there are amazing sales this week but I know me well enough to know if I even enter the stores…I will find something I "must have" but really just want. No, I finish the year with a reprieve from groceries. 🙂









    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $3.58+ Feb $0.00 + Mar $14.54 + Apr $15.76 + May $0.00 + June $5.68 + July $0.00 + Aug $35.63 + Sept $138.97+Oct $65.17 +Nov $57.50 + Dec $82.65= $419.48

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 + May $0.00 + June $14.00 + July $0.00 + Aug $0.00 + Sept $88.75 +Oct $7.79 +Nov $10.13 + Dec $0.00= $120.67

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 +Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 + May $0.00 + June $0.00 + July $0.00 + Aug $0.00 + Sept $0.00 + Oct $0.00 +Nov $0.00 + Dec $0.00= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22 + Feb 45 + Mar 140 + Apr 12 + May 6 + June 12 + July 0 + Aug 160 + Sept 84+Oct 29 + Nov 5,197 + Dec 116= 5,823 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 + July 0 + Aug 4 + Sept 176 + Oct 72 + Nov 0+ Dec 4= 580 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200 + Feb 900 + Mar 900 + Apr 1,500 + May 0 + June 1800 + July 0 + Aug 900 + Sept 2,200 + Oct 1,411 + Nov 3,400 + Dec 0 = 14,211 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 40 + Feb 40 + Mar 0 + Apr 0 + May 0 + June 20 + July 0 + Aug 0 + Sept 0 + Oct 0 + Nov 40 + Dec 40= 160 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $199.31+ Feb $180.69 + Mar $274.41 + Apr $105.59+ May $237.00 + June $171.34 + July $53.25 + Aug $319.00 + Sept $117.32 + Oct $373.03+ Nov -$5.82 + Dec ($37.24 trf to US funds +$100 trf to Holiday Reserve-$11.00 Trf back from Holiday Reserve +$52.55+$24.43+$4.98$+$3.49+$2.49+$35.95-$35.95 Trf from Holiday Reserve+$24.00+$11.98+$4.72 = $254.88) =$2,280.00

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + Apr $190.00 + May $190.00 + June 190.00+July$190.00+Aug $190.00 + Sept 190.00 + Oct $190.00 + Nov $190.00 + Dec $190.00 = $2,280.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $0.00 AVAILABLE



    2014 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $3.83+ Mar $32.09 + Apr $4.99 + May $4.69 + June $9.38 + July $4.69 + Aug $0.00 + Sept $9.38 +Oct $4.69 + Nov $4.69+ Dec $9.38= $87.81

    ** Being moved to Holiday Reserve to zero this reserve **



    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50+Feb $22.50 + Mar $17.50 + Apr $18.44 + May $17.50 + June $6.56 + July $20.00 + Aug $20.00 + Sept ($17.50-$120 – $167.50= – $270.00) + Oct $17.50 + Nov $0.00+ Dec $0.00= $217.50



    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50 + Mar $12.50 + Apr $0.00 + May $20.00 + June $30.00+July $0.00 + Aug $12.50 + Sept $12.50 + Oct $12.50 + Nov $0.00+ Dec $0.00 = $537.50



    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00+ Mar $10.00 + Apr $10.00 + May $25.00 + June $10.00 + July 15.00+ Aug 15.00 + Sept $10.00 + Oct -$63.70 + Nov -$205.43 + Dec ($100.00-$11.00 Trf to Groceries -$35.95 Trf to Groceries+$4.72 Trf from Groceries+$14.70 from US Reserve-4.69-1.97+5.94+22.04= $84.35)= ($6.30)

    ** Being topped up with $87.81 from Points Reserve to bring the closing balance to $81.51 **



    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00 + Feb $10.00 + Mar $15.00 + Apr $15.00 + May $35.00 + June $36.44 + July $13.56+Aug $21.31 + Sept ($9.85-$106.16 = -$96.31) + Oct $17.09 + Nov -$67.09 + Dec $0.00= $100.00



    $ 2,280.00 Grocery Budget JAN-DEC
    $ 87.81 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    $ 381.30 DRAW FROM: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($ 0.00) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 87.81) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 2,647.83) Actual CASH SPENT – $2280 budgeted + $367.83 from reserves



    $ 4.98 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB
    $ 4.99 Whole Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 1.60 Sprouts- 1,000 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – APR
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAY
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JUNE
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JUNE
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JULY
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – SEPT
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – SEPT
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – OCT
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – OCT
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – DEC
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – DEC

    $ 87.81 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    1. Hi Mary,
      Well, here we are the last shop of the year! How does it feel? Congratulations on a successful year even though we both had times where we went over one month and had to make up for it. I don’t think we would have the same success and I’m sure you will agree with me if we didn’t document our grocery expenses. It’s just not feasible to say that one can set a budget and track everything in their heads. Your GGC post is always inspirational given the detail. What are your plans for 2016 grocery budget? We will be working on ours this week. Big claps for the both of you! P.S I know what you mean about staying out of the stores or you will find something you need to buy. That’s my biggest weakness! Thanks for playing with me again this year Mary.. well done my friend!!! You get ballot 13 MR.CBB 🙂

      1. Our income has not changed substantially, and whatever increase we did see has been eaten up with the increases on our monthly bill payments. So, we will continue the GGC at $190 per month for 2016. This is getting harder and harder every year to remain at the same budget. 🙁 Did you realize we started the GGC at $190 in 2013 and I haven’t increased the budget since then? It has taken work let me tell you to stay the course & I completely agree that the documenting of our shops is one of the keys to our success. 🙂

        In what promises to be a year of substantial food inflation, I will simply have to get more creative with my grocery shopping and meal planning. Hubby has been warned that the belt is about to get very tight this year. He’s ready to work with me though to stay on budget. Thank goodness for our vegetarian/vegan background as I can shift some $$ from expensive animal proteins to the fruit/vegetable purchases by leaning more heavily on my vegetarian proteins. That’s not to say all the vegetarian proteins are cheap… but relatively speaking they are. I think the content of our freezers will be very different at year-end next year.

        We laugh about my constant making of soups-stews-chilis but I swear, there’s no better way to stretch a grocery budget! I am so grateful to have had a mother and grandmother that each kept a pantry to guard against the tough times. It has been a normal thing to do all of my life. It did shock hubby though when we first got together. 🙂 They also taught by example that vegetarian soups at both lunch and dinner help lower the amount of additional foods you need to maintain good health. Both of them championed the 100 Mile Diet – eating what is grown locally and in season with only foods they had “put up” to increase the variety in the off season. Some of us that have become “citified” and have gotten used to the year-round availability in the grocery stores but are surprisingly unhappy with the “imported” prices. It’s time to go back to the old ways that our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers practiced. Grandma had a massive garden that she maintained until she was in her 90’s, not to mention the chickens she kept for her eggs and a cow for her milk/cream/butter. I have fond memories of cranking the separator and plunging the churn to make butter. Laundry was done by hand on a washboard and hung to dry. No such thing as wasting electricity with a washer and dryer. Babba was vegetarian because of her faith so there was never fish or meat on her table…even though she could have fished the river at the edge of her property. She canned constantly as the crops came in and my mother came to visit and help her for the summer bringing the kids for some time with her side of the family but never did we have a shortage of tasty treats. Sunflower seeds were the candies of my childhood! We were given a little handful for being good all day while the women worked. No good behavior, no sunflower seeds…more food learning in progress. The higher the food inflation gets, the happier I am to return to my roots. 🙂

  17. Love your post! Thanks Mr. CBB! I am going to spend a little bit more effort next year price matching. Especially since I live downtown and walmart, superstore, food basics & co. are just too far away to get to by transit. Also paying $6 roundtrip for the TTC defeats the purpose to get a good deal if I can get it all at No Frills using coupons and price matching!

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