The Grocery Game

15 Grocery Savings You Might Be Missing At The Pharmacy : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #3 Jan 16-22




One of the least read flyers that consumers miss out on chopping their grocery budget hands-down is at the pharmacy. When our weekly flyers would arrive Mrs. CBB handed them to me and the process I followed was to toss out the flyers we had no interest in which used to include pharmacy flyers.

It was easier for me to get through the flyers of stores that were familiar to me then those little shops. Boy did I learn a lesson from that mistake. If you haven’t taken the time to look around the pharmacies in your area you might be shocked to find out they offer more than just medicine.

The nearest pharmacy to us is a Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix) and a small family pharmacy located next to a doctor’s office. The main difference between the two is that the small pharmacy doesn’t carry food products like you’d find at almost all the big name pharmacies around Canada.

Since being purchased for 12.4 billion by Loblaws in 2014 almost all Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy stores have ramped up PC products and added even more grocery sales. This is great news for frugal shoppers who make a pit-stop at the pharmacy and want to grab some deals on food.

Typically we find in-store specials on the reduced rack as well 50% off any of the refrigerated or frozen foods that are near expiry. Consumers don’t associate a loaf of bread when filling a prescription unless the pharmacy is sharing space with a big box store. This is why we see more and more pharmacies offering rewards programs, flashy savings flyers and lots of marketing.

Some of the most popular free-standing pharmacies in Canada are

  • Shoppers Drug Mart/PharmaPrix
  • Rexall
  • Guardian
  • IDA
  • London Drugs
  • Lawtons
  • PharmaSave


Pharmacy savings with rewards points


You still don’t think going to the pharmacy to buy groceries is worth it?

It sure can be, let me explain more.

For even more savings a pharmacy like Shoppers Drug Mart offers a 20% discount on seniors day once a month which makes purchasing flyers specials even more lucrative paired with a rewards program. Toss in a few coupons and you can easily see rewards points add up, discounts grow and coupon savings mount.


Let’s look at a frequent offer from Shoppers Drug Mart, Spend $75 get 18,500 bonus points. If you stock up on sale items and use coupons to reach the target $75 you’ll get back $25 in points. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.

Related: How to earn Shoppers Optimum Points Fast

Typically we order prescription medication online for our family or we call Shoppers Drug Mart and use their automated refill service. If we can’t make it to Shoppers Drug Mart they will deliver for no charge which is a wonderful service to offer customers.


We deliver


My mother-in-law (MIL) who stays home to take care of her husband typically will have Shoppers Drug Mart deliver their medications to the house. Not all Shoppers or Canadian pharmacies have a delivery service but if there is one then ask if they will deliver more than just medication to you.

What my MIL does is takes advantage of the flyer grocery savings and have them delivered as well. There are tonnes of things you can buy at most pharmacies these days besides medications and pharmacy gifts. Most pharmacies that have grocery for sale stock what looks like the mini grocery store version of the bigger supermarkets.

No, you won’t see a butcher, fish department, baker etc. at your local pharmacy unless your pharmacy has floor space inside of a grocery store which many do. What you’ll find at a pharmacy are convenient type foods and those loss leaders that likely drive you into the grocery store.

That’s marketing at its finest and for most of us who save wherever they can these sales come in handy. That type of convenience is part of the customer service package, keeping it all under one roof. If they can get you to fill your prescriptions and grocery shop at the same time it’s a win for both the store and the pharmacy.

Grocery stores such as Metro, Zehrs, Walmart, Sobeys, Costco and Real Canadian Superstore almost all have an in-store pharmacy. Zellers even had a pharmacy even though it wasn’t classified as a grocery store rather a department store. In the final years at Zellers we saw the grocery and frozen food section grow and then dwindle away. Once Walmart saturated the market with their one-stop shopping it was only a matter of time before Zellers became dust under the carpet.

Do consumers like to shop under one roof?

Many do because of the convenience and time saved without having to drag the family around. I can certainly sympathize now that I’m a father. If stopping at your local pharmacy to purchase flyer savings isn’t in the cards for you then go the price-matching route if possible. You can still get the same savings by letting your cashier know that you are price matching provided it is offered at the store.

I asked my Facebook fans last night whether they grocery shop at the pharmacy and what some of the top products are to stock up on when they go on sale. If you look at the list you can see that most of the items are staples and regular price for such products aren’t cheap.

  1. Bread
  2. Butter
  3. Cereal
  4. Coffee
  5. Bacon
  6. Nuts
  7. Peanut Butter
  8. Eggs
  9. Icing Sugar/Brown Sugar
  10. Ice-cream
  11. Tuna
  12. 10% or Lite Cream
  13. Milk/Evaporated Milk
  14. Yogurt
  15. Crackers

On occasion we see tinned soup and beans go on offer as well Kraft Dinner, chips, cookies, frozen or tinned vegetables. If you drink pop the savings are at the pharmacy if you stock up when you see a sale which is quite often.

If you want the deals you must do one thing.

The key is to read your weekly pharmacy flyer so you know what deals they are offering and apply them to your grocery budget. There are ways to save on groceries and sometimes giving yourself a little extra time to shop might be the difference between stocking up or paying full-price somewhere else.

I was intrigued by the responses by many Canadian Budget Binder fans about who shopped for groceries at the pharmacy and who didn’t care too. Some of them have no interest in going into the pharmacy to get deals and others swear by the flyer savings as the best around.

I buy some grocery items at Shoppers and London Drugs, London drugs has a surprisingly great selection of ethnic and gluten-free food. And oddly enough they have an amazing sale on a good quality olive oil a couple of times a year, they just started a point system as well but don’t think I will shop there enough to earn much.

I buy milk, butter and eggs at Shoppers because of great prices and they are close to my home and I love Optimum points!! I can usually find something on clear out like popcorn or chips or frozen food. A bit off topic but I went for a walk with the dogs today and noticed a sign in the Mac’s convenience store advertising their 4 litre of milk for 3.99, guess I will be walking over for milk, that is at least a dollar cheaper than my Superstore.- Julie

I’ve never been grocery shopping at a pharmacy!- Melissa D.

Rexall Drugstore is good for bread; milk; sugar. They have soup ; canned tomatoes and peanut butter and jam on sale regularly; and priced better than the grocery stores. – Lisa F.

Never really shop at pharmacies unless they are in a grocery store. Not sure what I would buy.Pat C.

Shoppers always have great deals on eggs. Usually $1.99 or $2.29 most all the time.Wendy L.

I don’t shop at a pharmacy much unless they have an awesome sale. – Amy K.

Re drug stores: I shop their sales. Butter and soup often go on sale, along with cereal and snacks. It’s not a deal if it’s not something you would normally buy and it’s a bad deal (no matter what the price) if it isn’t healthy for you.Faith L.

When I lived in London, Ontario, I lived so close to Shoppers Drug Mart. Hubby and I picked up specials all the time. I took advantage of extra points days!! Then, we’d use the points to buy all of our stocking stuffers for the kids! Now I am 20 minutes to a shoppers, and I miss popping in and checking out Shoppers specials and their clearance section for beauty items!!! – Laurie B.

Sometimes we buy food stuff at Shoppers Drug Mart. Typically it’s milk, cream, eggs or bacon. Bought ice cream a few times when it was on sale for a decent price.Judy C.

I find my local drug store (Lawtons) often has tuna on sale. And mushrooms. Those are the two main things I buy there. But sometimes they also have sandwich meats and frozen burgers on sale too! Shoppers is great for eggs.- Melissa M.

I only purchase my drugs from a drugstore as the one I deal with doesn’t carry grocery items…they might sell coffee and a bit of diabetic foods but that’s it.Colleen K.

The closest we have to a major drug store here is the Guardian Drugs down the street. I buy mostly health and beauty products there but they will have pop or Gatorade on for good prices sometimes.- Christine W.

Eggs are usually the thing that gets me in when Shoppers and Pharmasave put them on sale. The local Pharmasave usually has milk on sale all the time.Thad T.

Re Pharmacy Shopping: I don’t live close to a Shoppers with Food Section anymore unfortunately. But when I did I would go for the loss leaders: unsalted butter, milk, sometimes cereals and cheese, sometimes bread, cream cheese and ice cream.Birgit N.

I don’t buy much at either pharmacy in town. They do have sales on convenience products like canned soup and such but I rarely buy packaged food.Michelle K.

We buy quite a few things at Shoppers and we try to capitalize on their points offers where possible (bought a lot of Christmas gifts using points this year!). Bacon, eggs, butter, chocolate milk, skim milk, cereal all go on sale pretty regularly so I stock up when this happens.Tracie R.

Our local shoppers often has coupon stickers on products that are Close to expiring but not off code yet….Wonder bread for $.49 for the freezer!- Tanja A.

I have used our local Shopper’s Drug Mart to price match against but have never bought actual groceries there. Snacks, drinks and health-related items, yes but not groceries such as bread, PB, milk, etc.Della F.

When I had more time I would go to Shoppers to pick up their weekly specials, now due to time constraints I mainly shop at Superstore as their overall pricing is the best here.- Pam W.

My local drug store is the cheapest place in my little town to get eggs, bacon and milk.. even bread! and their bread is fresher than the grocery stores. – Jessica B.

Next time you plan to visit the pharmacy don’t forget to include a grocery list along with your medication list.

Discussion Question:

Do you grocery shop for sale-priced food items at your local pharmacy? What pharmacy do you visit as your family pharmacy?


January Grocery Game Challenge


Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.

New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules

January 2017 Blog Posts:


Free Money Saving Tools 2017


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

This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsDon’t pay someone for these services, I’ve done the work for you along with some help from other amazing bloggers.

You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel 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!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

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. So many free resources at your fingertips.


Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2017


the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken 5 years to create.

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.

Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.

Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.

The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the  many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.


2017 Grocery Shop Results


Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3120 or $260/mth

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.

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

  • Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $260
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $260
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 410,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points  (I will update this twice a year)

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

  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $22.00


Our Grocery Shop This Week


reduced produce items food basicsreduced produce items food basics

Food Basics

  • 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27
  • 6 x 10% Cream $2.48
  • 2 dozen eggs $1.99
  • Iceburg Lettuce Sale $0.88
  • 2 x reduced 6 pack avocado $1.99 each
  • Reduced white mushrooms $0.99
  • Reduced Portobello mushrooms $0.99
  • 2 packs of reduced broccoli $1.49 each
  • Sugar substitute Sale $1.99
  • Reduced Cauliflower $0.99
  • 2 x Almonds Raw Sale $2.88 each
  • Schneiders Pepperettes $9.29 -30%  ($2.79)
  • Romaine lettuce $1.98
  • Selection sour cream Sale $0.99
  • 3 x Bosc pears $1.16
  • Reduced Cumin Spice $1.50
  • 1 x Joe Louis half moon Sale $1.88
  • 1x Caramel Cakes Sale $1.88

Total Out-Of-Pocket $63.80

  • Total to spend this month : $260
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $0
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $49.66
  • Total spent this week: $63.80
  • Total spent so far this month: $205.55
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over big time
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $54.45
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $0

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

I didn’t know the regular prices for the reduced product I picked up so I couldn’t add the amount to my in-store discounts category. I fully expect this which is why the final number in this category may be lower then what actually shows. We did some unexpected stocking up on vegetables from the reduced rack which we cleaned and packaged as soon as we can home. What we bought from the reduced rack were the same products we would have bought apart from the portobello mushrooms. The cream still seems to be a wonderful price so we’ll just keep stocking up when we have the money to do so.  I see lots of soup in our future and one happy son who loves broccoli.

How was your grocery shopping week? Post your shop in the comment section below. Read Grocery Game Challenge Rules first for more details.


Coupons and Coupon Apps 2017


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

If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.

Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2017?

Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!

If any of these links are broken please report them to me.

  • Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
  • Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
  • Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
  • Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
  • Printable Smart Source Coupons
  • Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
  • Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
  • Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.


Grocery Game Challenge 2017 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. The rules have been updated for the 2017 challenge year.
  • 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-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal.  Please see GGC rules.
  • 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 altogether. 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?: 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 in order to plan accordingly our budget.
  • Do you stockpile food? 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 longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
  • 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 with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • 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 Know what stores accept coupons?:  If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why the grocery game challenge was created back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning…

  • Where you are spending money
  • How much money you are spending
  • How much money you are saving every month

If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.

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 2017!


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