Grocery Shopping Tips

Tracking Grocery Discounts For One Year

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

For years I’ve wanted to start tracking our grocery discounts to see the financial savings.

Our grocery budget of $900 is a number we can reduce, and, like many Canadians, we struggle to stay on target.

The other day we received news from the UK that will change our financial situation, meaning we need to save as much as possible.

I’ve finally created two free printable grocery discount tracking charts for subscribers to print to save along with us.

Let’s keep good products out of the waste bin and enjoy the foods with discounted savings.

Today, I want to discuss how we plan on tracking grocery discounts and food budgets for 2023.

Family of three tracking grocery discounts for one year.
Family of three tracking grocery discounts for one year.

What Are Grocery Discounts?

Grocery discounts Canada
Tracking Our Grocery Discounts For One Year

Technically, grocery discounts offer the buyer a better price than the listed or regular expenses.

Some examples of these might be any of the following savings routes.

  • Flyer sale
  • In-store deal
  • Managers Special
  • Buy One, Get One Free
  • Multi-Buy Discounts
  • Using Coupons to reduce the price
  • Buying discounted grocery products
  • Mail-in rebates
  • Coupon app cash rebates

Although we follow the above, we will only track reduced grocery discounts.

If you want to participate, feel free to track any grocery discounts that meet your needs.

For example, you might want to track the coupons you’ve used for twelve months.

Finding Grocery Discounts

Depending on what country you live in, finding grocery discounts will vary.

You don’t necessarily have to stick to the big box grocery stores as many markets, and smaller shops offer discounts on foods close to expiry.

Never limit your options when purchasing food, provided you have transportation.

Not every grocery store reduces products close to expiry, including seasonal or new package designs.

For example, a pasta company may rebrand its packaging and want grocers to sell off what they have at a discounted price to make way for the new stock.

Sometimes you might find grocery carts in high visibility areas with a reduced sign and filled with products.

Keep an eye out for that, along with freezer bunkers in the corners, end caps, and designated shelving at the front or back of the store.

Grocery Stores We Shop At

We will find grocery discounts for this twelve-month experiment at the following supermarkets in Ontario.

  • Food Basics is where we complete 90% of our weekly grocery shopping.
  • Zehrs– Only shop for sales, manager specials, and reduced product in-store or using the Flashfood app to buy 50-75% reduced food.
  • No Frills– We will only visit if we find 50-75% reduced food from the Flashfood app we want to purchase.

Although we shop at Costco, we’ve never found anything that has been reduced in price besides whole rotisserie chicken.

When it’s spend $75 at Shoppers Drug Mart, you get 20x the Optimum Points; we may find reduced food items as our store has a large grocery section.

Although we use Checkout51, coupons and other coupon apps to save money, we won’t use these savings for this challenge.

Getting The Best Grocery Discounts

Zehrs yogurts groery discounts
Grocery discounts on yogurt tubs at Zehrs

Before you ask whether we check the prices of products with grocery discounts, the answer is yes.

As a personal finance writer I’ve learned over the past 12 years that we must check prices at other shops before we decide to make a purchase.

If we find a tub of yogurt on sale at Zehrs with a 50% off pink sticker, first, I’ll review the regular price minus the discount.

Remember to match apples to apples regarding weight, size, litres etc., when making decisions.

I’ll also use my mobile phone and the free wifi at Food Basics, No Frills or Zehrs to do a quick product price search using the Flipp app.

I also suggest finding out if the product you might purchase with a reduced price is also on sale.

You’re getting an even better deal when you find a product already on sale with reduced product sticker.

Typically, we find three types of reduced price stickers on food products at grocery stores.

  • 30% discount
  • 50% discount
  • 75% discount

Four sticker colours at Food Basics and Zehrs stand out for us.

  • Red
  • Pink
  • Black
  • White

Purpose Of Documenting Grocery Discounts

Grocery Shopping Ontario
Just me grocery shopping at Food Basics

Our purpose for documenting grocery discounts is to see how much money we save on reduced products.

If grocery stores are willing to reduce the price of foods heading to the bin, we can all save money and eat well.

Essentially, we want to see how much more money we would have spent had we paid full-price for a products for 12 months.

Grocery Discounts Tracking Goals

Grocery Discounts Jar
Grocery discounts Jar Canadian Budget Binder personal

When I started blogging in 2012, our grocery budget was $235 monthly for two adults.

Fast-Forward 11 years, and our family now has a $900 grocery budget for two adults and a nine year old boy.

To be transparent, we could spend less on groceries, which means going back to basics using all the available tools listed above.

Also, our monthly grocery budget includes paper towel, toilet paper, sandwich bags, tinfoil and other kitchen supplies.

Our health and beauty budget category covers toothpaste, shampoo, creams, deoderant, etc.

2023 Grocery Discount Goals

For 2023 we have three goals for grocery discounts;

  • See how much money we save buying reduced food products.
  • What grocery store offers us the best grocery discounts
  • Are we buying food just because it’s discounted or because we need it?

Anytime we find a discounted food product, we discuss whether the item is needed or if it’s something new we would like to try.

Sometimes, we buy discount products because we would never pay regular price but want to see what they taste like.

Tracking the want vs. need of discounted food purchases is just a number we’re interested in tracking.

Documenting Our Reduced Grocery Discounts

I plan to include a photo of our grocery discounts form in my monthly budget update post.

Doing so will allow us to see the budget numbers in one spot.

It would be nice to see some of you join us on this journey, and if you do, send me a jpeg update of your printable, and I’ll share it on CBB.

There’s only one thing you have to do: ask for grocery receipts, so you have the information to track.

Above, you will see our grocery savings from January totalling $39.42, which is an excellent start to the new year.

P. S – Don’t forget to have the cashier apply the scanning code of practice if the store follows the policy.

Thanks for stopping by,


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