Food

Canadian Retailer Price Matching Policies 2016

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If you’ve never ever price matched before…

Know you’re absolutely missing out.

Not only on great savings…

But also on the rush that you feel when you score a deal.

A deal YOU made happen.

If you want to know what price matching is all about - and HOW it works - check out our ultimate guide to price matching in Canada.

And another thing. I’ve got something cooking for you next week.

We’re starting a NEW challenge. Check out the sneak peek right here:

Save Money Challenge #3 - The Price Match Edition.

Tell me - ARE YOU IN?

Why?

Because money is all about mindset.

I made a simple choice to price match at Staples more than a decade ago...

I didn’t know it at that time - but the ripple of effect of that SINGLE choice was life changing. That rush I felt empowered me to take charge of my money in so many other ways.

For easy reference, I’ve updated and summarized the price matching policies of these Canadian retailers (the original post was more than two years ago).

When the challenge starts next week, you can check back here to see the policies of your favourite stores.

Jump to a Price Match Policy

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You Only Live Once, So Don’t Blow It!

you_only_live_once_so_dont_blow_it.jpgTo save or to yolo? That’s the question.

Can the battle between frugality and “living life” cease to exist? And if so...

How do you strike that elusive balance?

Let’s examine “balance”, shall we?

It’s a soothing word to smooth over underlying conflict between two camps.

First, there’s work-life balance. A conflict of time spent between work and life outside of work.

Then there’s the balanced diet. A conflict between different food types. Natural food vs. junk food. High-fat vs. low-fat. High-carb vs. high-protein. And so on.

And not to be outdone…

There’s also the balanced budget. In personal finance, it’s taking the money we earn (after tax) and allocating chunks of it to: fixed and variable costs, savings, investments, debt payments, etc. A balanced budget is achieved when 100% of our money is properly allocated.

The conflict comes when we overspend in one area because it takes away from other areas.

Excess can be avoided with balance.

But - is balance just unicorns and rainbows?

YOLO Isn't a License to Blow Your Money

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The $36.9 Billion Cost of Poor Health...and How to Get Real Food for Less

the_36.9_billion_cost_of_poor_health.and_how_to_get_real_food_for_less.jpgConsider the high cost of poor health...

Unhealthy lifestyle choices cost Canadians $36.9 billion per year according to this Canadian Men’s Health Foundation’s study.

You can bet we’re all affected because our tax dollars fund our healthcare programs...

Poor health also affects our ability to work. Of course, we just can’t do our best work when we’re sick...

I worked in Human Resources and consistent absence from work (“absenteeism”) is a classic management headache. Employees who are legitimately sick and truly need their employer’s support, unfortunately, get mixed up with those few bad apples who abuse the system.

If you’re a full-time employee, you’ve got a limited amount of sick leave and likely some long-term disability coverage (although even if you qualify, this only replaces a portion of your salary).

Related: Want to get a salary raise? Read this and learn from a trusted career coach...

But what if you’re a casual employee with no benefits and no guaranteed work hours?

What if you’re self-employed?

Your income could take a sharp nosedive when you need it most.

And then there’s also quality of life...

Sure, we’ve gained 20 to 22 years in life expectancy - but are we living better? Will we be healthy enough to travel at 65? Or play with our grandkids at 75?

When we invest in our health starting now - it can make a HUGE impact not only in the short-term...but also over the longer-term.

Here’s a thought...

We prepare for our financial well-being leading up to retirement. But at the end of the day, what’s the point of gaining a mountain of money if we’re not going to have the health and the zest to enjoy it with the people we love?

So why not invest in our health as well?

Investing in Food and Your Health

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Food Investment: Interview with A Local Farmer

foodinvestment-interviewwithalocalfarmer.jpgFood is a health investment. But is local food an affordable option?

Local food is affordable if it’s accessible” counters Dave Wolpin the 27 year old farmer and owner of Kredl's farmers market in Hampton, New Brunswick.

The key is to make local food widely accessible to the public, and Farmer Dave (as he calls himself) dreams that one day he can make that happen.

Better Grocery Store Model

Grocery stores that “represent its region’s produce” are what Farmer Dave hopes he’ll be part of in the next 5 to 10 years.

His vision is that the future grocery store model “exists as a host for the products of the region that inspires both agricultural excellence and cultivates culinary culture”.

But what is agricultural excellence?

It’s agriculture without the use of chemicals, which is also Farmer Dave’s long-standing philosophy. He’s boisterously proud that his farm produce is “no-spray” and quite indignant why anyone would ever spray chemicals on their produce.

For one thing, organic certification costs money which translates to added cost for the consumer. So Farmer Dave settles with a “no-spray local” label for his own farm produce.

Granted, we’ll have to take his word for that. However, even with an organic certification, mandatory laboratory testing to ensure that the produce has no pesticides is not part of the process. Essentially, we still end up having to trust that the “organic” label holds up - and then pay added cost anyway.

Local Produce Price-Comparison

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How To Use A Bad Customer Experience And Get More

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Bad customer service leaves an awful taste in your mouth. Here’s what happens:

  1. peeved customer
  2. loyalty lost for the company

Not the situation either side had hoped for when they woke up in the morning.

But how do you transform the situation so that you end up getting more at the end of the transaction?

When your hard-earned money’s involved: you expect to be treated well. And beyond that, you want to get what you were promised: a quality product delivered in a timely manner. You want a good great deal.

A bad experience is always a bad deal.

It’s not only about the value of your money either. It’s also about your time. You may be able to get your money back, but you’ll never get your time back.

Feel Good About Your Decisions

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Sneaky Grocery Store Tricks (And How To Avoid Them)

sneakygrocerystoretricksandhowtoavoidthem.jpgGrocery stores are experts at marketing and consumer behaviour.

They get you in the door, keep you inside as long as possible, and subtly trick you into spend more money than you planned.

I don’t go grocery shopping often (we get groceries delivered weekly) but when I do I’m always taken aback by the subtle things grocery stores do to part shoppers from their money.

Whether it’s putting fresh produce near the front to make it appear everything is fresh or keeping staples like milk and cheese at the back so people will wander the store, there are plenty of things they do to increase their sales.

Here’s a few things grocery stores do to trick customers into spending more (and how to avoid them):

External Cues

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Which Grocery Store Has The Lowest Prices?

whichgrocerystorehasthe_lowest_prices.jpgWho doesn’t like to eat good food? Let’s face it: we all do!

Now, what I don’t like is spending a fortune on food.

If you keep a budget, you may notice that food is one of your biggest expenses. Whether you are a family of one or a family of twelve, rising food prices affects your finances.

So, with all the competition between grocery chains, which is the best one to shop at for the lowest prices?

The front pages of the weekly flyers have deals to entice you to visit the store, but what about the additional items that you need to complete your list?

Do you also need staples such as rice, flour, coffee that perhaps didn’t make the list of sales this week? Those may be priced higher, but until teleportation becomes common, we can’t get the lowest price all the time.

The consumer price index (CPI) is an indicator used to measure the change in the cost of a fixed basket of products. One of the product categories monitored is food. Below is a table of foods based on the market basket of foods listed on Statistics Canada’s website.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Stacking Coupons And Deals On Groceries

Grocery Store Price Comparison

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Growing Your Own Food To Save Money And Eat Healthy

growingyourownfoodtosavemoneyandeathealthy.jpgAs much as I love couponing, what I love even more is having the opportunity to provide my household with some of our grocery needs, without paying out the wazoo for quality local goods.

The problem with grocery store produce, is that unless you can afford to shop exclusively organic or at your local farmers markets, you have no idea what kind of conditions and pesticides your food has been exposed to. Mainstream media is now bringing a lot more information on how our food supply is produced than we have ever had access to previously, and what we are seeing can be frightening sometimes.

Many of us are so disconnected from our food supply, we lack even basic gardening experience. But, with all the information so easily accessible online, it is a skill worth learning again, as it is very beneficial to both your health and your budget.

Establishing Your “Kitchen Garden”

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The Ultimate Guide To Stacking Coupons And Deals On Groceries

theultimateguidetostackingcouponsanddealsongroceries.jpgI’ve been couponing for years now, and have heard many like-minded people state that this cannot be done in Canada effectively.

In the United States, it seems like a fairly easy thing to accomplish. We’ve all seen the shows: lucky shoppers who manage to bring their checkout totals down so low that they are being paid to wheel all those goodies out the door! Those examples are more of a half truth. Only the best shopping trips are highlighted on the show, and in the States there are much fewer restrictions on the use of coupons.

Here in Canada, as usual, we are over regulated in terms and conditions and couponing is no exception. The only store I am aware of that allows customers to more than one paper coupon on a single item is London Drugs, which I explain fully in a section below. But don’t lose hope, there is a way for us crafty Canadians to come out on top!

What Type Of Offers Can Be Stacked

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My System For Stacking Grocery Deals & Coupons

mysystemforstackinggrocerydealscoupons2.jpgSo, you have an organized binder full of great coupons and maybe you have even signed up with one or more of the Canadian coupon apps and are ready to find yourself some good deals. There’s only one problem: digging through your coupon binder and trying to match them with sale prices can be very time consuming.

I’m here to tell you that there is an easier way, and the system to do it all for you is a program already installed on your computer! It will not only help you find great deals, but sometimes you’ll even score free items when you stack paper coupons with online offers and rewards programs. When going through the weekly flyers, it will help you prepare a detailed shopping list to take with you to the grocery store.

“Window Shopping”

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