Groceries

The End Of Bread Price-Fixing With This Home Experiment

The Bread Fix Home Experiment

Just before Christmas 2017, news broke that several grocery retailers in Canada were allegedly participating in the price-fixing of bread for the past 14 years.

14 years of artificial bread prices? Wow!

But, what exactly is price-fixing? Price-fixing is essentially consumer fraud when two or more competitors make an agreement to raise, lower, or keep the price of something constant.

In Canada, if you’re caught doing this naughty thing it can lead up to millions of dollars in fines and even result in jail time.

List of priced-fixed bread

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How To Eat Healthy On A Budget

How to eat healthy on a budget

If you’ve seen all the tricks and the listicles about saving money on groceries, but none of them ever really hit home? Yeah, same here.

You can read all the frugal articles about how oatmeal, bought in bulk, costs pennies per meal, and all the recipes for rice and beans that you want, but they might not be the right way to eat healthy on a budget for you.

And that’s OK.

Everyone has different food preferences, dietary needs and schedules, so what works for someone else might not work for you. That said, it is possible to eat healthily on a budget if you follow a few key steps ‒ and yes, some of them involve a bit of legwork.

It’ll be worth it when you scale down on what is the second-largest budget category for most of us.

Step One: Figure Out What Healthy Is For You

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Pointers On Building Your Stockpile

Pointers on how to build your own stockpileThere’s many sizes of products in any brand lineup…

And it’s not surprising that it can get confusing sometimes as to when they should purchase short term or long term supply of many items.

I know I get confused. And so do other stockpilers.

I’m more at ease when I’m ahead by a month’s supply in many non-perishable items. But sometimes the savings are greater when we don’t supersize everything.

That being said, good stockpiles are built over a longer period of time, through strategic shopping using couponing techniques, loss leader shopping, clearance sales, etc.

If you’re purchasing items for your stockpile at full price, it defeats the purpose.

To get started, first things first...

How to Unit Price

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8 Apps For Spending Less On Groceries

8 apps for spending less on groceries

We can’t do much to lower some of our monthly expenses, as much as we’d like to chop that mortgage payment in half…

But groceries are one of the variables we can control.

Choosing generic products over name-brand products can sliver a bit off the grand total. And so can looking for sticker deals on items that are about to expire.

But one of the easiest – and most effective – ways to spend less at the grocery store is by using the apps designed for this very purpose.

Grab your phone, sit back, and I’ll share my favourite digital apps for saving money on groceries...

Plan ahead

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Sneaky Grocery Store Tricks (And How To Avoid Them)

How to avoid sneaky grocery store tricksGrocery 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?

The grocery store with the lowest priceWho 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

Bonus: Use this Grocery Store Price Comparison Spreadsheet - and do your own calculations to get the lowest prices.

Grocery Store Price Comparison

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My System For Stacking Grocery Deals & Coupons

My system for stacking grocery deals and couponsSo, 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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Multiply Your Savings With A Coupon Book

Multiply your savings with a coupon bookLast year I managed to save a significant amount of money on groceries by using coupons I found in a coupon book.

Not only did I save money from the coupons I found, I also managed to multiply my savings so that I saved much more than originally planned.

Stumbling My Way To Big Savings

My strategy for multiplying my savings was something I stumbled upon in the process of using my coupons.

I bought a coupon book online for a fundraiser that raises money for local schools. The coupon book cost $20 but was huge – it had hundreds of coupons inside. I bought it for the grocery coupons as those were the ones that I knew I would use and would save me money. The book had about $60 in grocery coupons that I was sure to use, so I’d easily make my money back.

In the process of searching for the coupon book through online classifieds I noticed that there were others who were in the same position I was – they also bought the coupon book but would only use 5-10 coupons out of the hundreds that were available.

I noticed ads placed by others who wanted to trade the coupons they weren’t planning to use for the ones they would use.

Related: Couponing For Beginners

It was easy to find plenty of people to trade coupons with, as certain people were looking for certain coupons and almost everyone had coupons they weren’t planning to use.

I contacted a few of them and asked if they’d want to trade and I was in luck. I traded with numerous people via regular mail since it saved us the time and hassle of meeting to trade for relatively low-value coupons.

How Much Money I’ve Saved

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Organizing Your Coupon Binder Made Easy

Organizing your coupon binder made easyFor those who are just getting started with using coupons, you may find it a bit overwhelming to keep track of them. Perhaps you get frustrated trying to locate a specific coupon while in the grocery store, or get shot down at the cashier for not noticing that one has expired. There is a simple way to ensure your shopping trips go quickly and smoothly: organization!

Give Your Coupon Binder An Upgrade

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The Best Way To Use Your Save On More Rewards Points

The best way to use your Save On More rewards pointsEver wonder just what's the best way to redeem those More Rewards Points offered by Save on Foods, Pricesmart, Overwaitea Food Group, and Urban Fare? Or are you like most people who think they'll never add up to much anyway and just spend them when the cashier offers to redeem your points for a 'free' product? Admittedly, these aren't life changing amounts of money, but here are some tips on how to play "the game" more efficiently. After all, if one is allowing one's buying patterns to be used for data mining, why not get the most value for it?

Tips For EARNING Extra More Rewards Points

Let's say you are an avid collector - you just love buying the Big White passes each year for Christmas gifts and the feeling of getting a great deal! Or perhaps you love the idea of taking a 'free' flight. Here are a few tips on how to boost your points balances.

Earning In-Store

Besides collecting of the points themselves, value can also be found in using the card in store. It is becoming increasingly the case that you only get a discounted price on your grocery purchases if you scan your points card at the checkout. (The irony is that one of their major competitors, Safeway, has recently backed off of forcing their customers to bring in their membership to get discounted prices on groceries!)

Typically, "More Rewards" points are earned at a rate of 1 point per dollar spent when you shop at their grocery stores, including Urban Fare. It's a good idea to watch for double points days as well as bonus points that are offered quite regularly. Here are few in-store examples of how to earn points.

  • Bonus points on products - just keep an eye for the little blue shelf signs while shopping in store.
  • Multi-buy specials - A typical offer would be "Buy four boxes of Kelloggs cereal and receive 2000-3000 points." You usually don't need to clip the coupon from the flyer, just buy the product and the points show up on your receipt automatically. If you use the FLIPP app on your phone to find the product on sale cheaper locally elsewhere, you can save even more. (This app is fantastic, you can search for ANY advertised item and find out who has it on sale - click here to check it out.) Note: Some stores still won't accept price matching requests unless you have the paper flyer, so bring the flyer in when you shop if that's the case. Ask the cashier to price-match the items. You'll still get the points that are associated with those items, as they are automatically added by the system giving you more points per dollar spent.
  • Manager's specials - Each store is responsible for distributing their own points. Some Store managers offer a 1000 point incentive if you fill out one of their feedback surveys. Just bring in the confirmation sheet after filling out your survey, or fill it out online at the kiosk provided in select stores.
  • Share your account - Be sure everyone in your family has a card, they come on key-chain tags as well, so everyone can easily earn.
  • Use the kiosk - Most stores now offer a More Rewards kiosk close to the entrance where you can scan your card and receive bonus offers for spending set amounts. Typically one receives 375 points for a $35 spend, but the amounts are often MUCH larger if you spend more. Each card is allowed one scan per day. The highest value coupons are only offered to each cardholder occasionally, it seems.

Ways To Earn Outside Of The Grocery Store

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