While Canadians may not have extreme couponing as you see on American television, there are plenty of ways to save big at the grocery store.
Here are three great apps that are free and easy to use.
Discover discounted food through the Flashfood app. Browse the map and find significantly reduced products at grocery stores near you. Purchase food from deli meat to almond butter using your smartphone and pick it up in store at the Flashfood zone. Quick and easy.
But what's the catch?
Some people can be touchy about expiry dates. Most of the products on Flashfood are expiring either the day of or within a few days. However, the food is perfectly fine. That means customers can score groceries at up to 50% off and save food waste from going to the landfill.
According to the National Zero Waste Council, the average Canadian household wastes roughly 140 kilograms of food per year at the cost of $1,100. Approximately 63% of the food that is thrown away could have been eaten. One of the initiatives in the National Zero Waste Council’s report, A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada, is to reduce the confusion around “use by”, “sell by” and “expiry” dates.
The strategy around the Flashfood app is to divert potential food waste, bring savings to the customer and recover costs for the grocers.
You can pick up food to eat for dinner, save money, and help the environment.
Browse digital flyers with the Flipp app and save at over 2,000 stores across North America. Use the app to clip coupons and deals directly to your shopping list. If you add your own items, Flipp will search for the sales for you.
Flipp suggests customers can save nearly $45 every week from using the app.
This app is not exclusive to grocery stores. You can find deals for pet items, furniture, electronics, school supplies, clothing and more.
3. Checkout 51
Earn cash back on your groceries with the Checkout 51 app. Plus, Canadian members will soon be able to save on gas.
Load your new offers every week (starting on Thursdays) and shop for your deals. Then verify your purchase by taking a photo of your receipt to earn money back. Just make sure to upload your picture before the offers expire the following Wednesday.
The best part about this app is that the offers come directly from your favourite brands, so you can shop at almost any store and save.
You can cash out your savings when you reach a balance of $20.
The app does note some guidelines, though. Here are a few ways you can avoid disappointment:
- Offers are available in limited quantities, so Checkout 51 recommends checking your offers shortly before going shopping to avoid missing out.
- Some offers can be used multiple times up to a claim limit; however, receipts can only be used once.
- Checkout 51 also advises users to read the promotions carefully because cash back is only earned on the exact product listed.
Quickly scrolling through the app, you can see savings anywhere from $0.50 to $4.00 per offer. If you combine deals, you can save even more.
Score additional savings
Besides these fantastic apps, here are a couple of additional ways to save on groceries.
Browse the coupon wall
Lots of grocery stores have a coupon board at the entrance. Some offers may also be hanging below products on the shelf. These offers are usually simple to use and can be redeemed by handing the paper slip to the cashier. The offers are often overlooked by shoppers.
Many grocery stores have loyalty programs that customers can sign up for and earn rewards. Usually, shoppers load their deals on an app before checking out and scan their loyalty card as they pay.
Grocery rewards credit card
Some grocery stores may be associated with a grocery rewards credit card. Cardholders can earn free groceries or merchandise as they shop.
For example, cardholders of the President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® can earn rewards at Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix or Loblaw banner stores including, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Independent, Fortinos, Wholesale Club, Zehrs, Loblaws and Valu-mart.
If customers also have their PC Optimum card, they can double-dip on rewards and earn free groceries even faster.
Plenty of rewards credit cards are not associated with a specific store, yet reward users for their grocery purchases. A great option is the BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®*, earning cardholders 3% cash back on their first $500 in grocery purchases per month. After your first $500, earn 0.50% back on groceries until the next billing cycle.
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For online grocery shoppers, apps may allow you to refer friends. Referrals may earn you shopping credits.
For example, Instacart allows users to refer up to five friends. Each friend will get $10 off their first order, and you’ll get a $10 credit when their order is delivered.
Plan your shopping list
Plan your shopping list carefully to not only save money and avoid making impulse buys but also to curb food waste. It can be helpful to plan meals instead of filling your fridge with endless options. This preparation can cut down on spoiled food, save time in the kitchen and save you money.