Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grocery Shopping Basics

Since tomorrow's the day that grocery flyers come out, I figured this would be the perfect time to talk about grocery shopping and where to find the best deals.

Friday, for most grocery retailers is the day where their new sales start.

Some tips when going grocery shopping;
  • Know your prices
  • Write a list, you will be less likely to buy things you don't need (blog post later about this)
  • Don't go hungry, it's the worst, you will want to buy everything!

Especially for students, the best store to frequent are often No Frills, Food Basics and other discount grocery stores including Walmart. These stores often have better prices everyday on non-sale items, and often have really good sales including the dollar sale that No Frills often has.

When it comes to the more expensive grocery stores like Metro, Valuemart, Sobeys , Zehrs, Loblaws etc . The benefits are that they tend to have fresher produce and greater selection as well as loyalty programs. Plus you don't have to pay for a cart...

When checking out Metro, I also recommend liking them on Facebook, they often will post coupons and other savings that are exclusive to fans. 

For Zehr's stores, student discounts are offered on Tuesdays. Often their everyday prices aren't as cheap as stores like food basics or no frills, but adding a 10% on top of sale prices could definitely be worth it.

Some other stores may offer this promotion as well, but it is often occurs in specific cities (often University towns) double check out your stores to find out if they offer student discounts.

Some help when it comes to prices:
It's super helpful to go into a grocery store knowing average prices for certain items, that way you know if you are actually getting a good deal or not.

Check out the No Frills price guide by clicking on the image below. It allows you to check certain products and compare pricing at other grocery stores. 

Some price guides that I follow when it comes to certain items;

Brick Cheese (500g) $4.50-$6 is often a good price
Baby Carrots (small bag) $1 (often regular price at No Frills)
Broccoli $1 or less
Apples less than a dollar is always better
Cream Cheese spreadable (Philadelphia) $3-$4

Staples like Milk and Eggs are rarely on sale, so if you can find coupons for these things it's a bonus, Shoppers Drug Mart is often a good place for staples like these and you can collect shoppers optimum points

Non-whole wheat (not national brand) you can often find for $1 sometimes on sale at No Frills
Whole Wheat Bread (Country Harvest/Dempsters) $2-$3
Whole Grain Bagels (Country Harvest/Dempsters) $2-$3
Dempster's Wonderbread is often around $1.50-$2.50 at a good price, you can often find coupons for these
Yogurt (Source 16 packs of individual yogurts) $3.99-5.50- Recently saw these on sale for about $4.50 at No Frills, and the same week for about $7 at was the same yogurt
Tubs of Yogurt (name brand) often $2-$3 is pretty good
Boneless Chicken $3-$4 Often pretty good per pound, it's often the most expensive chicken you can buy. It's often cheaper to buy bone in and you can remove it.
Kraft Dinner (regular) $1 or less if often a really good price for a box
Kraft Dinner (specialty) $1.50 is often a decent price for a box
Pasta $1-$1.50 if you aren't picky about the brands you buy a regular box is often around this price, you can also often find coupon for Catelli brand pasta's when you buy more than 1 box. I have actually managed to combine coupons and a sale at metro which was a 2for $5 dollar deal for their whole wheat pasta

A Guide to reading produce labels;
What products have labels-all produce; fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, herbs and nuts
Conventionally-grown fruit: 4 digit numbers. Example-Banana-4011. You can use this website to search PLU codes as well
Organically-grown fruit: This produce has five digit labels that start with the number 9. An organically-grown banana would be 94011.
Genetically modified food: These 5 digit labels start with 8. Example-genetically engineered tomato 84805.



  1. From what I recall, Metro carts aren't free. There's one right by my house and I constantly get burned forgetting to bring a quarter.

    I would also like to add that 1L of chocolate milk for .99c at Shoppers is awesome and comes around quite often.

    How is your reading week coming along, Lauren?

  2. I guess it all depends on the location then. Thanks.
    And ya I totally agree. Completely forgot about the chocolate milk deal.
    $1 per litre is always good.

  3. Yes, Friday really is the day for rfid in retail stores starts their new sales. This technique really works for these retailers and also with the consumers.