This article falls under the Mind Your Cents column and is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the introduction here.
Technology plays a huge role in how I get my best deals on groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. It’s ideal if you have a smartphone or a tablet, but a lot of these recommendations can be used with a desktop or laptop computer as well. If you’d like to see tips for getting the best deals on kitchen stuff (and everything else), see here.
Favourite Flyer App
I’m going to start with my favourite app. It was also the first app that I started using for groceries. We use it to track sales of other products, too.
- Flipp compiles all of the flyers from stores in your neighbourhood (not just grocery stores). You can use the app to compile and look through all of your favourite stores’ flyers each week.
- You can create shopping lists simply by clicking on items of interest in the flyers.
- We use this app in the grocery store for price matching. If your phone doesn’t have data, then while you have internet access, take a screenshot of the item and flyer. Then when you’re at the store, show the photo on your phone to the cashier. To satisfy most price matching policies, the photo must show the following information: grocery store name, valid dates for the price, item, brand, weight, and price.
- The best thing about this app is the search function. It instantly scans through all of the available flyers and tells you where your items of interest are on sale.
Favourite Cash Back Apps and Websites
There are apps/websites that will give you cash back for buying certain groceries and other every day items. Each week, new items and cash back offers are loaded on the app. You have until the end of the week-long period to submit your receipt through the app (by using your device to take a photo of the receipt). If you don’t own a smart phone or tablet, some of the companies will allow you to submit your receipts through their website. Once you’ve earned $20 in cash back credit, a cheque will be mailed to you. The apps that I’ve mentioned below are Canadian and they’re the ones that I use. I suggest using more than one grocery cash back app, since different companies have affiliations with different brands.
- Checkout 51 is a Toronto-based company and is the original Canadian groceries cash back app. This company also allows you to view offers, submit receipts, and receive cash back through the website, so you don’t need a smart phone or tablet to use it.
- Since Checkout 51 is more established than its competitors, they have the largest selection of deals, and, more importantly, the largest quantities available for each offer.
- Checkout 51 also gives you the chance to win prizes.
- For Checkout 51, each week starts on Thursdays, which I like, because I usually do my grocery shopping on the weekends.
- I just wish that Checkout 51 offered more deals for fresh produce.
- Zweet doesn’t have as many offers as Checkout 51, but they do have offers that Checkout 51 doesn’t.
- For example, I really like that Zweet regularly offers cash back for fresh produce.
- Also, some of Zweet’s offers are worth much more than Checkout 51’s offers. For example, I’ve received $8 cash back for a single offer.
- The annoying thing about Zweet is that they are more likely to run out of offers than Checkout 51, so you have to make your purchases and submit your receipts early.
- For Zweet, the week starts on Wednesdays, which makes it a bit more difficult for me to take advantage of the deals, because I usually do my grocery shopping on weekends.
Favourite Freebies, Deals and Coupons Websites
We used to have to cut and collect coupons out of newspapers and flyers. Now, you can find electronic freebies, deals and coupons on various websites. Also, some companies will email you coupons regularly if you sign up for them (e.g. Proctor and Gamble). Here are some of my favourite deals websites.
redflagdeals.com – This website also has a great forum where users can share tips and reviews.
- Over the past few years, I have received coupons for all sorts of things, including coupons for completely free products. In order to truly get the best deal, shop around for the best price and wait for a sale before using your coupons.
- Also, try to resist purchasing items that you don’t need just to get a “good” deal. No matter how good the “deal” is, you’ll save more money by not spending money unnecessarily. Unless, of course, the coupon is for a completely free item. It’s a great way to try new products.
- Before using your email to sign up for deals, you might want to set up a secondary email address so that your primary address doesn’t get filled with spam and advertisements.