Is it just me, or...(grocery store sales) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-01-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lasciate View Post
And out west here, Sobey's is generally the cheapest, with Superstore/Loblaws being only slightly better than Safeway. But we have no discount grocery stores.
How far out are you? There's No Frills in Edmonton, so they are that far west.
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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How far out are you? There's No Frills in Edmonton, so they are that far west.
I'm in Saskatchewan. No Frills stores are only in Alberta, Ontario and BC.
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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See that is so expensive and that is the sale price! The store where I buy lean ground beef has it regular 1.99/lb. They had a sale a while ago for 99c/lb, but the line was over an hour long.
I don't buy beef anymore because ground pork is so much cheaper - it's regularly 99c/lb for lean, sometimes as high as 1.25/lb but not often.

Our Sobeys are converted IGAs, so maybe that makes a difference in how they are run.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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We have Sobeys/IGAs/Food Towns, etc. I just lump them all together. There is a Food Town in my MIL's town that was an IGA until recently, but they seem pretty similar.

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Old 11-01-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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OP: I generally agree. However, the sales flyers and coupons can be misleading - they certainly don't list EVERYTHING that's on sale in the store that week (at least where I shop). I found dried (bagged) beans and lentils on sale this week, which I never expected to see! I wanted to know if the bulk beans were cheaper than the bagged, and with the sales prices, the bagged were cheaper (10 bags lentils for $10, and black beans were $.39 cheaper per lb). I also found organic frozen veggies on sale this week, organic bananas, portabello mushrooms were $3/lb cheaper than normal...and NONE of these things were listed in the sales flyers! So it definitely pays to check up on your staples when you are at the store to watch for sales. I know I will in the future!

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Old 11-01-2009, 08:39 PM
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Organic and that type of stuff is rarely on sale that I see, and I suspect this is because they know that the people who want and can afford organic/natural will buy it anyway. The don't need to entice you to buy the things you will buy regardless. So of course they won't be giving you a deal.

It looks like the coupons and ads are geared more toward people on the lower-end of the budget spectrum, who may need a little nudge to get them to part with money. I know for us, we won't buy something if it's not on sale unless we absolutely must have it, like an antibiotic ointment, but even then, it's going to be what's cheapest. You can mark organic broccoli down 25%, but if it still costs more than the regular by more than a few cents, guess where our money's going, and if it's regular-priced, people who only buy organic will still buy it.

It's no accident than organic and natural and health foods are rarely marked down. A lot of money is spent researching, and they know that poor people and most people who need the coupons aren't going to be pulled into the store to still spend $2 on a pound of organic potatoes when the 10lb pound of regular is the same price on sale. When the 10lb bag is marked to 99c, then they're going to be pulling people in.

I do wish that healthy food was on sale more. It drives me up the wall that it costs more to make a small pork roast, some mashed potatoes, and a few steamed broccoli crowns, than it does to make a box of store-brand Hamburger Helper stuff, and when money's tight, as it so often is, then that processed crap is what it has to be unless we decide to designate a night or two per week as fasting nights to put that money toward better, healthier food on a regular basis. Sometimes, when the choice is between simply having something to eat, even if it's crappy, versus not eating for the night because good food can't be afforded, the choice is easy - you eat what you have to to not go hungry. Beggars can't be choosers.

So they're going to do wha the need to do to get people to loosen the purse strings. Frankly, they have no financial reason to care two hoots about the people who will buy the pricier stuff at full price. It's the rest of us they need to entice to spend by offering specials and deals to get us to hand over money, get into the store, and maybe make impulse-buys.


Also someone mentioned on the first page about companies paying to be the coupon-food. Only sometimes is this true. Manufacturer coupons, yes, it always is. In the fliers, it's what the stores feel would, at that time, pull in shoppers. Years ago a friend's boyfriend was a manager for a larger local chain of stores, and he explained it to me when I mentioned Betty Crocker, I think it was, on sale a lot that month.

It's also no accident that milk is all the way at the back, requiring a shopper to go to the back of the store. The #1 item people go to the store intending to buy when only one item is on the list is milk. So why put it at the front, letting people walk in, grab milk, go right to the checkout? So the put it at the back so you have to walk through aisles that are more likely to result in an impulse buy. Even the music they play is specially picked to make you linger a while longer and feel elaxed so you make more impulse buys.

Yeah, it's all a mind-game and they spend millions on it a year, researching, figuring out how to make us spend more, which coupons and items on sale will lead to more sales...put the tuna on sale with the Tuna Helper full-price right above it, or the coconut pecan and strawberry frostings on sale with the German chocolate and strawberry mixes full-price right beside it, and they've profited.

Abd you can bet they know you organic/natural/health food shoppers aren't very likely to compromise just because they never/rarely mark down the pricier foods you insist on buying.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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processed crap is what it has to be unless we decide to designate a night or two per week as fasting nights to put that money toward better, healthier food on a regular basis
I never thought of this!!!!!!!!

I've been reading about the health benefits of weekly fasting but i didn't put 2 and 2 together about saving money & then affording higher quality food!

Wow. Thank you.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:24 PM
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I never thought of this!!!!!!!!

I've been reading about the health benefits of weekly fasting but i didn't put 2 and 2 together about saving money & then affording higher quality food!

Wow. Thank you.
When I'm not pregnant, this is something we will be considering ourselves. I don't think fasting any more than necessary is good for a developing baby though. A steady stream of calories, regardless of source, is needed. We'll see if we can start this when I'm nursing, or if it cuts back on milk.

I used to fast, by choice, for much longer, but wouldn't recommend it. But I did learn that it can take some getting-used-to. Then I started having Fasting Fridays. No reason for Friday other alliteration. Then stopped even that. Oddly, I do sometimes miss fasting. A lot.

Anyway, I'm glad my long-winded babbling helped, even if it wasn't in a way I was thinking about.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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I've noticed it too. It's not so bad right now because we still have seasonal produce coming in but once winter hits our grocery bill always goes way up.

If you have a No Frills near you, they've had some great sales on meat lately. Shoppers will occasionally put eggs and sugar on for a decent price but it's usually limited to 2 per family. Bulk Barn does a students and seniors day (I think it's on Wednesday) for 10% off. My mom's a student she she goes and stocks up then.

I find coupons here to be really hit or miss. I managed to get 12 loaves of 7 grain bread for free a few weeks back, but for the most part the coupons I find are for processed/high sodium stuff that I wasn't going to buy anyway.
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I find the produce to be good at No Frills, but not very good at Food Basics.
It's the same way here. The produce section at our Food Basics seems to have a permanent fruit fly infestation.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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Also someone mentioned on the first page about companies paying to be the coupon-food. Only sometimes is this true. Manufacturer coupons, yes, it always is. In the fliers, it's what the stores feel would, at that time, pull in shoppers. Years ago a friend's boyfriend was a manager for a larger local chain of stores, and he explained it to me when I mentioned Betty Crocker, I think it was, on sale a lot that month.
Sometimes the manufacturers do pay to be in the flier, usually in the form of X cents per item sold.

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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The produce at No Frills and Price Choppers around here is NASTY! And we have to drive out of town to get there. We have metro(which is expensive 3.47 per almond milk) and Loblaws(which is cheaper BUT doesnt carry almond milk or very much ethnic)

We don't really go to any stores for perticular sales...only superstore when they have unsweetened almond milk $2/4. Other then that we usually get M-I-L to p/up when she goes to visit her mom she can get it for 2.27

We ususally do the majority of our shopping at farmers markets ect
We get
a flat of eggs(30) for $5 at Prices market(a small roadside farmers store)
50lb bag of potatoes from another roadside stand for $14.00

And the Bulk Barn for nuts(when on sale...yay its nut season!!), pasta, dried beans ect

We follow a vegan diet except for ds and dh eating eggs. So we're *really* not lucky w sale items. The odd time when we're in the grocery store, soy hot dogs ect will be on sale b/c they are close to expired...but we never eat those anyways...I would love to see tofu go on sale one week..but I'm not going to hold my breath

We should start a thread letting eachother know what sales are starting up

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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And from what I have heard the whole coupon thing in Canada is much, much more limited.
Yup. Does anyone know a good Canadian coupon website?

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Well that's what I do for a living (track prices of various items in various stores across Canada), and I stand by what I said. Individual stores may vary, however.
What do you know about Calgary? It is pretty much Co-op, Safeway, or Superstore.

Usually everyone says Superstore is the cheapest but it's really out of the way for us while Co-op and Safeway are walking distance. I know that you can't beat Superstore on packaged goods like pasta and tomatos but I always buy more organics when I shop thre and impulse-spend on household items or clothes for DD, so I don't really think I come out ahead.

I'm thinking I need to start shopping at Costco, but with a tiny home and no storage I'm not particularly motivated.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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ETA: I just don't think budgets like $200-$300/month for food are realistic in Canada, or in Alberta anyway. I saw those kind of numbers here and I posted on our local playgroup message board, and everyone was impressed that we were gettting $400/month...and this was a couple years ago and prices have gone up! We could never make $400/mo now, even if we made our own everything.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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Yup. Does anyone know a good Canadian coupon website?


What do you know about Calgary? It is pretty much Co-op, Safeway, or Superstore.

Usually everyone says Superstore is the cheapest but it's really out of the way for us while Co-op and Safeway are walking distance. I know that you can't beat Superstore on packaged goods like pasta and tomatos but I always buy more organics when I shop thre and impulse-spend on household items or clothes for DD, so I don't really think I come out ahead.

I'm thinking I need to start shopping at Costco, but with a tiny home and no storage I'm not particularly motivated.
Safeway has some crazy sales sometimes. Keep an eye out! I got Kashi for free after coupons there and cheerios for $1/box. They often put brocolli down to $1 /pound.
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Yup. Does anyone know a good Canadian coupon website?
save.ca is the only one I know about. Its mostly stuff I don't buy, but I find some useful stuff.


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ETA: I just don't think budgets like $200-$300/month for food are realistic in Canada, or in Alberta anyway. I saw those kind of numbers here and I posted on our local playgroup message board, and everyone was impressed that we were gettting $400/month...and this was a couple years ago and prices have gone up! We could never make $400/mo now, even if we made our own everything.
Is that just for food, or is that food + household stuff? Our average actual money spent over the last two years is $206/month. That is grocery store food only, and does not include toilet paper, pet food, rarely eating out etc. Two adults, no children yet, Toronto. We don't make everything from scratch.

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Old 11-03-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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Just saw this thread. It's nice to see something that talks about the Canadian experience with coupons.

If it's okay to name names, I've found my absolute best experience with grocery stores to be our little boutique here, Pete's Froutique. They have awesome sales every week and I go out of my way to get to them. Every week, they have at least one cheese on special and it's usually 40%-50% off. I get to try really yummy gourmet cheeses I couldn't otherwise afford. They also have weekly meat/seafood sales for things I might actually buy and they're at a really good discount. Sometimes organic produce goes on sale, too. We try to buy local mostly (we are on 2 CSA lists and volunteer at the food co-op); but dd really likes red grapes, for example and they are MUCH cheaper there. And for the packaged things we do buy, like organic broth and canned organic beans for in-a-pinch, they often go on sale. Not to mention that there food in general is infinitely fresher than regular grocery stores for just a few cents more, so there's MUCH less waste. And because they keep things fresher, their discount bin is actually really worth looking at too.

I never would have thought to shop there except as a treat. Now it's my go-to place.

Otherwise, my MIL has a membership at Costco. They have a surprising number of organic products, sometimes on sale. For example, big jars of natural almond butter were on sale for $4.99 recently, so we bought a dozen.

Otherwise, we volunteer at the food coop we helped found. That's where we get things like wheat berries (we grind our own) and oats, at discount.

Flyers? I almost don't bother anymore.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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bwylde, thanks for the link. I just signed up!
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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Is that just for food, or is that food + household stuff? Our average actual money spent over the last two years is $206/month. That is grocery store food only, and does not include toilet paper, pet food, rarely eating out etc. Two adults, no children yet, Toronto. We don't make everything from scratch.
Food plus household runs me an average of 600. When I was getting 400/month we almost never bought household items and were a little bit more frugal with food, but not out of range - I think our grocery lists now are about 90% the same.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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We are on the Island iin B.C. We have a couple of choices for grocery stores... A B.C. sort of independant store ( very nice but super pricy) , safeway which we never shop at, Superstore where we do everything these days, and another Island chain. We are gluten free which cuts out most all prepackaged stuff and definitely any coupons! Half of us are dairy free, all soy, sulphite, dye free because of medical issues.
This time of the year is great because all of the root crops are on sale at the farms. Eggs are 3 bucks a dozen for conventional but we can get them from a roadside stand for 3.50 for free run. Ground beef is over 3 bucks a pound usually, on sale I can get a three pack of whole chickens for 1.99 a pound. We get huge cuts of meat and then divide them into family size portions before we freeze them which cuts down on price. We get bulk beans and nuts. Superstore here just made a Healthy section with all sorts of gluten free bits... hooray beause this will save us a ton. We hand grind all of our fflour on an old beast of a grinder to save money. It takes us a little over an hour a week to grind the flours but the cost is around a dollar a pound versus 5 dollars a pound for preground rice flour. We make all of our own bread, and home made corn tortillas. The discount produce is usually so crappy at the superstore that we don't get it. It is typically more on the rotton side for only half off! My little local health food store has a 99 cent bin for old produce that I buy up , cut off bad parts, process and freeze. I do a whole crapload of preserving , freezing and drying when stuff is in season. I buy multiples when things are on sale. My grocery bill is still amazingly high... shocking in comparison to most on this forum. I am actually hoping for a Costco to come to town so that I can buy in large amounts.

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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Thank you for healthyshopper and save.ca. I'm signed up!
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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For the most part, I don't find anything in my local sale fliers. Once in a while, the store occasionally has BOGO on boxes of strawberries or bagged lettuces.

I rarely find useful coupons either.

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Old 11-03-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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Yup. Does anyone know a good Canadian coupon website?


What do you know about Calgary? It is pretty much Co-op, Safeway, or Superstore.

Usually everyone says Superstore is the cheapest but it's really out of the way for us while Co-op and Safeway are walking distance. I know that you can't beat Superstore on packaged goods like pasta and tomatos but I always buy more organics when I shop thre and impulse-spend on household items or clothes for DD, so I don't really think I come out ahead.

I'm thinking I need to start shopping at Costco, but with a tiny home and no storage I'm not particularly motivated.
Pricewise, Safeway and Superstore are much of a muchness, I don't know a lot about Co-op. But the other two are pretty comparable, which means I would do Superstore, for the President's Choice stuff.
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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I have had great success with using the Grocery Game at our regular grocery store, and applying the same principles to our local natural food stores. The King Sooper's here in CO (basically Kroger) stocks a lot of natural/organic foods, and they also have a supplement in the produce dept. that is full of coupons for Organic Valley, etc., and you can grab them by the handful (they can also be used at other stores). They also have excellent sales on most things. I was skeptical about the Grocery Game, as we do not eat junk or processed food, but just by shopping sales and using coupons I save about $250 per month on groceries (I have been tracking it very carefully and saving my receipts). And I use the natural foods circular that comes out once/month, and stock up on those items when they are on sale. It's true that there are not many coupons for a lot of staples, but they DO go on sale! Particularly yogurt, tea, nuts, olive oil, pasta, and cheese. I use these savings to fund our CSA, and local meat and raw milk purchases.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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For me, the best thing to do is just figure out who has the best prices on basics, and just shop there. Here, it used to be wal-mart, and technically it still is, but Kroger recently lowered their prices, it seems, so I go there now.

Things like eggs, milk, bread, meat, produce ect are always fairly low at either store, but I like kroger's selection better so I go there usually. I don't often find what I want in the ads, but let's face it, they aren't going to advertise low prices on basic foods. They want you in to get the name brand stuff. They do sales to draw you in. If you are already shopping frugally, there's really no point in reading the ads unless you need a lot of stuff for a bbq or christmas dinner or something.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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That is really not true where I live at all.

I save a lot of money shopping the fliers and stocking up when things are on sale.

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Old 11-04-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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That is really not true where I live at all.

I save a lot of money shopping the fliers and stocking up when things are on sale.
: I completely agree.

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