Price Matching For Beginners

Beginner Price Matching.

Price Matching for Beginners

I have only been price matching for a year, and I still cannot believe how simple it is and how much money I save through this process.

When I talk about how great price matching is, I often get a glazed look or a polite dismissal.

Here are the main concerns I hear:

  • It sounds too complicated (it’s not)
  • I don’t have the time (it can actually save you time)
  • It won’t make a big difference in my bill (it will)

Price matching allows you to reduce your grocery bill by buying the best deals from several stores in just one stop – and it’s easy. I swear. Ready?

Here are 5 simple steps to begin price matching.

Step 1

Decide to try price matching just one time.

Step 2

Check out the list of Canadian stores that price match and pick your favourite price matching store. Note: Some stores like FreshCo only let you price match a limited amount of the same items.

Step 3

Gather three (only 3) grocery flyers that offer great deals. My personal favourites are Food Basics, No Frills, FreshCo, and Walmart. Scoop up whichever flyers are best in your region.

Price Match in Canada


Step 4

Select four (or less) great deals from each flyer. Circle these items so the cashier can spot them quickly. Best deals are usually featured on the front page or the back pages. When you make your regular grocery shopping list, note which stores have your sale items.

Example shopping list:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheese (Black Diamond 500g – Food Basics $3.88)
  • Bread (Country Harvest – FreshCo $1.97)
  • Apples (Royal Gala – No Frills $0.88/lb)
  • Jam

If you are not too sure what are “great prices”, let us do the work for you. Every Thursday, we share our coupon match-ups – which are the best deals from each flyer. It couldn’t be easier!

Step 5

Off to the store! Place reusable bags in your cart. Hang 1 flyer over each bag. As you shop, put the sale items in the bag with the proper flyer. This makes for an easy checkout. Pass the whole bag to the cashier, and she will enter the price matched prices. Any items that are not being price matched can be put loosely in your cart.

Price Matching Bags

And that’s it! Even without using coupons you can save a significant amount of money by price matching.

Here are the 4 deals I chose from the 3 flyers above (to price match at Real Canadian Superstore):

Food Basics Flyer
Black Diamond Cheese (500 g) $3.88 x 5 bars = $10
Seedless Grapes $0.88 cents/lb = $2
Cauliflower $1.97 = $1
Broccoli $0.99 x 2 = $2

Freshco Flyer
Tostitos $1.77 x 3 = $6
Chapman’s Premium Ice Cream $1.97 x 4 = $8
Jane’s Frozen Chicken Strips $4.97 x 3 = $15
Strawberries $1.44 x 3 = $4.50

No Frills Flyer
Ragu Spaghetti Sauce $0.99 x 5 = $5
Astro Yogurt 12 cups $2.97 x 2 = $6
Royal Gala apples $0.97/lb = $3
Cantalopes $1.27 x 2 = $2.50

By purchasing items we needed, using 3 flyers, with 4 items per flyer, I saved almost $45 – and that is without using coupons!

Trust me, once you try just price matching alone, the thrill of the deal will make you want to keep going. You will feel badly for those around you paying full price.

Time Spent vs Money Saved

  • Listing price matching items on your grocery list = 10 minutes
  • Circling sale items in flyers = 5 minutes
  • Putting items in right bags in your cart = 0 minutes
  • Giving bags to cashier to enter different prices = 5 minutes

Where else can you save $45 with 20 minutes of work? Even if you saved $20 each trip with price matching, wouldn’t that be worth it?

The first time you do this, you might spend a bit of extra time, but you will quickly become more efficient and it will take no time at all to price match groceries.

An added benefit

Finding coupons for fresh items is tricky, but you can price match each store’s best deal on produce. I regularly save between 25-50% on my produce this way.

So, price matching rookies – willing to give it a try this week? We’d love to hear from you!

Price matching professionals – what are your best tips for beginners?

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  1. Julie says:

    Thanks for this article. I price matched for the first time this weekend and can’t believe how much I saved! I’ve been hesitant to price match for various reasons, and this article gave me the final push to give it a try. Thanks to the great tips provided here, I think the cashier would never had guessed I am new to price matching. The only thing I didn’t do was pack items into bags (can’t at my grocery store), but I did place them on top of the appropriate flyer. I will definitely price match in future 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Your comment made my day Julie. Sometimes we all need a little push to try something new. Glad to hear you are a convert.
      Might be fun to calculate your price matching savings over the next few months.
      Don’t forget to check out the flyer and coupon matchups if you are ready to take your savings to the next step.

  2. jessie says:

    Thank you very much for the tips on how to learn to do match ups, it is always good to read some advise from experienced money savers..
    thank you

  3. Brigitte Laing says:

    Instead of using the shopping bags to sort, I use the baskets for smaller purchases and place them in my cart…that way I see what it in them and don,t get anxious looks from store employees. I had seen this as a practice on one of those extreme couponing shows…:)

  4. Helen Boddy says:

    I price match regularly. This week I was shopping at Walmart and the cashier caught a few items that I had not thought of matching – thankfully I had the flyers that she mentioned and got the savings!

  5. Erin says:

    I price match all the time and one thing to be aware of is what stores carry which brands. When I first started I often got frustrated because I couldn’t find the item I wanted to match. I often still have to go to 2 stores to catch everything. Also most stores won’t let you price match meat at check out, find out the policy when you first go in to save yourself frustration.

  6. helen says:

    I also write the page# from the flyer on my shopping list so I can easily find where the price is..if its a front or back page I will write fp and bp

  7. Lynne says:

    I have been price-matching for forever (thanks to Cassie!) I have two tidbits of information to add/share.

    1) Walmart does let you price-match meat, so that’s my favourite place to price-match! You can also price match store brand to store brand (even though technically they’re different brands). For example, I can price match a case of Life brand pop with a case of Great Value pop at Walmart.

    2) Regarding the system described in the article (with the reusable bags to keep things separate), I love that, BUT I remember when stores started charging for bags, they didn’t want you to put stuff in any bags until it was paid for (I would see signs to that effect everywhere!) My system is to lay out the flyers in my cart and place my items on top of it. That way, when I put the stuff on the counter to pay, the flyer foes right on top and it’s easy for the cashier to see my circled items.

  8. Dayna says:

    Can coupons be used on top of price matching?

  9. Amanda says:

    I use an app called “flipp”. Its all the flyers in your postal code area. So when i get to the store and if i see an in store sale, i just type the item into the search, and see if I can purchase it for even cheaper. And sometimes stores dont all carry the same brand, so i can quickly look up if there is a sale for the brand the store does sell. Ie: black diamond or cracker barrel. With 4 kids, we try to save money as often as possible. Happy Shopping! 🙂

  10. Amanda says:

    Of course you can use coupons and price matching! Price matching is the stores sale, coupons are manufacturer sales. So double up and keep saving! 🙂

  11. Karen G says:

    Amanda: Thanks for the flip suggestion. That takes price matching to a whole new level. From another mom of 4 🙂

  12. Nicole says:

    FLIPP is a god sent! Whoever created it, is a genius & makes my life soo much easier while price matching. I’m a soon to be mom with 3 other grown men living in my house and boy can they eat.

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