For many of us, monthly expenses such as groceries, utilities, rent or mortgage payments, car insurance, and more can quickly add up. Therefore, we are always eager to budget and save where we can.
One of the best ways to save money on a monthly or weekly basis is by shopping for your groceries at stores that price match. Price matching is a practice where retailers will reduce their price to match or even beat the price of the same product offered at a competing store.
While stores differ slightly in their policies for this, price matching as a customer is often as simple as having proof of the competitor’s price via a printed or digital flyer and presenting it to the store associate. To learn how to price match effectively, check out this handy guide. Here’s a list of major Canadian grocery stores that offer price matching, as well as their policies and limitations below.
Real Canadian Superstore
Store locations: BC, MT, ON, SK, YT
Real Canadian Superstore’s price match policy is “show the lower advertised price on an identical item and they will match it.” Note that in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, this grocery store is known as Atlantic Superstore, but they do not price match.
Limitations – Price matching does not apply to ‘multi-buys’ (e.g. 2 for $4), ‘spend x get y free’, clearance, discounts obtained through loyalty programs, or offers related to third party operations (post office, gas bar, dry cleaners, etc.).
Store locations: All provinces except QC
No Frills price match policy (aka “Won’t Be Beat”) applies “if a major supermarket competitor within the store’s geographical trade area offers a lower price on any item that they carry in their store, simply show them an advertisement or receipt and they will sell you that item at the same price”.
Limitations – No Frills does not price-match from all local competitors. They usually have a set list of stores that they will price match which differs per store
Store locations: ON, MT, BC
FreshCo’s price match policy is “if a major supermarket competitor within your local store’s geographic trade area offers a lower price on any item that they carry in their store, simply show them their price in their flyer/ad (current) or on their receipt (within 14 days of purchase) and they will sell you that item for 1¢ less.”
Limitations – Price matching does not apply to prescriptions or gift cards. The following are excluded: ‘spend x get x’ clearance sales, and ‘free’ promotions and discounts obtained through loyalty or other preferred customer programs. Price matching does not apply to competition misprints or withdrawn or corrected advertisements. FreshCo reserves the right to verify competitor prices and to limit quantities to 2 identical products/flavours.
Additionally, they don’t price match from all local stores. They price match only select “major supermarket competitors”.
Giant Tiger/Tegre Géant
Store locations: All provinces except BC and NL
Giant Tiger’s price match policy is that they will beat the advertised price of any competitor. If you happen to find a local competitor offering a lower price on any identical item they carry in-store, simply show them their current flyer and they will sell you that item for 1¢ less than their price.
Limitations – Note that price matching is not applicable to clearance sales, percentage discounts, rebates, combination promotions (e.g. Buy 2, Get 1 Free), private label products, online offers, preferred customer discounts or random discounts (Scratch and Save events), or to competitor misprints, withdrawn or corrected advertisements.
Save on Foods
Store locations: AB, BC, MT, SK, YT
Save on Foods’ price match policy is “if a competitor within their geographical trade area currently offers a lower advertised price than their current in-store price on any identical grocery item (brand, size, etc.) they will match the competitor’s price.”
Limitations – The price match policy excludes mandatory ‘multi-buys’ (e.g. $1.69 each when you buy 3), ‘spend x get y free’, percentage discounts, and discounts obtained through loyalty programs. Additionally, price match is not valid for online shopping purchases.
Store locations: QC only
Maxi’s price match policy is if a major supermarket competitor located in Quebec offers a lower price on any item they carry, they will match it.
Limitations – Price matching is limited to 4 units per item.
How to price match
Price matching is easier than you think since all you need to show is the competing grocery store’s flyer for the item you want to price match. Some people will bring in a physical flyer, but it’s easier to use an app such as Reebee since all the flyers are digital.
As you’ve noted above, grocery stores typically only price match specific stores nearby, so you can’t just try to price match anything. While at the store, only some lanes will price match. Generally speaking, price matching is not allowed in the express lanes.
Why price matching is worth it
Price matching is a simple way for consumers to reduce the money spent on groceries and other more costly items such as electronics or furniture. Stores offer price matching to keep their promise to customers of “lowest prices around” and to sustain brand loyalty among their communities of shoppers. While price matching may seem intimidating at first, retailers welcome this practice and you can save a significant amount of money over time.
The actual process of price matching is easy. Just show a competing store’s flyer (physical or digital), and the grocery store you’re at will match it if you meet their guidelines. Keep in mind that some stores have specific lines where you can’t price match e.g. express lanes or self-checkout. You also likely won’t be able to price if you’re doing an online grocery order which includes click and collect.
Scanner Price Accuracy Code
Another thing to be aware of when shopping is the Scanner Price Accuracy Code. This was implemented in many Canadian stores in 2002 as a way to eliminate discrepancies between product barcodes and the registered price. This Code applies to all scanned merchandise sold in all participating stores with a Universal Product Code (UPC), bar code, and Price Look-Up (PLU).
While you are checking out your groceries, you can monitor the prices that appear for scanned items. According to the Retail Council of Canada, if you notice that an item scans incorrectly and you notify the cashier, the employee should follow the store’s procedures in resolving the issue. If the item is applicable for the code, you should either be given $10 off the displayed price. If the item is under $10, it should be given to the customer for free.
Shopping at grocery stores that price match in Canada is an easy way to save money without much effort. If you’re looking for more ways to save, consider using one of the best cash back credit cards. Alternatively, if you shop at Superstore, make sure you join PC Optimum or consider joining PC Insiders since you can earn more points, which means big savings later.