Grocery shopping resources in Regina

A bag of groceries marked “clearance” sits in front of a blue background. The reciept beside the bag reads “TOTAL: $$$$$$.”
Since when are we paying to save stores a trip to the dump? OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay, manipulated by lee lim

Apps and coupons can help students save when visiting grocery stores 

Since 2020, grocery stores and food prices have been out of sorts. In 2020, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and canned foods quickly went out of stock. Today, with food prices skyrocketing, many are finding it hard to get ahead while keeping their fridges and pantries stocked.  

Despite this, there are multiple apps that those with access to a smartphone can download in an attempt to make food budgeting more managable.  

One such app is Flipp. Many remember having flyers delivered to our houses as children. Today, some companies have moved away from paper flyers in an attempt to reduce paper use, which is where apps like Flipp come into play. According to Flipp, the app helps individuals “save time and money weekly with digital ads on Flipp.”  

All you have to do is add in your postal code and it will generate the latest deals near you. When I added my postal code, it created weekly flyers for stores such as Walmart, Safeway, Co-op, and other stores in my area.  

One thing that might seem like a hassle to buyers is having to go to different locations to get the deals that they want. However, many big-box stores offer price matching.  

An article by CTV News titled “Price matching is like a game in Canada, here’s how to play” states: “price matching is when a customer shows a lower competitor price for the same item at a grocery store and receives that item for a lower price.”  

According to the article, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Fresh Co. and more stores will allow price-matching on items sold by their competitors. So, next time you go grocery shopping, one place to look is the Flipp app. Before checkout, it’s worth collecting which deals you would like to use on certain items, then show them to cashier at the store and, if the store offers price-matching, have your items price matched.  

A second resource, the Flashfood app, connects shoppers to stores offering items nearing their expiry date at a discounted price. Flashfood helps costumers searching for lower prices, yes, but it also helps in the reduction of food waste. The app aims to help stores sell items before their best-before date meaning that they are staying away from the waste, and can be used rather than discarded.  

The Flashfood website claims that they serve in over 2,000 stores across Canada. In Regina, some grocery stores in the Flashfood app include Wholesale club, both Real Canadian Superstore locations, and Mike’s Independent Grocer. In total, there are currently six grocery stores across the city offering discounts through the Flashfood app. 

If you’re not in a cooking mood, you may want to look into our third resource under discussion: Too Good to Go. Too Good to Go is extremely similar to Flashfood. The primary difference between the two is that  Too Good to Go primarily works with restaurants and fast-food locations, while Flashfood is more grocery-oriented and does not work with any Regina restaurants at present.  

 Too Good to Go is another app-based resource that requires access to a smartphone. After downloading the app and creating an account, users can search for surprise bags of food from restaurants near them. Some restaurants in Regina who make use of Too Good to Go include Tim Hortons, Wild Sage Kitchen & Bar, Sinfully Sweet, Auntie Maggie’s Caribbean meals, Trifon’s Pizza, and Queen City Cakes. Once you have chosen a location and a bag, you can make your purchase through the app. Pickup times vary, but generally range from 4-6 p.m..  

A Too Good to Go order that I recently picked up from Tim Hortons cost $4.99 and in total I got a muffin, two doughnuts, a croissant, and three baked twists. Each bag varies, and the items differ bag to bag, so each one is a surprise.   

Another way to save money in-store and at restaurants is to look around and keep an eye out for coupons. Coupons can usually be found on shelves, at registers or at entrances of grocery stores. Coupons usually work so you can buy multiple items at a good price, or single items at a lower price.  

The last way is to save money on food is by downloading and signing up for a reward system. If you have a grocery store or a restaurant that you visit on a regular basis, they may have an app for collecting points and offering deals at their location.  

One example is the President’s Choice PC Optimum Card. They have a points system where you can earn points on certain food products, earning points when shopping at Loblaws stores, such as Superstore or Shoppers Drug Mart, purchasing fuel at participating locations, and more. 

While saving money on food is possible, it does take work to navigate the system. With some apps, such as the Flashfood app, you may run the risk of consuming expired food. Shoppers are able to utilize these resources and coupons to reduce costs and find bargains.  

However, CBC reports that food prices for some essentials are expected to fall over the next few months, but they still estimate that grocery bills will increase by about $700. Bakery items, meat, and vegetables will all cost an average of 5-7 per cent more this year, CBC reports.  

It’s worth noting that while apps like Flipp and Flashfood exist and can help with the cost of living crisis, they’re ultimately bandages on bullet wounds.  


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