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To discover good prices, flyers are very useful but … you still have to be vigilant. Radio Canada’s L’Épicerie show has just aired a report on the subject of grocery store discounts in order to help consumers recognize the real bargains amongst the myriad of promotional offers. And for the 8th time in 13 years, they called in our expertise in this field to explain how to separate the truly good deals from the… others.
Offering discounts is a marketing technique used to lure us into a store, but just because a product is in a flyer, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good buy. The best discounts are usually advertised on the first and last page, but you still have to be wary. We always need to compare the ‘special’ price with the regular price – if you know it – and look at the price per unit of measurement (e.g. per 100g or 100mL), which must be displayed on the stickers on the store shelves. It is this price per unit of measurement that allows us to compare the different products which are often sold in different formats and sizes.
In the store, you can also find specials that are not advertised in the flyer, even on fresh products, offered by the manager either because they are approaching their expiration date, or because a supplier wants to push the product.
But how do you know if the price is advantageous or not?
In Radio Canada’s report, we show how our grocery price checker, available for free, can answer exactly that question. Simply enter the name of the product and the price at which it is offered, and then click on the “Check Price” button. You’ll immediately know if the price is a bargain or not, thanks to our exclusive qualification algorithm that works in conjunction with our database which contains millions of prices on hundreds of items, gathered for more than a decade from dozens of stores in Canada.
This isn’t a trivial evaluation. Indeed, it takes into account the location, as well as the precise time of year. So don’t be surprised if the result differs one week to the next (for example, $1,99 is a good price for broccoli in winter, but not in summer). Our evaluation is based on a scarcity concept — in other words, the price is attractive if the product is rarely cheaper where you are and at the time you check it. Vice-versa, the price is not attractive if the product is frequently cheaper.
I invite you to watch the report and check out our grocery price checker, free of charge, to help you win every time at the “game” of flyer bargain hunting. You’ll also be able to find a link to download the price checker as an Android or iOS mobile app, if desired.
To note, this database contains mostly fresh unprocessed foods, as these are essentials foods for a healthy diet. So, if you’re looking to know if the price of your favorite branded X biscuits is good or bad, it’s possible the Price Checker won’t have the answer.
Please watch L’Épicerie video, in French: