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I’ve shopped at Real Canadian Super Store in the past but because it’s a fair distance from our home, I’d never been organized enough in advance to try price-matching until today.  It was a complete success!  If you’re a seasoned price matcher, there’s not likely anything too new or earth shattering here for you – but if you’re just starting to get into couponing or have never price matched at Real Canadian Super Store before, I hope this post will help you prepare for your pm mission!

The Real Canadian Super Store (RCSS) has a price-match policy which states that they will adjust the price to match any advertized price in a local competitor’s flyer.  The cashier has to manually enter the price, and you must have the paper flyer in hand (although by the end of the flyer week, the cashiers are quite familiar with many of the sales from other stores and won’t need to spend any time verifying size/brand/date details before punching in the new price).   When stacking items on the conveyor belt to pay, be sure to stack all of the items that you’re pm’ing from the same store/flyer together.  I like to add post it notes to help the cashier find the items quickly. 

Before heading out to the store, I spent about half an hour at home organizing my flyers and coupons and double checked the sale prices for items on my list using FlyerOnFire – one of my favourite couponing tools.  Many of the flyer prices on the website are Canada wide, so even if you’re not in the Capital Region, give it a try!  It turns out that some items that I’d planned to pm from the Metro flyer were cheaper at Sobey’s this week, but we don’t get that flyer in our ad bag.  I could have driven a couple of extra minutes to pick-up the flyer on the way to RCSS today, but didn’t feel the savings were worth my time/gas this time. 

Binder and eco-bags in hand, and sporting some of my new lipstick from last week’s BOGO blitz at Shoppers Drug Mart (giggle!), I headed out on my mission!  Upon arriving at the store, I topped up the car with gas at the ReFuel gas bar in front of the RCSS and earned $1.69 in Suberbucks towards my purchases at RCSS today (or any of the stores in the Loblaws family).   The coupon has a barcode and is printed at the top of the gas receipt and is good for about 2 months after (mine expires November 19, 2012).   The sign indicated that I’d earn $.04 per litre instead of just $.02 if I’d paid with a PC card … something to look into if you live close to a ReFuel gas bar.  So already, I’d started the trip with 2% savings before even opening my coupon binder (or smudging my lipstick!)

Inside the store, I stopped at the Coupon Zone to see if there were any new coupons I could use on this or trips in the near future (nope!) and then headed to the Customer Service desk to double check the store coupon policy (each store has their own and if you’re planning to do a big shop, it’s worth taking a few minutes to check the individual store’s coupon policy before loading up your cart instead of being unpleasantly surprised at the check-out with folks waiting in line behind you).  Today I asked:

  • whether or not I could use internet printed coupons at that location (yup!)
  • if  I could also use a manufacturer’s coupon when price matching from a competitor’s flyer (yup!)
  • if I could stack coupons (i.e. use multiple coupons on the same item) if they had different UPC codes (nope!)
  • if there were any limits on the number of similar items I could buy (nope!)
  • whether or not the computer would award overage if the coupon exceeded the cost of the item (maybe?!).  The cashier manually inputs the coupon value and in theory, is supposed to type the actual sale price.  In practice, however, the coupon is often punched in at face value and the computer doesn’t automatically flag overages that happen to slip by. 

I found absolutely everything on my list and was pleased that the brands and sizes matched the ones from the flyers I was price matching.   And being a Super Store, they had super prices of their own; I didn’t even need to price match some of the items I’d intended to!  The Iogo drinks, for example, were on sale for $.99 at Metro if you bought 6.  I’d planned to use the Coupon Zone coupon for $1.00 OFF and buy a dozen, but at the last minute, I noticed the fine print on the back stated “1 coupon per family.”  (Drats!)  It turns out that Iogo Nomad drinks are regularly priced $.97 at RCSS and I was still able to get 1 for free.  Not exactly the two week supply I’d hoped for, but FREE is FREE and I’ll be sure to use up my other coupons on future visits.

Checking out went, well, SUPER smoothly!  It took about 10 minutes in total and thankfully it wasn’t a busy time of day and there was no one else in line until the last few minutes of my transaction.  I started with the price match items so that I could keep an eye on the register before being distracted with bagging and payment.   The cashier did need to call over a supervisor once the maximum number of coupons had been added, and it took a few extra seconds for each coupon after that, which gave me enough time to slip the next customer a $1.25 coupon for the Charmin products she’d put on the belt!

All in all, my 23 coupons saved me an extra 33% on top of the sale prices and 50% reduced stickers.  I didn’t take the time to document what the regular price of each item was, but if I were to hazard a guess, I think I likely saved between 70-75% on my entire purchase by price matching and couponing.  

I had a nice coupon chat with “Mark” and his uber cute son “Liam” while at the store (he’d asked about all the Oasis in my cart – I bought 6 for $.75 each instead of $3.79 pm’ing Shoppers Drug Mart Flyer and using the $1.25 coupons from inside the Allen’s cans) and he asked if I thought the time spent was worth the savings. (yup!).   I redeemed $29 in coupons today for about an hour extra of my time (including clipping, prep, and a bit longer check-out).  That’s an ok hourly rate of pay by my standards.

I won’t go into detail this time about which items I pm’d with coupons because the sale flyers are expiring in about an hour’s time!  Next time I’ll try to go earlier in the week and share my finds for y’all!  And I’ll try to remember my $1.69 Superbucks coupon (I knew I’d forget to use it at the check-out!).

Happy Couponing!

Christa Clips ~ September 20, 2012

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