Browsing flyers has gone digital, saving you time and money
I confess: I don’t care how nice a store is, or how informed the sales team is, I buy goods and services from whomever is the cheapest. Yes, loyalty programs sway me slightly, but better prices always have the final say. Aside from my health-care providers, who I am eternally loyal to, I have no guilt crossing the street for a better deal on bread, a manicure, headphones or books.
Why? Because that’s my money and I want to keep as much of it as possible.
I learned this behaviour early on from my mother. She taught me how to browse flyers by lining them up on the kitchen table and then cross-referencing the best deals for groceries, school supplies, clothes and whatever else was on her weekly shopping list. When I was older, she applied her version of geo-location to this weekly ritual by having me map out the most efficient way to drive to these stores so that we wouldn’t waste any gas or any time.
Then, a-hunting-we-would-go … typically on Tuesday nights, when our local grocery stores would offer an extra 10 per cent discount on purchases over $50.
The process took hours. But, we were ALWAYS triumphant in our savings because of her pre-planning.
My mother still does the same thing even though she’s financially secure and semi-retired.
But my hunt for the best deal has gotten a lot easier because of technology that saves me time and money.
Today I can scan for online coupons on websites like RetailMeNot.ca, monitor the frugal chatter on my favourite Facebook groups like Superfood Babies (moms looking for affordable nutrition tips) and pages like Mr. Money Mustache or You Need A Budget, and use free apps like Flipp (available at the App Store and Google Play) to localize my searches to my favourite stores for whatever I need, from groceries to household goods.
Flipp also has an in-app shopping list that not only keeps me on track as I shop, but actually finds deals for everything on my list. The best part about this app, in my opinion, is that it renders the best deals nearby, even when I’m travelling.
For example, last week I was working in Vancouver and forgot my razor. I opened up my Flipp app, and found the cheapest place to buy a Venus razor within two blocks of my hotel. I walked to the Shoppers Drug Mart, bought my razor, and left with a huge smile on my face knowing I’d saved $5.
End to end, this entire razor-buying process took less than 10 minutes. If my mom had used her method, it would have taken 30 minutes.
Time is precious and so is money. In fact, according to this great book I’m reading right now, Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, the word “time” is the most searched word on the Internet — how to create more of it, use it more efficiently, save it, etc. Second to that search is “money” — how to make it, grow it and spend it.
It used to be that we would have to pick time versus money, like my mom. But technology has made is such that these two precious commodities can go hand-in-hand — helping us save both time and money.
Personal finance expert Lesley-Anne Scorgie helps us save money grocery shopping online.
Posted by Breakfast Television Toronto on Tuesday, July 31, 2018