And then, I was recommended Flipp, a popular price comparison app. I was told it would help me stay on top of daily sales, coupons, and price comparisons for effective price matching. Since I didn't usually have the time to do that kind of legwork, I decided to give the app a shot.
When you add your postal code on Flipp, it aggregates all the most recent flyers of grocery stores near you and lets you "clip" the deals or discounts you're interested in. You can even add your "favourite" grocery stores on the app and curate your preferences so that Flipp only shows you deals from those stores.
I used Flipp recently for my weekly grocery run, and here's what I learned:
It helped me decide on my grocery store
No Frills store.
Typhoonski | Dreamstime
On a typical grocery run, I usually head to the Food Basics near me, which is a convenient 10-minute walk away from my place. It's been my go-to choice for affordable groceries.
But Flipp showed me better deals at No Frills for most of the items on my shopping list. So, despite the longer journey of nearly 20 minutes, I couldn't resist the potential savings.
You can search for specific products on Flipp, and it shows you the deals valid for that day at stores near you. With the No Frills's sale on grapes, onions, cheese, Indomie and chicken breast, it seemed like the better option for my budget and what I was shopping for on this particular day.
I successfully price matched for the first time!
Indomie at No Frills. Right: Indomie on flyer.
Rhythm Sachdeva | Narcity, Flipp App
According to Flipp, my favourite instant noodles, Indomie, were on sale, and a packet of five costed $3.49. However, at the store, this price wasn't reflected, and its tag showed a price of $3.79. I grabbed it anyway and thought I'd bring it up with my cashier.
When I showed the cashier the flyer on Flipp's app, she immediately changed its price and said that No Frills price matches for sales that are reflected on flyers or at other No Frills stores. I was surprised at how easy it was, and while not a significant win, it was the first time I'd ever successfully price matched and actually got a cheaper rate.
Albeit, it was only 30 cents.
I ended up saving a little
Onions at No Frills. Right: Cheese slices at No Frills.
Rhythm Sachdeva | Narcity
On my grocery list, I had onions and cheese slices, two items that I usually grab without much thought. However, this time around, I ended up saving some amount of money on both of these items.
Flipp alerted me to a sale on sweet white onions, priced at $2.99. It turned out that the discounted onions were not in their usual spot among the other onions. If I hadn't been aware of the sale, I would have likely missed them and grabbed the regular-priced bag for $3.99. Thankfully, I embarked on a short hunt and found the discounted veggies, promptly adding them to my basket.
Flipp also informed me about a sale on Black Diamond cheese slices, priced at $2.49. However, to my surprise, the discounted cheese was located at the bottom of the fridge, not easily visible. Had I not been aware of the sale and actively looked for it, I would have grabbed the Kraft cheese at the top, priced at a staggering $5.49.
Along with my Indomie price-matching savings, I saved approximately four dollars and 30 cents on my total bill.
I can't rely on Flipp blindly
While Flipp was right about the sale of most products on my grocery list, it gave me wrong or outdated information about chicken. According to Flipp, there was a sale on skin-on chicken breast, and I should've been able to find it for $2.88/lb.
However, a clerk informed me that this deal no longer exists at No Frills, and the only chicken breast available at the store was skinless chicken breast for $6/lb. I was incredibly disappointed with this one, as the chicken was the most expensive item on my grocery list.
There was a learning curve to the app
When I first downloaded Flipp, I was greeted with a seemingly infinite array of store categories and products on its homepage. I have to admit, it was a bit overwhelming. What's more, the app's horizontal scroll feature, rather than the more common vertical scroll, took some getting used to.
Another aspect that confused me initially was understanding Flipp's purpose. It is not meant for coupon clipping but focuses on providing timely flyers from the stores you plan to visit. Instead of clipping coupons, you "clip" deals by saving information about products that are on sale.
In general, the user interface isn't the smoothest, and it took me some time to become fully comfortable navigating the app and understanding its features.
In the end, my experience using Flipp left me feeling more informed and in control during my grocery shopping trip. I no longer had that nagging doubt of whether I had missed out on any deals that could have saved me money.
Even after just one use, I could already see the potential for long-term savings with Flipp.
While the app does have its limitations, such as the inability to scan products and a slightly complicated interface, I still believe it's worth recommending to a friend. After all, every dollar saved adds up over time, and even a few dollars from one grocery trip can make a significant difference in the future.
So, if you're looking to stretch your grocery budget and be more mindful of your spending, I would encourage you to give Flipp a try.