Let the Price war begin

Competition between national grocers is giving Canadians big opportunities to save money.

Loblaw’s is going to turn cash-strapped Canadians into happy grocery shoppers. A recent sales volume decline caused the grocery giant to officially declare a price war against its competitors in mid-august. This is the perfect opportunity for Canadians to save money on grocery shopping. Consolidated Credit offers Canadians shopping tips on how to make the dollar go further during this price war.

Reports from the National Post suggest Retail food prices in Canada climbed about 9% on average in the first quarter of 2009. Grocers passed on rising prices of produce to the consumers. Industry experts now see a slowdown in price increases meaning less than spectacular earnings growth for Canada’s big supermarket chains.

Economic conditions have caused changes in consumer spending behaviors and a drop in sales volume for Canadian grocers. Canadians are pinching pennies and trying to save money on grocery shopping, especially fresh produce. One of the biggest grocery retailers, Loblaw’s, is recognizing and addressing the issue by taking the initiative to remain competitive in the market and lowering prices to encourage Canadians to shop with confidence and save money.

The “price wars” are just in time for the “back to school” shopping season. Additionally, incentives have already come into play in some hard hit cities. This week Loblaw’s subsidiary outlet “Zehr’s” stores in the southwestern Ontario region provided a 10 per-cent break to unemployed consumers on their total grocery bill.

“This is a great opportunity for Canadians, who are faced with financial difficulties, to save money on everyday basics. With the back to school shopping season just around the corner, this is a great time to stock up” according to Jeff Schwartz, Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada Inc. ; a charitable, non-profit credit counselling organization helping Canadians deal with, and overcome, financial challenges.

Consolidated Credit offers Canadians shopping tips on taking advantage of these concessions, especially with the back to school season fast approaching.

  • Look for markdowns and price cuts: check for online, in mail or in-store flyers that indicate products that are on sale, or will be on sale.
  • Shop around: Do not assume all prices will be the same at all grocery retailers. Check the reductions and sales at a few grocers to find the best deal.
  • Buy in bulk: Often incentives will include deals like “buy 2 get 1 free”, or “buy 1 get one at 50% off”. This is a great opportunity to buy several items at a reduced rate.
  • Stock up: On non-perishables, canned goods and items you use a lot of. Stocking up now, before kids go back to school is a great way to save money.
  • Avoid using credit cards: it may be tempting to purchase more items, but adding to your debts will generate more interest- if you can not afford it, do not buy it.
  • Budget: stick to your budget. It is very easy to get caught up in a sales frenzy, overspend on your grocery shopping and loose track of your budget.

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