Keeping the house, the kids and the hubby without breaking the bank, the earth, the people I love, or myself.

113.80 in Free Groceries

You really can't get a better deal than that. Coupons can't save me $113 in one trip. Besides, most of the coupons out there are for items I wouldn't buy (prepared foods, detergents, high-end shampoos or cosmetics, name brands that even with a coupon cost more than store brands.)

What's $113 of free groceries look like?

You just want to know how I got all this free stuff, don't you?

If you're lucky enough to live in Ontario, you can take advantage of A & P's Fresh or Free policy. A & P, Dominion, and Ultra Food & Drug in Ontario maintain that if you find any item in their store that is not fresh, then you may receive a free fresh replacement for that item.

I strongly suspect that this policy is A & P's way of employing fewer stockpeople. Instead, with this policy they get a few diligent shoppers to do their stock rotation at a fraction of the cost of a few full-time employees. As a great sideline they can promote their stores as having the freshest stuff around. As you can see from my pictures above -- a lot of their stuff is not fresh.

You would think there just isn't that much expired stuff in a store. That's what I said before I ever went fresh or freeing. When I buy groceries in any other store, I check the expiration dates on the items I'm purchasing and I rarely find anything expired. Not so at A & P. I find A LOT of things expired. So much so that it is worth the higher price one pays at A & P because of all the free stuff one can get.

As you can see above, I have 4 packages of cookies, 2 packs of snack cakes, a 6-pack of pop (all of these items my husband will use for work), 3 packages of lunchmeat, 3 packages of meat substitutes, 3 salad dressings, 2 cheeses, 2 bags of chips (oh the kids are happy tonight), 3 soy milks, Axe deodorant (yes, it does expire), fruit snacks (which made a soon-to-be four-year-old boy very very happy), squeeze mayo, Kool-Aid, fresh pasta sauce, Omelet/Pizza veggies, and broccoli slaw. There was much more I could have gotten in free fresh replacements but I did not want to spend anymore than I already had. There were coffees, teas and hot chocolates available, along with many more vegetarian meat replacements. I happen to have a 6-month supply of free coffee in my cupboard and enough tea to last at least that long as well!

Just to clarify: you do not get to keep the out-of-date items for free. You get to keep a fresh replacement for the out-of-date items. You do have to purchase an equal amount of groceries to match your free stuff...but that's okay. It's like having a 50% off coupon on your total grocery bill. I purchase my meats at A & P because they are good quality and they tend to mark them down dramatically several days before they're set to expire. They go right in my deep freeze and I've never had any problems. I also shop their sales. Add in coupons and their higher prices aren't so bad.

Odd thing is, free food tastes so good!

You can read up on the Fresh or Free policy here.


About This Blog

Saving money. Saving graces. Raising children, husbands and, sometimes, cats. Laughing. Living. Thinking. Doing. Life in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

About Me

I am a happily married woman with four children and various cats and kittens (fosters). I love to read and my favourite authors are George RR Martin, Thomas Hardy, Raymond Carver, PD James, Kurt Vonnegut, J. K. Rowling, and Margaret Atwood. I know there are only three women in that list (and none of them American), so if you'd like to suggest some I'm willing to give them a shot! And yes, I am an American living in Canada. (Hence the nick -- CannedAm.) I like it here. There are things about the states that I miss, but my love is here and this country has things to offer that my own does not. Things that make my quality of life much better than it ever was in Ohio. Guess I'm stuck here. Though there's a nice spot in the Appalachian hills where I'd love to spend my retirement.

  © Blogger template Coozie by 2008

Back to TOP