Friday, August 1, 2008

July Grocery review and the demise of the FOF policy....

I suppose I should talk about the fact that A & P, and Dominion stores are doing. The are stopping the It's Fresh or It's Free Policy as of September 4th, 2008.

Rachel got this email from them:

Effective September 4, 2008, the Fresh or Free Guarantee will no longer be in effect. After six years, the standards we set for freshness have been met and we are moving on to pursue new programs to express our retail leadership.
To meet the needs of our Customers, we will continue with our Satisfaction Guarantee which is reflected in our return policy.

Kindest regards,

Michelle xxxxxxxxx
Customer Care Specialist
A&P Canada Co.

Excuse me Michelle, but I beg to differ on this..........if the standards for freshness has been met, then why on earth have I found things on the shelves, which expired, in 2007. Now to be fair to A & P, they have actually done me a favour in a couple of ways. One, I have been able to get a lot of groceries for free, and two it has made me be more aware of expiration dates on products, as believe me, they are not the only stores out there that don't rotate their stock. Price Chopper and Food Basics always have expired stuff on their shelves.

A & P things are overpriced at the best of times, that's why I still only buy things on sale, and then FOF at the same time, so at least getting the "free" products is making up for the over pricing of goods. However in a very competitive market I wonder now what they plan on doing? As I know I will not be shopping there, unless there is a good sale on or bonus airmiles.

I am fortunate that where I live, I have every major grocery store within a 10 to 15 minute drive away, and as long as I plan my trip out, I don't have to go out of my way to visit each one, which I guess is what I am going to have to do. I will have to rethink my grocery buying, as I have been tending to rely on A & P for my grocery shopping needs.

Someone mentioned on Frugal Shopper, if the customer service people would be any friendlier when this was over with, as believe me, some days you would think we were stealing food from their own pockets. If people stocked and rotated the shelves like they were supposed to, we wouldn't be able to get free stuff.

So a review on July's grocery shopping. I stocked up on a couple of things, that included Glad Cling Wrap, I have enough for a year, the same with Pledge Furniture Polish. Jam, again made enough to last well into next year. I picked up enough "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" to last until the middle of October. I did come in slightly over budget, only because I was sick and had to get some sinus medication, otherwise I would have come in under the $300 mark for the month. My savings were pretty good, at just over $280, but I have depleted my stock of coupons.

My goal for August, is to stock up on FOF items before that policy is cancelled. Especially on salad dressing, which there always is a lot of. I want to come in at under $300 again if I can, and try and have savings over the $200 mark.

Ultimately I would like to lower my monthly grocery budget to closer to $200 a month, for the two of us. However with the price of groceries going up, I am not sure if that will be achievable. I still fully believe in stock piling the specials each month.

I think a key to trying to get my monthly grocery bill down is to plan, plan, plan. I need to make a menu plan each week. Look over the flyer's each week. Cook a couple meals a week that are meat free.

If you have any hints or tips on saving money on groceries, I would love to to hear them.


Sandi McBride said...

AandP? I haven't seen one in years...the 8 o'clock coffee is sold everywhere, which was really the only reason for going...but you're right, most of them dont rotate anything but the store clerks! Great post!

Lib said...

I stockpile and haven't done grocery shopping in awhile .We too have all major stores across the hwy. from each other so no driving around wasting gas.
I can,dry and freeze alot of our food also.
Sound like A&P was having too much FOF !
Hope they come out with agood replacement.
Have a good day &wk.end

Anonymous said...

Great post!Have a good day &wk.end.

CannedAm said...

I think you could hit the $200 without too much effort. Really, I do. My bare-bones grocery budget for us is $50/week (that's for five). Some things I have to buy in bulk so it's a one-time larger expenditure, then everything else falls in line under it. Depends too on all the store options you have around you. We've got No Frills, Food Basics, RCSS & Price Chopper all within 10 minutes (plus the pricier Zehr's & Sobeys but I only get the very rare deals there and nothing else, ever!)

Starting with the menu is the best thing. I think I'll blog about it. I had a hard time getting our monthly bill under $600. Now I keep it well under that!

raining sheep said...

Wow, you should be a grocery shopper for people - even if you charged a fee for your services, people would still save money I bet. You would be horrified at my grocery shopping habits...ahem...I shop only at Sobeys and Sunterra and don't even realize that things go on sale. Usually I have such a short time-frame to get food and begone that I am lucky I don't forget my head in the grocery store :)

Gill - That British Woman said...

thanks for all your comments. I think the key to make it all happen is organize, organize, organize.

Thanks for all your comments.


Kim said...

wow and just when i learned about FOF too. Murphy's law.

Gill - That British Woman said...

Kim, I am surprised they have kept it going for this long, there is probably more to this than they are letting one...........

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