Fabulous Frugal Finds

Back To School, Back To Budget!

September is just around the corner (didn’t it just feel like May?) and if you’re like me, you may not be in full back to school mode, but you’re certainly considering that this month holds a lot of shopping ahead, whether you do it all in one weekend or piece by piece as the weeks go by. There’s no denying that back to school shopping takes a hit on family finances, so how does one get through August and September without going into debt? It’s all about smart planning and not making impulse buys.

Here are my tips for frugal back to school shopping. No, you can’t avoid buying the clothing and school supplies but you certainly can be smart(er) about it!

Plan Your Shopping

Don’t plan your shopping day based on the weather or the day that your child has a surprise playdate invite. Plan a specific shopping day ahead of time and then do your research!

Flipp is a free app that brings you local flyers, coupons and an interactive shopping list right to your phone so you can plan your shop and find the best deals on everything you need for back-to-school. If it’s school supplies you’re looking for, for example, browse the flyers from your favorite retailers and compare prices before even leaving the house.

Make sure you download the app in the App Store or Google Play Store now, before you plan your shopping! You can also visit Flipp.com for more info.

Price Match

Now, what if the majority of your list is on sale at one store, but a few odds and ends are indeed less expensive at another store. Do you drive there? Oh heck no! This is when you utilize the promise that many stores make professing their prices to be the cheapest. Walmart, for example, does Price Matching. So, simply bring in a flyer – or your Flipp App proudly displaying the flyer on your phone – and Walmart will match the price for you, saving you time and money. The list above shares other stores that you may find yourself in back to school shopping that do indeed price match. Don’t be intimidated, the policy is there as a way to entice shoppers, so why not be a savvy shopper?

Be A Coupon Queen (Or King!)

Despite what some of the extreme-coupon TV shows share, you won’t become a hoarder with a bunker full of product by using coupons (Canadian retailers have much different rules when it comes to coupon-stacking and other techniques used in the US) but you will save money with very minimal effort.

Flipp App now has coupons as well (it just keeps getting better and better!) Simply select the coupon, the store you purchased (or plan to purchase) the item from, and upload your receipt for an instant rebate. Or, clip the coupon virtually and print to take to the store with you.

There are a few websites where you can always find great coupons as well – look for coupons at pgeveryday.ca and save.ca to start! These have both been great resources for me for years. I don’t think I’ve ever paid full price for laundry detergent in the past decade!

scanning code of practice sticker

Pay Attention At The Till

A great deal is only a deal if you actually pay the correct price. Scanning errors happen every day in Canada and we all have overpaid at the till without realizing it. Did you know, if an item scans for more than the advertised price or price on the shelf YOU could walk away with it for free? It’s true! SCOP (Scanning Code of Practice) is a program that select stores voluntarily participate in to help give consumers peace of mind knowing they WANT their scanners to be accurate at the til, because otherwise it’s their loss – you can get that item for free (if it’s under $10) or at a $10 discount (if the item is over $10). Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? It’s not, it just takes effort on your part as the consumer to be aware and ask for that discount. A list of participants in the Scanning Code of Practice can be found at the link. I’ve used it at Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and Superstore many times!

Look For Bonus Offers

Some stores will offer an incentive to purchase a certain amount of product. The Children’s Place and Old Navy, for example, regularly has a Cash Back promotion where you’re given in-store dollars to spend at a later date. Premium Label Outlet is currently offering customers a free backpack of their choice when they spend $200 in store.

Here’s my segment this week with Global Regina where I shared these tips and more!


Another tip, and something that worked well for me and really catapulted me to starting this blog is: enter contests and giveaways! Free is always the best! In that spirit, I’ve teamed up with FLIPP to offer readers the chance to win an awesome backpack with some supplies inside AND a $100 Mastercard Gift Card to help in your Back To School shopping! Simply submit your name and email address in the form below to get started and check out all the bonus entries! You can get a bonus entry, for example, just for following Flipp App on Facebook!



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  • I love that we can use flipp to price match! I didn’t know that!
    Not only do we have 2 kiddos heading back to school, I’ll also be heading to college. Great giveaway!

  • I have never used FLIPP but will now. 2 kids heading back and 1 starting kindergarten. Thank you for these tips.

  • I’ve never heard of the App before – but I am all about saving! With a little one headed toward preschool I haven’t hit the “full” back to school motherload yet, but I know it’s just around the corner.

  • I like using Flipp because I never remember to looks at flyers early! It’s a great way to grocery shop for deals on the go!
    This gift card would be great for back to school shoe shopping!

  • I would love to win as I could use the items and GC to transition into the fall! I currently use the FLIPP app ALL the time – it’s a HUGE money saver!

  • I do not use the flipp app because my phone is old and don’t have enough storage. Maybe implementing some of your tips will help me save for a new phone. Would love to use this giveaway to help offset the cost of getting school supplies.

  • I always use the Flipp app. I combine it and checkout 51 to get rebates on things I would normally purchase.

  • I would be great to win as it would help extend my back-to-school budget. I am the queen of price matching and couponing. The savings really do add-up over time! Great tips for sure.

  • I’ve used the flipp app for a couple years now. I didn’t know Walmart would price match off the app so glad I read this!

  • I have never heard of this app! Thanks for sharing! With 2 teen girls (gr 10 & 12) budgetting is a must!

  • I love the Flipp app and use it regularly. It makes it so easy to look for deals. I also use coupons when I can. Winning would be a great help with back to school supplies.

  • I hadn’t heard of the app…time to go and get it! I’d love to win to help out with back to school costs.

  • I would love to win because this would help with BTS! I love the Flipp app – allows me to efficiently go through my flyers without the extra trash I accumulate at home! I should keep an eye on the Scanning Code Practice when they scan!

  • Great advice I like the scanning code of pricing. I like the FLIPP APP it makes life so much easier. You can never save enough when it comes to back to school shopping.

  • My wife uses the Flipp app and she loves it! It makes it so easy for weekend errands and grocery runs. I usually plan out the trip with my wife so we can do as much as we can and save some weekend time for leisure.

  • Yes I use Flipp because it ensures I’m getting the best price when I’m shopping. I also price match, coupon, watch for sales etc.

  • I do pay attention at the till, but find couponing more trouble than it’s worth. Most cashiers in my town scrutinize the coupon like their life depends on reading every bit of fine print. Using more than one coupon at a time is painful. But I’d like to try the Flipp app. Haven’t yet, but I have a new smartphone that I need to utilise more fully.

  • I love Flipp and I use it every time I go shopping. Love your tips, very useful and I’ll be paying more attention at the cash now 🙂

  • I’d love to win as the backpack would be useful and the gift card would come in handy for when I find great deals in store or online.
    I don’t use the Flipp app yet. I haven’t made the move from paper flyers to digital yet.

  • I have heard a lot of great things about the FLIPP APP. I have just recently downloaded it – now I need to take some time to get familiar with it and then use it! I don’t really do much price matching, but I do use coupons as well as watch for items I want to be on sale.

  • I love Flipp app. When ever I’m looking for something on sale it’s so easy to look up which store offers item the cheapest

  • I started using Flipp this past year and it has helped me save a lot of money. I love to price match and use coupons! I’d love to win so we can use it towards our groceries.

  • My philosophy is why pay full price if you don’t need to. I’ve used Flipp for about a year now but I’ve only ventured as far as Walmart with it. I think I’ll research the coupon feature a bit more closely. I’ve also used the pgeveryday coupons but not recently. I should look into that again. Make your money work hard for you!!

  • I would love to win because my kids could use a backpack of goodies and I would love to spend the gift card on some winter clothes for them. I have the Flipp app on my phone but I haven’t used it yet – my phone is fairly new so I’m not used to using apps yet, but I really need to start. I know I miss lots of great deals! Otherwise I am really good at utilizing your tips – I use coupons, scanning code of practice (got free big pack of paper from my daughter’s school supplies list last week using SCOP!), and I love to seek out and use bonus offers. I also price match – recently did that at London Drugs did get a great deal on an Instant Pot for my dad, because I wanted to buy from a local Canadian retailer instead of the one offering the better deal. Since I knew London Drugs would price match I just went there and showed them the deal on my phone, easy peasy, saved a bunch of money!

  • I want to win ecause this is a super useful prize! I love usinf Flipp to compare sales across the different flyers and plan my shopping trips. As a stay-athome mom, I try to save as much money as I can so we don’t miss the income I’d be bringing in if I was working outside the home.

  • I love to win because it save me money instead of having to pay for it. I’m a fan of Flipp. I have used coupons and got free items from SCOP.

  • I love Flipp! Kids are expensive and back to school shopping definitely adds up, I’d LOVE to win to help out with that! Thanks for the chance 🙂

  • LOVE Flipp! my cousin is actually the one who got my hooked on the app. She was raving about it and how much money she was saving using it so of course I was curious about it and starting using it. Such a useful app to have

  • I don’t have data on my phone so I don’t use the app but I price match with my flyers like a boss. Also love the scanning code of conduct although some cashiers look at you like you’re crazy cause they don’t know about it.

  • Winning would be a fun start to the school year. And I’m the teacher!! I use Flipp to feed these teenagers of mine.

  • I haven’t used the app, but it sounds very handy! I’ve been wanting to get into price matching! Thanks for the tips and the chance to win! 🙂

  • I love Flipp and have been using it for awhile now for my price matching. It’s SO much easier then carrying around the flyers like I used to do to Walmart. I price match and coupon basically my world!

  • I haven’t used flipp, but I have used checkout 51 and Ebates.
    This is our 1st year of school so a complete newbie.

  • I would love to win because this would come very handy for back to school shopping! I use the Flipp app all the time and I LOVE It! Honestly can no longer imagine grocery shopping without it

  • I already use Flipp every week. Can’t remember life without it. I pay attention at the till, been burned on way too many things for price

  • I love using the app. to price match and I try watching the till but sometimes it’s hard to when your still putting stuff up, and for the scanning error I have never received the item for free, they just fix it and give it to me at the marked price

  • I would love to win as I participate in a program that buys school supplies for low income families. The need seems to be greater every year. I have not tried the Flipp App yet.

  • I’d love to win because back-to-school is EXPENSIVE. Every bit helps.

    I’ve used FLIPP for ages and I love it. I check for the lowest price every time I go to the store!

  • I do have the Flipp app and have used it a few times so far. I am a huge believer in the plan-ahead and research before any shopping, especially at back-to-school time! I always utilize the cash back at Children’s Place & price-match whenever I can. But this is the first I’ve heard of SCOP & I will have to remember that!

  • I’ve never heard of the App before but I will check it out. I have one child left in school and its graduation year. Yay!!! this would be awesome to win this prize

  • Flipp and I have been friends pretty much since its inception and boy how it has improved. I use all savings methods mentioned especially price matching and watching that till like a hawk.

  • Yes i’m a fan of FLIPP APP just new love you can price match .Love the tips mentioned in the TV segment,i try every way to save $.

  • My grandkids could always use the back to school supplies and I could use the Mastercard gift card.

  • I use the flipp app, especially if I don’t get my weekly flyers. My favourite money saving tip is the scanning code of practice. Even if the store doesn’t honour it (!!), it pays to get price adjustments on things that scanned in incorrectly.

  • I’ve been using Flipp for years now. I love it! I never thought to use it for price matching! I will be doing that from now on!

  • No, I have not used the app yet, but I should give it a techie try for price match and budgeting etc. Thanks for tips and chance for this gift as fall approaches so do seasonal expenses.

  • We have had some unexpected repair bills lately so it would be nice to have a bit of help with those bills. I have tried Flipp and have used SCOP before. Every bit helps when you are on a tight budget.

  • I love to win to buy some supplies for the grandchildren for back to school. I use the flipp app often.

  • I would love to win this awesome prize package for my grandson, he needs a new backpack and school supplies. I don’t use the FLIPP app, because unfortunately I don’t have a Smartphone, my cell is an old flip phone.

  • I do use SCOP, it’s pretty easy to use. The gift card would really help out with the back to school items that I need to buy. I have FLIPP, but had forgotten to use it for price matching.

  • I LOVE using the FLIPP APP! It’s so handy when I’m shopping. I also love SCOP! I have got a few free things because they scanned in wrong.

  • We could always use some extra money for groceries and school needs. Hearing about this app almost make me regret that I don’t own the smart phone. This app looks so good!

  • I love the Flipp App and shop around for the best price. We went to a store yesterday to get something specific, my husband wanted spinach. I said no here it’s $2 more then the other store. He said why did you come here. I said they have a sale on frozen fruit and I love the brand of shrimp they carry. lol Now I would love to win for my granddaughter, she needs a backpack and back to school items.

  • I am already a Fiipp app fan because it gives me all the flyers at the palm of my hands and I can create a shopping list from it.

  • I have the Flipp app installed but haven’t gotten into using it…i need to do that! I already use lots of coupons and i’ve used SCOP before as well. I just got a cash back coupon at Old navy yesterday that i will be using for sure. I have 2 teenagers going back to school and the oldest has now shot up to 6’1″ so any help with paying for new clothes, jeans and shoes especially is awesome.

  • I really appreciate the list of stores that price match. I was not aware of all of them. I do try to use coupons and look for best prices.

  • I have never used the FLIPP APP but would like to give it a try as it lots like a great money saving tool.

  • I like to use the Flipp app. I found the information in your blog useful regarding the stores that price match during back to school time. Thanks.

  • I do have the Flipp app and use the shopping list to keep orgainzed for the week and know what I have to buy. I would love to win because $100 would surely come in handy right now! 🙂

  • I love using Flipp. I also use Coupgon. I always wait what the prices scan as and will always call them out if they scan wrong. Numerous times I have been able to get the product free by calling out the Policy of Bar Code Scanning.

  • I think paying attention at the store is the most important.
    With kids in tow, people behind you, your list, purse, etc. sometimes it is difficult to keep track and watch or check your receipt…how many times do they over charge you. By the time I get home….I don’t want to go back.
    Flipp makes it easier for me to know where the sales are on the products I need.

  • I don’t use the Flipp App because I don’t use a cell phone. But I check flyers for prices, use SCOP & coupons regularly.

    A great prize that I’m sure anyone can use at this time of year.

  • Yes I am a fan of flipp have it installed on my phone and its so handy when price matching and checking out the new flyers and thanks for your tips

  • I love the Flipp app and use it regularly. I would love to win this to help out with my back to school shopping as both my kids have grown a size or two so it’s going to be an expensive year.

  • I have not tried FLIPP. Your gift card giveway is great at any time of the year. Everyone can always use a cash boost, that is why I would like to win.

  • I use the flipp app when I am craving something specific like cherries etc. I have a lunch kit with the apps’ name on it so everyone at my work place knows about it too because of me LOL

  • I love the Flipp app and use it often to price match. This is such a great app for a frugal shopper and it has come in handy to save me lots of money.It also shows me the great deals to check out.Whats not to love about it when it has such awesome benefits!

  • Flipp is great! I love your tips. It’s surprising how many times we’ve utilized scanning code of practice over the years.

  • Love that Flipp has coupons on its app too. The gift card would come in handy for all our back to school shopping.

  • I always use FLIPP because we don’t get flyers in our mail living in the RM of Buckland. It has provided me with large savings for items I see on sale.

  • I love FLIPP I use it all the time. I also always always look at my receipt. I have saved hundreds of dollars on the scanning code of practice at the grocery store. It is amazing how many times I find an item that did not scan in the advertised price.

  • I love using the flipp app! Makes it easy to check all the flyers and price match! My other fave app is Checkout51.. already received a few cheques back from claiming items! I would love to win to put the gift card towards the kids new clothes and shoes for school!

  • I have not used this app but since watching the segment am getting Used to it. I like all my flyers and Ivan add things to my lists. I wish it would tell me the price of that one item everywhere. Wouldn’t that be so easy!!

  • I do utilize many of the other tips you mentioned including planning, researching, making a list, bringing the flyers and coupons. I am surprised how frequently I catch errors either at the til or at home on the receipt. I have yet to try the FLIPP app but will check it out as I can benefit from it.

  • I love FLIPP – I use it a lot for searching for sales on my regular purchases. A prepaid Mastercard would be great for these purchases/

  • I’ve had the Flipp app on my phone for a while now. A great way to shop!
    I’d love to win this giveaway!

  • I do have the Flipp app. Love looking through the flyers. and coupon matchups. I have once gotten an item for free. I was very surprised. Thought they’d just give me what it’s supposed to be. AAAAND i’m not one to check the receipt. (shame on me, i know) I’m learning!

  • I’ve been using the Flipp app for quite a while now. And price matching and scanning code of practice, I’ve saved probably hundreds of dollars, I’ve been using both since they were first available.

  • I would love to win as I am saving up for a camera stabilizer for doing vlogs and I am on a limited budget. The backpack would be good for carting around the gear I need to do edit the vlogs.

  • I use FLIPP! and I’ve used SCOP before it always happens on our cat food! never have the right price, i’ve gotten alot of free cat food 🙂

  • Back to school shopping is so expensive..would love to win this to help out, I always use Flipp, whenever I need something I always check my Flipp app to see where it’s on sale..been checking weekly for chicken (it’s so expensive and I only buy it well it’s on sale and I stock up)

  • I use coupons, bring flyers with me to price match, plus I pay attention when my products are rung through. Love saving!

  • I’d love to win because who doesn’t like free money?? And flipp is my jam, I use it ALL the time while doing my groceries!! So easy to find what you want at it’s cheapest

  • I have the Flipp app on my phone and I use it mainly to price match. I hate paying retail for anything so i definitely use the tips in your segment already.

  • I would love to win this master card and I love flipp, it honestly makes my shopping so much easier. Utilizing the scanning code of practice is a great tip!

  • I have had the flipp app for quite a while now, i shop sales and I have used SCOP, price matching and of course coupons in the past.

  • I use the Flipp ad weekly for my groceries. It’s so easy to use and helps with price matching. Much easier than having to carry fliers with you. Thanks

  • I am a fan of the Flipp app! And I got my husband hooked too so he knows how to use it to look for deals as well, and he’s normally too lazy to deal hunt!

  • I use the flipp app all the time with my shopping to check out prices of items I have on my list! It’s awesome.

  • My boyfriend teases me about reading the paper flyers. The Flipp app would be so much handier. Going to download it next.

  • I use Flipp all the time and absolutely love it! I haven’t tried your other tips but I think I’m going to start!

  • I haven’t used Flipp app yet (don’t have a cell phone), but when I do–look out! I’ll certainly use it. I love a good deal, and getting a bargain!

  • I have read many good reviews on the flipp app. I have a bit more researching to do but I pretty sure that I will download the flipp app this week.
    I rarely buy at regular price, stocking up on sales, using coupons, rebates and price matching.
    I always check my receipts and it is amazing the number of times that the price is wrong.
    I have been contesting for years and the rewards has been amazing.
    This backpack with supplies and the $100 MasterCard gift card is a great prize.

  • I have been using the flipp app for the last 3 years and love it!! Super easy to use and love that i cam price match with it!!

  • I would like to win because as a true single parent every little bit of help counts. I do not have any data on my text only phone so I can not use FLIPP , I keep my bills and payouts at a very minimum and having a smart phone just isnt a necessary one

  • I love flipp, love that you can price match, and well its so easy to use to find the deals. I’d love to win as we have 2 kids going to school and the hubby will be going back as well, so why not try and save money

  • I’m always price checking and looking for the deals. I have Flipp on my phone but don’t use it as much as I should. I would love to win as I have 2 kids heading back to school and I could use all the help I can get.

  • I do already know and like the Flipp app. I find its very specific-use for me. I like to look for my common buys and faves and make sure im getting them at the price i know to be the best.. wherever that may be this week. As for the tips, I definetly pay attention at the till. I also do like to stack offers whether they be for points or bonuses.. so i tend to make a list and buy things all at once which helps with not having too many outings in the week too.

  • I am looking forward to trying out Flipp, what a great idea!!! The backpack and gift card would come in so handy with back to school.