Other / Canada

McDonalds To Sell Bags of Ground McCafe Coffee In November

For those McCafe coffee lovers, McDonalds is introducing bags of ground coffee in Canada on November 5th – after they give away lots of cups for free to get people hooked.  A 340g bag will cost $6.99 and will be available in select McDonalds locations.

They are also looking into k-cups and other grocery items for the Canadian market.

Canadian Contests: Inadequate Skill Tests

I have been recently doing a bit of research on the laws behind contests in Canada.  After pages of “legalise”, I came across a question and answer section designed for Joe Public.  In layman’s terms, it outlined the difference between an adequate and inadequate skill test.  According to the Competition Bureau of Canada:

The following have been found to be adequate skill tests:

  • estimating the time it would take a barrel to travel a specified distance down a river
  • estimating attendances at a fair and the future temperatures of cities
  • estimating the number of beans in a jar
  • estimating the number of votes to be cast in an upcoming election
  • a four-step mathematical question

Okay, those seem reasonable.  Now for the absolutely hilarious inadequate skill tests.

The following are examples of skill tests found (in other words, these may have been required by contestants at one point in time) to be inadequate:

  • shooting a turkey at 50 yards
  • a potato peeling contest
  • memorizing answers given to contestants earlier on
  • estimating how many passengers would be carried on a railway at a future date

I’m trying to think of the last time a retailer had a contest winner shoot a turkey at 50 yards to redeem their prize!  Hmmm…perhaps this document needs to be updated.

Click here for more information on contests in Canada.  You will either learn something or it will help you overcome insomnia 😀

Government Changes Rules On Prepaid Credit Cards – No Expiry & Fee Changes

The federal government have finally imposed regulations on prepaid credit card companies.

Under the new regulations, prepaid cards must fully disclose any fees and conditions at activation, must not expire and eliminate any unused balance, they also can’t have maintenance fees for at least one year after card activation.

For more information, check the government’s press release here.

Canadian Quick Question: Where Do You Prefer To Shop? In Store Or Online?

Other / Canada 5 comments

The weather has taken a turn for the worse across most of Canada and many of us are instinctively starting to hibernate.  Casual, long summer walks seem like years ago as we look out our windows at howling winds, driving snow and a biting temperatures that freeze your eyelashes shut.  Yes folks, winter is upon us and it is here to stay for the next few months.

The poor weather conditions which always bring poor road conditions help convince us to plant ourselves at the kitchen table and promise we will not step outside for anything other than work or emergencies.  It’s a lot harder to justify a trip to the mall when your vehicle windows are fogged and your feet are numb against the pedals.  Why bother when you can shop online?   It’s fast, there is usually a better selection, you can stay in your pajamas and free shipping promotions are abundant. 

However, there are those that argue shopping in store is the way to go.  There is just something about stepping into a mall and gazing across a horizon of brightly lit signs and fake foliage.  The people around are bustling, busy and perhaps even a little excited.  The merchandise may be limited, however you at least get to touch it, smell it, look at it in 10 different lights and try it on, if necessary.  The store employees may even be able to offer additional information not available on a website and let’s face it, most of us gain a little enjoyment from interacting with actual people, rather than a computer screen.  Oh yeah…and you instantly get what you want!

Recent studies have indicated that online shopping is on the rise, especially with the introduction of “shopping tools” such as Pay Pal and secured websites.  In fact, some guess that at least 50% off all shopping is happening in somebody’s living room, rather than in a store. 

So, where do you prefer to shop?  In store or online?  Do you hunker down and let FedEx take over driving duties?  Or, do you race to the mall with family/friends and shop til you drop?  Let us know!

Canadian Quick Questions: What Are Your Alternative Uses for Baby Wipes?

With the great deal on Huggies Baby Wipes at Shoppers Drug Mart this week, many people without babies are buying them.

What do you use your baby wipes for other than on your children?

I love using the tubs for sorting coupons, they are the perfect size for most coupons.  The wipes are perfect for cleaning up in the car, removing makeup and especially removing hairdye marks when colouring your hair.

This happens to me every time I go grocery shopping

Source: Reddit.com

That’s why I usually prefer one line for all checkout, like the one that existed at the old Shoppers Drug Mart in Eaton Centre.

Canadian Recalls: Kelloggs Mini Wheats Recalled For Metal Parts

With so many Mini-Wheat coupons, I thought this one was worth posting even though it is a ‘low level recall’.  Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats have been recalled due to metal “Extraneous Material” in the cereal.  The recall includes original frosted and brown sugar flavour across the country with best before dates of “2013 AL 01 TO 2013 JL 29”.

See details on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website and check your cereals, chipped teeth are expensive to fix!

Canadian Quick Question: Do You Enter Contests?

I have subscribed to a number of store newsletters over the past couple of years to find out great deals in record time.  After all, it is my job to bring you the latest sales, freebies or coupons!  It is not uncommon for me to open my Inbox and find 50 or 60+ emails every morning.  Most of them are junk mail, some are so-so deals, some are fantastic discounts and a large chunk of them are contests.  Yes, it seems if a store doesn’t necessarily want to give you a good deal, they will run a contest instead.  And why not?  It makes them appear generous since a lot of these prizes are fantastic (trips, cars etc.) and they end up saving a ton of money!  It’s a lot cheaper to shell out $5000 in points to one customer than offer a $1 discount to potentially a million people. 

I tend to skip over the contest emails unless the odds are really good.  And when the odds are good it is usually a locally run contest where the prize is minimal at best.  But, hey…a small prize is better than no prize!

What about you?  Do you enter contests?  If so, how often?  Have you won any great prizes from entering contests?  Let us know!

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Canada! What Are You Thankful For This Year?

Other / Canada 4 comments


Happy Thanksgiving Day, Canada!  It is that time of year to get together with family and friends to enjoy a fantastic meal, good company and maybe even a football game.  Although today (Monday) is the actual holiday, many of you may have already celebrated with your loved ones and are traveling back home for tomorrow’s work/school day.  Whatever the case, all of us at SC hope you had some time to relax and focus on the positive things in your life.  Sometimes this is hard to do especially when life’s pressures take over, however it is important to zero in on the small perks and allow those things to stand out when times get tough.

So, what are you thankful for this year?  It doesn’t matter how big or small, we just want to hear about everything that made you humble and brought joy into your life.  Let us know!


Canadian Quick Question: What Do You Think Of “Savings Passes” Or “Savings Cards”?

The latest trend among retailers is to offer store credit in the form of gift cards or bonus points when you spend a certain amount of money at the store.  It is not uncommon to see “spend $100, get a $25 savings card!” or some other catchy title splashed across a flyer or sign.  Sometimes the offers seem too good to be true, especially when the savings will be 50% or more.  And, nine times out of ten the deal is too good to be true…

The initial claim of 30%-60% off gets your attention.  With the excitement building, you furiously read the fine print to see how you can get in on this fantastic deal and then…there it is.  The tiny little detail that kills your joy in a split second:  “savings pass is redeemable on your next purchase of $100 or more”.  And what’s more, retailers will usually tell you when you can spend the savings pass.  Hmmm…better write that one down on the calendar or the entire promotion will be good for nothing.

I find these promotions misleading and frustrating.  Why would a retailer make an outlandish claim (save 50%!) only to squash all excitement by bogging it down with fine print to make the deal a waste of your time?  If the goal is to catch your eye, then this is a highly effective marketing gimmick.  However, it seems absurd to lure a customer in just to disappoint them in the end.

What do you think of savings passes?  Do you find them frustrating?  Or, are they a savvy marketing tool?  Let us know!



Canadian News: Beef Recall Expanded Again – Now Cuts of Meat + Ground Meat

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is now urging consumers to ask stores where they get their beef as they expanded the recall to include steaks, roasts, sausages and other cuts of meat in addition to the original (expanded) ground beef.

You can check the various lists on the CFIA website to see if the meat you have is recalled.  Due to the size of the list, and the fact they are all on different pages, this page which sorts by store selling the items, may be of more use.

Beef Recalled Due to E.Coli – EXPANDED AGAIN 22 Sept

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued an alert for ground beef sold in major retailers across Canada.

  • Walmart branded ground beef in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
  • Kirkland branded ground beef and products (Costco brand) sold nationally.
  • Safeway branded products from ground beef to burger patties where sold across the country.

For a full list with item codes, pictures and expiry dates, visit their website.

Thanks for posting this important recall on the forums KrazE.

Bumping this as they have added stores to the list

Loblaws, Sobeys, Foodland, IGA, Metro, SuperC : See here for more details

For those who shop in the US, it has also been expanded to there:

Brands in the U.S. affected by the recall include Morasch Meats, Calahoo, Kirkland Signature, and Cattleman’s. The USDA’s FSIS site has not posted recall information on their site, but Kroger has released a recall of KRO Ground Beef 73% 3#, 3 lb. The beef was sold at Kroger stores in the greater Cincinnati area, northern Kentucky, Dayton Ohio, southeastern Indiana, Indiana (except for Evansville), Illinois, and eastern Missouri. It was also sold at Jay C, Food4Less and FoodsCo.

Expanded again to include private retailers and other grocery stores

Use this link for most up to date information

Tim Hortons Smile Cookies Are Out

I love Tim Horton’s Smile Cookies, it is a way to give back while getting something yummy for me and a nice change from all the companies asking for just $1 a day for life signups.

Buy a $1 smile cookie before September 23rd and the entire proceeds of the cookie sale will go to a local charity.  Check to see which charity is supported in your community here.

Garnier Tries To Makes It Right After Contest Issues

For those who entered the contest to receive a free sample from Garnier we blogged about here, many members received an email before the contest was over saying they had won the grand prize.

It was clear by just the number of SmartCanucks members that this was an error, many of us received an email stating we had won one of seven $100 Lululemon gift cards and a full size lotion, which is the week 4 prize.

Last night, Garnier sent these ‘winners’ an email stating:

We understand your disappointment and appreciate your patience. In gratitude for your loyalty to Garnier, a voucher for a FREE full-sized (400 ml ) bottle of our new Garnier Body Intensive 7 days will be sent directly to your home within the next two weeks.

Good for them trying to make it right instead of just saying ooops, sorry.

No Frills To Price Match Multi-Buy Deals?

iloveagreatdeal has posted on the forums that as of this week, No Frills is to become more lenient in price-matching including allowing multi-buy deals.  Their fineprint on the price-matching terms does seem to have dropped the multi-buy language, so hopefully this rumour proves to be true.

For me, No Frills is the hardest to price-match at, between keeping my flyer or writing on my flyer and then giving it back to me, getting a manager approval and printing a duplicate receipt I have not bothered price-matching there in some time.  I will be interesting to try given the new rules and so many stores offering multi-buy deals.

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