Canadian Mark posted this wonderful article on his blog as well as SmartCanucks’ forum. Thanks Mark!
You can visitÂ Canadian Mark’s blog here for many interesting articles 🙂
Mark also earns 7 candiesÂ for posting a blog-worthy topic on SmartCanucks’ forum.
If youâ€™ve been into (mostly) any major Canadian fast food establishment – or even greasy spoons for that matter, youâ€™ll have discovered that a meal size plate of nearly anything goes for between $7 and $12 after tax.
Comparatively, a home-cooked meal worth the same amount will often provide 4 or 5 portions. What Iâ€™m suggesting here, is a good old fashioned recipe swap of frugal Canuckian cuisine – tried and true recipes from those college days, when Mr. Noodles was the main component of 90% of your recipe repertoire. You can mix up anything with those noodles, I swear.
Iâ€™m going for interestingly creative and fun here, but nonetheless practical – and certainly not limited to Mr. Noodles. Quick, cheap, inexpensive, obscure, yet gourmet recipes.
And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what this thread is all about. I hope.
Iâ€™ll even go first:
Andreâ€™s End of the Month Spicy Fiesta
2 packages of instant oriental beef noodles
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 White onion
1 – 3 of the hottest peppers your local grocer happens to sell. Ask if youâ€™re unsure – Iâ€™ve never met a produce manager that didnâ€™t love talking about food.
1 Package of fast-fry steak (thin cut)
You should be paying less than 5 dollars at the checkout for this 2 plate meal.
Prepare noodles as directed, meanwhile, slice the steak, onions, and peppers into strips. Saute the onion and peppers in a heavy skillet (or preferably a wok) over medium heat (using the vegetable oil, of course). Once the vegetables become translucent, add the fast fry steak.
At about this time, and depending on the peppers you chose, eye protection might be necessary, due to the possibility of mustard-gas-like fumes.
Toss this mess about for close to two minutes, then add the prepared noodles. Now is a good time to see if thereâ€™s any soy sauce packages laying about from the last time you got Chinese take-out. Itâ€™s not necessary, but it does add a little something extra. Toss constantly for about a minute, remove from heat, and serve immediately. Although the spicy-heat remains constant, this dish tends to lose its temperature-heat rather quickly.
Serve with bread or crackers – Youâ€™re going to need it – and much cold beverage of your choice, letâ€™s not forget about that.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE UPDATED POSTÂ Â
Let theÂ Canadian iPod craze begin!Â
CLICK HERE TO READ THE UPDATED POSTÂ
Thanks a bunch AlexElder for allowing me to post your stunning article! Iâ€™m so grateful for your help 🙂
Yes yes yes you smart Canucks out there! TD Bank are once again giving out free iPod Nanos and iPod Shuffles starting on the 29th May, 2006. Read AlexElder’s awesome guideÂ below for all the details.
” Hello everyone,
AlexElder here. TD Canada Trust will be having an Ipod Promotion again this summer. I am not able to provide all details, but it is VERY similar to last years promotion.Â Â Â Â Â
Just to clarify, the promotion will be for a shuffle and there IS a way to upgrade to a NANO.
More later on specific details and on Sizes of Ipods etc…
Ok everyone, I will now hopefully officially answer everyones questions or concerns. Promo Starts May 29th – July?(i will fill this in tomorrow)
You have to be 19(in ontario, not sure if its different in other provinces)
It is open for existing TD Canada Trust Clients. Head to the bottom of the post to find out how.
Call ahead and make an appointment if you can to avoid wait times.
Expect to spend about 10-20 minutes in the TDCT bank if you are an existing TD Client.
Expect to spend about 20-30 minutes in the TDCT bank if you are not an existing TD Client.
Add on an extra 15-20 minutes if you dont have enough credit to warrant a preapproval.
This is the promotion as it stands:
To obtain an Ipod Shuffle
1)Transfer over a bank account from another institution using the EasySwitch program offered by TD Canada Trust.
2)Set up(or have already in place) One of the following:
- 1 Direct Deposit. Any external deposit to the account which is electronically credited to a customer’s account on a weekly, bi-monthly or on a monthly basis (quarterly or annual credits do not count as regular deposits)Now in regards to the Direct Deposit and their restrictions
Payroll deposits can be transferred over by the easyswitch program, but can sometimes be faster if you transfer it over yourself.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Government Direct deposits CAN NOT be transferred over due to privacy regulations. Monthly Gov credits do qualify, so Child tax benefit, CPP, OAS should be fine.
From what we learned last year, GST credits ended up working as direct deposits for a lot of people, but that could have been a glitch in the system. That may or may not have been ironed out this time.
Short term direct deposits like WSIB or EI should work as well as long as they don’t end before you get your Ipod.
- 2 Pre-Authorized Debits(PAD’s) This includes automatic bill payments registered with outside companies as well as TD Mortgage, Loan, VISA or LOC PADs. Pre-authorized transfers or PTS do not qualify. This means setting up an automatic transfer from a chq to sav account every month does NOT work
To obtain an Ipod NANO
You must do part 1 and either part 2a or 2b from the above Ipod shuffle deal.
You must also be approved for a TD Travel or Elite Visa. They have to be Brand New Visa’s. If you already have a Gold Visa, you can try to apply for another one. Both are minimum $5000. The Travel Visa has a $120 annual fee and the Elite have a $99 annual fee. If you want more info on the 2 Visa cards head over here.
It says that you have to have a minimum annual income but that is usually never taken into account. A lot of credit products say that, but it all depends on your credit expenses vs your income + your credit score which is actually weighed a lot more heavily.
The annual fees see steep but there are ways around them. More on that later.
Once you step into a TD and get everything set up, you can ask the Financial Service Rep(FSR) or Financial Advisor(FA) who is helping you to check if you are pre-approved for a GOLD visa for the program. If you are not pre-approved, then you have to do a full application which takes about 10-20 minutes and gets approved or declined within 2 days.
Now here are a few VERY important things to remember:
- DO NOT CLOSE your account from the other bank by yourself. It HAS to be closed by the easyswitch process.
- Bring your other bank account number to TD when you start the easyswitch process
- Your PAD’s or Direct Deposits can be existing or brand new so if you still have your account from the last ipod promo all you have to do is transfer over an account again(for the shuffle) and get the visa(for the nano)
- You can be a new or existing TD Canada Trust Client
- All fees charged due to the switch are paid by TD Canada Trust, so dont worry about the early close fees for those of you heading to PC to open up a new account.
- A phone appointment will be set up for you to do the actual switch from the other bank to TD. You get to choose the time and date, but it has to be at least 2 business days from when you go into TD and there are 2 hour time windows you have to be available for the call.
- When they call you will have to have your account info for both accounts handy. If you are getting the easyswitch people to transfer over your PAD or direct deposits, then you need to have those numbers on hand as well.
- It takes 4-6 weeks for the ipod to arrive, but if everything is the same as last year then it should arrive a lot quicker.
- Once your easyswitch call is placed, your other bank is notified and you have a Direct Deposit or 2 PAD’s lodged, your account will be flagged and your Ipod will be on its way.
What about the fees from the Gold Visa cards???
Here is the “loophole” around paying such a high amount.
- Open or change(if you have a preferred account read below) your account into the Select Service account. It has a fee of $24.95 but it waives the annual fees on the Gold Visa Cards regardless of the balance you carry in it. Make sure you mention that to your FSR or FA. They need to inform Visa to waive the fee as per your account plan.
- If you have $5000 or more you donâ€™t have to worry about the $24.95 monthly fee. You must carry a balance of $5000 or more for the entire month.
- Once you have received your ipod
- Downgrade your account to a lower charging account or close it, So preferably go into a TD in the beginning of a month to lower the chances of it overlapping 2 Month charge periods
- Change your visa to a GOLD Select Visa or any other non annual fee Visa card or just close it as well.***NEW***There is an early closing fee in the range of 20-40 if you close your account before 90 days. I will clarify the exact amount tomorrow. If you downgrade your account to wait out the 90 days, the lowest charging account is the value account. $3.95 a month, $1000 balance in it to waive the $3.95
***NEW***Make sure you do these last two steps in the correct order. If your Select Service account is not there to waive your Gold Travel/Elite fees, you may or may not get charged them.
- Wear your Nano Proudly that you got for $0-$24.95(if done correctly and all goes well)
- ***NEW*** If you have a “Preferred” account plan, I would suggest you open a second account solely for this promotion. The preferred is one of the best accounts you can have and once it is changed from it, you can not change it back to a preferred.
So as you can see The Nano could be free, minus the interest you would gain on $5000 for 1-2 months. I calculated that to be roughly $14-$17 a month depending on the interest rate (3.5%-4% being generous with those rates) you could be getting on an open investment product.
Or you could get a Nano for as low as $24.95. It requires a little work, but if your credit is good and don’t mind the work, I Still consider this a HOT deal. Even if I didnâ€™t work there. Id rather go through all of this to get a nano!
If you have any more questions or concerns please post or PM me. The thread is already getting very large so it might be best to PM me.
Good luck everyone!
Clarification on how to get the Nano TOTALLY “Free”. Not taking into account the interest that could be earned over a 90 day period which can greatly differ depending on how fast you get your ipod. You could be loosing less than $20 in interest.
-Get your TD Gold Travel/Elite fee waived by opening/upgrading to a Select Service chequing accoung
-Get your Select service fee waived by keeping $5000 in the account until you recieve your ipod.
-Downgrade your Visa or simply close it
-Downgrade to a value account
-Get your Value account fee waived by keeping $1000 in your account
-After 90 days you are free to close you account if you want to without any early closing fees.
Here is a mini guide to getting a Nano for existing TDCT customers
- Open an account at another bank
- Head over to TDCT with the bank info from that account you just opened at another bank.
- Do a BOAT of that account you just opened by easyswitch to your existing TDCT account.
- Apply for a NEW TD Gold Elite/Travel Visa(you can still do this if you have an existing TD visa)
- Upgrade your TDCT account to a Select Service account to waive the Visa annual Fees
- You will now have to pay $24.95 for your chequing account unless you have $5000 in it to waive the monthly fee
- make sure you meet one of the following criteria.
- 1 Direct Deposit(can be existing)
- 2 PAD’s(can be existing)
- Once you get your ipod you can change everything back to normal if you want.
If you have an account that got you an Ipod shuffle from last years promotion and nothing has changed regarding the PAD’s or Direct deposits you can simple do a new Easy Switch and Apply for a new TD Gold Elite/Travel Visa. You will still have to up grade your account if you want to avoid the Visa Fees.”
Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) are having a Secret Thursday Event on June 1st, 2006 where you receive 20x the points when you spend $50 or more
Tell a friend and when they spend $50 or more you receive 1000 bonus points and so on (up to a maximum of 100,000 points).
You can sign-up for Shoppers Secret EvenÂ here
Register today for this exciting one day event where joyful rewards await:
– Spend $50 or more* and receive 20x the Shoppers Optimum Pointsâ„¢
Spread the joy and collect up to 100,000 Shoppers Optimum Bonus Points!
– Get your friends to register and earn 1000 Bonus Points for each friend that shops and spends $50 or more on the day of the event.
– Receive an extra 1000 Bonus Points for each friend they refer (and so on) who registers and spends $50 or more on the day of the event.
– After the June 1st 20x event, we will email you an exclusive redemption event certificate so you can redeem 40,000 points for $100 off your purchase on June 10th or 11th . That’s worth an extra $25 in free products.
What do people usually buy on a SDM 20x events?
iPod is the hottest product to buy on a 20X event. Here is how it works:
Regularly, you collect 10 Shoppers Optimum Points for every $1 you spend at Shoppers Drug Mart. On a 20x day you get 20 times the points i.e. 20Ã—10 = 200 Shoppers Optimum Points for every $1 you spend
So for iPods youâ€™ll approximately get (iPod prices slightly changed but Iâ€™m too lazy to recalculate them):
– iPod Video 30GB costs $379 so you get 379 x 200 = 75800 points
– iPods Nano 4GB costs $299 so you get 299 x 200 = 59800 points
– iPods Nano 2GB costs $249 so you get 249 x 200 = 49800 points
You can redeem these points for huge savings. Here is how much you can redeem your points for:
So buying an iPod video on a 20x day would get you a discount of $150.
For the iPod Nano 4GB you get a discount of approximately $110.
For the iPod Nano 2GB you get a discount of approximately $80.
Youâ€™ll find it almost impossible to get a better deal on iPods if you want to buy it from a well known retailer.
Unfortunately, A&P and Dominion are changing their Fresh or Free policy. Thanks to rkinkley for the following detailed explanation of their new policy 🙂
I donâ€™t really know much about this new policy so if you have further enquiries please contact rkinkley at [email protected]
I was looking at your website and laughed when I read your story on Fresh or Free. Most of what you said was correct. Butâ€¦ not all. Items that have the date best before june 10th, are considered expired on midnight june 9th. So if you see best before june 10th and its june 10th, then that item is considered expired and you would be able to get a fresh replacement on it.
The fresh or free policy is about to change. The new rules which take effact Monday April 24, 2006 will be the following. This is a reply from the forum discussion that I started on the website that I list below!
â€œThe old program ends April 23th, and the new one begins April 24th.
Purchases must exceed free stuff, and are not returnable, and can only be exchanged. FREE stuff is not returnable OR exchangable.
Receipt needed for everything now EVEn house brands.
Berries(straw,blue, rasp, ETC) are now NOT part of the F or F promotion, they can turn bad in hours.
Organic UNDATED product in now not covered by the ForF promotion due to a complete lack of use of pesticides ETC, but dated organic is ForF, based on date only.
Rainchecks are NOT offered for ForF stuff if we donâ€™t have a EXACT replacement, we will offer a comparable product instead.
Rainchecks are issued for products, but are not unlimited, we â€œreserve the right to limit quantitiesâ€.
just some dude!
Have you ever been shopping when you find an item, read its displayed price and decide to buy that item but then when you checkout the cashier scans it for a different price? a much higher price? Yes it happens to all of us and the cashier does one of two thingsâ€¦ either apologizes for the wrong price and says he/sheâ€™ll charge you the lower displayed price or the cashier just acts like a total %$# and says the display price is wrong.
Well in both cases believe it or not, many well known stores in Canada should give you the item for FREE! Many chains are members in Canadaâ€™s Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code.
How does the code work?
If the scanned price of an non-price ticketed item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the item free, up to a $10 maximum. When the item has a price tagged, the lowest price applies. When identical items are incorrectly priced, the second one will be sold at the correct price. Under this code you are eligible
What does the code cover?
The Code covers all scanned merchandise at participating retail outlets where the â€œScanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Codeâ€ sign is displayed at the store entrance or checkout. Note that youâ€™ve probably seen this sign before but never knew what it is. A&P have it posted on every checkout isle.
What happens if two or more identical non-price ticketed items are incorrectly scanned?
Customers are entitled to the first item free (up to a maximum of $10) and the subsequent item(s) at the correct price.
Which stores participate in this code?
Hereâ€™s a rough list of participating stores. Please feel free to notify of additions/deletions to this list:
the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS)
Shoppers Drug Mart
The Groupe Jean Coutu (NB and Ont only)
Lawton Drug Stores
Pharma-save (BC and Sask)
the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD)
Canada Safeway Limited
The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company of Canada Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited
Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
Federated Co-operatives Limited
the Retail Council of Canada (RCC)
Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
The Home Depot Canada
Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd.
Toys r Us
Shoppers Drug Mart
Wal*Mart Canada Corp.
Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
The North West Company
Best Buy/Future Shop ( in implementation stage)
2 Home Hardware franchisees
the Federation of Independent Grocers (FIC)
Overwaitea Food Group
The Harry Watson Group
Longos Brothers Fruit Markets
As well as over 1000 independent locations
Where can I get more details?
This article is a continuation of my previous post. Please read my previous post first if you haven’t already done so to understand what this is about.
The following post is a detailed explanation of how you could make good use of the We’re Fresh Obsessed concept to get free food. Thank you Mike for this awesome article.
There are a lot of other grocery stores that offer a “fresh or free” policy as well:
However, to keep things simple, I will only concentrate on A&P grocery stores in Canada. By all means, see if other grocery stores have similar policies for yourself!
There are extra rules to the policy that aren’t advertised. For example, you can NOT take any expired food from the in-store bakery. Also, you can NOT take anything that has any sort of Clearance or $1 off stickers on them. Everything else is pretty much up for grabs though. If you aren’t sure, don’t take it.
To get an item that says “best before: July 12th” for free, it must be July 13th or after. Even though the “best before” implies that it is actually expired on the 12th. Don’t argue with A&P employees. The customer is never right, apparently.
You can only get 1 of each item. You can’t score 2 bags of Lays BBQ chips. However, you CAN score a bag of Lays BBQ and a bag of Lays Salt & Vinegar. Or the same flavour in different bag sizes.
These policies aren’t put into place for the customer’s sake, they are used to make the customer do the job of their employees. Keep the merchandise moving. Because you can only have 1 of each item, if a customer finds 1 item out-of-date, usually there are 20 of the same item also out of date. Now that they are aware, hey can check for and return the 20 other items.
FINDING A&P LOCATIONS.
Obviously, you are going to want to find A&P’s near your house. Preferably 24 hour ones, but that isn’t necessary. As far as I know you can locate stores here.
If you click on the “info” button beside each store, you can also see its operating hours.
Most other grocery store websites also have a “Store Locator” type section.
WHEN TO GO
Now that you’ve found a few A&P’s near you, you have to know what time to go to maximize you free food intake. Obviously, you can go at any time if you want some food.
If the A&P is open 24 hours, going in slightly before midnight is your best bet. The food only has a few more minutes before it is out-of-date. By the time you go to cash out, just make sure it is past midnight.
If the A&P isn’t open 24 hours, then the earlier the better. The less time they have for the employees to find the out-of-date items the better. Regardless, any A&P at any time can possibly yield an amazing score.
Items are usually dated in groups. For example, certain brands of chips will all be dated for the same day of the week, regardless of what day of the week the product was actually produced on. This is most likely to help store employees remove the items from the shelves, by only having to check once a week instead of daily. Knowing the day of the week that items go out-of-date will definitely help a score. If all bags of chips go out on Wednesdays, then going on a Monday won’t increase your amount of scored chips any.
Check the items dates, and look for patterns. Usually the dates will always be 7 days apart. A lot of chips (Lays, etc) are out-of-date (ready to be scored) on Wednesdays. A few brands are Tuesdays. Pillsbury products also have a date pattern.
ITEMS TO CHECK / ITEMS NOT TO CHECK
Juices (in the cooler, not on the shelves)
Milk (not bags)
Cheese Wiz (usually Black Diamond)
Yogurt (12 packs & large containers)
Little Debbie Snacks (Joe Louis, Ah Caramel, etc.)
Chips / Nachos
Pastas and Sauces (Just the refrigerated fancy ones).
Some Fancy Chocolate Bars (with dates)
Don’t waste your time on:
Milk in Bags
Individual little yogurts
Anything being displayed in the cardboard box it was shipped in.
– These haven’t even been taken out and put on shelves yet!
Most things that are on sale.
– they are on sale to get them out of the store.
Almost any Meat Product.
– they change the dates anyways to make sure they don’t go out-of-date.
HOW TO CHECK FOR OUT-OF-DATE ITEMS
For the most part, the out-of-date items are usually right in the front. The grocery store is hoping someone will still buy it without looking at the date, then they can still make a profit off of their out-of-date items. Sometimes lazy employees do not put the newest items to the back, so there may be out-of-date items far in the back as well. This is almost always the case with Pillsbury products, do to the weird dispenser thing. It is usually a good idea to take a “random sample” from somewhere near the back as well, especially if it’s something you really want! 🙂
Don’t forget to look up and down! As silly as it sounds, when shopping, people have a tendency to only see things at eye-level (studies have proven this). Things at the top or bottom have probably been there the longest. Plus, it probably also applies to the employees looking for out-of-date items. Out-of-date items will most likely be found on the top or the bottom shelf.
Once you’ve been to the store a few times, you can get a good pattern to follow to check everything. You can visit things that are a priority first, like the pizzas. The less time you arenâ€™t in the A&P, the better. Also, when you score an item, remember where you found it. When you cash-out, you will most likely be told to find fresh versions of your items.
You don’t want to get bugged for not buying ANYTHING, because it will look like you went to the store just for the purpose of scoring. So, if you have to do some grocery shopping, save it until you go to score. If there’s nothing you have to buy, just pick up something cheap, maybe a pack of Generic Mr. Noodles for $0.25. Enough to let them know that you are a real customer who just happens to have a good eye, not a teenager with the munchies and no money.
Bring your score to the Service Counter, which is usually near the entrance (it’s where they sell lottery tickets and cigarettes). If nobody shows up, bring it all to a cashier. Show them what you’d like to purchase, nd then point to your score and tell them that the items are out-of-date. After that, you can stand back and watch the confusion…
You will most likely be told to “find fresh ones”, so you can go do that while the cashier tries to figure out how to handle the situation. Make sure you get the freshest replacement items available, since you want to keep the items going out-of-date soon on the shelves, so you can score them later. If all the items are out-of-date, the policy says that you can replace it with a similar item. However, some Managers might not know that, and try to not let you have anything (or they may try to give you a rain-cheque). Take what they give you, and don’t argue.
The whole check-out process is quite amusing. Cashiers must void each product and apply stickers to things. Cashiers usually aren’t trained in the process, and usually make up their own little way of doing it. Once everything has been voided, you can pay for any items you may have legitimately purchased, and then you are on your way!!
– If you visit the same A&P regularly, you might want to make mental-notes on things that are going out-of-date soon. If you see a Cheese cake that is going out next Wednesday, try to remember it!
– Go with a friend or two! You can split up to find items, so you only have to be in the store for a few minutes. At the same time, avoid going in a huge pack.
– Avoid conflict with Managers. They are very bone-headed individuals, who are often quite defensive after seeing you score $30 worth of free food. After all, it may take them all day to earn enough money to afford that food, and you are just reminding them of how bad of a job they are doing at being “fresh obsessed”.
– Double check your dates before you cash-out! A bitter cashier would love nothing more than to make you pay for some pitas after you thought you’d be getting them for free.
– Don’t talk about you score while you are scoring. Think of yourself as doing A&P a service.
– Try to mix up the days, times and locations that you visit an A&P. After a few visits, Managers will definitely be keeping an eye out for you.
– Don’t do anything stupid!! Sure, you can easily bring in your old bread-clips and clip them onto any loaf you want. Sure you can hide a Cheese Cake under a few other products, and get it next week. The problem is, if you’ve scored several times before, there are definitely Managers watching you. If you do something “illegal”, they will definitely find out on the video tape. After all, they are probably just waiting for an excuse to kick you out of the store, and fraud is a pretty good reason.
Itâ€™s no coincidence that Fresh and Free both start with the sameÂ three letters. At A&P, Dominion, Ultra Food & Drug and The Barn Markets store youâ€™ll always get your grocery fresh or free. Yes thatâ€™s true! Although most customers have heard of the â€œWeâ€™re fresh obsessedâ€ slogan very few know that it means you can get your grocery forÂ free (and fresh too)Â if it’s not originally fresh. So here is how it works:
If you find any spoiled item at A&P, Dominion, Ultra Food & Drug or The Barn Markets store, just take that spoiled item to the Customer Service Desk and theyâ€™ll give you one fresh replacement free of charge 🙂 Yes, itâ€™s that simple!
What is a spoiled item?
Well according to them, it is any item where the â€œbest beforeâ€ date has passed. Products with â€œBest Beforeâ€ dates are considered fresh until midnight the day before.
What is not a spoiled item?
– Minor food bruises and discolouration occur naturally and don’t affect freshness.
– Damaged or reduced items are excluded â€“ this includes Extra Ripe Produce.
– With multiple items like a bad banana in a bunch, theyâ€™ll only replace the individual item.
– Since organic grown produce can appear blemished or less fresh due to the lack of pesticides and fertilizers used, it isn’t included in this free guarantee.
So in a nutshell, if an itemâ€™s best before date has been reached, just take that spoiled item to the Customer Service Desk and theyâ€™ll give you one fresh replacement free of charge.
Please leave your comments and let me know what you think of my articles. Thanks