10 Ways to Save Money in Canada: Did someone say discounts?

A loonie saved is a loonie earned. 

How far into your immigration journey did you learn that the Canadian one and two-dollar coins are called a ‘loonie’ and ‘toonie’ respectively? I remember being so confused when I first heard them!

For us newcomers, a big part of settling into Canada is understanding the general cost of living. At first, you may be constantly comparing the cost of things between here and your home country. It takes a while to get out of that habit and eventually, you’re able to crunch the numbers in Canadian dollars alone. 

Between paying the bills and splurging on ourselves now and then, we can all agree that there’s some sweet satisfaction when you get a good deal. Lucky for you, I know just the apps to help you to save better and spend wiser, whether it’s while doing a grocery run or shopping online…

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1.  Honey

Do a lot of online shopping? Honey is a FREE browser extension that automatically scans and applies coupon codes at checkout with a single click. No brainer, right?!

Whenever you shop on your computer, your free Honey browser extension will automatically look for every coupon code available on the internet and apply the best one to your cart. I regularly save 10-30% at my favourite stores with just a click of a button! You even earn points, or Honey “gold”, which then translates into gift cards.

Sign up free

2.  Flipp

If you don’t know already, most stores in Canada have flyers. Flyers list out all of the store’s ongoing discounts and deals. Usually, flyers are located near the store’s entrance or can be accessed digitally on the store’s website.  

Rather than scouring multiple physical flyers for the best deals, you can find them in one place on your phone thanks to the Flipp app!

Flipp looks at a range of stores’ flyers and compiles all the deals and coupons together. You can browse for deals on groceries, clothes, take-out options, office supplies, and more! You can even create a digital shopping list to make your shopping easier or create a ‘watch list’ to track the item you want at a price you’d like.

If your grocery store offers price matching, Flipp makes it so much easier to look up prices in other stores.  

Download the App

This app gives you cash-back on groceries (and gas, coming soon). Check out the offers on the app, and add those items to your grocery list. When you’re done shopping, snap a photo of the receipt on the app, (you can take multiple photos of long receipts) and get cashback on the specific items on your bill! 

Pay attention to the conditions of the offer, they’re usually valid for select or specific retailers. Also, there is a specific time period during which you can upload the photos of your receipts. So don’t stuff them away in your pocket and forget.

Once your receipt is uploaded, it will be reviewed and the money will be credited to your app. When your cashback amount totals 20 dollars, you can cash it out.

Download the App

4.  Follow Coupon Cutie

Keeping track of the best deals takes time. Nichole of Coupon Cutie finds the best coupons and deals so you don’t have to spend time hunting them down on various websites! Just visit her website or any of her social media accountshere’s her Instagram handle—to follow along for the best deals, in-store and online, that make you and your pocket smile. 

Follow on Instagram

5.  Flashfood

With the Flashfood app, you can fight food waste while chewing on a good deal. 

The idea for Flashood was built when Josh Domingues learnt how much food waste grocery stores generate by sending unsold food nearing the expiry date to landfills. You can help lessen this uncomfortable truth by using the Flashfood app. 

Using your location, the app shows you which grocery stores near you are selling products nearing the end of their shelf life for up to 50% off. You can pay via the app and schedule your pick-up at the store. 

Download the App

While we’re on the subject of food waste, Too Good to Go is another app that comes in handy if you’re feeling like take-out or just want a break from the kitchen. This company is a certified B-Corporation organization so you know you’re making an inspiring change when you connect with the businesses using their service.

Choose from restaurants, bakeries, and convenience stores in your area that have surplus food at the end of their business day. There is an allotted time slot, during which you can pick up your ‘surprise bag’ at almost one-third the cost of the original price!

There is also a Facebook group where you can post pictures of the contents of your surprise bags. 

Download the App

7.  Wise

Wise is the website that I use to transfer money to & from the UK. It’s super easy to use, very secure, and MUCH cheaper than banks. It tells you exactly how much you save each time that you use it compared to other funds transfer services, and you receive your money pretty instantly. What’s not to love? Sign up using this link and get a fee-free transfer up to 800 CAD:

Sign up free

8.  Get a Public Library Card!

It’s not only groceries, meals, and appliances that you can score big on, but experiences as well!

Culture vultures in Toronto and Vancouver, pay attention: Get a public library card. You’ll be surprised by how many cool discounts you can get with one…
Check out the links below to learn more:

For Montréalers, your OPUS card can do more than just take you places!

9.  If you’re a student…

You might want to get an SPC card and use this list to find where you can make the most use of it. Always ask if you can take advantage of a student discount wherever you go. Keep your student ID ready and don’t be shy to ask!

10.  If you’re a Unionized worker…

Visit Union Savings for discounts on electronics, clothes, insurance, mortgages and so much more! If your union isn’t a part of Union Savings, you can reach out to your union representative

There you have it! If you know of any other ways of obtaining discounts in your Canadian city, please let me know so I can share it with this community: info@thenewcomercollective.com 


Don’t forget to join the Newcomer Collective so you don’t miss out on any of our inspiring interviews and valuable ‘life in Canada’ lessons.
And, if you found this post helpful, pass it on to your fellow newcomers!