Price matching is the tool that I use for grocery savings that gives the biggest bang for my buck. You may find that surprising. It's not clearance, or sales, or even coupons!
The reason price matching saves me so much money is due to Walmart. I can price match any flyer from across Canada at my local Walmart just using my phone. The two phone apps that I use to do this are Flyerify and Reebee.
I believe this is your greatest tool for savings because you are choosing to pay the lowest price on items that you need. Your not just stuck buying what's on sale. Let me give you an example. For most of the winter, produce prices are quite high. I would generally buy apples, oranges, bananas and various "on sale" vegetables. It would be pretty rare to find grapes, fresh pineapples or blueberries in my fridge in January.
This has all changed with price matching. I can find stores in Toronto that have grapes for .99c/lb, $2 for a pineapple or $1.50 for a carton of blueberries. We are now getting a wider variety of produce in the winter, while we wait for our fresh garden produce to be ready!
Here is an example of a shop I did yesterday. I only needed produce and yoghurt for the week. I also price matched the Tostitos and Philly because they were a great stock up price.
My groceries before price matching were worth $57.88, I only paid $26.26.
What I bought:
Tostitos x 4 bags $2.67 price matched to $1.77 saved $.90c each
Bananas x3 bunches $.77c/lb price matched to .37c/lb, saved $2.86
Red Peppers x7 $3.49/lb price matched to $.99c/lb saved $7.20
Philly Cream Cheese x2 $3.50 each price matched to $1.88 saved $3.24
Broccoli Coleslaw $1.47 price matched to $1, saved .47c
Seedless Cukes x3 $1.47 price matched to $.33c each, saved $3.42
Red Grapes $3.49/lb price matched to $.88c/lb saved $10.81
If you look at just the peppers and grapes alone - that's $18 I saved just on those two items!
While this takes extra time initially until you learn how to find the deals and get through the till quickly, it is a skill that I have learned, that is saving our family thousands of dollars a year. It is also well worth it, for my family, to have a greater variety of produce to eat all year long.