Frugality

My Detailed Flash Food Review (Groceries for 50-70% Off)

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All views presented here are honest and my own. However, some of the links in this review are referral links. That means I’ll receive $7 and you’ll receive $5 from Flash Food (after your first purchase of at least $0.50). Thanks for your support!

How to save a bundle on groceries (and help our planet)

If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for easy ways to save money on groceries. After all, food is one of the big three expenses in our lives (and it’s typically the easiest of the three to control).

So… what if I told you there’s a fun and easy way to reduce your food costs and help our planet? It’s called Flashfood, and it’s amazing

An intro to Flashfood

What is Flashfood?

Flashfood is an app that allows you to find and purchase groceries that are nearing their best-before dates—at steep discounts (50% off or more).

By partnering with Flashfood, grocery retailers can recover some of their costs and reduce their carbon footprint. And by shopping through Flashfood, you save money while also helping the planet. 

How much can I save?

In my experience, you’ll always save at least 50% on groceries purchased through Flashfood. In the last 30 days since I started using the app, this is what I’ve purchased and saved:

ItemRegular priceFlashfood priceSavings
Schneiders bacon$5.44$2.4455%
Organic strawberries$2.97$0.9967%
4-pack of zucchini$3.98$0.9976%
5-pack of sweet corn$3.98$1.4763%
Chayote squash$2.97$0.8073%
4-pack of sweet bell peppers$5.48$2.4955%

Total savings

The total for the above groceries would have been $24.82 at regular price. I paid only $9.13 using the Flashfood app! That’s an average savings of 63%!

Getting started

Are you intrigued and ready to start saving on your groceries? Great—let’s start by downloading and installing the app:

  1. Download and install the Flashfood app. 
  2. To receive your $5 credit, be sure to use my referral link! (There’s no referral code that you can enter later.) This will take you to your app store where you can then download and install the app. (Note: you’ll receive your $5 referral credit within 24 hours after your first purchase of $0.50 or more.)
  3. Open the app and create an account.
  4. Tap the profile icon at the top left of the screen then go to ‘Payments’ and add a credit card. (Note: Flashfood purchases do not code as ‘groceries’ on my Scotia Momentum Visa. You may want to use a different credit card that earns you a higher reward for non-groceries. I now only use my Rogers World Elite Mastercard for Flash Food purchases.)
  5. Search for stores in your area.
  6. On the map, click on the store you’d like to shop at.
  7. Browse the deals.
  8. Don’t make any purchases yet! Since inventory can change quickly, I recommend not making Flashfood purchases until you’re actually in the store.

The in-store pickup process

Real Canadian Superstore—where we buy our Flash Food groceries

The Flashfood app doesn’t offer much in the way of details for the in-store pickup process. Because of this, it was a little nerve-wracking for me when I did my first pick up: Where do I go? Do I pay for this stuff at the cashier? Do they need to scan it? How do they know I’ve paid?

I’ve now experienced the process a few times and can confidently say it’s no big deal! I want to save you from the stress I went through, so I wrote out a step-by-step guide to the Flashfood in-store pickup process:

A step-by-step guide to the Flashfood in-store pickup process

Note: Flashfood is still not fully set up at all stores, so the process may be slightly different at your store. I’ll do my best to update this page as soon as I receive new info.*

Step 1: Locate the Flashfood fridge/shelf

  • In my experience, this is usually located at the front of the store.
  • Look around the Customer Service desk or the online order pick-up area.
  • You’ll find a large stand-up fridge with Flashfood signage on it. At some stores, the fridge doors are locked, so you’ll have to ask someone at Customer Service to unlock them for you.
  • Next to the fridge, you’ll find open shelves containing the non-refrigerated Flashfood items.

Step 2: Select your items and add them to your cart (both of them)!

  • Log into the store wifi (or use your mobile data) then open up the Flashfood app to see what’s available to purchase.
  • Look in the Flashfood fridge/shelf for the item(s) you’re interested in purchasing. This part may differ, depending on how your store is set up. 
  • Take a look at the item and determine if it’s worth purchasing. If so, go into your app and select the quantity you’d like to purchase, then add it to your cart (both your actual physical shopping cart and the one in the app!)
  • Repeat the steps above for any other items you’re interested in. 
  • Note: if you find items in the fridge/on the shelves that aren’t shown in your app, it means the items have already been purchased by someone else. They just haven’t picked them up yet.

*Thank you to Shaidah, Jenny, my mother-in-law, and my sister for informing me of the recent Flashfood improvements in their stores!

Step 2: Pay for your items

  • Once you’re done shopping, go to the ‘Shopping Cart’ in your app. Review your purchases and make sure it matches what’s in your physical shopping cart.
  • If it’s all correct, hit ‘Checkout’.
  • Flashfood will charge the credit card that you linked in the app.

Step 3: Checkout with Customer Service

Version A—if your store does have a Flashfood section
This is the way things work at most stores now… but see Version B below if your store isn’t fully set-up yet.
  • Go to Customer Service and tell the associate you have Flashfood items.
  • They’ll ask for your name then look you up on their Flashfood device.
  • Once they visually verify your purchase, you’re good to go and can exit the store.
Version B—if your store doesn’t have a Flashfood section
  • If you have non-Flashfood groceries to purchase, go through the checkout line as usual. (But keep your Flashfood items separate.) 
  • Show the cashier your Flashfood items. Tell them the items are paid for and you just need to take them to Customer Service. (Note: The cashiers never seem to know about Flashfood. But as soon as I mention customer service, they’re always happy to let my Flashfood items pass through unpaid.)
  • Finish paying for your regular groceries, then proceed to the customer service desk with your Flashfood items.
  • Pull up the Flashfood app and tap the profile icon at the top left of the screen. Go to ‘Receipts’ and pull up the receipt for your purchase. (Apparently, the iPhone app may not have this option. In this case, the associate will need to look you up in their system.)
  • Show the customer service associate your items and the receipt. The associate will then do one of two things:
    1. Approve your purchase and wave you on.
    2. Grab their Flashfood device so they can mark your pickup as complete.
  • You’re now free and clear to exit the store!

FAQs

Below are the questions I had before I started using Flashfood. Feel free to leave a comment if you have other questions, and I’ll add them to this section.

Will the groceries be moldy or spoiled?

Not even close! In my experience, Flash Food items are fresh and of good quality. Most are very close to their best-before dates, but some are still quite far from them. 

What types of groceries are on offer through Flashfood?

It could be any food item that the store sells: produce, meat, dairy, bread, snacks, etc. The offers are always changing, so it’s worth checking the app often (and definitely every time you’re in-store)!

Can I go to any store to purchase Flashfood items?

No, you can only go to the stores that are shown in your app.

Which stores are part of the program?

All ten provinces and one territory have at least one store participating in Flashfood. In the Vancouver area, only Real Canadian Superstores are currently participating in Flashfood. Check this page to see what’s available in your area. 

Can Americans use Flashfood too?

Yes—if you live in Wisconsin! Hopefully, there’ll be more Flashfood partners in the US soon. 

Is Flash Food legit?

I know—it seems too good to be true! But Flashfood is definitely not a scam. It’s a fun and legitimate way to save money on your groceries.

Summary

Flashfood is a fantastic new way for Canadians (and Wisconsinites) to save big on groceries and help alleviate the problem of food waste. The items on offer are good quality and still very fresh.

The app is simple and easy to use, and the in-store purchase/pickup process seems to always be improving—making it much quicker to shop for Flashfood items. 

If you’re interested in trying Flashfood, here’s my $5 sign-up offer again:

$5 sign-up offer!

  • If you choose to sign up for Flashfood through one of my links, you’ll receive a $5 credit and I’ll receive a $7 credit (upon your first purchase of at least $0.50).
  • To get your $5 credit, you must click through and install the app using my referral link. (There’s no referral code that you can enter later.)
  • Once you’ve registered, you can share your own referral link and also earn $7 per referral!

Any questions?

If you have questions about Flashfood, leave me a comment below. Also, if you know of other services like Flashfood (in or outside of Canada) please tell us about it in the comments below!

Other excellent Flashfood reviews

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Joe
    September 16, 2019 at 10:54 am

    This sounds like a great app. But I don’t want to spend time at the customer service line. That’s too much waiting around. I would try it if it comes to town. It’s interesting that the flash products are in the regular area. Maybe they’re just trying to bring you into the store, like a coupon sale.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 16, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      It’s true—there’s sometimes a wait at customer service. But I’m such a frugalist; saving THAT much makes it fun and worth it for me! Still, I get it. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Thanks for sharing your two cents Joe!

  • Reply
    GYM
    September 16, 2019 at 11:52 am

    I downloaded it a while ago but there weren’t that many stores available in Vancouver. Maybe that’s changed now. The inventory didn’t look very good too but again maybe that has changed. Good idea not to buy until you are in the store though.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 16, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      My Superstore seems to have the smallest selection of items on offer, but it’s still a decent selection and it seems to be growing all the time. Other Superstores have endless lists of items! I scroll and scroll and the list just keeps going. Might be worth checking out again, especially since you do shop at Superstore.

  • Reply
    Abigail @ipickuppennies
    September 16, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Too bad they don’t have this in the U.S. I don’t buy a ton of groceries, but I’d definitely check it out. Congrats on all of the savings!

  • Reply
    Modern Fimily
    September 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Ah I just checked and my town outside Calgary isn’t on the list (we don’t have a Superstore and looks like that’s the only store so far supporting it). Hopefully their sister store, No Frills, will be part of the action soon and we will jump on it. Love the concept of this program and thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 16, 2019 at 10:02 pm

      It’s too bad, but yes—hopefully Fast Food will eventually be offered at No Frills. Thanks for the comment Court!

  • Reply
    Erik @ The Mastermind Within
    September 16, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for linking my link in your article! I’m interested in checking out Flash Food – definitely a nice resource here.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 16, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Erik! I was happy to link to your article—it’s excellent (hence why it’s near the top of Google’s search results)! BTW, I’d forgotten to tag you in my social posts to let you know I’d linked to your article… so how in the world did you find out so quickly? I’d like to know for my own knowledge as a blogger!

  • Reply
    Shaidah
    September 17, 2019 at 8:54 am

    “Where do I go? Do I pay for this stuff at the cashier? Do they need to scan it? How do they know I’ve paid?” This was me yesterday when I was Superstore!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 17, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Oh no! Too bad my post didn’t make it to your inbox! I hope your pick-up went okay anyway. 🙂

    • Reply
      Shaidah
      September 17, 2019 at 10:57 am

      The Richmond Superstore has a Flash Food section. I had gone through the store and collected my items. Upon checkout, they called customer service as the teller had no idea about flash food. The clerk took my items away and told me I needed to get the items from the Flash Food fridge/cupboard at the front of the store and then go to customer service. The best before dates on the flash food items were the same as the dates on the items I had picked! I saved $11!

      • Chrissy
        September 18, 2019 at 10:05 pm

        Thanks so much for the update on the pickup process, Shaidah. It sounds like the process is much smoother with the dedicated Flash Food section. I’ve updated my post to reflect your notes here. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Maria @ Handful of Thoughts
    September 17, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I love this. Have never heard of it before but am definitely going to download the app to see if there are any stores in my area. Thanks for the great tip. Can’t wait to save mora at the grocery store.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 18, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Maria—I only found out about it recently, and was thrilled to find it available in my area! Fingers crossed that it’ll work out for you too.

  • Reply
    Ana
    September 18, 2019 at 7:24 am

    This app sounds wonderful! I’d definitely give it a try if it made it to Florida. Really love the idea of reducing food waste.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 18, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      I bet you have even better apps in Florida, and with more stores participating. Americans typically have far more selection with services like these! Let us know if you ever find one—I’d be happy to mention it here so American readers can benefit too!

  • Reply
    Kris
    September 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Really sounds like a great app, hopefully they will expand to more states in the US, I’m guessing Wisconsin is the guinea pig to see if it would work here in the states.
    I like concept of it where you can find groceries at a discounted rate on your app. And like you said, it will cut down on food waste. Thanks for spreading the awareness of this and great job on the saving.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 18, 2019 at 10:11 pm

      I also hope it spreads—if only to help reduce food waste at more grocery stores. Imagine the difference a single app like this can make! And of course, the savings to consumers is a very nice perk on top of that. 🙂

      I’d be surprised if nothing like this exists in southern California. There must be something!

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    September 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Chrissy,

    Great article, thanks for the review! I’m definitely considering using the app if I’m ever at Superstore. I have a question about stores without a Flashfood section… the food is in the regular section, right? Is it marked as Flashfood there or could you pick up any of that item that has the same best before date. For example, if I’m buying blueberry yogurt best before Sept. 20, do I just pick out any blueberry yogurt with that date in the yogurt section? I assume the stores with a Flashfood section are easy to figure out which items are for you 🙂

    Sorry if this is a silly question! Just nervous about the potential pain and hassle if I pick out the wrong items, haha!

    Thanks again for the great content!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 19, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Kathleen—it’s not at all a silly question! In my experience, the Fast Food items were the exact same items in the exact same sections as the regular food. They’re not marked as Flash Food. They were no different from regular items (which is so puzzling to me)! I didn’t pay attention to best before dates, and neither did the staff.

      However, it seems like things are changing quickly in-store, so just be prepared that your experience may differ!

      I’d love it if you could report back on how things go for you! That would be so helpful for everyone here. 🙂

      • Kathleen
        September 19, 2019 at 8:52 pm

        Okay sounds good, I’m looking forward to trying it! I usually go to my Safeway only 3 blocks away so I just need to get up the motivation to travel to the outer reaches, haha! Totally baffling to me too that it’s the same products, however maybe it’s the stuff the store already knows it can’t get rid of before the date? Thanks again for your help 🙂

      • Chrissy
        September 22, 2019 at 9:58 am

        I have to admit—I love the savings that I gain from shopping at Superstore, but I find shopping there to be a chore!

        Being able to take advantage of Flash Food savings definitely makes my trips there more tolerable. 😆

        I hope all goes well when you finally try Flash Food!

  • Reply
    Tanya
    September 19, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    In the North Vancouver RCSS, the section is between the Lotto booth and the online order pickup area. There is a fridge with Flashfood splashed across it for perishables and a stand next to it with the non-perishables. It was definitely worth it! Example: a bag of overripe bananas sold for 46 cents a pound but if you get same thing from Flashfood, the entire bag was only 20 cents! I bought Kind bars that were 1/3 price and the best before date was September 22, 2020! A tray of chicken breast priced $23.98 was only $11.00 so I bought and froze them individually for future meals. As the customer service ladies get more familiar with the service, it will be easier. It is really fun way to shop!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      September 19, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to share this very helpful info Tanya! Hopefully they’ll get all the kinks ironed out soon and it’ll be a clear, straightforward process at every store.

    • Reply
      Kathleen
      September 19, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Okay sounds good, I’m looking forward to trying it! I usually go to my Safeway only 3 blocks away so I just need to get up the motivation to travel to the outer reaches, haha! Totally baffling to me too that it’s the same products, however maybe it’s the stuff the store already knows it can’t get rid of before the date? Thanks again for your help 🙂

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