Bargain reports and analytics

How Canadians save money

PicodiAugust 25, 2021

What are the products that Canadians like to save money on? Why and how often do they reach for discounts? The analysis team conducted a survey among Canadian consumers to check what is their attitude towards sales and to find out the most popular ways to save money.

What we save money on

The pandemic forced many Canadians to save money. More than half of the surveyed people (73%) admitted that over the past year, they bought more products on sale than before.

What people save money on?

The product categories most frequently bought on sale include food, home appliances, as well as clothes and footwear. Products bought on sale the least are cars (car parts), jewelry, and child-care products.

There are products which Canadians are willing to wait for instead of buying them at the initial price. These include home appliances (92%), travel & leisure (88%), sporting goods (83%), clothes (83%) or jewelry (81%).

On the other hand, there are some categories of products which Canadians don’t want or can’t wait for — and they buy them regardless of whether there is a sale or not. These include medicine (50% don’t want to wait for discounts), underwear (35%), pet supplies (34%), food on delivery (33%), or books (29%).

Why do Canadian consumers buy on sales? The most common answer among female and male respondents was that they can save a lot of money thanks to discounts (63% and 52% respectively). Almost half of men and women surveyed (49% and 48% respectively) believe that the initial prices are too high, so they look for discounted products. The third most popular answer among both men and women (40% and 48% respectively) was that discounts allow them to become familiar with a brand.

Not everyone likes discounts. 17% of women and 32% of men ignore sales because they simply don’t worry about the prices. 16% of women and men don’t buy on sales because they think high quality products are worth their standard price. 9% of women believe that discounted products are poor quality or outdated, although as many as 14% of men share this opinion.

Sometimes Canadians buy products on sale and never use them. The top 5 categories of products which are thrown away or left unused on shelves are:

  1. Food
  2. Clothes
  3. Underwear
  4. Cosmetics and perfumes
  5. Home appliances

Canadian ways to save money

Our ways to save money

There are many ways to save money, that is why asked Canadians which methods for finding and using discounts are their favourite.

Among the most popular ones, price comparison services placed first. 15% of Canadians know this method and use it regularly, and as many as 27% use it from time to time. 19% participants admitted that they know what price comparison services are, but they don’t use them, and only 39% don’t know what it is at all.

Coupon services are used regularly by 13% of those surveyed. 29% use them sometimes, 18% know and don’t use them. 40% claimed they don’t know about the existence of coupon services.

In the third place were cashback services — 12% use them regularly. 21% use them from time to time, 25% know and don’t use them, while 42% don’t know them at all.

Apps for ordering unsold food surplus are not very common (63% of the surveyed consumers don’t know what it is), similar to store flyers (55%), browser plugins with coupons (51%), and shelves with products near the expiration date (52%).

What Canadians think about ads

What do Canadians think about advertisements, and do they feel overwhelmed by them? It turns out that almost half (43%) of the respondents think that the number of ads is acceptable. On the contrary, as many as 17% admit that there are too many advertisements. 40% of surveyed Canadian consumers don’t feel like there are too many ads.

What people think about ads

It turns out that the most popular ad that people receive is email — on average, as many as 34 a week. In second place are text messages (29 times a week). Mailbox leaflets complete the podium — consumers see them around 27 times a week.

Push notifications in browsers (21 per week) and in mobile apps (14 per week) are not as frequent.


The statistics are from an online survey conducted in July 2021.

Public Use

Would you like to share information about sales and discounts in Canada? You are welcome to use all the data and infographics presented in this report for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, provided that you indicate the author of the research ( with a link to this subpage.