Save. Spend. Splurge.

I don’t say no to free money

Then again, who does, right?

If someone came up to you and said: Hey, here’s $20 for free! Enjoy!

You’d take it, right?*

*Unless you are super paranoid that someone is trying to trick you into some sort of scam or use it as a way to say you stole that $20 or whatever.

So why would you refuse free money in all its forms?



When your employer offers you a 100% match (even a 50% match!), YOU TAKE IT!



How it works is you put in $1, and your employer gives you $1 or $0.50 to match it, up to a certain percentage of your salary.

It’s a 100% return on investment, even if your investments go down in value, you still have double what you normally would have had, had you invested outside of the plan.

The only caveat is you don’t get a tax refund… because it’s free moneyyyyy… and you might have to be working for the company for 6 years before you’re what they call “fully vested”, which means you get to KEEP that employer match.

Otherwise, if you leave before the vesting date, you will get to only keep what you contributed, not what the employer contributed for you.

No biggie. It’s just a incentive to get you to stay with them as a long-term employee.

Check out this story by Fabulously Fru-Girl on this.


In the U.S., there’s no branch for scanning accuracy, but I know the store HEB Central Market in the U.S. tend to give you the mis-scanned item for free if it’s under $10, and at least your money back on the subsequent items.

In Canada, we have a Price Accuracy Scanning Code of Practice policy.


You can read the Government of Canada page here, or you can just read my crib notes below:

If something scans incorrectly from its posted price tag, you are entitled to the FIRST item for free if its value is at, or under $10, if not, you will only get the difference back. For any subsequent item purchased, you will get the difference back.

  • It varies from province to province; in Quebec every retailer follows it including clothing retailers
  • You have to see the sign posted at the cash “Scanning Code of Practice”
  • You have to be careful about the fine details if the item is in a bin that has one price for a bunch of things, rather than being priced individually or referring to a price tag on the shelf
  • If the retailer does not obey the rules, you can call the Government of Canada’s branch for this, and file a complaint. It will cost you $10 for a registered letter to be mailed, but you can ask for that money back once they give in to you.

Does this work?

BF and I have successfully used the Scanning Code of Practice to get free food at grocery stores, anything from organic eggs to potatoes to honey.

You’d be surprised how inaccurate their prices are, especially in chain grocery stores.

I even got a jacket for free and all filing fees reimbursed once because the retailer argued and I ended up filing a complaint and winning.

We have even gotten $20 for a difference of $0.01 back, because we filed a complaint because they tried to say: “It’s just a penny!”. We said it wasn’t the penny, it was the principle of the matter that they should have given us that item for free since it was under $10.


It’s pretty easy. Start contributing to your employer’s retirement-matching plans, check your grocery receipts (especially in Canada), and refuse to pay more than you should.

I always vote with my money — if a store refuses to give me back my money, or tries to play some shady game with me with the prices, I just stop patronizing their store.



  • s

    that’s amazing that canada has that refund policy. i try to make sure i’m not overcharged but at walmart it can get complicated to cross-check all of the items you’re buying.

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    I totally agree – turning down free money seems so silly to me. I have saved many dollars with SCOP – you just need to be aware of your prices as they go.

    As for the Employment Match – I think people who don’t take advantage of that are just absurd. Who throws away a return like that, which will then compound like crazy?

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    There are lots if people at my work with 10, 15 and 20 years of service who have never participated in the 50% match. The match is just under $1,000 per year but that turns in to some pretty big dollars after decades of work.

    I contribute up to the match because I don’t let free money go.

  • Pauline

    My BF almost broke up with me because I claimed $0.25 price difference on principle, for $0.01 I am sure he would have haha!
    I love that you have that scanning code of practice, my local supermarket is a Walmart branch and they make mistakes ALL the time. The cashier can’t even correct them so on top of that you have to wait until the manager comes and approves the change, which can take 10 minutes just to get back what is rightfully yours. Strange how it is 99% of the time a mistake in their favor, not that I would correct them the other way around but I don’t remember it happening.

  • Taynia | The Fiscal Flamingo

    Scanning Code of Practice. Ive never heard of that (I’m in the States). I’m impressed. My husband worked in a grocery store for years. It’s really quite amazing how much product is tagged incorrectly. Its important to watch the register like a hawk when they are scanning your food. Even if you can’t make money, you can at least keep in your own pocket.

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