Photo: Nattakorn Maneerat/iStock

Ways to Save Money While Spending

By Enoch Omololu

With prices surging on everything—from fuel and food to utility costs and travel—Canadian families are feeling the financial crunch. Don’t let economic pressures keep you from spending and enjoying your life as you’re out and about. Use this handy guide of savings tips while on the go.


Get “cash” back on purchases

Shop online at more than 50 AMA Rewards partners and earn back
a percentage in AMA reward dollars: $1 CAD = 1 reward dollar. Spend dollars on trips, luggage, movie tickets, membership renewal and more. Shop through the AMA eStore at to earn at Sephora (5%), Staples (3%) and Aldo (6%), plus many others.

Use gift cards

They’re not just for giving! Everyday shopping with gift cards helps control spending and prevents credit card interest. AMA members also get extra perks: Pre-purchase gift cards for brands like Sobeys, Uber, President’s Choice and Earls and instantly earn 5% cash back. Stock up at

Cut coupons

They can save you money at the register—but don’t go crazy and buy things you don’t need just because they’re cheaper. Create a stockpile when there is a sale for items that do well in storage.

Price match

Many grocery stores will match a competitor’s price if you show them a flyer. Now THAT is smart spending.

Save instantly

Show your AMA membership card and get instant discounts at retailers, including Loblaw Optical (save 30%), NAPA Auto Parts (save 10%) and RW&CO (save 10%). 

Go small

Studies have shown the size of your shopping cart impacts your grocery bill. When you use a jumbo-size cart, you spend up to 40% more. 

Buy generic brands

Generic store-brand items are often as good as name-brands but cheaper. 

Make a grocery list

And stick to it! This will help you buy only what you came for and avoid impulse purchases.


Eliminate unused subscriptions

If you don’t use certain streaming services to their full potential, consider getting rid of them. 

Flash your AMA card 

Your membership scores you deals at many local attractions and eateries: Save 10% at TELUS World of Science, 10% at East Side Mario’s and 15% at Marble Slab Creamery.  

Get a family plan 

If multiple family members have a music or video streaming subscription, combine them, and create a family account to save on monthly costs. 

Look for places where kids can eat for free

Some local restaurants and eateries offer free dining for children: Kids under five can eat for free at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s Harvest Room in Edmonton.

Catch flicks for less 

AMA members can score an adult admission at Landmark Cinemas for just $10.75. Purchase at your local AMA centre.

Get fit for less 

Find a gym plan that fits your budget. AMA members get two months free on a one-year membership at Anytime Fitness.


If there’s one crucial bit of spending in your life, it’s at the gas station. But there are several ways of saving and, sometimes, earning at the pump.

Fill up for less

AMA members save 3¢/L on fuel and more at participating Shell stations across Canada.  

Avoid idling

Turn your vehicle off when waiting longer than a minute. Starting the car uses only 10 seconds worth of gas. 

Lighten your load

The more weight you carry in the vehicle, the more fuel you’ll use over the long run. Remove bike racks and roof boxes when not in use. 

Slow down

As you increase speed, more power is needed to push the car. Driving at lower speeds can increase fuel efficiency. 

Get a tune-up

Proper engine maintenance can improve your mileage. Check your user’s manual for the maintenance schedule. 

Check the tires

Under-inflated tires use more gas. Properly inflated tires can boost fuel efficiency by an average of 0.3% (and as much as 3% in some cases).  

Use the right oil 

Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of engine oil—and changing it regularly— can improve mileage by
up to 2%.

Ease up on the pedals

Research shows frequent “jackrabbit” starts and hard braking reduce travel time by only 4%, but increase fuel consumption by 39%


Spending on the go made easy with these tips from the pros!

Buy a monthly pass

If you routinely travel by bus or train, a monthly pass can save you up to a few hundred dollars a year. 

Consider upgrading your AMA membership

Moving from Basic to Plus gives you more than 30 times the towing distance per call, along with other benefits like more roadside assistance calls and free emergency fuel and delivery. 

Save on car rentals

AMA members get discounted rates and other benefits—10% off prepaid fuel and two free additional drivers—at Enterprise,
Alamo and National.  

Use an alternate mode of transit

Walk, cycle or take the bus, which are often cheaper than buying gas, and provide the added benefit of daily exercise.  

Pack your AMA card

Members get exclusive discounts and room rates at hotels around the world, including Best Western, Fairmont, Hilton and Marriott properties. 

Golf for less

AMA members save $20 off the online purchase of a Canada Golf Card. This all-in-one golf discount card pays for itself after two rounds.