Latest blog from Walletpop.ca: Save money when grocery shopping

Grocery store / jemrocks / Creative Commons

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Save Money When Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is one of the best ways to practice saving skills. With a little effort, you can shave 10 to 20 per cent off your grocery bill. It just takes a little thinking outside the big box stores to shop and eat well.

The best part is that eating on the cheap doesn’t mean eating poorly. You can find great prices on food.

Comparison Shop

You know all those grocery flyers we get during the week? Instead of tossing them into the recycling bin, spend about 15 minutes a day reading them and make a note of the deals. Or why not bookmark our list of online flyers which include all of Canada’s major retailers, big box and chain stores. If one grocery chain is offering a sale item but it’s too far, go to your local grocery store and ask for a price difference. There’s no harm in asking.

Coupons, Coupons, Coupons

Coupons can get you a dollar off a bottle of Tide or 50 cents off a bag of Pampers. It doesn’t sound like a lot but add up those little deals and steals and you could save a lot during your weekly shop. Try frugalis.casave.ca and smartcanucks.ca for coupons and deals.

Bulk Shopping

Bulk stores offer great prices because, well, you’re buying 30 rolls of toilet paper at a time. There’s just one thing — if you can’t store your dry goods or your food safely, then shopping at bulk stores won’t save money because you’ll be tossing spoiled food. Why not share the membership costs with a friend?

Go Small

Fellow Walletpop.ca blogger Marlene Alexander writes a brilliant series on shopping at the dollar store. She has found many amazing deals there including food items. Other sources of savings include Chinatowns and other ethnic markets. Farmers’ markets are often cheaper because the middle man has been cut out of the pricing.

So now you’ve done your homework and are ready to shop. But what to buy that will give you the best bang for your buck? Professional Home Economist Marilyn Smith offers these tips:

What would be the basic ingredients people need to eat healthy?

Fruits and veggies are my go to it healthy food – choose intensely coloured for the best bang for your nutritional loonie. The more intense the colour the better the fruit or veggie is for you. Nuts – good old peanut butter is a great economical choice, beans – excellent nutrition and economical, and whole grains – oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain bread.

Does menu-planning actually save money?

This might be the best tip going – planning helps you use specials that grocery stores are offering, plus it also cuts down on waste. Making one dinner that actually ends up becoming two. For example: Day one make chili – day two use the leftover chili to make quesadillas.

Does it make financial sense to buy food items in bulk such as legumes?

Only if you are going to actually eat them. Overbuying and then having food go bad is a total waste of your money. Storing food correctly is important.

If you only had $50 to spend on groceries, what would you buy?

I’d buy canned beans in tomato sauce as my protein source, fresh broccoli, sweet potatoes, cabbage, oranges, and apples from the fruit and veggie category, peanut butter for the heart healthy fats and protein from nuts, whole grain or whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal from the grains category and from the milk category skim milk and some plain non fat yogurt. And if my budget supported it, I would have a can of salmon in there as well for those all important omega-3 fatty acids.

[Photo credit: Jemrocks / Creative Commons]

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