January 10th 2017 - by Amanda Perkins
Generally, there are a few different types of grocery shoppers. There are the daily shoppers who will buy one or two bags of groceries every day or every other day. These shoppers plan to buy only the things they need or will need for a couple of meals at a time with maybe a few added treats in their cart. Then there are the weekly shoppers who will try and buy a whole cart full of groceries, maybe the same things every week or with excellent intentions of trying new and exotic recipes that may require a few out of the ordinary grocery items. Some buyers are great at buying only the things they need and some are not, but no matter your style, it seems that us Canadians are constantly throwing out garbage bags full of wasted food each week. Between making too much and throwing out leftovers to buying food that expires before you get to make that specialty dish again, it seems we are tossing a lot of money into our green bins each week.
We are here to help you cut down your grocery bill and hopefully minimize your weekly food waste.
1) Buy products that are in season and plan your meals around that
It may not be the best to make chicken breasts stuffed with asparagus when asparagus prices are sky high in the winter. Planning your meals based on what is in season is a great way to change up your dinner menu plans while cutting costs on your grocery bill because the seasonal items are at their lowest price and taste best.
There is no shame in checking out the local flyers for weekly deals. Stocking up on items on sale that will last is a great way to save some money on frequently used items. Items like meat that can be frozen, canned goods, laundry detergent, etc. are great to buy on sale as they will last. One great tip – download the free app Flipp where you can add and sort all your favourite stores and follow along on their weekly flyer for deals. On top of that, if you are on the look out for something specific you can set up alerts and notifications to compare prices at different stores.
3) Change grocery stores
Sometimes the most convenient grocery store location is not always the cheapest. Especially if you are in a big city like Toronto. Driving or walking just a few steps out of your neighbourhood could save you grocery money and give you the option to compare food prices at different locations. If you usually shop at a Longo’s, Farm Boy or Whole foods, consider looking into the quality and prices at a Valu-Mart, No Frills or Superstore.
4) Make a list & never shop hungry!
Two very important rules to follow if you ask me. We often buy more unnecessary food when we grocery shop hungry. Once hunger sets in, everything looks good and our minds wander to all the recipes we could make, when in actuality we won’t get time in our week to make that specialty dish before the items go bad. By making a list at home of the things you need you also avoid buying items that you may already have in your cupboard and do not need more of. This way you prevent things from building up, not getting used and going bad. That’s money in the trash (or compost!)
Hopefully these tips help when you are out on your next grocery shop!