Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve tried to be a little more conscious about where my spending is going on groceries, and where I can cut back – without resorting to eating a lot of junk or pre-packaged food. Our highest expense is usually fresh food and vegetables, since my husband usually takes salad for lunch every day. The bill definitely goes down when he decides to take something else (although it goes up in other categories if he hits Burger King for Whopper Wednesday )
I’ve found a few fairly easy, painless ways to cut down on costs. For while I am cheap – I am also lazy. Here’s some tips based on what I do:
1. Scan the flyers for the store or stores you normally shop at. Best sales are usually on the front and the back of the flyer. If something I’m going to buy anyways is on sale, and it’ll keep (e.g. boxed goods or meat that can be frozen), I’ll stock up. The trick is not getting sucked into buying something I don’t need (e.g. cake, cookies – frankly, anything sweet) just because it’s on sale!
2. Check out the discount racks. I’ll freely admit I’m not big on the discount produce rack, but I’ve taken to picking up bread and sometimes meat that’s marked 50% off. There’s nothing wrong with it – it just won’t keep much longer. But that’s what the freezer is for.
3. Try alternate stores. Shopper’s Drug Mart sometimes has great sales on oatmeal and cream – a far better price than I get in the grocery store. But it’s got to be on sale – their non-sale prices are generally higher than the grocery store.
4. Review your grocery bill when you come home. See where your biggest area of expense is, and figure out if there’s ways you can cut back.
5. Ask for a “rain check”. If you’re not familiar with this, basically, an item is on sale – but it’s sold out! So, you go to customer service and ask for a rain check, which means you can get the item at the same sale price another week when it’s not on sale.
6. Hope your parents bought more produce than they can use. My parents often buy extra or more than they can use, and I’m the lucky recipient of the extras. I realize this tip is a tad hard to implement if you don’t have family members to mooch off.
Here are 2 more that work, but I’ll freely admit I don’t use much/at all:
1. Coupons – We’re not as big on them here as they are in the U.S. But they are definitely available. I’ve used a few in my time, but I’m not great on this front. You can often find them on the way into the store or right by the item itself. I have a great guest post on this if you’ d like to learn more about couponing. The author, Canadian Budget Binder is amazing at cutting down his grocery costs.
2. Price matching. My store doesn’t offer this, but it’s worth finding out if yours does. I explain what price matching is and how to go about it in this post (add link). My sister in law runs a home day care and buys a lot of food – she’s very good at price matching!
What do you do to cut down your grocery bill?