This week I’ve visited both Global Calgary and Breakfast Television Calgary to talk about how to save money at the grocery store. Here are some of my favourite tips from my segments and a few more that didn’t make it in (those segments are short, yo). I hope they help you shave a bit off your grocery bill. Have a tip you use that I haven’t mentioned, please share in the comments!
How To Save Money at the Grocery Store
- Choose your store wisely – You pay for extra perks like samples, giveaways and special displays at the grocery store. For me, price is king. I choose to shop at places where I have to bag my own groceries and they don’t have extras. The prices are definitely cheaper, even without sales.
- Be brand un-loyal – I get it. You like what you like but you will also have to pay for it. If you are willing to flex with what is on sale and buy store brands, you will definitely save money. For example, on my last trip I bought No Name Mixed Beans and they were half the price of the name brand (and that was regular price not on sale).
- Check the price per unit – With the same item being available in bags, boxes, jars and pouches, it is hard to tell what is less expensive just by looking. Instead, check on the shelf tag. Almost all stores list the price per unit so you can compare prices apples to apples.
- Produce is Produce – speaking of apples, know that produce is often the same no matter where you shop. Suppliers are the same whether it is a high end store or a discount store. Sometimes you may see a difference in size of fruit but generally it is the same. Every store can have great produce or bad, it usually depends on the day you visit versus the day they get deliveries.
- Buy in Bulk where it makes sense – Bulk can save you money (but make sure to check that price per unit!). One of my favourite bulk buys is the Honey Garlic Sausage Club Pack at No Frills. It is around $10 and I can get 2-3 meals out of it. That is a great value!
- Check flyers before you go – Now you can download almost any store flyer online. I like to find them at Red Flag Deals.
- Don’t shop hungry!
- Make a list – Make a list for pantry items you need and stick to it.
- But stay flexible – Shop the produce department based on what is in season and on sale. Making a recipe that needs cauliflower? You might be better off substituting broccoli. Your recipe will be just as delicious but you’ll save a bit of cash.
- Use store loyalty cards and coupons. This has become much easier with apps. My favourite is the PC Plus card from Loblaw that can be used at Superstore and No Frills. I don’t use a ton of coupons because most of them are for processed food that I don’t buy often.
- Try new recipes – Everyone gets in a rut. Instead of defaulting to steaks when you have company, make ribs and chicken instead. It’ll be a great change and you will save money. Head over to Pinterest and search for frugal recipes for inspiration!
- Force yourself to stick to your budget with cash – If you only bring $100, that is all you can spend. Leave your credit cards at home if you MUST stick to your budget.
- Meal Plan – Plan out your meals and take advantage of multiple recipes that use similar ingredients. You can also save yourself time by prepping for an entire week’s meals at once.
Prefer to hear instead of read? Check out my TV segments! (Note that the TV segments are sponsored but this post is not.)
Recipes mentioned in the segments are linked below though I did tweak a few to use ingredients on sale.
Banana Pudding (I used Cool Whip instead of whipping cream so I halved the condensed milk so it wouldn’t be too sweet).