Do’s and don’ts of cutting your grocery bill

Follow these five tips to help slash your food costs



From the January 2017 issue of the magazine.

cutting your grocery bill


A typical Canadian family will spend more than $7,000 a year on groceries. Here are five tips to help you cut your grocery bills.


No. 1: Make a list. According to a University of Pittsburgh study, we spend almost twice as much on food when we mindlessly walk down grocery aisles. An easy way to stop overspending is to make a list.

No. 2: Comparison shop. Some stores offer unit prices but it doesn’t hurt to do your own math. Just divide the cost by the number of units. For instance, a 16-ounce can of soup priced at $3.20 will cost you $0.20 per ounce. Now compare that to other options to find the best deal.

No. 3: Stock up on sales. Grocery items typically go on sale every 12 weeks, explains Josh Elledge, founder of “My No. 1 piece of advice is to buy three months’ worth when you find a good deal.”


No. 4: Tune out the till. Keep an eye on the scanner as you’re checking out. If a price comes up wrong, you can often get the item for free*. (It’s part of the Retail Council of Canada’s accuracy policy.)

No. 5: Stay at eye level. Expensive name-brand items are usually placed at eye level. To save money, scan up or down.

(*Items up to $10.)


4 comments on “Do’s and don’ts of cutting your grocery bill

  1. I had no idea about point #4 and wonder if many cashiers know about this either.


  2. Do some homework (for real). Write up a list of items you like to eat, and put typical non-sale prices next to them for a few grocery stores (we live within 5 minutes drive to 7 different places to buy groceries). Now when you get the flyers, or just while you shop you can compare the store price in front of you and what it should cost at the other stores. For example, that chicken may look like it 50% off, but it still may cost more than the regular price elsewhere. We find that each store will have a few items that are a good price, and the rest will be overpriced. We make our list based on which store we will be buying it at, and sometimes which days (eggs and milk are from the drug store on sundays because it is at least 50 cents cheaper that way)


  3. The video runs for 11 seconds and the quits in mid sentence. Can you fix it?


    • Hi Jack, which browser are you using?


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