Economists expect food prices to go up by 3-8% by the end of the year. The only way to make sure you’re getting the best deal is to be diligent about your shopping habits. Nothing is likely to save you more money on your grocery shopping bill than:
Rule #1: Shop with a list
If you aren’t meal planning and shopping with a list, you’re at the whim of all those smart marketing schemes designed to make you spend more money. Keep a grocery list on your fridge. As you run out of stuff or identify what you’ll be cooking next, add what you need to your list. And when you go shopping, buy NOTHING that isn’t on your list. (If you want to have a small amount set aside for taking advantage of great in-store specials, add an extra $10 to your grocery budget to stock up when prices are fabulous.)
Don’t buy shopping bags
Are you still shelling out five cents a pop for plastic bags when you go shopping? Are you kidding me! And here’s a news blast: When stores tack on HST on those bags, they have to round up to the next penny. You’re paying 6¢ a bag and the retailer is pocketing 7% of the extra penny they’re charging you! Use bins. Use reusable bags. Quit wasting your money.
Check the “just about to expire” stuff
Meat goes on sale at 30-40% off; you can bring it home and freeze it, or you can cook and freeze for nights when you’re just too tired to pull a meal together. Taking advantage of end of lines or about-to-expire stuff can save you tons.
Use your supermarkets’ rewards programs
Convert food purchases into gifts or travel savings. Some supermarkets have gas-bar affiliations that can save you money at the check-out. Hey, I’ll take two cents off a litre of gas to put towards my food.
Collect coupons …
for the products you usually buy. If you use the coupon when the item is on sale, you’re getting an even bigger bang for your buck.