Whether you’re fanatical about anything food-related on TV or prefer to wing it in the kitchen, groceries are a staple no one can go without.
And let’s be honest, some of us have our preferences when it comes to brands and stores, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But there’s a way to save money without sacrificing your favourite foods or indulgences.
Here are our top grocery shopping saving secrets.
Search #mealprep on Instagram and you’ll have more 12M images to scan through, for good reason! This tip is a popular one for good reason. Preparing meals in advance prevents you from splurging at your go-to take-out spot when you’re pressed for time in the morning or had a long day.
Plan your meals for the week, list out the ingredients (and quantities) you’ll need and do one big grocery shop. A list is key to staying focused and on budget.
Get the loyalty card
Most grocery stores offer loyalty cards and, more often than not, it’s free to join! These are a great money-saver because you usually get loyalty-only deals, discounts, special offers or points towards free purchases.
Many of you will be familiar with the amazing PC Optimum program you can shop with at stores like Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Independent, Zehrs, Fortinos, wholesale club and valu-mart, Esso and Mobil gas stations, and Joe Fresh. Get your gift cards with Cash Back from our Gift Card Shop7 today!
Price match where and when you can
Comparing prices and shopping around is a great way to save a couple bucks or even a few cents (it adds up!) here and there. Some retailers allow you to match the price of their competitors for the exact same items if you can show them the flyer. (Lucky for you, all flyers are available online or with apps, like Flipp). More than saving on groceries, it also saves you travel time if you were going store to store and gas mileage. That’s a win-win-win!
Go meatless (when possible)
Meat can really drive up the total on your receipt. Source inspiration online for meatless meals and then pick up the tofu, beans, and legumes you need for your plant-based plate. No one will miss the meat and your wallet will thank you for the swap.
Do the math
Items are often bundled at a discounted rate. For example, two heads of cauliflower for $5. But one head is still selling for $2.50. Don’t fall for this pricing tactic – consider whether you’ll actually use the additional items and go from there.
“I try my best to eat what’s in-season. Produce tends to be a little more affordable, fresher and often grown locally!”
– Lexi, Social Media Specialist
Leave the kids at home
When possible, that is. Doing so can save you from the various snacking whims of kiddos. This is often easier said than done, but if you can organize yourself with childcare and have a list prepared, you’ll be more focused and efficient once at the store.
Eat before you shop
You may have heard this one before but there’s definitely some truth to it. If you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to buy everything and anything that looks appealing. Grab a snack before or go after a meal so you’re less inclined to splurge.
Bring your own bag
One bag may only cost $0.05 and might not seem like a lot of money, but adds up over time. And it’s not great for the environment. Plus, there are some super cool reusable bags out there – we’ve even seen some great DIY versions!
It’s OK to get help
Let Chefs Plate take care of the hard work (grocery shopping and meal planning) when you have a busy week ahead. The meals are customizable, from the number of people to meals per week, and include vegetarian and family-friendly options. Getting meal prep delivered is a great way to save time while ensuring you and your family enjoy delicious meals.
No matter your lifestyle, having a cupboard full of snacks and easy grab-and-go food is the best way to avoid picking up fast food. Visit stores like Well.ca, Natura Market, Prana, Vitacost for snacks, food, and pantry staples to fit your lifestyle.
INABUGGY offers grocery delivery, as well as many grocery chains, like Walmart, Loblaws and Longo’s. This saves you a trip to the store and the fee is often quite affordable – especially when you consider all the time you’ll save.
There’s an app (and gift card) for that
Of course, all the major grocery stores in Canada are featured in the Rakuten Gift Card Shop. And to make sure even your last minute, smartphone grocery purchases are covered, be sure to download the Rakuten.ca app.