Offering helpful financial and lifestyle advice for everyday Canadians

Daniela Payne wrote this great article on money saving tips for Canadians on a tight budget. Originally posted on canadialiving.com.

6 budget grocery shopping tips

Trying to cut back? Start with your grocery shopping habits. Here are 6 great tips that will help you save money at the grocery store.

Grocery shopping, and the bill that comes with it, is rarely given much thought … until you get home and look closely at what you bought and how much you paid for it. Impulse purchases at the grocery store are even more frequent than those in your favourite clothing stores. (Pint of ice cream, trashy tabloid, package of gum, anyone?) Whether you’re saving up to buy your first home or worried about the looming food crisis, you’re probably looking for ways to save some money.   Here are six budget grocery shopping tips that will help put money back into your wallet:

1. Buy in bulk

Buy herbs and spices in bulk. In fact, buy in bulk whenever you can. Visit box stores like Costco or Sam’s Club to buy bigger packages. When you get home, separate things like chicken and fish so you can freeze them in individual serving sizes.

2. Support the little guy

With less product there is less temptation to spend, and you’re in and out in less time. Try to stay away from the large chains whenever you can. Buying your produce at a local market will save you tons of cash.

3. Don’t recycle those pesky flyers yet

Keep your eyes open for No Frills’ amazing dollar sale. It’s a great opportunity to stock up on everything, from dish soap to a bag of avocados.

4. Make your own tomato sauce from scratch

Make things like tomato sauce from scratch. For a basic recipe you just need to buy a can of crushed tomatoes and dried herbs. This will make more than one jar of expensive sauce — you can be more creative, too!

Or, try canned tomatoes! Make your own pasta sauce with a can of tomatoes and a few spices. It’s much cheaper then buying those premade pasta sauces!

5. Have a plan

Walk to the store. Only buying as much as you can carry really makes you maximize on the things you need, and you put back the non-essentials. Plus it gives you free exercise and saves gas and mileage.

Make your shopping list at home and stick to it. Also, if you plan meals ahead of time you’ll only buy what you need for the week.

6. Stick to the edges of the grocery store

Only shop the perimeter of the store. If you stick to the fruit, veggies, dairy, meat and bread that line the edges of the store — and skip all the packaged (way overpriced) aisles in the centre — you’ll save tons of money. You’ll eat healthier too!

[end of article]

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