Hello to all! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!
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I know for many people times are tough! This pandemic is challenging in so many ways. Many people aren’t working and money is tight Grocery shopping is tough for so many. Personally, I don’t like grocery shopping at the best of times but now, it’s even more of a challenge!
There are few ways you can get the most bang for your buck when it comes to food shopping. I believe in healthy eating and try to limit processed food as much as I can. So these tips don’t include buying the cheaper packaged version or skipping out on fresh veggies and fruit. Saving money doesn’t have to mean missing out on healthy choices.
This is what I do ~
1. Check for greenhouses
Check to see if there are greenhouses or farmer’s markets near you. This is a great way to buy fruits and veggies for a fraction of the cost. I’m lucky, I live about 10 minutes away from the greenhouse capital of the prairies. There are about a dozen places to buy fresh produce and some are even open all year round (not fully stocked all year round but there’s always something there and something is better than nothing)
2. Loyalty programs
Find out which stores near you have a loyalty program. Points that can become dollars off for example.
3. Price matching
Find out if your favorite store price matches. Some stores allow you to bring in a competitor’s current flyer if the price is lower somewhere else. It’s a good idea to find out what the rules are for that before you shop. Some places allow info from your phone and others will want the actual paper flyer. This will save you the hassle of going store to store just to save a few dollars. It’s a bonus if your store price matches and has a loyalty program…extra savings!
4. Buy in season
Buy produce that’s in season. You’re going to pay a lot more if you have to buy fresh strawberries or cherries in January, at least in where I live! Not to mention the quality isn’t very good. For some things, frozen produce is just as good, maybe better. I prefer frozen fruit and veggies for smoothies.
Some places will offer a discount on foods that are nearing their expiration date. This isn’t always useful, but, if you can freeze it or use it right away then go for it. One of my favorite stores offers 30% off near expired food, so for some things, it’s great. Meats can be frozen and some fruits and veggies can be prepped and frozen or even canned to prolong the shelf life.
I also recommend that you download the “flash food” app. Once you’ve signed in it will link you to stores near you that participate in the program and you can shop through the app. It mostly has foods that are nearing the expiry date. It tells you the regular price, the new price and gives you the best before date.
Make a list! This is something I don’t do enough but it really helps. If you make a list then you know what you need and you likely won’t vary too much from it. Less impulse shopping is a money saver for sure!
7. Online shopping
You can get almost anything online and sometimes for a fraction of the cost in the stores. Not to mention we are living in a time when we are asked to stay home as much as possible so online shopping is really ideal. Plus, you don’t have to wear a mask to shop online!
8. Eat before you go
This tip I think pretty much everyone already knows…don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry! I always come home with the most random things when I shop hungry because everything looks good.
These are the strategies I use when I’m grocery shopping. I would love to hear some things that you do to save!
One bonus idea would be to grow your own food. For many people, it’s not possible; but if it can be done, it’s worth it. All you need is a small bit of earth for planting. If you don’t have that, you’d be surprised how many things can be grown successfully in containers. Some cities even have community gardens so you can rent a small space to grow.