How to Save Money on Groceries

Food costs have been on the rise the past few years, taking an an increasingly large chunk out of the average Canadian’s paycheque. This reduces our ability to deal with other monthly costs, as well as knocking down the amount of money we can use for fun or save for a rainy day.

Coupons are an age-old way to reduce food costs, but that is just one tool in your arsenal. Here are some other ways you can save when heading out for your weekly grocery store trip:

  • Don’t shop while hungry. If you have hunger pangs, that increases the chances that you will buy more than you need. It also makes it more likely that you will indulge in comfort and junk food purchases.
  • Make a list and know how much you have to spend. The list will not only make your trip faster, it will help keep you on track because you won’t be guessing about what you are low on. Have you ever gotten to the grocery store and thought, “I need some peanut butter,” only to get home with a bottle and find two more in your cupboard? Also, if you know what your spending limit is, this will help to prevent you buying things that are not necessary.
  • Know how much food costs. Stores love to offer promotions where they make it seem like buying large numbers of a particular item will save you money. However, in some cases, you are really not saving much at all and ended up with more than you really need. Have some idea what your food usually costs and you can avoid this trap.
  • Use a basket instead of a cart. Ever notice how increasingly large shopping carts have gotten over the years? Well, the reason is that the bigger the cart, the more likely you are to fill it. Unless you really need to get a lot of things, use a handheld basket. That way you will not be able to purchase more groceries than you can carry.