Money doesn’t grow on trees. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I’d be rich. But I’m not. Given the fact that we travel six months of the year and support a family of four on a single family income, I make sure that when it comes to shopping for food, we watch what we eat.
That doesn’t mean that we go without. In fact, quite the contrary. I find that we enjoy a larger variety of foods because we are conscious of our spending. And, we still enjoy a healthy diet with money left for some treats. Everything in moderation (except caviar) is my motto.
Five Simple Ways to Save on Your Food Bill
1. Make a High Level List
Before I leave my house, I take a quick look in the cupboards, fridge and freezer and add any staples to my list. If I remember, I ask Ed if he knows of anything we need. I do not make an itemized list of all the extras. In fact, when I walk in the store, I have no idea what we’ll be eating that week. That’s where #2 comes into play.
However, I know how many meals we’ll be home for and what staples we need. I star the critical items so that I don’t have to make another trip and I know that I have to come home with them even if they aren’t on Sale. Speaking of sales…
2. Check the Flyers and Shop the Sales
I’m not suggesting that you sit down at the table and pour over flyers before you shop because I generally don’t. My flyers don’t usually arrive until after I’ve left for my weekly shop. However, the first thing I do when I get to my primary store is get a flyer. I take a minute or two to look through it and compare it with my list.
I do shop infrequently at two other stores but I find that their sales are usually more expensive than the regular price at Food Basics. The odd time, I miss out on a deal, however, if you have a cell phone with data, you don’t have to miss a thing!
There is a site called SaleWhale. You provide your location and they provide you with all the flyer sales for stores in your area. For me, Canadian Tire, Food Basics, Giant Tigers, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and Independent come up. If you’re going to be stopping by more than one store anyways, you can see where is the better deal and take advantage of that.
Then, I buy just enough fresh food and meats for the week. If there is a really good sale on apples and I know I have room in the freezer then I might buy some to freeze for apple sauce or all the pies that I (don’t) bake. If meat is really cheap, I will buy enough for two weeks. Remember, you don’t know what will be on sale next week and it might be a better deal than this week.
3. Ask if they’ll Price Match
Food Basics is my primary store and while they do give rainchecks on flyer items, they don’t Price Match however, some stores do. If you use download a Free app called Reebee, when you’re in the store, you can pull up the flyer and show the cashier. This will save customer service from having to call their competitors store and you time in line and possible embarrassment (although you shouldn’t feel embarrassed by saving money!). I don’t personally do this because I usually only go to one store, however, if it will save you a trip to another store and money, I say go for it!
4. Sign up for “Get Paid to Shop” Apps
The gist of the phone app is that you purchase items, upload a copy of your receipt and receive cashback. Seems too good to be true? That’s what I thought but it seems to be legit.
I would describe it as the modern way of couponing. The consumer doesn’t need to remember the coupon, the retailer doesn’t have to mail in the coupon and the manufacturer doesn’t have to process their rebate. Brilliant if you ask me.
My suggestion is to only purchase products that you would anyways. Otherwise, you can get caught up in the hype of saving money when you’re not really because you don’t normally buy Kettle Chips (oh but they’re so good). The only catch that I can see is that you have to wait until $20 is in your account to cashout. They mail you a cheque/ I’ll let you know how it goes.
If you are interested in checking it out. I would really appreciate it if you used my referral link. I will receive a one-time payment of $1 if you redeem an offer. It all adds up!
5. And last but not least… Use Coupons!
There are tons of ways to get your hands on coupons.
- Once a week, I get a coupon flyer delivered to my door. Uncle Eric doesn’t use coupons so I ask him to give them to me.
- Get an account with Websaver, Save.ca and Walmart. They have a variety of Print and Mail coupons on major brands like Jergens, Kelloggs, Kraft, Tassimo and so much more.
- The Kids and I play a game with Nanna’s old magazines. We look through them for coupons. It gets them asking a lot of questions about pictures that they see and I get to save on shampoo.
- If you’re in Canada, there will be a group in your town or city that gets together to exchange coupons. Guaranteed. Or, if you’re familiar with Facebook, do a search on your city and “Coupon Swap” and you’re sure to find others like you.
- My Independent has a huge coupon board right when you walk in the door and I always take a minute to look it other. The Kids are always willing to tear them off for me.
Speaking of Coupons, now that I’m home, I have over $125 worth of coupons stock piled and I’m going to give them away to one of you! Name Brands such as; Dempsters, Melitta, Royale, Aspirin, Irish Spring, Speed Stick, Carnation, Astro, Cracker Barrell, Kelloggs and so much more! This stack of coupons also includes 3 BOGO’s and an FPC for Dog Treats.
Five Ways to Save on Your Food Bill.
Journeys of The Zoo did not receive compensation in exchange for sharing about these companies.