Looking back at 2011, the first four months of our grocery budget was completely out of control, but that was our own fault. Although we were getting amazing deals, we never stuck to the budget because we were using coupons more than we needed to. We went from spending over $500 a month on groceries to our 2012 goal of $192.78.
One thing we learned it was OK to let coupons expire and that we didn’t need to get everything even if it only required us to pay the tax. You see, over time all those little amounts that seem like nothing at the time, all add up. With only 2 people to feed we believe we can easily meet this goal. The problem comes when there is a really good deal or a 20x Shoppers Optimum points events.
We also like to keep our eyes peeled for all those discount pink stickers and reduced to clear shopping carts filled with discontinued products. We scan our favourite spots in certain stores to find shelves that have marked down merchandise and so can you! Over time you get to know where in a store they will put all the marked down items for sale.
If you are someone who complains that you are spending too much money on food you need to understand why first and then do something about it. You can still eat healthy on a limited budget depending on where you live in Canada and I proved that when I challenged myself to live on $26 a week in the Welfare food challenge in 2012.
Don’t be a grocery store snob either because most shops even if they are discount grocery stores carry the same products as the higher end pricier grocery stores. If you don’t have a personal budget set up you need one of those as well so you can document where all the money is going. Cutting your grocery budget takes time, practice and knowing your prices is also key to start saving money on groceries in Canada.
If you are in a relationship you must work together for this to happen because putting all the work on one person is only setting the budget up to fail. We all have different reasons for buying the food that we do and determining how much your grocery budget should be in accordance with your health and lifestyle is likely going to lead you towards money savings that you never thought were possible.
Top Ten Ways to Cut Your Grocery Budget
- Play The Grocery Game Challenge each week here at Canadian Budget Binder. Join other fans who have lowered their grocery budget just by posting their shop.
- Shop early in the morning or later in the evening- We find the best deals early in the morning or late at night before a shop closes. Never rush when you grocery shop.
- Eat before you grocery shop- If we don’t eat before we shop everything looks tasty and becomes potential bait for overspending.
- Plan your grocery shop with a list- We like to search the flyers to see what is on sale to plan our weekly meals.
- Stick to the outer limits of the grocery store if possible– We like to cook from scratch with fresh meats and vegetables so staying away from the centre aisles tend to keep us away from temptation. There are times when you simply have to go down these aisles so just stick to the plan!
- Check all the Cheap/Discount racks for deals-The first place we head is the discount racks. Get to know where they are in your stores. Also keep an eye out for reduced product stickers or % off stickers. All this is money in your pocket.
- Learn the regular pricing on products- It helps to know the reg price on products so you instantly know whether you are getting a good deal .
- Shop 3 weeks out of the month- We decided to put temptation on the shelf for one week a month to cut down on unnecessary purchases.
- Buy in bulk- If it’s a good sale and I know it won’t go on sale for a while we will buy in bulk. If we can pair the sale wit a coupon it’s a no-brainer for us.
- Use coupons and points programs- Whenever possible use Canadian coupons with flyer specials on any reduced products. We also like to take advantage of the many points programs available. There is also Checkout51 now that you can use with your IPhone to get additional savings on everyday products you love.
- Scanning Code of Practice- Learn about SCOP as this can save you money. Have you ever had an item scan higher than what it read on the shelf? If so and the store participates in SCOP that item could either be FREE or $10.00 cheaper than what you should pay. Not many people are aware of this. Look for signs at store entry ways and at the cash where you scan your debit and credit cards.
What are some other tips you have for cutting your Grocery Budget?
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- How I Reduced Our Grocery Budget From $1100 To $600 In 6 Months (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Let Your Coupons Expire And Save Money! (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Dumpster Diving~The Top 5 Rules For Finding The Good Free Stuff! (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Shopping Tips We Use To Save Money (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Making The Best Of What Is Available: My Grocery Shopping (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Starting Our Frugal Garden From Seed (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
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