How to Save Money on Groceries in Canada but still Eat Well
If you feel like you are spending way too much on groceries, you are probably right. The main reason is that in the past few years the price of groceries has increased pretty reasonably.
Unfortunately, our salaries don’t follow the same trend, which means that you most likely spend more than you should.
Well, it is a general problem nowadays, but with the necessary monitoring, you can cut back your expenditure in the long run by exercising frugality. Let’s check out what you should keep in mind to save money on groceries in Canada.
How to Save Money on Groceries in Canada- What does the Canadian food guide recommend?
Vegetables and fruit should be included in your diet. Whole grains are also important. Protein foods include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, soy products, and dairy products.
Additionally, if you choose these types of highly processed foods to include white bread, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, chips, and other snack foods eat them in moderation.
1. Plan ahead and Shop with a Budget in Mind
It’s a great tip but also hard to achieve. I know it can be frustrating to sit down and plan what you would cook in the next week and it’s not an easy habit to get used to.
Shop with a budget plan because when you do, you will realize that it will make grocery shopping easier, faster and cheaper too.
Food is important, but it gets boring if you eat the same things all the time, so try new things and see if you enjoy them. They’re maybe on sale or may have a coupon to use to save money so that’s a win-win situation for you on your wallet and food diet. Avoid buying snacks on the run because they are usually less healthy and more expensive.
2. How can I save money on food?
So now that we know that it is actually cheaper to cook, you should start preparing your own meal. For effective grocery shopping, we collected 25 simple tips and tricks to keep in mind when going to the grocery store.
If you start using these tips, you will surely be saving money on food and groceries in Canada.
3. Prepare healthy choices – They’re Usually Cheaper
Many people claim that the only reason that’s keeping them from a healthy diet is that it is too expensive and they can’t afford it.
Well, if you consider buying smoothies, bio avocado and similar products then you are right. However, you can eat healthy on a budget – and it might be cheaper than the way you eat now.
As most unhealthy options – such as sweets, chips or prepared frozen meals – are pretty expensive, if you switch to healthier alternatives, you will save a lot of money on meals. And this is just one reason among many to try and start a healthier lifestyle!
4. Buy frozen, canned or dried
There has been debate whether fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables contain the same amount of nutrients. As we choose fruits and veggies because of their vitamin and mineral content, it is indeed an important aspect when shopping.
Well, the good news is that you can provide the same level of nutrients from frozen or canned options as well. But keep in mind that you should always read the label on the canned products to check the additives, and extra salt or sugar. But with that small note, you can save some money and still keep a healthy diet.
5. Go generic
You should keep in mind that the quality of well-known brands and the generic alternatives are not much different in quality. It can be hard to leave behind favourite brands, but in many cases, you couldn’t even feel the difference.
Of course, you can keep one or two favourites, however, you should think about trying some generic ones out as well. Who knows, you might even like them more!
6. Vacuum seal meat and freeze it
Buying in large quantities of certain foods can be a really smart way to save money on groceries. So if you eat meat regularly, you might want to buy it in bigger packs and freeze them in smaller portions.
7. Is it cheaper to eat out or cook?
The question is valid and really important to take a look at. Obviously, almost every time it is more expensive to eat out than to cook at home. The reason is that above the price of the food you have to pay for the service fees as well. So even in a cheaper restaurant, you will pay more.
This doesn’t mean that you should never eat out. But if you are trying to create a monthly budget for food, you should define how many times a month you can eat out. This way, you won’t spend more than how much was planned in your budget.
8. Use sales and coupons
Just like when you shop for clothes or shoes, you can and should look for sales and coupons in your local grocery stores and supermarkets. It might seem useless to save a few dollars, but after a month you will see a huge difference in your monthly expenditures.
Coupon.com is a website that offers many different types of coupons. There are many different kinds of coupons available. New coupons come out constantly.
Cashback apps and rewards credit card offers easy ways to save more cash on groceries. You can get more reward points by stacking your rewards. Double-dipping gives you even more reward points.
9. Buy and cook in bulk
Another useful habit worth trying. If you prepare bigger batches of food, you can buy bigger packs as well. Look for family packs they’re always cheaper than single packs, that is a smart move to reduce your grocery bill.
Also, you can always freeze the leftover which can come in handy on a busy weekday when you don’t have the time to cook.
10. Buy some vegetables frozen
As discussed before, frozen vegetables are just as nutrient-rich as fresh ones, so you can always keep a few packs at home.
These are the best Veggies You Should Purchase Frozen
- Vegetable Medley. A mixed bag of different veggies
- Brussels Sprouts.
- Butternut Squash
Enriching the soil with compost, dead leaves to make a garden soil ready for planting seeds. Use loam is a mixture of both clay and sand. Rich, crumbly loamy soil is best for growing plants. Composting helps to improve soil quality.
11. Shop with a Calculator
Sounds funny, right? You can save money by using a calculator when you are doing grocery shopping. Add items together as you go along then you know how much money you’re spending before you start buying groceries.
Before you start grocery shopping, you’ll want to use your calculator to figure out how much money you’re going to spend. This helps you stay on budget it is very useful to see how much you are about to spend.
Leave buying stuff instance snacks or sweets last can save some money and if you are over your food budget it’s easy to leave them out in the process.
12. Instead of canned beans opt for dried bean
As discussed above, buying canned vegetables can help you save money on your food bill. However, in some cases, such as legumes, buying dried beans and other legumes can be even better than the canned version.
Obviously, it will take longer to prepare but if you plan ahead, that shouldn’t be a problem.
13. Brown-Bag It
This goes back to the question of whether eating out or cooking is cheaper. As we discussed, eating out will almost every time be more expensive.
This is true when it comes to workplaces, so you might want to take your lunch with you instead of choosing the company’s cafeteria or canteen. With this simple decision, you will be able to save money on your food budget significantly.
14. Use a smaller cart or basket
It might sound funny, but similarly to using a smaller plate to eat less, it is a great trick to use a smaller cart when shopping. Also, you should always start with the most important ones and leave the least important items last.
15. Shop in Bulk bins
Buying from a bulk bin is generally cheaper than packaged food. Buying in bulk saves 20% of the regular price because you get more items for less money. Therefore, you might want to try it out to save money on food and groceries.
Also, having all the ingredients at home at all times will make your cooking habits even more efficient.
16. Buy in Bulk — Online
The best grocery items to buy in bulk are:
- Breakfast food items
- Canned food-Basics
- Kleenex, Cleaning and laundry supplies
- Pasta food
- Pet food
- Plastic Food storage bags
- Meat and Chicken
- Olive oil 5 liter gallon
- Diapers and hand wipes
- Protein bars
Buying in bulk’s main advantages are you make fewer trips to the grocery store and saves you travel time to and from the grocery store
17. Plant a Veggie Garden
Not only is it a great hobby that can keep you relaxed, but it’s also a great way to save money on groceries. If you only grow a few veggies, it is already a huge step! So don’t be afraid of it, even if you think small in the beginning.
Additionally, gardening improves your cardiovascular health, reduces stress, increases muscle tone, and improves your overall fitness. You’ll be more flexible and stronger than you were before.
Here are 8 Very Easy Vegetables To Grow In Your Garden at Home:
- Green Beans.
Growing your own food has many benefits. You get to choose what kind of fertilizer and pesticide comes into contact with your food. You also know exactly when to harvest your food.
18. Compare prices with Grocery Store Apps
Just like coupons, grocery apps are a thing! So you might want to download one and start checking out the prices of different stores. Yes, the difference is that big!
Try Instacart and Basket Savings apps allows you to compare prices from different stores. You can get groceries delivered to your door.
Wal-Mart App is not a price comparing app, but it helps you to find some items on sale in their store. There are no hidden fees for items listed on the app, therefore you’re getting great a deal.
19. Buy Prepackaged Only if You Need It
Similarly to eating out, buying prepackaged options is more expensive than buying the ingredients and cooking for ourselves.
Moreover, they are also healthier as home-cooked meals are free of additives and preservatives as well. So you might want to cut back on them as well.
20. Plan meals based on what’s in your pantry
If you get used to planning ahead, you should also start planning according to what you already have at home.
This is a smart way how to save money on groceries in Canada. You won’t end up wasting food and will also save on your food budget.
21. How to Save Money on Groceries in Canada – Buy Produce in Season
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, buy fruits and veggies in seasons because they taste better! Also, in-season produce is fresh as they have been picked and naturally ripened on vines or trees.
They’re cheaper because when farmers harvest in a large quantity, the unit cost of production goes down. When fruits or veggies are in season you have a wide range to choose from.
22. Shop online
Shopping online has many comfortable benefits, but it can actually be useful when it comes to budget-friendly options.
Not only do shops offer online discounts, but also you can see how much you have spent already – so you might get more cautious with the less important choices, like three packs of ice cream.
23. Get large bags of potatoes
Potato is one of the greatest versatile vegetable options and can be in many different ways. You can make soup, a huge variety of side dishes or even a main dish with it.
In addition, they can be baked or steamed, mashed, pureed, fried, roasted, grilled or boiled. So it is a great choice to buy it in large bags.
24. Grate Your Own Cheese
I know that it is really convenient and also faster to buy packs of grated cheese, especially on busy mornings when you have to prepare your sandwich before rushing to the office.
But is it really worth it? You should grate your cheese right before using it. Freshly grated cheese contains more nutrients than aged or processed cheese because it hasn’t been stored for long periods of time.
You could really save a fortune on buying cheese in a bigger pack and it also tastes better.
25. Pick food items from bottom shelves
You might know that in supermarkets and grocery stores, shop bottom shelves and outer aisles
With that strategy, you will find generic products on the bottom shelves. It is a great trick that is really useful to know. Stores use every part of their layout to make customers stock up more than what they went there for and even come back again for more.
27. How to Save Money on Groceries in Canada – Pay with a grocery rewards card
Here are the best cards to earn points on grocery purchases:
- These are the best cash back cards for groceries (tie) — Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite; CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite;
Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card
- This is one of the best card for Loblaws banner stores — PC Financial World Elite Mastercard
- This is one of the best card for Costco — MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard
In Conclusion to How to Save Money on Groceries in Canada
The best tip on how to save money on groceries in Canada is to always check out the website of your favourite brand for coupons. This way you can get free stuff. Join PC Optimum loyalty program in Canada to accumulate points and then get free groceries at their stores.