5 Tips for Sticking to Your Grocery Budget

recent survey stated that on average a Canadian household will spend over 10,000 dollars per year on their food expenditures. That’s quite a big chunk of money, especially if you come into financial difficulties.

Trying to make ends meet can be an all-consuming task, and it might seem like an impossible job to shop for groceries on a budget to help cut your bills, especially if you have a family to feed.

This article will tell you how to go grocery shopping on a budget, as well as give you some great tips to save money and tricks to help you stick to your budget on your next shopping trip.

Read on, and find out how you can make your money go further.


How to Stick to a Budget

Whatever your reasons for financial difficulty, sticking to a budget can help you alleviate some of the financial stress and help you reach your money goals. Learning to budget is an incredibly valuable tool, and with a little practice and perseverance, anybody can master it.

If you’re wondering how to budget groceries, here are some strategies that’ll set you up for success so you can jump-start your savings.

Be Strict With Yourself

Some people have strong willpower, and other people have to work at it, so this is easier for some people than others. One of the most important things you can do to stay on budget is to be strict with what’s on your budget grocery list. Once you have planned your list, stick to it.

Try to resist impulse buys on foods that have special offers. As tempting as these deals are, if the foods aren’t in your weekly plan, then skip them. Unless the glossy looking ‘buy one, get one free’ (BOGO) offer is already on your grocery list, resist buying them as you’ll end up buying foods you don’t need, nor have budgeted for.

Also, stores will often inflate the individual unit price to cover the cost of the free one.

Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry

If you shop on an empty stomach, everything looks delicious! It’s a good idea to go shopping on a full stomach so you’re not tempted to add unnecessary things, like snacks, to your shopping cart.

Also, a lot of the foods you’re tempted to buy are unhealthy choices and foods that you don’t need.

Clip Coupons With Caution

Similar to resisting the BOGO offers, be cautious of clipping and using coupons. At first, it can feel like you’re saving money. However, the flip side is that coupons may persuade you to purchase items not on your grocery list and otherwise wouldn’t buy.

If you’re lucky enough to find a coupon for an item you do need, then look for stores that offer double coupon redemption to give you extra savings.

Use a Calculator

Another way to help to stay on track with your budget is to calculate as you shop. Either take a calculator with you or use your smartphone to add up your grocery bill. This also saves any embarrassment at the checkout when you have to put things back because you’ve gone over budget.


5 Tips to Shop For Groceries on a Budget

When it comes to your grocery budget, whether it’s just for you or for your whole family, it can seem like a daunting task and enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Grocery shopping can indeed be more challenging when you’re on a budget, but the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice all your favorite foods. You can still create delicious and healthy foods with a little advanced planning and creativity. Here are 5 actionable tips that everyone who has a grocery list on a budget can do.

Plan Your Meals and Make From Scratch

Depending on how ambitious and organized you are, sit down at the beginning of the week, or every two weeks or month, and plan your meals. Your grocery list should include all of the ingredients that you need to make healthy meals and encourage you to only buy what you need.

Convenience foods are great, but you do end up paying more for them, and frequently premade food is filled with unnecessary sugar, salt, and fats. When you make meals from scratch, you know exactly what goes into it.

Also, try to use your imagination with leftovers. Get creative with leftover ingredients and create things like soups and casseroles that can be frozen and are perfect for quick meals, saving you from the need to buy ready-made meals.

Divide Your Shopping List

When you know which products you want to buy, divide them into perishable and non-perishable goods.

Non-perishable items like dried fruits or legumes with long shelf lives are perfect for buying from online retailers or your local store’s online site, where you can often save money.

For perishable items, buy only what you know you will get through so you don’t end up wasting it. Instead, look for frozen fruits and vegetables, which last longer. They are just as nutritious. Canned vegetables have been prepared and cooked in advance, so if you’re cooking meals from scratch, they can speed up this process.

Buy Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Season

When fruit and veg are in season, it tastes the best. Plus, it’s also at its cheapest. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also enjoy the most wholesome food on the market.

Find your local farm and buy direct from them. Plus, buying locally grown produce helps support your local economy.

Avoid waste by buying fresh fruit and vegetables at different stages of ripeness. Get a mix of some that are ripe and ready to eat, and some that will ripen in a few days. If you buy items in bulk, then you can also freeze them into smaller portion sizes.

If you have the space, an exciting project is to grow your own fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

Buy Foods in Bulk

You can buy items in bulk either directly through a farm, or using an online retailer. Items to buy in bulk are things like rice, pasta, flour, and different whole grains. You can also buy household items cheaper in bulk such as laundry detergent, cleaning products, and toilet paper.

Stock up on nonperishable items when they are on sale, but only if you have space to store them at home.

Another money-saving tip is to avoid portion-controlled snack packs if you’re preparing packed lunches for kids. Rather than buy individually prepacked items, buy one bulk item, and split it yourself. It’s much cheaper.

Know How to Store Your Food Properly

Learn the correct ways to store your food properly at home and help prevent waste from spoilage. For example, apples turn soft quickly if you leave them at room temperature, so are better kept somewhere cool, either in a basement or in the refrigerator.

Mushrooms last longer if they are kept in a paper bag instead of a plastic bag, and potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place and away from the onions.

You might also want to look at different ways of preserving foods, such as pickling.


Tips for Supermarket Shopping

Supermarkets have some sneaky tactics they use to usher us to buy certain things. Here are some things to be mindful of when you’re on your next shopping trip:

  • The most expensive items are usually put on the shelves where you can easily see and reach them, and you’ll often find the cheaper items on the higher or lower shelves
  • Choose foods with the longest best-before date, which are often towards the back of the shelf
  • Look in the “reduced” section and see if there are any foods on your list here first
  • Opt for store brands over the known brands, because they are often just as good quality at a fraction of the price
  • Compare the unit price for similar items to help you determine whether a large or small pack of an item is a better buy

Looking for More Money Advice?

Life is full of surprises, and none of us have a crystal ball to predict what’s going to happen. If you’re already shopping for groceries on a budget and are interested in other money-saving choices, then we can help.

Financial difficulties can hit us at any time. Unexpected bills such as car repairs, pet bills, or broken household appliances can leave us financially short with no warning.

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Get your online loan, paperless & fast.

Quick Personal Loans for Canadians :

  • No credit investigation
  • No documents required
  • Repay in up to 90 to 120 days
  • $500 short-term loans