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More Ways to Save on Groceries

This is the second part of a post on how to spend less money on your grocery bill. This post focuses on where to shop, how you shop, and how to store your food. We hope these tips help you to feed your household and feeling satisfied with flavour.

 

1. Switch-up your grocery store

How do you know that you are getting the best deals at your usual grocery store? It might be worth it to see if other stores sell what you need for less. Try to keep a record of how much you pay on items, so that you know a good deal when you see it. Remember that buying food at any grocery store is almost always a more economical choice than ordering prepared food or eating out. 

 

2. Buy ingredients that you can use for multiple recipes

One way to get more out of groceries is to use ingredients for multiple recipes, instead of buying special ingredients for each new recipe. There are a few ways to do this:  

  • If you plan to buy an ingredient for one recipe, and you expect to have leftovers of that ingredient, plan other recipes this month with that ingredient. For example, you can use cabbage in tacos, stir fries, and coleslaw too. 
  • If you have excess of an ingredient left over, use it in a recipe. Example: use the rice you have when a recipe calls for quinoa. Use your freezer as much as you can

 

3. Use your freezer as much as you can 

If you have access to freezer space, it’s a great way to save time and money on meals. A few ways to use your freezer are: 

  • Store food from the frozen aisle, which often cost less than fresh food. 
  • Store food that you have bought on sale. Freezing gives you more time to use it before it goes bad.  
  • Tip: Remember that some foods require preparation before freezing (blanche certain vegetables, cut meat into usable portions instead of freezing them into one big chunk). 
  • Prepare meals and freeze for quick meal preparation. 

 

4. Shop clearance and “rescue” foods (with caution!)

Aside from shopping for products marked at discounted prices, there are also two smartphone apps that facilitate “rescuing food”. The Too Good to Go app helps to reduce food waste by connecting shoppers to surplus food from grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes at a discounted price. Another great app is Flashfood, which helps customers buy food at select grocery stores nearing its best before date at a discounted rate. 

Word of caution: Make sure the food looks safe to consume before you purchase off the shelf. For example, make sure meat is not grey, and produce is not moldy. Dented or damaged cans or sealed packages can further increase risks of contamination. This FDA source provides guidelines for safely purchasing surplus, salvaged, or donated foods. Check out this source for more information on food safety. 

 

5. Store food in smaller containers

Many people buy foods like oil and chips in bigger packages, to spend less per litre or gram. Although they save money per unit of measurement, seeing an abundance of an item might lead you to be more generous with measuring out the ingredient. So, you might use ingredients faster and use more than what you need for a dish. 

Two ways to counteract this, while using enough of ingredients: 

  • If you buy oil in a larger jug, for example, use a funnel to transfer it to a smaller container, so that you might be more careful pouring from a smaller bottle. 
  • Portion ingredients by volume or weight, instead of “measuring with your heart”. This works well with recipes that are new to you. For example, you might not know how much vinegar is enough for a salad dressing. 

Spending less money on groceries is just one way to save up for an emergency fund. Join the Momentum Savings Challenge to boost your savings, with cash incentives for participating! Find out more here. 

 

Contributed by Ruth-Anne Klassen

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