Who doesn’t like to save on their grocery bill? Researchers at the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University estimate that food prices are expected to rise between 2-4% this year, with Statistics Canada forecasting fresh vegetables rising as much as 12.7% and meat by 3.8%.
It’s incredibly easy to overspend on a grocery haul. When it comes to meal-prep and shopping, implementing some simple money-saving practices can provide major savings on your monthly food expenses.
A survey conducted by Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in partnership with Angus Reid, found that 53% of Canadians intend to change their habits around purchasing food to save money. For 48% of respondents, looking for discounts at grocery stores was how they planned to reduce costs.
Use these 8 tips as a guide to saving money while you grocery shop:
Avoid shopping on an empty stomach.
Food products look much more appetizing when you are hungry. Have a snack or meal before heading to the store to make wiser purchasing decisions.
Make a shopping list.
When shopping without a list, it’s easy to build meals in your head as you browse, rather than buying what you actually need. Plan out your meals ahead of time and build a list based off of those plans before you head to the grocery store. reebee’s shopping list feature allows you to save deals right from digital flyers to your personalized in-app list.
Limit your trips.
Just lowering the number of grocery trips you make in a week can reduce food costs. It can become a habit to stop by the grocery store to grab extra items or satisfy a craving, but it’s best to try to enjoy what you already have in your fridge and get creative with fresh food that needs to be consumed.
Consider your energy levels.
Avoid shopping when you’re tired after a long day at work. When tired, it is more likely consumers will make impulsive purchasing decisions – often choosing the convenient option, rather than one that is more cost-efficient but takes longer to assemble. Easy-to-prepare meals often cost more and are less nutritious. Shop when you have adequate energy and can make smart choices.
Don’t buy more than you need.
Unless you’re hosting a dinner party or large gathering, buy only what you and your family will need for that week. Ensure that you’ve eaten (or have a plan for) all of the fresh food in your fridge and cupboards before you go out and purchase more.
Creativity is key.
Although they may save you time, ready-to-go or frozen meals can be costly and are often low in nutrients. By getting creative in the kitchen, you can jam-pack your homemade dishes with healthy ingredients and save money.
Learn how to cook.
Buying frozen foods or dining out because there is nothing left in the house can quickly become an expensive habit. There are many recipe blogs, cookbooks, and easy-to-follow guides online that will have you cooking like a chef in no time. By cooking for yourself, you can create nutritious meals and cut costs. Buying ingredients and doing the assembly yourself is often cheaper than buying meals ready-made.
Buy in bulk (but have a plan).
Never miss out on a good deal. If there is a sale on beans or pasta, and you know you and your family will go through them quickly, buy a high quantity to take advantage of the sale. However, always be sure to use the ingredients you stock up on so that nothing goes to waste.