THUNDER BAY – Making ends meet is difficult for a growing number of people. Across Northern Ontario, grocery prices are a major portion of the average families budget. There are ways that you can work toward saving money that are actually pretty easy.
One of the best ways you can save money at the grocery store is in planning your shopping. Grocery shopping without planning will mean you purchase based on impulse. If you do meal planning, and study the flyers for what is on sale, you can plan out your week’s meals better.
Grocery Shopping with Pre-Planning
For example if turkey is on sale, you could go a Sunday night turkey dinner and have leftovers for meals or sandwiches. You could also make soup stock and have a hearty soup to enjoy.
Doing some meal planning, and pre-shopping scanning of flyers and specials can really help keep the grocery bill under tighter control. If you create a shopping list, you can plan your trip to the store better.
Another thing to make sure you do is never go shopping on an empty stomach. You are going to crave and want lots of snacks and ready to eat items.
Keep in mind that while shopping, the difference between prepared foods, and making it yourself can be very substantial. A classic example are hashbrowns. If you have a grater, you can make your own hashbrowns and with potatoes at about $2.60 for five pounds, each serving is quite inexpensive. Put a bag of pre-shreeded hashbrowns in your shopping cart and you will have spent the same amount for a small serving of potatoes.
The same holds true for fruit that is all cut up for you. Unless you don’t own a knife, you can save a lot by cutting up your own fruit.
One of the ways to save is deciding where you will buy certain products. Paper towels and toilet paper are often far less expensive at the pharmacy, compared to the supermarket. Watch for the sales on products like that which you always buy. Often they are on sale and if you stock up, you can save quite a bit.
The same goes for snacks. While people might try to deny they are going to nibble away on chips, chocolate bars and other ‘junk food’ the reality is may do. Making sure you have some snacks around the house will prevent you from having to make late evening trips to the convenience store and paying higher prices. The tough part will be not having those snacks right away when you get home.
Sometimes in the zeal of working to save money, people forget the little things that they like. That can mean extra trips to the store to get them, and usually at higher prices.
Check the flyers. Looking at the specials online at the stores in your area can be a great way of working a budgeted shopping trip.
You can also search on Google for online coupon sites. There are some really good ones out there, and while you don’t have to become an extreme coupon user, you can often save money by using coupons.
Taking a little time before heading to the store can make a big difference in your weekly shopping budget.