Smart Shopping: Your Guide to Saving on Groceries in Thunder Bay

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Does your family gather together around the table at least three or four times a week?
Does your family gather together around the table at least three or four times a week?

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – In today’s world, keeping grocery bills in check can be a challenge. Heck NO! It is a challenge. Prices seem to keep going up, packages seem to get smaller all the time.

But fear not! There are plenty of savvy strategies to stretch your food budget further.

Here is a simple guide to saving money on groceries:

1. Plan Your Attack

  • Meal Planning: Create a weekly meal plan to avoid impulse purchases. Build your list around what you already have in your pantry and fridge. Start with looking at the flyers, what is on sale? If chicken is on sale, plan a week of feather free chicken recipes.
  • Check Flyers: Browse weekly flyers from your favourite stores. Flipp is a great digital tool for comparing deals across different stores.
  • List Master: Stick to a detailed grocery list. This will help curb the temptation of those alluring but budget-busting extras.
  • NEVER go to the grocery store hungry! Every thing you buy will be with an eye to snacking right away.

2. Where the Deals Are

  • Price Match: Many stores in Thunder Bay offer price matching. Bring in competitor flyers to snag the lowest price.
  • Discount Stores: Check out stores like Renco Foods for great meat deals, or No Frills and FreshCo for low prices on staples. Never miss the local shops, Westfort Foods, and Skafs.
  • Bulk Wisely: Bulk buying can be a savior, but only for items you use frequently and that won’t spoil. Consider splitting large quantities with friends or family.

3. Strategies for Savings

  • Coupons: Don’t underestimate coupons! Check websites like websaver.ca, store apps, and even the back of product packaging for potential savings.
  • Loyalty Programs: Store cards and Air Miles offer rewards and personalized offers, which can add up over time.
  • Seasonal Buys: Shop for fruits and vegetables that are in season. You’ll often find better prices and better flavour.
  • Embrace Generic: Store brands often taste indistinguishable from the pricier counterparts, and the savings can be significant.

4. Smart Habits for the Long Run

  • Minimize Waste: Plan meals to use up leftovers creatively and learn proper food storage techniques to make produce last longer.
  • Garden Goodness: Have a green thumb? Grow your own herbs, tomatoes, or other veggies for the freshest, most cost-effective ingredients.
  • Meal Prep: Cook in batches on the weekend. Freeze portions for quick and easy weekday lunches or dinners.

Additional Thunder Bay Resources:

  • Food Banks: If you’re struggling, know that help is available. Contact local food banks to find support in your area.
  • Community Kitchens: Some community centres offer cooking workshops and low-cost meals.

Remember, saving money is a marathon, not a sprint. Small changes, over time, will make a big difference to your food budget and your wallet!

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