Grocery Shopping Tips that will Save you Money

Make Wise Choices

  • Shop on a full stomach – you’ll buy less snacks and/or things you don’t usually buy (and only buy groceries, not gifts, at the grocery store!)
  • Go armed with a list – and stick to it (especially if your kids are “helping”)
  • Plan your meals for the week before you shop and then buy what’s on the menu – start with planning for 3–4 days if all week seems too much
  • Shop only once a week – you’ll tend to spend more if you stop at the store every day or several times a week
  • Shop when you have energy and aren’t worn out from a busy day – it’s easier to focus and make wise choices when you’ve got energy and aren’t preoccupied
  • Return your bottles and cans for the deposit that you paid
  • Shop in familiar stores when you’re tired, stressed or in a hurry – you’ll find what you need and be able to get finished quickly

Plan Ahead

  • Plan meals so that you have leftovers for lunch the next day – or freeze leftovers for a quick meal another day
  • Package your own treats, juices and snacks – buy the large package and box of baggies and make your own individually wrapped packages to grab on the run
  • Buy less canned and packaged convenience foods – also shred your own lettuce and cheese (cheeses often freeze well too!)
  • Clean out your fridge and cupboards once a month – use up what you bought
  • Organize your food storage cupboards and drawers – if you don’t know what you have or can’t find what you bought, you’ll end up buying more of the same unnecessarily
  • If you stock up, watch expiry dates and package the food to preserve it as long as needed
  • If you buy large packages or meat, pre–cook or marinate it and then freeze it to speed up meal times – if you know you’ve got food ready at home, it’s less tempting to eat out
  • Spend some time once a week washing and/or cutting up fruit and vegetables – this will speed up dinner and lunch preparations and provide healthy snacks that are ready to go

Shop and Save

  • Don’t buy snacks on the run – they are often less healthy and more expensive
  • Get creative and try new foods – you may find less expensive food that you enjoy as well!
  • Shop with a calculator and add things up as you put them in your cart – it will help you stick to your spending plan
  • Learn how to cook or bake – hit up a family member for help or take a class
  • Buy non–food grocery items like detergent or garbage bags at a discount store
  • Only buy what you need and can afford; 3–for–1 is only a good deal if you can use three
  • Price check and shop around for discounts on items you buy regularly
  • Remember that smaller sizes can sometimes be a good deal
  • Don’t automatically overlook no–name or store brands
  • Even if it’s “on sale,” it’s only a good buy if you will use it!

* This entire document and its related topics are available as a PDF download for printing and offline reading.