Monday, March 23, 2015

How I Save Money On Groceries

I feel like my life is one never-ending trip to the grocery store.  I hear that when you have teens they eat you out of the house.   I think I'm in big trouble because it amazes me how much my three little ones can eat so much already.  I constantly hear, "I'm hungry."  Sometimes, they say it while they are still CHEWING!!!!

That being said, I am constantly looking for new ways to save at the grocery store. I read one story on how a family known as "America's Cheapest Family" only goes grocery shopping once a month.  They take walkie talkies, a massive stack of coupons, and takes 4 hours and get everything they need for the next month. Although I am impressed as to how they save money by doing this, we buy a lot of fresh produce that requires us to grocery shop at least once a week, and sometimes even a produce run in the middle of the week.  So kudos to them, but this method unfortunately will not work for my family.

Here is how I save money on groceries.

1.PC PLUS Points Card

I've always loved the PC points program but it just recently got even better.  Everytime I shop at No Frllls (it also works at Independent Grocer and Loblaw's, s well as Royal Canadian Superstore) I get points every time I grocery shop.  It is connected to my bank card at PC Financial (free banking, oh yeah) but you can now get a separate PC points card if you don't have a PC Financial account.  Their newest addition to the program allows you to go online and upload offers that give you more points depending on the product you buy.  New offers are available each Friday.  These points are turned into cash towards free groceries.  It doesn't take long to rack up points on this program!

2. Price Matching

I used to be scared to price match.  I didn't want to be THAT customer, you know?  Then I decided if being "THAT" customer saved me money, I should get over my fear.  Turns out, if you re really organized, it isn't a big inconvenience. And I notice quite a few people do it.  I circle my products of what I am price matching and try to group them together at the end of my order to make it easier.

3.  Coupons

So, I've watched those shows about those extreme couponers in the US.  Couponing in the US is very different than here in Canada.  But there still are savings to be had.  Especially if you use your coupons when the product is on sale.  Sometimes you can even luck out and get a product for free!  Here are some coupon sites for Canadians:

Along with online coupons, there are coupon inserts that come with the weekly flyers, tearpad coupons in the store, or coupons attached to a product you buy.  You can also contact some companies directly and ask about coupons.  Some companies willl send them to you.  A popular one is Chapman`s Ice Cream.  If you e-mail them, they will send out a coupon for $4.00 worth of Chapman`s products, and you can request this coupon once a year.  Free ice cream, anyone?

4.  Buy discounted products

I often buy meat that is discounted because the expiry date is either that day or the next.  As long as I freeze it when I get home, it is fine.  I also buy discounted bananas that I use for smoothies or baking.

5.  Go by yourself and be prepared

This is a big one. I know this isn't possible for everyone, but if you can leave the kids at home, do it.I go grocery shopping at weird hours because I will have a much more productive trip if I am able to leave the kids at home with my husband.  This prevents me from buying things I don't need, including a stop for Timbits to keep everyone full and happy.  Also make sure you are prepared.  Make sure you don't go on an empty stomach, and bring your water bottle. :)

6.  Shop the Flyers and Meal Plan

I shared in this post how I make meal plans (as well as a printable template).   I try to plan my meals with what is on sale in the flyer that week.

7.  Cash rebate apps

I have a cell phone for two reasons - to text message people AND to save money with my apps. Seriously, to save money I spend 10 dollars a month on that thing and I don't have the phone function working. To use the rebate apps you upload your receipt after you shop, check off the offers in the program of what you bought, and it gives you cash back.  You need to hit a certain threshold before you can cash out, and for me this is a slow way of earning because I refuse to buy products I wouldn't usually buy, but in my opinion, every little bit counts. Here are some of the rebate apps I use.

Checkout51 -by far the best one for me

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to save on groceries.  Even just starting with a few of these changes can help.  I have seen it make a difference in our grocery bill significantly.

Peace & Love. :)

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