I hope you’re having a great day so far. I started mine with a run at the gym and a nice little weights sesh for the lower bod, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. I cannot wait to go back to working out with Mr Trainer again next week – I miss that hurts-so-good post-workout feeling!
Recently some of you sent me some emails about topics you’d like covered in fitness-related posts. If you’ve got any more, send them my way and I will start getting on these topics ASAP! For now, I want to talk about smart grocery shopping!
As you may already know, one of my many goals is to stick to a budget when it comes to groceries. I am probably the worst person to take advice from on this subject, but lucky for me, the lovely Internet holds a plethora of resources and tips. Being the kind and generous soul that I am, I’d like to share some of my learnings with you today. Since there is so much information out there, I’m thinking this is going to be a multi-part series. Watch for the rest next week!
Here are the first 10 top tips:
1. Figure out how much you actually spend. If you don’t know this, it makes it rather difficult to know whether or not progress is being made! Remember, the M in SMART goals means Measurable! Living in very close proximity to a grocery store, I’ve fallen into the habit of making little trips whenever I run out of something. I looked at my receipts from last month and it appears that 4 of these trips were made in the same week. Yiiikes!
2. Plan, plan, plan! Plan out your meals for the coming week before you go to the grocery store, and use a list. By only purchasing what is on the list, you’ll be less likely to browse up and down aisles that display foods you would like but don’t really need. As part of my grocery planning, I’ve signed up for weekly e-flyers from my 2 usual grocery stops. They arrive in my inbox on Thursdays, and I usually do my planning on Fridays. (I’ve noticed most chains change their deals every Friday). By doing this, I can compare what is on sale in which locations and make a list for each store. This is actually a hobby of my grandparents. However, theirs involves a one or two hour flyer-reading session for about 5 grocery shops, then they travel around and buy everything for as cheap as they possibly can. To me, this is a bit excessive because the money that they save on groceries is probably spent as gas. But whatever – it gives them hours of entertainment and I’ll probably be the same way when I’m 80.
3. Coupons can help you save money, but don’t use coupons for products that you wouldn’t buy in the first place. Similarly, just because a product is on sale doesn’t mean you need to purchase it. I won’t lie, I struggle with this one!
4. If you are going to stock up on an on-sale item, check the expiry dates before you purchase 10 boxes (or how ever many you’re going to buy). This tip reminds me of my grandpa, who at one time years ago must have purchased about 20 boxes of Raisin Bran because it was on sale. Guess what still sits in almost every dining room cupboard today?
5. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store, rather than browsing the aisles. This is because the products in the aisles tend to be processed and packaged goods, which are often more expensive than the items around the outside (produce, milk, eggs, etc.)
6. Don’t shop when you’re hungry!
7. Buy produce that is in season. Not only does it taste better, but it’s cheaper too. Even I, a watermelon-a-holic, draw the line when they hit $6!
8. Buy inexpensive protein rather than expensive lean cuts of meat. These include beans, tofu, legumes, and eggs. Lean ground meats are also usually less expensive than chicken or turkey breasts, steaks, etc.
9. Buy generic store-label brands, as well as bulk items when it makes sense. I’m a huge fan of Sobeys Compliments brand and it’s usually quite a bit cheaper than national brand products. As you know, I also love Bulk Barn. There is a bit of a trade-off made here between price and freshness, but I usually buy my spices there because I can’t justify having dozens of $4 spice jars on my spice rack!
10. Buy and cook in bulk. If it suits your lifestyle, buying in bulk can help you to save money – as long as the products get used. When you have more free time on the weekends, meals can be prepared in larger quantities and frozen in individual or family sized portions. Speaking of cooking in bulk….
The recipe I’ve created (which was originally adapted from a Whole Foods version) makes enough for 6 people, and I’m thrilled that I made the full amount because it is wonderful! Try it out and let me know what you think.
I’ll finish off with my questions for today and a little reading material for you…
- Do you have any top tips that you’d like me to include in the next part of my Smart Grocery Shopping series?
- Check out Best Health’s 9 Ways to Save Money on Groceries. Some of these are mentioned above, but there are a few other useful ideas as well.
- Are there any post topics you’d like to see in the coming weeks? Send them to eatspinrunrepeat (at) gmail (dot) com.