Creating a budget for effective grocery shopping is challenging for a reason. Grocery stores (and many businesses alike) have a few tricks up their sleeves that keep customers shopping in their stores for as long as possible. One trick grocery stores use is placing essential items at the rear. It forces customers to go through a few aisles before arriving in the dairy section, for instance. Frequently misting water on produce is another tactic used by grocery stores. It gives off the illusion that vegetables are consistently fresh. Ironically enough, constantly watering produce makes it spoil at a quicker rate.
According to the CBC, nearly 58% of food produced in Canada goes to waste each year. It’s probably a safe assumption that many people aren’t planning
thoroughly enough before hitting the grocery store and likely wasting their money as well. Fortunately, there are a few ways to cut down on food waste in Canada. Here are a few tips on how you can reduce food waste by creating a grocery shopping budget that saves you more money.
Take Inventory of the Food You Already Have
Perhaps one of the most tedious aspects of saving for groceries is taking inventory of what’s already in your kitchen. Grocery stores have an everything-at-once feeling from the moment you step into one. With hundreds of items in each aisle, coming home with something you already have happens more often than we’d like to admit. Planning ahead can help cut down on impulsive spending. Conducting a quick inventory of what’s in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer before a trip to the grocery store or placing an online order can help avoid food waste and improve your budgeting process.
You can then use the amount of money you’ve saved to increase the limit on your grocery budget. Or, better yet, put all of the money you’ve saved into various savings accounts!
Plan Every Meal for the Following Week
Planning ahead can see you avoid many problems. In terms of making your grocery budget more effective, planning your meals for the week will make purchasing a breeze. Not only will meal prep make your budget easier to manage, but it will also reduce the likelihood of impulsive purchases.
Be Realistic with Your Budget
Being realistic means accounting for everything you’re going to purchase, even if it’s not the healthiest food. While cookies, ice-cream, burgers and pop don’t make up the healthiest diet, accounting for them within your grocery budget will reduce the cost of spending extra money on food throughout the week.
Think about it like this: would you rather buy boxed pizza for $3, or order one for $25 or more?
Go to the Grocery Store at the Same Time Every Week
Going to the grocery store at the same time or the same day of the week can be difficult for many, but regulating your time in the grocery store can allow you to make more calculated decisions. It also helps avoids the need to make multiple trips in a week.
Grocery apps like Flashfood can help make your trip to the grocery store a regular habit too. Since Flashfood is an app that directs the consumer to food and beverages that are near expiry, using grocery apps like Flashfood can help save you money regularly and eliminate food waste in the process. Taking a trip to the grocery store at the same time every week will help make taking inventory of the food you have and planning your meals on a weekly basis much more manageable.
This will also help make the aforementioned steps a weekly ritual.
Use a No-Fee Chequing with Unlimited Transactions
Using no-fee chequing accounts give you the free accessibility to use your chequing account as many times are you need to. Many no-fee chequing accounts offer unlimited transactions, that give you the freedom to make purchases at the grocery store each week at no monthly cost.
The other side of the coin shows that the average chequing account costs $180 a year, which is better spent on groceries rather than service fees.
Use Reward Credit Cards and Collect Points On Groceries
Almost every credit card offers a rewards program of some sort, and many grocery stores do as well. Using certain credit cards at grocery stores can see you saving money on your groceries too. For example, Loblaws offers PC Points and Optimum points on purchases made with a PC Financial Mastercard.
Another example is using a credit card for regular purchases that can earn you other rewards. For example, using certain travel credit cards will earn you rewards which you can apply towards future travel purchases.
But whatever credit card you use to purchase groceries, just make sure you pay off your balance each month.
Download the Flashfood app
Of course, we had to mention Flashfood app which offers 50% off on everyday grocery items like bread, milk, steak, and even chocolate cake. Once you download the app, you can zoom in on our area to find your local store. Click on that store and browse items, pay for them on your phone, and then pick it up in store. Save hundreds on groceries while minimizing food waste. #winwin
Ratehub.ca is Canada’s leading comparison site for mortgage rates, credit cards, bank accounts, investing products and insurance rates.