This week I will explain how our family practices smart grocery shopping in Canada. Groceries is a major expense for all families. For us, as outlined in our annual expenses, it was our 4th highest expense. In FI, groceries will be our #1 expense. So it’s important to always find ways to save and make this expense items as small as possible.
Here is a summary of how our weekly process goes:
STEP 1. CREATING A LIST OF PRODUCTS/ITEMS THAT WE NEED:
Creating my list is the first step to help me avoid getting drawn into sales or deals for things that I really don’t need.
STEP 2. USE COUPONS:
Use any coupons you have from purchasing other products or that you can obtain.
There are many websites that provide printable coupons or that will mail you coupons. I have used save.ca.
STEP 3. FIND THE BEST PRICE IN YOUR AREA AND PRICE MATCH:
You can do this by looking at the flyers that you get in the mail. I use a mobile application called Flipp. It is available for free in Apple or Google App Stores. Using a mobile app, I can search the products on my list and find out where that item is at the lowest price. Almost every item is on sale at one store or another. Using the Flipp app, I can save the referenced flyers.
At the store I use my phone as my flyer and ask the cashier to match any prices that I found that are cheaper in a flyer (of a local competitor). You can also bring all the paper flyers with you that you plan on referencing.
I shop at Walmart where the cashiers are very good and efficient at matching prices. Other major grocery stores also offer price matching as well.
STEP 4. COMPARE AGAINST STORE BRAND (NO NAME) PRODUCTS:
Once I have identified where the items are on sale, I will still compare them to the store branded products in the store. These items are not advertised in flyers but can often still be much cheaper than the name brand products even when they are not on sale. If the sale price “brand name” product does not provide any savings over a store brand, I will most likely still choose the store brand. This is because I don’t really see store brand products as being inferior and this helps us mostly stay with the same products when we shop week after week.
STEP 5. USE CASH BACK MOBILE APPLICATION:
There are a number of mobile applications you can sign up for where you can scan your receipt and claim a rebate after your purchase. Example: Get $0.25 back when you purchase bananas. To claim the money, you simply have to scan your receipt by taking a photo of it. Once you reach a certain balance on your account, you can request a cheque from the company. My favourites are listed below. You can check out their websites for more details or download the apps on your phone and start using them! I have already collected over $100 this year!
You can search these apps on your phone’s app store or check out their website.
Checkout 51: www.checkout51.com
Snap (by Groupon): snap.groupon.com
Using these 5 steps you can save hundreds on your monthly grocery bill!
Do you have any other tips or tricks to reduce your grocery bill? I’d love to hear them.