Five Ways To Save Money On Your Grocery Bill


piggy bank
How To Save Money On Your Grocery Bill

Have you noticed that the price of food is rising as fast as the housing prices in Vancouver? Well, okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you have to admit, food is not cheap.  When I’m at the grocery store, I have to stop myself from gasping at the cashier’s total and accusing them of overcharging me. I typically smile (a fake smile), pay, and discreetly check the bill while walking away. They are never wrong. 

We have to eat. And if we eat well, this means lots of fresh whole foods and not much junk food (such as the high fat, high sugar yummy food that we shouldn’t, but do, eat).  Our bodies will work better, we will have more energy and think smarter…. in other words, we will be “healthier.”  However, the not-so-good for us food is typically cheaper (think fast food take-out) than the good-for-us food (think fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese).   So what is the solution to this eat-healthy-affordable food dilemma?

We have to shop smarter.  We have to strategize and think of grocery shopping as a competitive sport where the goal is to eat and live well…without going into debt.

Here are 5 simple ways to help you save money on your grocery bill:

1.   Choose The Best Produce. Be Ruthless.

Pick the best produce

Choose what looks like the freshest fruit or vegetable in the pile.   It may require rearranging the food displays the produce folks work so hard to build.  You will have to be discreet.  Dig around, move things and find the best looking fruit or vegetable. Often they are at the back of the pile.  The produce staff like to move the older stock to the front because we tend to grab the first ones we see. This is how they rotate their stock.

When you find what looks like the ‘one,’ pick it up and inspect it carefully before you put it in your basket.  Avoid bruises, blemishes and signs of spoiling.  Take charge. If it looks slightly old, then keep hunting.  This way, you will purchase the freshest produce and it will keep longer, eliminate food waste and save you money. 

2.  Know your prices.  

If you know what you should pay for your
food, then you will not be tricked into buying products that claim to be ‘on
sale.’ For instance, I buy a type of coffee that always goes on sale. However, the
‘on sale’ price varies between stores. The one-pound bag can go as low as
$13.00 a pound. So when I see it ‘on sale’ for $16.00 I know I’m being duped.
If you know your prices (roughly, we can’t all be perfect) you can avoid being
ripped off. This requires paying attention to prices when grocery shopping.

3.  Look for sale signs.  

If you have the space in your home (and the
extra money) it’s worth stocking up on the deals.  Sale items are often at the storefronts, at
the end of the aisles or at the checkout counters.  However, you may have to hunt for them
because they aren’t always obvious. Don’t be fooled by signs.  Some stores advertise certain food items with
signs that are camouflaged as sale signs. 
However, if you look closely, the signs are only advertising the product
but not a sale.  Shopping can be as
intriguing as a detective novel.

4.  Search for the discount bins.  

Stores typically have them tucked away in a
corner.  You can find decent deals on
hard goods, such as soaps, tea, cleaning solutions, etc. 

checking food bill
Know Your Prices

5.  Bring your magnifying glass.  

Read the ‘best before dates’ before you buy,
especially on perishable items such as bread, milk and boxed lettuce.  Pick the package with the longest ‘best
before date,’ which is usually at the back of the pile (you are at an advantage
if you are tall or have long arms).  This
way, your food will last longer and you will not be throwing out as much. You’ll
save money in the long run and have more flexibility about when you eat your

There are many great ways to
save money on your grocery bill and these are just a few simple ideas.  It really boils down to shopping smarter. And
remember, the cashiers do not purposely charge you too much for your groceries! Real food is not cheap.

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