3 thrifty tips for grocery shopping

There's no reason to be spending more than you should for essential food items. Here are three thrifty and creative tips to help you save money the next time you go grocery shopping.

3 thrifty tips for grocery shopping

1. Food-shop just once a week

If you're hooked on impromptu food shopping, break that expensive habit right now. Simply attach a magnet-backed notepad and pen to your fridge and the moment a food container runs empty and needs replacement, add it to your list.

  • This simple discipline will have a major impact on your family budget. When you don't keep a list, you're likely to drop into the store for one item here, two items there.
  • Instead, establish a time each week that you can go to the store when you have time to focus on your shopping and you aren't in a rush.
  • Be sure to take your list with you on your way out the door. Supermarkets executives love it when you don't keep a list: the more often you go into a store, the more likely you'll pick up unnecessary items on impulse.
  • Also, when you buy goods on the spur of the moment, you'll probably pay full price for them, since you didn't have time to look for a sale or wait for one to arrive.
  • In addition, the more trips you make to the store, the more gas you burn, which adds an invisible cost to your groceries.

2. Hit the farmer's market late in the day

Farmer's markets are great places to buy fruits and vegetables — the produce is fresher because it's grown close to your home. And when you show up at the right time, you can take home your favourite fruits and veggies at a steep discount.

  • Late in the day sellers are faced with the prospect of carting home or throwing away unsold merchandise. They hate having to do that. As such, they're likely to sell you their remaining items at a reduced price.
  • To find one in Canada, search online for "farmer's markets" and your province's name.

3. Get the smallest carrier possible

If you're going to the supermarket to buy only one item, refrain from getting a basket. If you're only buying three items, get a basket, not a cart. Only get a cart if you're picking up a bunch of items.

  • When you venture into the store knowing you're going to have to carry your purchases up to the counter, you are less likely to make impulse buys.
  • Since you've already scouted out the bargains in the sales ads and made a list of the items you need, you shouldn't be buying more stuff anyway, right?

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