*This is a partial repost of a note I put on my facebook page back in September. ~ Judi
People often ask how do we live on a grocery budget of $250 a week, including diapers and toiletries, for 10 people? It takes a bit of planning, but we get ‘er done.
1. We scour the flyers every week. We will generally plan our meals around specials at the grocery store.
2. Shop with a list…stick to the list and don’t pick up convenience or spur of the moment buys.
3. Watch for specials on meat…often the stores mark things down the day before the new flyer comes out or at night before the store opens in the morning. You can get some great deals if you’re looking for them. Shane will often peruse the meat section on the evenings he goes out to get us milk and will often come home with a deal or two.
4. Stay OUT of the aisles…try and do most of your shopping on the perimeter of the store. If you notice, the meat, produce, dairy and bakery are all the around the perimeter of the store. We maybe go down only 3 or 4 aisles of the store on an average trip and they are usually for something specific. The aisles are where they get you most often with crap that you don’t need!
5. If you do go down the aisles, always look at the bottoms and tops of the shelves, they put the highest price items right at eye level. The less expensive alternatives are on the lower shelves.
6. Don’t buy brand name!! Most of the time your taste buds can’t tell the difference. Store brands are great value and MOST of the time are just as good. Of course there are a few things that we still buy brand of…some things are just not the same…just budget for them! One thing that we’re not compromising on lately is ketchup…we like Heinz much more than the store brand and will look for it on sale.
7. Eat less meat. The reason we get away with a lot of things is that we don’t eat a ton of meat. We do have it at every meal, but it’s small portions for everyone…it cuts down on cost. We fill up on vegetables and potatoes, pasta and rice.
8. Shop for vegetables that are in season! We eat a ton of root veggies in the winter because they are the cheapest. That’s good because soups and stews are great when the weather is cold.
9. Finally, we shop at discount stores, very rarely do we shop at Metro or Loblaws. Our favourite store is Food Basics. We find, for our menus, that they generally have everything we need. We will also shop at No Frills and Price Chopper, but we find those 2 stores are slightly more expensive that FB and try to only go there when they have really good specials.
Anyway, that’s how we are able to cut costs and I am sure I have forgotten some things. How do you cut costs at the grocery store?