What Can You Do to Manage Grocery Costs?

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Your wallet is getting a workout whenever you go grocery shopping. You’d like to give your wallet a break without having to go on a strict diet of canned beans and ramen noodles. Is there a way to do that? Of course. These are some tips that can help you manage your grocery spending a little better.

Follow a Budget

First things first, you should follow a budget. Seeing all of your monthly expenses listed out could make you realize that you’re spending far too much on non-essentials, like entertainment and impulse buys, and robbing yourself of funds better left to essentials like groceries.

Following a budget isn’t just a good way to manage your grocery money. It’s a good way to build other healthy financial habits, like building an emergency fund from scratch.

Without an emergency fund, you might not have enough savings to cover an urgent expense that shows up out of the blue. In that case, you can turn to a website like Fora for help. Through this website, you might be able to apply for a personal line of credit.

With an approved personal line of credit, you could use temporary funds to cover an urgent expense and then follow a repayment plan afterward. Once you put this emergency behind you, you should do your best to use your budget to build a reliable emergency fund.  

How Can You Start a Budget?

The easiest way to start is to download a budgeting app on your smartphone or desktop. Create your expense categories and see how well your guidelines work for you. You just might find it easier to manage your spending for the month, including the spending on your groceries.

Use Food Waste Apps

Plenty of products sitting on grocery store shelves get tossed into the trash, even if those products are still perfectly safe to eat. It’s a lot of food waste. To minimize this waste, many grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants have signed up with apps that allow them to sell products that would otherwise go into the trash.

One of these food waste apps that you should consider is Flashfood. Flashfood helps users find food items that are close to their sell-by dates in local grocery stores. You can snag discounts of up to 50% off. Another useful app is Too Good to Go. With this app, you can order a surprise bag from a grocery store for $4-$6 and get a handful of products that would’ve gotten tossed out. You can also use this app to get leftovers from restaurants.

Use Coupons

Clipping coupons was a tried-and-true way to save on grocery spending back in the day. It’s still a tried-and-true method, but you don’t have to clip them out of flyers anymore! You can find digital coupons and discount codes to save on your grocery haul. Some places where you can find digital coupons are Checkout51, Save.ca and Savealoonie.

With enough coupons, you can dramatically reduce your final bill when you’re grocery shopping.

Use Rewards Points

Some rewards cards allow you to use collected points to pay for your groceries. For instance, you mighthave a SCENE card. This rewards card is famous for letting you collect points and redeem them for movie theatre tickets. Recently, the card has expanded its services, allowing you to redeem points to cover grocery costs at participating grocery stores, including Voila and FreshCo.

Another rewards card that could cut your grocery costs is a PC Optimum card. With this card, you can redeem points to pay for groceries at participating stores, including Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Take Advantage of Price Matching

Have you heard of the term “price matching”? This is when a retailer decides to match the price of a product that a competitor sells. So, if the competitor is advertising a lower price, you could get the same deal without having to set foot in the competitor’s store. Several grocery chains across the country offer price matching, including No Frills, FreshCo and Real Canadian Superstore.

You can use an app like Flipp to find lower prices at other retailers and help you get those price matches.

Buying groceries shouldn’t feel this hard. Use these tips to make the shopping experience a little easier for you and your wallet to handle.