Feeling the squeeze at the grocery store checkout? You’re not alone. In fact, we’ve all experienced it lately. It’s the astonishing rise of food prices, with cereals and baked goods leading the way, and it’s making each grocery store bill feel like it’s a mile long. Mainstream explanations are many and varied, but the bottom line is this: food is more expensive than ever and Canadians are looking for ways to save money. Here are tips for stretching and strengthening your dollars at the grocery checkout.
1. Download Helpful Grocery Savings Apps
There are some very helpful, money-saving apps designed specifically for grocery savings to be found these days. Consider the following and if you have a favourite app, let us know about it in the comments on Facebook!
Grocery Cashback Apps:
A cashback app pays you a small amount back when you make a purchase at a specific retailer or anywhere. The cash back may be a specific percentage, or it can vary. Rakuten is one fairly reputable example.
Grocery Coupon Apps:
These are quite common. Instead of clipping physical coupons, you can use these apps to redeem digital coupons and discounts at participating stores. Your preferred grocery retailer may have one specific to their brand, and other apps will show coupons for a variety of grocers.
Grocery Flyer & Price Comparison Apps:
These apps help you compare prices for groceries across multiple stores so you can get the best deals at any point in time. Check out Savvy New Canadians to find and download these and many more.
2. Buy Private Store Brands
Private label store brands are often less expensive than national brands and just as good (and in some cases, identical). Grocery stores can produce their own private label foods (cutting out the middleman) or national brands sometimes bottle and jar your favourite products and simply repackage them as private.
Be sure to compare prices before tossing such products into your cart.
According to Statista Canada, an online platform offering comparative price analyses across a wide range of consumer product categories: “Private label products, also known as store brand products, are often a thriftier alternative to name brand goods. More often than not, the quality between the two is comparable. According to a recent survey, 80 percent of consumers worldwide report that private label goods meet their expectations, and 77 percent believe that private label goods deliver on their promises.”
3. Switch to Frozen
Generally, frozen food prices have managed to stay less expensive than fresh. The savings is in the storage, because frozen keeps longer.
Finding fresh veggies and berries too pricey? Then head to the freezer section for a viable solution. Buy and consume what you need, when you need it, without running the risk of spoilage.
The same is true for meat – chicken and beef are particularly expensive right now. Look for frozen alternatives that will last longer and keep your money from going in the trash. Or, buy your meat in bulk at a discount and freeze the extra portions.
4. Support Local Farmers & Makers
We live in Quebec, home to a thriving agricultural market. We don’t get all our groceries from the supermarket, especially when smaller local food distributors and producers can sell us locally sourced meats and poultry, bread, condiments, eggs and dairy products, as well as fresh produce in season and more.
We also buy some products in bulk if items are on sale, especially non-perishables and pantry items.
It may be a good idea to investigate what’s available in your neck of the woods to see whether some produce and other items may cost less than at the grocery store – the potential savings often depends on where you live, but you might be surprised by what you find. And supporting local businesses is always a good choice whenever possible. Good luck out there!