Ever stand at the cash register, nervously anticipating the final tally of your grocery order? Watching in disbelief as the total keeps climbing and climbing? It’s an all too common occurrence – especially with the seemingly insatiable appetites of adolescent teens in the nest!
While we can’t avoid eating, we can certainly use a few techniques to help us buy the same amount of food at significantly lower prices. Here are just a few of the more impactful cost saving techniques at the grocery store:
1. Shop For In-Season Produce: If you’re willing to be flexible with your diet, you can literally save 50% or more on fruits and vegetables. Buy what’s in season, and avoid what’s not. Not only will it save you money, it will open your diet to new and interesting foods – your kids may love it too!
If tangerines are selling at $3.99 a box, why buy raspberries at $3.99 for a small container? If apples are in season at $.89/lb avoid the pears at $1.99/lb. You can easily save 50% with this technique.
2. Buy What’s On Special: Instead of going to the grocery store with an idea of what you’re going to cook for the week, buy what’s on sale and make that the basis for your weekly meal plan. Chicken, beef, pork, fish are all on sale any given week. If Metro’s selling chickens at 2 for 1, make it for dinner twice that week – buy an extra and put it in the freezer.
3. Exploit Store Rewards Programs: Many grocery stores now offer some type of loyalty program, whether it be Metro, IGA or Loblaw. Most cost absolutely nothing to join and give you points on all your purchases, plus offer extra points on select items. Use it, it’s free money. Just scan your card and when the time is right, redeem for money off your grocery bill right at the cash.
4. Use Loyalty Programs: Another great strategy is to double dip with your loyalty card and a credit card from the same program. For example, you can collect Air Miles with your collector card at IGA and then ALSO use any AIR Miles credit card on the same purchase to earn even more Air Miles!
Also, look-out for loyalty programs that offer niche value. For example MList offers FREE deliveries at the Fletcher Metro store in Westmount. That’s a savings of $5 for each and every delivery. Do that over 25 weeks of the year and you’ve saved yourself $125!
5. Use Rewards Credit Cards: Did you know you can use a cashback credit card and get up to 5% cash back at the grocery store? Some cards offer 5% cash back promotions, others offer 4% cash back at ALL times! If you spend $250 a week at the grocery store that’s a savings of $520 a year on groceries alone.
Marc Felgar is a credit card expert & online entrepreneur from Montreal, QC. He is the CEO and founder of http://www.GreedyRates.ca, which helps Canadians find the best credit card through online comparison tools, filters, credit card reviews and the latest deals and offers in the marketplace.