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Are groceries eating up too much of your monthly budget?

Canadians spend an average of around $200 a month per person on food bought in stores, according to Statistics Canada. For a family of four, that’s a minimum of $800 a month on food. That number was definitely higher in our household prior to finding FreshCo!

With daily household expenses increasing by the year, how can we stay within our budget for groceries? Spending less on groceries doesn’t mean giving up on healthy food choices. If you shop at FreshCo, you can easily lower your bill.

Here are a few ways to lower your grocery bill:

Skip the Prepared Meals

Ditch the processed food, snacks and prepared meals. If you’re buying pop, candy bars, chips, and TV dinners, your bill will likely be much higher.

Cut back on prepared meals, even if that means you’re spending more time cooking your own food. But the effort can be well worth it for both your wallet and your waistline.

Here are a few quick meal ideas:

Cut down on meat

Another larger grocery expense is meat. Canadians spend nearly 20 per cent of food budget on things like red meat and chicken (and only 3.5 per cent on fish and seafood), according to StatsCan. Choosing more legumes and grains is another way to get enough protein in your diet, without sacrificing your bank account. Beans, lentils, chick peas and brown rice are great sources of protein and vitamins, and FreshCo offers a great assortment. The prices at FreshCo are also considerably lower than other grocery stores.

Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill

Shop in-season produce

Fruit and vegetables take up almost 24 per cent of the average Canadian’s grocery list. There’s no need to cut down on healthy fruits and veggies, but the trick is to buy more that are in-season. Costs go down when apples and strawberries in your grocery cart are grown locally, rather than from Mexico or the United States. You can always load up on local berries and freeze some to use later.

When our fruits and vegetables are in-season, we do a lot of preserves; we make our own tomato sauce in August, as well as grill and freeze peppers. I also roast, puree and then freeze both squash and pumpkin. I also poach flat beans and romano beans, and freeze for the winter months.

During the winter months, you can load up on frozen fruits and vegetables, which are just as nutritious as fresh.

Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill

Make a meal plan

Another biggie when budgeting for groceries is having a plan for the week. Write a list of what meals you’ll be making for the week, then come up with a grocery list. Try to stick to the list! I find that even if you go off of the list at FreshCo, you’ll still find you’re getting a great deal compared to other grocery stores.

What I love about FreshCo, too, is the international foods section; they have an amazing international foods aisle. I can find specific Greek, Italian and Asian food items here for my favourite dishes, without having to go to a specialty store. FreshCo also has a good a gluten free and organic section too!

Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill

Check the flyers

I tend to look at FreshCo flyers before I head to the store, noting the specials of the week. Sometimes I base my meal plan around the specials! If chicken breast happens to be on sale this week, I’ll make a few chicken dishes and then freeze some for later as well.

I also note the specials for pantry items as well. Stocking up on staple items that always end up in your cart will give you considerable savings.

Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill

 

Ways To Lower Your Grocery Bill | amotherworld | www.amotherworld.com

Author

Maria Lianos-Carbone is Publisher/Editor of amotherworld. Follow her on Twitter @amotherworld and @lifeandtravelca.

18 Comments

  1. Sheila Siverns Reply

    Freshco is great for produce and grocery items, but their meat cuts are less than desirable. Most of their meat looks like it is going bad.

    • You forgot to mention that you match prices at Freshco, if you show the flyer where the item is on sale. That’s a wonderful service that saves me time and money.

    • if you think the prices are high now just wait until the minimum wage goes up to $15 an hour then you will really see the prices sky rocket. Who do you think is going to pay for this ……certainly not the retailers.

      • If anyone hasn’t noticed, prices are already going up in preparation for the raise in wages. Which I think is disgusting.

  2. Victoria Ess Reply

    Great tips! This is one of my favourite places to grocery shop!

  3. Steven Byers Reply

    Cutting down on meat is pretty hard- I’m a carnivore at heart! However, I can cut down on the processed food. I like homemade food better, anyway. Thanks for the sharing your tips 🙂

  4. DEBORAH Robins Reply

    Food bills are still high! The cost of living is high ie insurance car/life/home/health….! I , too, base my meals around what is on sale that week. I know my prices and use my app (ree bee) to get the best price. I found that if you follow the Mediterranean diet you will not crave the “processed stuff”. I am on a fixed income and need to stretch my dollar as far as I can. In Texas, some stores have promotions ie for one low price you get a beautiful chicken and all the fixins to cook up a great meal for 5-8 people for one low price of 6-7 dollars. You can purchase a bag of chicken (all the parts) for $2. I think Canada can do better with their food prices.

  5. Overall, their prices are not that much different from most other grocery stores. Buy and stock up on whatever is on sale at any grocery store – Freshco is NOT a good deal store! They don’t have good selection of fresh meat. Not to mention, they rush you through the checkouts claiming that they keep their costs down by getting you to pack your own groceries – whether there are any other customers in line or not! The kids working at the cashes seem to love to say sorry we don’t help with that and it saves you $… BS! Its just as fast for them to put the food items in a bag than it is for them to shove it down the conveyor belt… And then if there are other customers in line behind you, the cashier is rushing you to pay and pack your groceries as fast as possible to make room for the next people’s orders which he/she is shoving through as quickly and with as little care as they did yours! I don’t have a choice but to shop at Freshco unfortunately as it is the only grocery store in my neighborhood… Makes grocery shopping a horrible experience! I always leave there regretting that I am spending my $ in this kind of store.

    • I really agree with you on that Chris. I find No Frills is the same way…Both stores their meat selection is highly over priced

  6. My question is no frills closed down in Hamilton west mountain rumours are that Fresno are opening in its place if you are your taking your sweet time as this was in November 2016 can you say yea or nay

  7. Muriel Sperling Reply

    I always shop at Fresco. They price match and prices are cheaper than most places. I would recommend Freshco to anyone.

  8. I prefer to go to a butcher, or Asian supermarkets with butchers. Ground beef or chicken breasts and all other food items, I will buy at Freshco.

  9. Went to a Fresh Co the other day with my 88 year old mother to do some shopping for her. Big signs all over the store “We will not be under sold”. Tried to price match with a Shoppers Drug Mart and was told they don’t price match them, Only Giant Tiger down the street, which is across from the Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, which is always over priced and the Wal-Mart which is in the next town. So much for never being under sold. The quality of produce was at best average.

  10. Rose Bechard Reply

    We need a FreshCo in Chatham Ontario desperately.
    We have an empty Target store waiting for you .
    Please consider it.Good area on Grand Ave.
    Thank you.

  11. Bonnie Adams Reply

    I go to Fresh Co for the specials. Like any of the grocery stores, only way to save money. Don’t like their meat, though used to be better & if u hit a day when they ‘re discounting, good buys to be had.
    The customer service is good – I bought 8 hams there a few years back – returned them as fibres had broken down & mushy. They refunded my money after several months. Dont know any stores that would do that. Still dont buy those – Compliments brand – tried again recently & still not good.
    Good prices on floral & I buy my xmas tree there every year. Balsam Firs last forever.

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