Life Money
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As you’ve probably noticed by now, food is getting expensive. Like really expensive.

Part of the reason for this is Canada’s weakening loonie, while another is the fact that our country imports the vast majority of its food. So, short of somehow fixing the Canadian economy, you’re probably wondering what you can do to keep costs down at the grocery store.

Luckily for you, we have some answers, thanks to Founder of Pretty Frugal Living, Amrita Singh.

The prep

When it comes to grocery shopping, Singh says to never leave home without a plan. The first thing you might want to do is check out flyer apps like FLIPP (or, if you don’t want to download apps, you can see local fliers here). The app is particularly useful because you can punch in your postal code and find sales at various stores in your area.

Then, you want to make a meal plan based around the sales in those fliers and the overall prices you see in store (Keep it simple: one or two ideas for each meal, and the ingredients should cross over). But first, open your cupboards and check what foods you already have on hand, to avoid doubling up. You’ve now saved before even leaving home!

Browsing the aisles

Once you’re in the store, avoid browsing too much. Studies show the music they play in grocery stores makes customers relax, meander and ultimately spend more money. Treat this like a time-sensitive task to stay focused, and listen to your own music if necessary.

For any essentials that aren’t on sale, compare unit pricing to find the best value. In other words, if a 6-pack costs $10 while a 12-pack is going for $18, you’ll know the 12-pack is the better deal.

Finally, check out money-saving apps like Zweet, which spares you the hassle of having to clip coupons. The way it works is actually really cool: new offers are loaded onto the app every week. When you see deals that interest you, go to the grocery store, buy them and snap a picture of your receipt. Within 24 hours, the savings promised by the app will be returned in the form of cashback.

The haul

After you’ve left the grocery store, you now have to ensure you’re squeezing the most life out of the food you’ve bought. We already have a guide on how to store foods in the fridge and freezer, but there are definitely some items that are worth an investment, according to Singh. The food saver might seem a little expensive, but it will save you money in the long run.

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