Updated: Jan 11, 2021
Here's the deal- this is going to take some work. Carve out an hour one day a week and get after it. We actually do a big Costco run at the beginning of month to set us up for the rest of the month. I typically grab bacon, eggs, milk, cereal, TP, bread, chicken etc. from Costco and thennnnn I divide what I have left from my budget and split that between the next three weeks at Superstore. This budget of ours does not include alcohol or eating out. Those are separate. I am tryingggg to keep our monthly spend to $1200 CAD for a family of 5. It's easily $1500 when I don't focus on it.
Here are some tips for your journey :)
Shop your fridge/freezer/pantry first.
Make your meal plans from this and supplement meals with your grocery order.
I prefer to online shop via Superstore once a week ONLY. You hear that? To save money you seriously need to plan your entire week. The major extra costs really come in when you start popping into Safeway to buy fresh fruits/breads and milk you ran out of.
Shop the sales/flyer. If you have time check out a few different flyers and compare prices. I know this sounds a bit annoying but once you start learning what things actually cost you will get faster at looking it over for things you actually need or could use.
If meat is on sale STOCK UP. My husband is a hunter so we have a freezer of meat thankfully. I do need to purchase chicken, deli meats, fish etc so when its on sale I try to buy multiples.
A tip to really save money is to shop once a week and then add a day. So, if you shopped on Sunday this week you wait until the following Monday (8 days). Then its the following Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday etc. This basically buys you an entire week of not getting groceries in the span of under 2 months! Talk about hundreds of dollars in savings.
There is an app called "Flashfood" I love using. I haven't used it as much since COVID, but I do plan to get back on that train soon. It's an app that posts sales (through a lot of grocery stores, but I use it to shop Superstore) They post food that is still in amazing shape but is closer to expiring. So, you get a whole box of fruit or mixed veggies for $3.50 or half a chicken for $3. Sometimes there is nothing I want or need listed and other times there are fruit, veggies, meat and breads I can freeze. The only thing with this is you do need to go in to the store customer service to pick up. Check it out! It's pretty amazing!
Plan a Meatless meal if you can once a week. My hubby seriously despises that but if he's away for work or working late I'll easily whip up some yogurt bowls for us ladies.
Please be kind to yourself too, I've noticed grocery costs slowly going up this last 6 months and the portion sizes seem smaller too...making meals stretch is probably more important than ever.
I leave one dinner a week unplanned for leftovers. Often there are left over chicken from a bbq the night before, extra salads, or finger foods kicking around. Our lunches are often a bunch of random leftovers. Sticking to a budget doesn't mean you get to make whatever you want whenever, and throw away food. Sorry to break it to you.
One other thing I was going to mention is this, time is also money sometimes. If you don't have the time to plan out your week or try and shop sales etc. then you will need to give yourself a bigger budget. When I stop allocating time and attention to my grocery spending I always overspend. Like, every single time.
I use a lot of Young Living cleaning products that are super concentrated. I basically use one bottle of household cleaner to wash all our counters, floors,toilets, table tops etc and that bottle is $37 and lasts forever. Like at least 6 months. That's around $6 a month on cleaners....not bad if you ask me. I will do some DIY posts this week in my instagram stories over @littlesandspice to show you how far one bottle of natural cleaner/laundry soap can go.
I'll keep adding things here as they come to me!