How much should you be spending on groceries?
Rough rule of thumb dictates that you should be allocating somewhere between 10 – 15 % of your gross income towards a grocery budget.
Actually, the spending on groceries differs once you start have a family. And quite honesty, being single does take a toll on your expenses. If you have a family of four, your grocery bills could easily go till $12k annually.
What is the average grocery bill for 1 in Canada?
According to Nutritious Food Basket food cost calculator, any male in the age bracket of 19 to 30 in Toronto spends $300-ish monthly on groceries. Women in the same age bracket average $247.33 a month. These numbers could of course be different for you, depending on where and how you grocery shop.
However, the bare minimum which people usually have for groceries per month is something like $200.
How to save on groceries
But it never harms to cut back on your food spending. Because spending $300 a month becomes $3600 a year. And if you could cut your grocery spending by even $50, that would mean $600 annually!!
You what this means? MORE DARK CHOCOLATE!!
Listen to upbeat and energetic music
Its an old dirty trick – one which people don’t really notice or think twice about.
Supermarkets and groceries usually have slow, downbeat, and sad song playing on the speakers. Sometimes, they are so peaceful and relaxing that you feel like, “I feel so peaceful…oh is that my favorite peanut butter from Skippy? I’ll have it!”
Remove items from shopping cart if it crossed your budget.
Did you know that we are free-willed mammals who have a massive brain and can put back non-neccessary items from your shopping cart when it crossed your budget, hmm?
You ought be knowing by now about my obsession with dark chocolates. So when I go to buy staple diets like milk, butter, bread and eggs, and them chocolates leer at me, I run away.
Just shake it off.
Analyze the supermarket store layout
How does the supermarket store layout look like? It looks so huge right? Okay, okay, what’s the first thing you see when you enter the store?
I see chips and crunchies. And I love potato chips, especially those salty and onion cream ones. Do I take them? No.
If you know what the layout is like, you’ll understand how it plays with your mind to purchase tings which aren’t really needed.
Buy seasonal produces
Buying seasonal produces not only ensure that your food is fresh, but it also means that more people will buy it. Hence, the costs of these seasonal vegetables become lesser than it usually is in off-season. You can change your meal-plans according to what’s fresh in the season (plus market).
Save money on groceries app (cashback)
Grocery cashback apps are amazing! I don’t think I need to explain how they work, but the main points are these: you shop, you scan the bill, you get some cashback.
Different cashback apps work in Canada and USA, so here’s USA’s list first:
And the grocery cashback apps working in Canada are:
Here's how to save even more money in groceries
But sometimes it’s best to take extra measures to save money on your groceries… ’cause, emergencies pop up or you just had to go on a date or… whatever reasons you have. Here’s how to save even more money in groceries:
Take the no spend challenge
No spend challenges are actual lifesavers to me. I am the kind of budget-er who makes a budget, allocates specific amounts to each category of my expenses and then goes nutty cuckoo about it.
I mean, within 10 days of my salary, I had spent quite a chunk of my budget and was left with only CAD 12. And I still had 20 days more to survive.
So I do my pantry challenges- I east whatever is “leftover” in my pantry. That’s how I budget.
Round up your grocery budget
Let’s say those oven gloves (you need them) cost $23.43. You round it off to $24. This way, when you round off every little thing, you get a budget which looks easy to the eye and math and gives one room to breathe. Sammy (bestie) is extremely budget-y, she calculates all the cents and grocery bills over the month and feels relieved to know that she is still within her budget.
Besides, if you do this religiously, you will suddenly realize how pennies add up and how much on an impact do they throw on an annual basis.
Which brings us to the next point..
Don't give in to "2 for $2, 5 for $3 etc"
About the pennies adding up…
Best example : FAIRY LIGHTS. During Christmas. Ah so cheap and sweet deals!!
Might as well take it….
But you live in a one bedroom apartment.
What do you wanna light up, girl? The bathroom when you are peeing? I most certainly wouldn’t enjoy blinking yellow lights in the middle of night!
You get the message. If you don’t need it, if you don’t see any use of it after 6 months, don’t buy it. Seasonal clothes are fine, for they are here to stay for an eternity.
Order groceries online
Now, how many of you guys here love to order groceries online? I absolutely do!
Besides, its better than going to the store, listening to soothing music and buy more than what you actually need.
The beauty of ordering groceries is quadrupled. If you have kids who love to throw tantrums over kinder joys or all the colorful objects so conveniently placed at their eye level, order groceries online.
If you have a project deadline and are gonna be broke by going to your local store, order online. Make a list, stick to the list and order.
Try going meatless twice a week
If you go meatless, you save money. No-brainer right? But if you love meat as much as you do, you would probably kick me in the shins.
So let’s put it this way: go meatless twice a week. I do it on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
This not only keeps a check on your cash flow, but also allows you to have ’em healthy greens, even more preferably greens available this season.
Buy generic brands mostly
When you buy generic brands (mostly), you save a lot. See for yourself.
With $8, I would buy heaps of Taco seasoning! (I love to mix them in whatever I prepare!).
And this is just one recipe.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eating more fruits and vegetables not only makes your body healthier and fresher – but also detoxes your body. Besides, it also makes the detoxifying process lighter, faster and easier..
Stockpile and skip a grocery store altogether
I know that I’ll be needing loads and loads of rice, because my staple diet consists of rice. So if you come over my place anytime, you will see nice big containers containing rice and pulses.
I also have a heap of noodles, two kgs each of cornflakes and oats stacked in my bed storage box. I also have a stockpile of “stuff” for that time of the month, for at least the next six months.
Don't shop hungry!
This is the oldest of the oldest battle tricks in the book of “how to make a grocery budget”. When you shop hungry, you are a monster. When you are a monster, you will ravage the first thing in the grocery store (or soul) you see.
Don’t be that guy.
Waste less food
Every Canadian, on average, tosses away 170 kilograms of food, according to a report released earlier this year by the Commission for Environmental Co-operation, an environmental watchdog agency set up under NAFTA.
Aaaand that’s how to save money on groceries! I hope I have been enlightening and entertaining as well. Have you tried any of the above grocery shopping hacks? How was it? How much did you save? Do let me know in the comments below.