Cooking with Alison

Archive for the ‘Grocery Budget Challenge’ Category

Grocery Budget Challenge – How to Shop in Bulk and Actually Save Money

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on October 11, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

A great way to save money on groceries is to buy in bulk. Typically, larger quantities sold as a single item have a lower per unit price. For example, a 6 pack of tissue boxes will likely cost less per box than a box of tissues sold separately by the same brand. Similarly, grocery stores will price larger packages of fresh meat at a lower price per weight than smaller packages of the exact same meat. That means that you get a better deal and save money over the long term by buying more in one shot. For this reason, purchasing a tub of yogurt is more economical (and environmentally-friendly) than purchasing individual portion-sized yogurt cups.

However, if you’re not careful, you could easily end up going over budget or wasting money and food. I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way and multiple times. I didn’t want to give up on shopping in bulk altogether and I certainly wasn’t willing to give up my Costco membership, so I created some rules for myself. (See my No-Buy List here, for some general grocery shopping rules.)

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Where to Buy Food to Save Money

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 31, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

One strategy to saving money on groceries is to be strategic with where you purchase them. Here is what has worked for me.

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Always Pay Attention When a Cashier Scans Your Items

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 12, 2016 at am

In all stores, items are regularly mispriced, scanners have reading errors, discount codes fail to apply properly, and cashiers make human errors. In rare cases, some businesses intentionally try to overcharge you for services or goods. So, I always pay very close attention to the prices that ring up when a cashier scans my items, especially when they need to apply coupons or discount codes. The same goes for restaurant checks. Also, don’t forget to see if a tip has already been added to your bill.

You’d be surprised by how often people get overcharged without noticing. I’m speaking from personal experience as well as previous retail experience. I felt compelled to remind everyone to be careful, because I recently experienced very poor customer service. I would have been ripped off had I not been paying attention and had I not known the store’s policies.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Healthier, Money-Saving Swaps

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on August 6, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

Saving money on your groceries can be really easy. For example, making a few simple changes to the items in your grocery cart can save you money and improve your health. Here are some of the best swaps that you can make.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Preferred Credit Card

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents, Reviews on July 20, 2016 at pm

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

Choosing the right credit card can help you save money on groceries (and other things). I use the Tangerine Mastercard, because it has no annual fee, it pays 2% cash back on up to 3 spending categories of your choice, and it pays 1% cash back on all other purchases. I chose groceries as one of my money-back categories. See below for more information.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – The No-Buy List

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on June 28, 2016 at am

This article is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the Introduction here.

A great way to eat better and save money is to avoid buying the items on this no-buy list. I use this list to help resist temptations when I’m in the grocery store, especially when I see great deals on tasty but unhealthy foods. No matter how cheap something is, consider it a complete waste of your money if it’s bad for your health. (Keep your eyes open for my upcoming post, How to Shop in Bulk and Actually Save Money, for the buying rules that I created specifically for bulk shopping.)

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Versatile Ingredients – Introduction and Staples

In Grocery Budget Challenge, How-To, Mind Your Cents, Versatile Ingredients on June 21, 2016 at am

This is the first post in the series, Versatile Ingredients.

I’ve been working on using up old ingredients in my pantry. To do this efficiently, I choose a single ingredient and give myself up to one month to use all of it. In order to make this challenge enjoyable (i.e. not having to eat the same dish every day), I’ve been experimenting with new ways to use familiar ingredients. I’ve learned so much and discovered so many new favourite recipes that I decided to start a new series, Versatile Ingredients. Each post will feature a different ingredient. To start, I’ve shared my versatile grocery staples below. See also, creative uses for avocados here.

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Favourite Apps and Websites for Saving Money on Groceries

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on June 7, 2016 at am

This article falls under the Mind Your Cents column and is part of the Grocery Budget Challenge series. See the introduction here.

Technology plays a huge role in how I get my best deals on groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. It’s ideal if you have a smartphone or a tablet, but a lot of these recommendations can be used with a desktop or laptop computer as well. If you’d like to see tips for getting the best deals on kitchen stuff (and everything else), see here.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Introduction

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on May 31, 2016 at am

The rate of food inflation in Canada is exceeding the general inflation rate and is estimated to increase by up to 4.5% in 2016, according to the 2016 Food Price Report released by The Food Institute of the University of Guelph. Meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are likely to be affected the most. Some of the main factors that affect the price of food include: climate, geopolitical risks, currencies and trade, etc. Considering some of these are likely to worsen over the long run, it’s as good a time as any to start maximizing your savings on groceries. With simple changes to the way you shop and cook, you’ll be able to reduce your grocery budget and increase your savings towards the things that matter the most to you.

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The Benefits of Gardening (and How to Get Started Even if You Live in a Condo)

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents, Random, Uncategorized on January 29, 2016 at pm

Despite living in a condo, I started gardening two years ago. I started gardening because a concussion left me with lingering debilitation, anxiety, and depression; I wasn’t able to do anything else and, serendipitously, a community garden opened up on my street. At the time, I had no idea that gardening would soon be responsible for a very positive turning point in my recovery process. I later learned that garden therapy, also known as horticultural therapy, is an effective supplemental therapy for all sorts of health problems. In the hopes of helping others, I’ve shared my personal experience, some research to explain the benefits of gardening, and a few tips for how you can get started. Don’t worry, you don’t need a backyard or a community garden to do it! As long as you have a sunny window, you can grow food! Note that although this article focuses on fruit and vegetable gardening, flower gardening can be just as beneficial.

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