Budgeting for Groceries
It is not difficult to create a grocery budget if you track your spending to see how much you spend, prioritize, and take advantage of promos, discounts, coupons, and cash back on credit cards.
Track Your Spending
It is a good idea to keep track of your spending for a month or two to get a realistic idea of your expenses. What you can do is pay cash only and keep the receipts or use your debit or credit card to pay for food. Then you can list all of your expenses to see where money goes. Make a list of all items, including frozen meals, fast food, meat, fruits and vegetables, juices, alcohol, soft drinks, etc.
Create a Food Budget
Knowing how much you spend will help you to create a grocery budget and cut down on some expenses. You can also list your household expenses, including rent, utilities, loan and credit card payments, transportation, etc. Add up your income (wages, salaries, investment income) and subtract your expenses to see how much you can allocate on grocery shopping on a monthly basis.
Ways to Save Money
One way to cut down on expenses is to use grocery coupons, and you will find plenty of printable coupons online. There are buy 1, get 1 free offers, save $1 when you buy 2 items offers, save $5 when you buy 2 or 3 items, and many more. Some retailers also offer holiday coupons, discounts on first orders, promo codes, and free deliveries. Certain conditions apply, for example, you cannot use two or more coupons for the same purchase. There is usually an expiration date, and promo codes cannot be used past the expiration date.
Another idea is to get a credit card that gives cash back or points when buying groceries - check: lifeoncredit.ca. Many local and big banks offer cards that are ideal for grocery shopping. TD Bank, Bank of Montreal, and other financial institutions feature cards that offer cash back and bonus points on grocery purchases. The eligibility criteria vary from one bank to another, and some require a fair or good score while others require a good or excellent score to qualify. Customers who opt for cash back offers earn money back on recurrent bill payments and grocery and gas purchases. Additional benefits include no annual fee during the first year, extra cash back during the promotional period. The best part is that cash back never expires, and you can use it whenever you need to make additional purchases. Other credit cards allow users to convert grocery purchases into airmiles and feature added incentives such as a welcome bonus, no annual fees, roadside assistance, and discounts on car rentals - check: lifeoncredit.ca. Banks also offer grocery credit cards with perks such as identity theft assistance, complimentary concierge service, travel medical insurance, fraud alerts. Keep in mind that some issuers offer cash back on purchases at certain locations such as Atmosphere, Sport Chek, Canadian Tire, and IGA - check: lifeoncredit.ca
Other Ways to Save Money on Groceries
Making a grocery list saves you a lot of time and money as you can make an estimate of how much the trip to the store will cost you. You can even use a food list template to list purchases in different categories – vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein-rich foods such as nuts, eggs, peas and beans, seafood, and meat. Shopping at cheap stores also helps save a lot of money in the long run. Do your grocery shopping at stores such as Food Basics, Walmart, Fresh Co, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, and Food Basics. Some stores also offer added perks and incentives such as discounts, promos, rewards programs, and price matching. Check the flyer in stock for promotional offers. Other stores offer rewards points that can be used at participating retailers across Canada.