To reduce your grocery bill there are 4 fairly simple and helpful tactics that you can follow which can be summed up in one simple sentence: 1. Plan, 2. Take advantage of discounts, 3. Cook, 4. Reduce food waste. Let’s explore in more detail how best to do this:
Before going shopping, it’s best to make an inventory of what you have at home. Then, plan out your weekly menu by first using up perishable and older foods. Whatever foods are missing according to the menu you have created are then added to the grocery list.
There are always good discounts to be found and it’s worth taking the opportunity to include them when creating your weekly menu. If you don’t want to spend too much time putting together your menu based on flyer specials (separating the actual “good deals” from the fakes *), you can subscribe to our PREMIUM service which does this work for you, while also taking into account your health goals, food allergies, intolerances and preferences.
Cooking from fresh, non-processed produce is better for your health, the flavours, your grocery bill, and the environment. It’s better for your health because you can control the amount of added salt, fats and sugars; for taste because the food is fresh and tasty; for your grocery bill because if the price of basic items increases, meal manufacturers must increase their prices as well; and for the environment because when we choose prepared meals or ready-to-cook boxed food, we generate a quantity of packaging that is really not eco-responsible.
When cooking, you can choose economical recipes that use inexpensive foods. On the web you will find an abundance of recipe choices. On our site there are 500+ recipes that cost less than $1/serving, including 50+ main courses.
To save money, you can choose cheaper cuts of meat (a beef flank or pork shoulder for example) that still taste excellent in stews, but also you can “dilute” the meat by adding, for example, tofu or lentils to ground beef in a chili or spaghetti sauce.
To reduce expenses and improve health, you can reduce your meat consumption and turn to eggs, canned fish, and soy products (tofu and tempeh) as well as legumes.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables taste better and cost less. In the summer, you can create your own vegetable garden and above all, cook and freeze them in order to have them in storage for later. In the winter, keep an eye out for discounts on large bags of frozen vegetables and fruits. In the summer you can grow herbs outside, and at the end of the season you can freeze the surplus, while in the winter you can grow herbs in your house on the edge of a window.
In addition to buying the precise quantities that you really need and thus reducing the risk of waste, you can protect the environment a little more by eliminating packaging waste. Instead of buying the breakfast cereals that are generally too expensive and high in sugar, you can buy the basic ingredients first (oatmeal and nuts) and cook your own granola.
Creating your grocery list after first checking your fridge and pantry is the first step to not wasting any food. It is also important to know how to better preserve food and to learn how to cook up leftovers in order to keep your food waste to a minimum.
Read our articles:
For more tips on how to save on your groceries, read our article Eating Well for Less
* To find out if a given price is a good deal or not, use our Grocery Price Checker for free.
Listen to our discussion (in French) with culinary content creator Caroline Huard (alias Loounie) and Jean-François Archambault from La Tablée des Chefs on Pénélope’s radio show, on October 27, 2021.