Shopping for groceries can be heart-breaking when we leave the store with much more than we bargained for and a receipt to remind us of the pain. In the current economic climate this can be even more devastating as finances are at the front of our mind, because the whole province is in a downturn and the cost of groceries is increasing.
Buying organic and health food options can be one of the first cuts to your budget, but we want to promote smarter buying, rather than total cuts and there are many ways to purchase healthy options without adding more to your grocery bill. Plus, healthy eating now may help prevent some medical expenses in the future!
1. Plan Ahead: It’s easy to walk into a store and just place products in your cart that look good, but this can quickly add up and really do you even need that?? Plan ahead by looking through your fridge, pantry and freezer for what you already have. Set a meal plan for the coming week and check to see if you need toiletries, cleaning products and other household items before you go. Another tactic in planning meals is to let your meal plan be shaped by the sales you notice in store flyers. Now equipped with a list of what you need, the task becomes not to get distracted by all those other things on the shelves. :)
Alternatively, our Produce Box and More Delivery service enables you to set a budget for your produce each week and you can set up a standing order for dairy and meat too. This means you know what you’re getting and what your paying with little effort. Plus, we can deliver (Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Alberta Beach, Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt and along Hwy #43 to Whitecourt) so you don’t have the cost of gas money!
2. Look for sales: Stock up on sale items if possible and freeze what you may not eat before it goes bad (as long as it freezes well), especially berries when in season. Check if there is a best time of day or week to get the best sales, especially on produce and meat. Hint: Our Customer Appreciation Day on the last Thursday of every month is the best sale day in our store, we also offer 10% off produce on Mondays and double points on Thursdays (excluding CAD) and when we discount produce throughout the week it’s generally in the morning
3. Buy bulk: Share a bag of flour or rice with a friend or family member if you can’t use the whole bag yourself, but bulk is always cheaper so find what you can in larger quantities. Also, use whole wheat, brown rice and other whole grains as they are healthier and have a lower GI so you will be full longer (therefore not needing to eat snack foods as much). We offer an extensive bulk foods section and can generally order in bulk foods we don’t currently carry.
4. Expand your horizons: Enjoy meals without meat or try Asian and other ethnic dishes that often require rice and beans. Adding a meal or two each week with less expensive ingredients will add up to savings (and you may even decide you love the food!)
5. Keep your fridge and pantry organised: Ensure you use up the food in your pantry before the expiry date and label leftovers so you eat them before it’s thrown out. We suggest re-usable labels to mark your leftovers (or you could just use tape and a marker)
Labels and consistent organisation will save you $$
6. Don’t waste your food: Likely, we’re all guilty of buying produce, only to throw it out because it sat on our counter or in the fridge too long.
- This is where a standard box of produce comes in handy (see our Produce Boxes and More Delivery Service) because you can order only what you’ll eat in a week.
- Another big factor in using up your food is to store your produce appropriately (sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you a produce storage guide)
- Leftovers from a meal should be frozen if you aren’t going to eat it within a couple of days.
- Smoothies, juicing and stir-frys make great use of produce that may be poor quality!
- Be careful, but not fooled with the 'sell by' dates on packaging. Here's an article from Dr Mercola defining the use of these dates.
Really we’ve just brushed the surface for some great money saving tips to eating healthy on a budget. Now if you want to start with our organic produce and more delivery service Click here or for more details on how this service works visit this link.
*Our sales and services promoted in this article are current as of time of writing, but may change so please ask in store for up to date information.