Brought to you by Freshco. & TheCO.

Grocery shopping can be quite the feat! It takes time, organization and commitment to plan meals, make lists and go shopping. But with a good plan, you can shop well and save money.

I love stores like FreshCo with consistent low-prices, great flyer deals, and price-matching.

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FreshCo also has an amazing international foods aisle and a gluten free/organic section. I can find specific Greek, Italian and Asian food items here for my favourite dishes, without having to go to a specialty store.

Here are 10 ways to save money at home and the grocery store:

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10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Do an inventory

Take stock of your freezer and pantry and freezer to see what you need, and what you can skip buying. It’s always good to have certain food items always in the house.

Use the items that are about to expire first before they go bad. If I have a ton of vegetables left over and they are starting to go bad, I’ll make a batch of vegetable soup – great for taking to work for lunch.

Plan meals by what’s on sale

Rather than planning meals according to your cravings, make up your weekly meal plan according to sales. I look to see what the deals of the week in the meat department, and go from there. Then I can also plan side dishes easily. If a particular meat item is on sale that week, such as chicken breast, I will buy extra, wrap individually and freeze.

Buy in season

Buy produce and enjoy in season. You can save 30-50% on the price of produce by buying what’s in season. If you do want strawberries in the off-season, buy extra when they’re cheap and freeze them so you can enjoy them year round. Also, canning your favourites, like tomato puree and pumpkin filling, is a great saver.

I plan on buying pumpkins, roasting them and then pureeing and freezing them for desserts such as this pumpkin spice cake.

I also jar apples so I can bake delicious apple pies throughout winter, and also roast and puree butternut squash for canning to make soups throughout the winter.

I found amazing prices at FreshCo – the sweet potato, butternut squash and pumpkins are incredibly well-priced this season.

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Price match

Shop for the items you most commonly buy, ie. bananas, butter, milk, cheese, etc. and find places that stock these basics cheaply. Places like FreshCo have a low price commitment with their everyday pricing but if you find an item cheaper elsewhere, they will match the price with their Cheaper Guarantee.

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Learn the layout

Learn the layout of your favourite store so you can run in and out to get what you need. The more aisles you walk down, the more likely you are to add things to your shopping basket that you didn’t intend to buy, including the pop/chip/candy aisle.

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Grow your own herbs

If you love using fresh herbs in your cooking, you’ll want to grow some in your kitchen. I find that buying bunches at about $2 each ends up spoiling by the time I need to use them again. Sometimes I will freeze the herbs in a plastic bag, but the herbs lose flavour. Instead, plant a couple of pots and grow by the kitchen window.

Slice your own food

While it may seem convenient to buy pre-cut cheese slices, pineapple, and vegetables, do it yourself and save money. It will take a little more time but it’s worth the extra effort. Some who meal plan tend to prepare by chopping all their vegetables on Sunday for the week, saving time on those busy weeknights.

Shop once a week

Shopping experts say the less you shop, the more you save. Try to plan your grocery shopping list in advance so that you will purchase a week’s worth of groceries in one shot. I have trouble doing meal planning myself, but it takes practice!

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Go alone

Ask any parent who has shopped with the whole family, and you’ve ended up leaving with the entire store in your cart! The larger your shopping party, the more likely you are to make impulse buys.  Leave the spouse and kids – who will be bugging you for sugary treats every second – at home.

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Cook extra

Always try to cook extra food and take to lunch the next day – you can save about $2,000 a year!  Freezing meals can help save time in the kitchen.

Now that you’re armed with these tips, ready to save money on your groceries? Scope out flyer deals (like those from FreshCo’s) to get started and then hit the store!