Tips for a Better Food Budget Management

With prices soaring, doing the groceries can pose real headaches. With some tips and tricks, it is still possible to hold your own.
You are certainly aware of many tips set out in this article, but it may always be useful to remind these in a collective kitchen group, or even at home for your everyday groceries.

A summary of this article is available here: Grocery planning.

At any time, you can only gain by:

  • Maintaining an inventory of the foods in the pantry and refrigerator;
  • Noting items as they go short;
  • Checking the contents of the pantry, refrigerator and freezer when planning the weekly purchases.

To help people participating in collective kitchens, you can give them the pantry and freezer inventory sheets available here.

Freezer_inventory

Pantry_inventory

 

Basic tricks for grocery planning

Here are some ideas to improve your grocery planning:

  • Check current food prices: prices advertised in flyers are not always discounts;
  • Large formats are more economical and produce less waste than the same amount in individual format. Make sure to use the product entirely to avoid waste;
  • Bulk products are not always economical: compare with house brand products;
  • House brands are comparable in quality to manufacturer brands and often have lower prices;
  • If possible, buy seasonal fruits and vegetables – they are fresher and more economical.

 

Planning the menu of the week

Menu planning is a common practice in collective kitchen workshops, but you can also apply this method at home to achieve greater savings.

  • Take time during the week to plan the menu;
  • Plan using perishable foods at the beginning of the week;
  • “Recycle” leftovers by using them as lunches;
  • Plan meals according to Canada’s Food Guide to vary and balance menus.

Preparing the grocery list

Having a predefined list based on our menus for the week and what’s in our pantry, freezer and freezer is an effective way to save money and avoid food waste.

  • Eat before going to the grocery store: when you’re hungry, everything seems irresistible;
  • Products placed at eye level are often the most expensive. House brands are often on higher or lower shelves. Large packages are placed close to the floor;
  • Check “best before” dates of products, this will avoid you buy expired products;
  • Do not buy cans that are bulging, rusty or dented;
  • Do not buy frozen foods that are frosted, discoloured or which contents form a solid mass;
  • Verify the invoice of your purchases when you arrive at home if it is not possible to do so during your checkout, as it often contains errors.

The art of grocery shopping

  • Eat before going to the grocery store: when you’re hungry, everything seems irresistible;
  • Products placed at eye level are often the most expensive. House brands are often on higher or lower shelves. Large packages are placed close to the floor;
  • Check “best before” dates of products, this will avoid you buy expired products;
  • Do not buy cans that are bulging, rusty or dented;
  • Do not buy frozen foods that are frosted, discoloured or which contents form a solid mass;
  • Verify the invoice of your purchases when you arrive at home if it is not possible to do so during your checkout, as it often contains errors.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to stick to your food budget as well as preparing healthy and tasty recipes for you and your family.

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