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  • Writer's pictureThis Maple Life

Lowering Your Food Prices: Saving Tips, Apps, and More

Updated: Feb 25

Although it has undoubtedly affected some families more than others, chances are that you have felt the increase in price in your supermarket bill. The sad reality is that food prices aren’t going down and, in fact, are rising steadily over the past few years. According to Statistics Canada, "numbers from the latest inflation report showed that in January, food prices saw a year-over-year increase of 11.4 percent, up from 11 percent the previous month." What does this mean for families? It might place us between sacrificing food quality and variety (often meaning fewer opportunities to eat healthily) or choosing to forcefully accept the higher expenses regardless of how that would affect our overall expenses budget.

Eating nutritious foods has become more and more important. As we learn the benefits of eating healthy and look for ways to improve our diet, we might find ourselves facing one problem: the cost. With this in mind, we compiled some information and tips to help you maintain a balanced diet while lowering your food prices.

Groceries, apples, veggies in the background

Table of Contents

Eating Healthy Without Breaking The Bank Tips

  • Planning your meals

Making a meal plan will simplify your life. Create a list of the meals you want to prepare each week, the groceries you'll need, and any deals you could find. Flyers for grocery shopping are frequently available, allowing you to look for easy offers.

  • Buying in bulk

Buying in bulk is a really good strategy because it is not only cheaper but can be more environmentally friendly if you bring your own bags and containers to fill up in the store. Make sure you choose produce that tends to last longer or that you can freeze if you are making a big purchase.

  • Shop seasonally

When you buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season, they can be less expensive than out-of-season produce.

  • Cook at home

More often than not, cooking at home is a more affordable and healthier option when compared to eating out. You can make large batches of meals and freeze portions for later use, or use leftovers for lunch the next day.

  • Choose plant-based protein sources

Protein is an essential nutrient in our daily diets. Look for cheaper sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, eggs, and canned fish. These options are not only affordable but also packed with nutrients.

  • Make your own snacks and morning coffee/tea

Snacks can be a significant expense in your grocery budget. Instead of buying packaged snacks, make your own. You can make your own trail mix, energy balls, or roasted chickpeas for a more nutritious and affordable option. The same goes for your daily cup of coffee/tea.

  • Shop around for the best deals.

Organic items in store, dollar store shelve fill with organic sells

Going around for better prices may not be the best option if you have to go a long distance to different locations, but if you have multiple stores nearby, do not get too comfortable shopping from just one of them. Certain things are less expensive in certain stores. Nowadays, even dollar stores sell a few organic things at a reasonable price. To make shopping easier, compare costs and develop a list of the products you intend to purchase in each store.

  • Learn to grow your own vegetables and greens.

If you have the space to grow your own vegetables, don't hesitate to do so. If not, even root vegetables like radishes and bulbs like garlic or greens that can grow in smaller spaces can visibly reduce the cost of your shopping if you use them often.

In Canada's Food Guide, which is published on the Government of Canada's website you can also find additional tips about how to eat healthy on a budget.

Tips for Saving at the Supermarket:

Look for discounted items: For example, at Real Canadian Super Store, you'll discover shelves dedicated to discounted products in specific aisles. Keep an eye out for items marked with a 30% discount sticker, as these are nearing their expiration date and are available at a reduced price.

Look for spending incentives: Several stores have incentives to spend a certain amount of money. For example, every week SuperStore presents enticing incentives for customers who spend $300 or more. You can either receive a complimentary item valued at $25 or earn extra points on your purchase. These points are particularly valuable if you possess a PC Optimum points card, as they can be exchanged for a wide range of products.

Sign up for the rewards program: Signing up for a PC Optimum points card or Safeway's club card is a way to get more deals, rewards, and benefits. It offers discounts on groceries, gas, free items every month, pet perks, birthday treats, and more.

Apps for Lowering Your Food Prices

Offers cash back on grocery purchases. Simply browse the app for weekly offers, buy featured products, and upload your receipt to earn cash back.

This app helps you save money by purchasing surplus food items at discounted prices from local grocery stores. It's a great way to reduce food waste while getting deals on fresh produce and other groceries.

Connects users with local food establishments that have surplus food at the end of the day, aiming to combat food waste. Users can browse nearby participating restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and grocery stores through the app and purchase "Magic Bags" filled with surplus food items at a discounted price. The contents of each bag are a surprise, as they depend on what the merchant has available. By using the app, users can save money on their food bills, reduce food waste, and support local businesses.

Big Oven is a good app for getting new recipe ideas, managing your grocery list, and making a meal plan in advance in order to significantly lower your food prices. Meal planning is also a good way to have less food waste.

Digital Flyers and Coupons

  • Digital flyers, coupons and exclusive deals from various retailers in Canada.

  • Flipp: This app will help you browse weekly digital flyers from stores near you and search for the items you need. You can add your loyalty cards to your app and clip your coupons digitally to save in-store.

  • Reebee: Similar to both apps above. Additionally you can easily browse for deals, create shopping lists, and even set up price alerts for favourite products.

Please note that availability of these apps will vary depending on your exact location in Canada, so make sure to verify that information before downloading.

Final Thoughts

Shopping for food shouldn't ever be a stressful situation. When trying to cut costs, please make sure you are still buying whole foods whenever possible to ensure a healthier, more nutritious diet.

Overall, we cannot control rising food prices, but we can absolutely make the proper decisions to reduce one of the most important expenses we make: our food.

Happy shopping and saving!


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