Tips and tricks for saving money at the grocery store

Tips and tricks for saving money at the grocery store

Of all the New Year’s resolutions, better budget management is often at the top of the list. Seeing as groceries take up a large chunk of the family budget, we’ve gathered a few tips shared by nutritionist and author Geneviève O’Gleman during her latest Facebook live called “Posez-nous vos questions” (Ask us your questions). On the menu: a ton of tricks for lowering your grocery bill and eating healthy while you’re at it!

5 tips for saving money at the grocery store

1) Reduce your meat consumption

Compare the price of meat to that of plant-based proteins and you’ll see there’s a significant difference between the two. If every week you replace two meat-based meals with vegetarian alternatives (for example one lunch and one supper), you’ll save approximately $250 per person annually. For a family of four, that amount is equal to a weekend of skiing or a small renovation project.

Go half-and-half

Not sure how to add plant-based proteins to your menu? Take classic recipes like Shepard’s pie or spaghetti sauce and simply replace half of the meat with lentils, minced tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP), seitan, or tempeh. By doing so, you’ll diminish your meal costs and discover delicious new products! Get inspired by these yummy reinvented classics:

Waste less

2) Waste less

Nothing is as frustrating as throwing away food simply because you forgot about it! To avoid food waste, get into the habit of reorganizing your fridge every week by placing anything that needs to be consumed quickly in clear view and anything with a later expiration date near the back. Another trick? Before putting a product in your grocery cart, take a look at its expiration date and choose one with a later use-by date.

An anti-food waste app

Are you familiar with FoodHero? Thanks to a partnership with IGA, this app lets you save money, all while reducing food waste. How it works: the app gives you access to all the products on special or with expiration dates that are fast approaching. You can then purchase these products directly via the app and pick them up at an IGA or IGA Extra store near you.

For more information, click here!

Use your over-ripe or bruised fruit

Store all your over-ripe or bruised fruit in a bin. Once the bin is full, place the fruit in a large pot, add a bit of water, and bring to a boil. Let simmer over low heat until you achieve a compote-like texture. Ideal for homemade applesauce!

3) Buy in bulk

A simple and efficient strategy to adopt when grocery shopping? Opting for products available in bulk formats. On top of being better for the environment, they are less expensive than individually packaged products.

Take, for example, individually packaged cheese portions (P’tit Québec brand) that give 8 portions at $0.62/portion

  • A 400 g brick of cheese (P’tit Québec brand) gives 19 portions at $0.47/portion.
  • A 450 g brick of cheese (private label) gives 21 portions at $0.29/portion.

Bulk-sized items end up being half the cost of individually wrapped portions!

Discover our “Prix Club” section—big sizes, big savings!

4) Plan your weekly menu

Before heading to the grocery store, make sure to have a plan for the upcoming week. By doing so, you’ll avoid impulse or excessive purchases. Here are a few tips for efficient meal planning:

  • Take stock of what’s in your fridge and pantry and build a menu from there (a great tip for reducing waste).
  • Make a grocery list with the IGA mobile app.
  • Create a weekly menu based on what’s on special in the flyer. Make sure to ask for rain checks for any out-of-stock products, that way you’ll be able to take advantage of the discount next time you visit the store.
Cook more

5) Cook more

Although ready-to-eat products are great on occasion, they definitely make for a heftier grocery bill. By forgoing ready-made meals, and cooking homemade meals instead, you’ll save a significant amount of money. If you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen, prepare bigger portions and freeze any extras.

Use versatile ingredients

Purchase versatile ingredients that can be used in a variety of delicious recipes. A bag of oatmeal, for example, only costs about $3 and can be used to make loads of yummy snacks and healthy breakfasts: from oatmeal cookies to muffins to mixed berry oatmeal.

Here’s the full video capsule of “Posez-nous vos questions” (Ask us your questions), which aired on January 28 on our IGA, Vive la bouffe Facebook page (French version only). You’ll find tips from nutritionist and author Geneviève O’Gleman on how to lower your grocery bill and eat well on a budget.