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G.S.T. (Grocery Shopping Tips)

Today I have a short shopping errands at the grocery. I am hesitant to go at first because of the weather which was still at -35 C but I need to pick up my son’s prescriptions anyway so I did. If you are a frequent shopper like me, you could really notice how prices of commodities had gone up. Sometimes I really feel bad every time I see products that on sale but if you check it out, it is almost expired, or fruits and vegetables almost rotting but still they have to sell it. My point is why do not they just sell them at a lower price while fresh and new rather than throwing or dumping off when not sold due to high prices.

I have been living in this city for more than 12 years now. An 8 kgs sack of rice before was just $7.00, but now the price was doubled. They do not even sell a head of salmon back then. The first time they finally sell this kind, it just cost around $3.00, but now never mind and you only wish they never sell it anyway. Do not get me wrong, I am not trying to blame the business owners, they are also earning for a living and they have employers too that work for them. And we haven’t yet recovered from the oil recession and never forget we still have the pandemic, which makes things worst economically and globally.

So for today, I just thought to give some GST for a mom like me, Ooops I mean not the tax that we pay but Grocery Shopping Tips, that I gathered from different resources and also based on my personal experiences, that might work for me and also for you:

Make a grocery list and stick to it.

As simple as when you create a list, you can see what you need and avoid the things you do not. Plan ahead, make a weekly menu, and shop with a list.

Do not go when you’re hungry.

If you are hungry while shopping, there is a tendency that everything that you see around the store are delicious and this eventually leads you to buying more.

Have a budget.

Know your limit, that is if you know how much you are spending , you will just focus yourself in items which you know are just needed and necessary for you to buy.

Buy in bulk.

Items such rice, toilet paper, bathroom tissues, cereals, cooking oil, toiletries, detergents and the like are samples of a good products to buy in bulk.

Costco is the best place for me to buy these bulk products with a fair price, like for me since my kids always use Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, so in this store you can buy it for a wholesale price of 8 bucks for 2-pack of 375 g + 100 g, instead of buying an individual pack which is around 5 bucks in some retail stores.

Keep your receipts and make a price list.

This is also a great way to compare shop between stores. Compare their products and prices and make a list of it. And some store offers price matching which is a practice of a retailer to match a lower advertised price from a rival store, selling the same product for a lower price. You can always check on flyers regularly to see who have the best deals.

With regards to fresh fruits, vegetables, and bakery products, Sobeys had a better variety, but it is more expensive than other store but so far I find Walmart prices cheaper compare to the others in our area.

Buy frozen vegetables.

Try frozen veggies, they are almost as good if not as better as freshies.

Okra, edamame, corn kernels are a few veggies that I normally stock up in my freezer and they have a long freezer life compared to other vegetables.

Look for coupons and Specials.

Ask or find for specials for every store. No matter how small is the savings, it is still a saving from the item's regular price. It's not bad to check store entrances, newspaper, and flyers for coupons. But beware and don't be trick into buying something that’s not on your list.

Try the store brands.

Find alternatives brand, particularly store brands. Most of the times, it is the name we are paying for, not the product itself.

Superstore goes by No Name, Walmart has Great Value, Sobeys and Safeway has Compliments, like for Spam branded luncheon meat costs around 5 bucks but for No Name store brand name is only around $3, and I believe the taste is almost the same for both products.

When there’s a sale, stock up.

Buy a bunch of them if it’s an item you normally use, such as toiletries.

Go during slow times.

Avoid doing shopping on paydays, near major holidays and rush hours.

Know when the store stocks its fresh fruits and veggies.

Lately I have been doing a morning shop , and it is this time that you can see a lot of fresh items in store. Superstore offers a good variety on vegetables and fruits every Friday.

Invest on a deep freezer.

Think deep freezer which you can use to stock up on meat, frozen veggies, and similar items.

On a personal note, since meat products are also too pricey nowadays, I found a supplier of our pork and beef from a friend who worked at a butcher store from another town. Every month or so, I buy half of a whole pig and a few pounds beef, portioned according to the cut of my choice, and stock it in our deep freezer. Like a whole pig only cost around 200$ so it is really big savings on my part.

Rain check.

Ask for a rain check for an item on sale but the store has been out of stock.

I just noticed that price of rice had gone up tremendously, so every time there would be sale, Filipinos tend to buy a lot, making this product to be out of stock most of the time. So in cases like this I do raincheck, in this way, I can still have the sale price on the product when it will be available again.

Avoid taking your kids when shopping.

Kids tend to point out unnecessary things when they are with you when shopping, such as candies, junk foods, toys, etc.

Use store savings or points cards.

I am an Air Miles Collector myself so I normally go to Sobeys and Safeway which are store Air Miles Cash Rewards partner program. These stores allow me to instantly redeem miles or sometimes you can simply swap 95 Miles for a $10 off right away. Superstore and Shopper's Drugmart have PC Optimum card, in which points redeemed at a rate of 10,000 = $10. You can always check for each store's flyers for more great deals on their saving cards.

Get REUSABLE grocery bags.

Not only it's a great help in the environment but you also save yourself 5 cents for every plastic bag you buy in the store. If you are the type of mom that still wanted to look fashionable and does not want to carry a regular looking store bought grocery bags, you can check on some tote bags trendy design that will make grocery shopping even more practical and fun.

And lastly, from my thought, just don't buy things that you really don't need. Just learn how to live within your means.


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