Home Read Our Blog April 2016 How I manage grocery shopping on a low income

How I manage grocery shopping on a low income

How I manage grocery shopping on a low income
The rising cost of food has impacted many family’s expenses and the hardest hit are those living on 
low incomes.  I know this all too well as I’ve fallen into this category myself in the past.  For many, the use of food banks is an essential part of monthly planning with the battle between pride and stigmatization having set in. 

However, there are ways to help combat this.  Last year, not only did I manage to provide the necessities for my family, I saved thousands doing so. I was also able to help out friends and make donations to my local food bank.
Here are tips about how I was able to save money grocery shopping.
Know Your Prices. 
Be consciously aware of how much the products and items you use and need everyday cost.  This will help you to know when they are ACTUALLY on sale. Make a budget, a plan and stick to it.
Learn How to Price Match
Price matching is when you pay a price from one store, at another store, by using their flyer.  This saves you time from visiting multiple locations. Check your local grocery flyers to see if they offer price matching. You can also talk with a store’s customer service manager for their policy restrictions or limitations.
  • For example, Peanut Butter 1kg jars are on sales for $2.97 at Store A but Store B is closer to your home. You can use Store A’s flyer to pay the same price at Store B. Note that items may need to be exactly as described in the flyer.
Use Coupons
Coupons can be found in stores, on products, direct contact from a manufacturer and through online app’s such as Coupgon. Combining the lowest price for a product, and adding a coupon, can achieve some of the greatest savings.
Take Advantage of Cash Back Programs 
These are programs that will give you cash back on items you buy every day and include programs such as Checkout51, Cartsmart, Save, Caddle and Zweet.  The offers change weekly but all you need to do is purchase the item and upload your receipt.  Once it has been approved, it will go into your account until you have reached the threshold to cash out.  With all of these programs you must reach $20 or less and most send a cheque in the mail.
Benefit from Points Cards. 
I used to believe certain stores were overpriced and out of my budget to shop at. Since joining their points programs, and learning how to use them to my advantage, I no longer think this way! I now get offers that give me back points on fruits and vegetables that I can use at a later date. Points can’t be turned into money, but they can be deducted at the register to reduce what you spend. 
Certain individuals may call it Extreme Couponing, but I prefer to think of it as being a consciously aware savvy consumer. I will always be grateful that food banks are available to help those in need. The best part in learning how to shop this way is I no longer need to use a food bank to provide for my family. Now, I donate items to the food bank myself!
Heather Hedlund
Facebook Group:  I Love Savings
Email [email protected]

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Hunger Facts



of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)