How To Save Money at the Grocery Store

Food inflation is real, so if your grocery bills keep growing, you’re not alone. An average family of four spent $15,600 in Canada last year stocking their fridges and pantries. And with the cost of groceries predicted to rise anywhere from 2.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent in 2024, that number is on the rise.


Luckily, there are a few ways to continue saving money at the grocery store even as prices soar. Keep reading for some tips from Supermarket Stakeout host Alex Guarnaschelli and be sure to check out her video, above.

Watch Supermarket Stakeout on Wednesdays at 9PM ET/PT on Food Network Canada. Stream Food Network Canada with a STACKTV subscription. Try it free today.

Plan Ahead

They say failing to plan is planning to fail, and that’s certainly true when it comes to your weekly grocery shop. Before you even set foot into the store, have a plan and stick to it. Plan your meals for the week then write out a shopping list, and stick to that list no matter what.

“Put the blinders on, follow your own blueprint, and you will definitely save money,” Guarnaschelli says.

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Take Advantage of Sales and Coupons

If you want to save even more money, get creative and make your meal plan based on items that you have a coupon for or that are on sale. Scour the flyer for your favourite store ahead of time, or shop somewhere that price matches to ensure you’re getting the lowest possible price. 

Buy It, Then Use It

There’s nothing worse than having to throw out leftover lettuce or moldy berries at the end of the week because you no longer felt like eating them or life happened. Guarnaschelli recommends only buying what you will for sure eat rather than wasting money on extra produce.

“If you impulse shop in the produce department you can really lose that money because things go bad,” she says.

If you have a habit of buying produce that turns before you can use it up, purchase things you can freeze and use later. Wilting spinach is great for soups and smoothies, for example, and frozen broccoli and cauliflower are great steamed.

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Build A Good Pantry

Buy pantry items on sale and stock up so that you can stretch what you have at home for longer. A strong pantry gives you more versatility when it comes to meal planning or quick weeknight meals when you’re in a rush. If you can make more meals out of what you have at home, that means you’re saving more money.

“Beans, canned tuna, quinoa, and chickpeas can build really hearty, healthy dishes and they can sit on your shelf for a few weeks,” Guarnaschelli says.


Invest in Quality Products That Last

While it may seem like the opposite of saving money, splurging on good-quality items will elevate your dishes. When you cook delicious and quality food, you’re more likely to stick to your meal plan or make another meal the next day rather than order takeout or go to a restaurant.

Good olive oil, vanilla, or a small brick of Parmesan cheese are examples of pricier items that you will continuously use to make food taste better. “Those are things that are going to serve you time and time again,” Guarnaschelli says.

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Remember Where You Are

Grocery stores may be a shopping staple, but they’re designed to make you spend your money. By doing a little research, planning out your week, having a game plan, and sticking to it, most of us can definitely decrease our overall bills.

“It’s a fun playground for adults, don’t be fooled,” Guarnaschelli adds. “Be disciplined.”