How to save money at the grocery store amid high food prices

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WATCH ABOVE: The low loonie means Canadians will be spending more money on food, and that means families may have to change their shopping habits. Here’s Tony Tighe with some ways to help you save money at the grocery store – Jan 12, 2016

CALGARY – Canadian families are cutting back on what food they’re buying and how much they’re spending to cope with rising food costs.

READ MORE: Loonie’s drop expected to inflate grocery bills even more

Donna Ryan does a lot of grocery shopping; she takes care of her grandchildren during the week and also cooks meals for the less fortunate.

She’s noticed how expensive food is and is more careful about how she spends her money.

“We really have to watch the prices,” Ryan said. “My daughter checks the flyers and she writes out everything on sale and we plan ahead. We always plan ahead what we’re going to eat and buy.”

She says she looks in the discount bins, buys day-old bread, avoids prepackaged foods, and has cut back on red meat.

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To save money, food economist Sylvia Kong recommends taking advantage of sales flyers and online specials and coupons.

She suggests writing out a grocery list and sticking to it–don’t buy more food than you need.

Here are some other tips to save money on groceries:

  • Buy frozen or canned goods when fresh is too expensive;
  • Cut down on meat and buy other protein foods like legumes and cheese;
  • Check the unit price on product stickers;
  • Compare private label prices versus brand names and bulk food versus packaged prices.

Ryan says she doesn’t go out of her way to save money but will shop around at different stores, including dollar stores.

“I’ll stop at this store or that store, places which are lower in price–and they’re out there, but you have to look.”

She’s also changed the type of meals she makes to save money: she’s switched to more soups, stews and casseroles to last longer.

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