How to Save Money with Rising Grocery Prices
Canada’s Food Price Report for 2019, a collaboration between Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, is a forecast for changing food prices that will impact consumers this year. An increase of up to 3.5% has been predicted for vegetable prices, with 1-3% increases for fruit and bakery items as well. Lower prices are likely to be found in the meat and seafood department with the rising popularity of plant-based alternatives.
This forecast could mean that the average Canadian family will spend about $400 more in groceries this year. If you’re struggling to save money while feeding your family well, read on for 5 tips to cut down your grocery bill and eat more vegetables.
1) Shop in season
Local, seasonal produce tends to be much more affordable than imported varieties. Check what’s in season before shopping for produce and hit up your local farm stands for fresh veggies and fruits.
2) Bulk up on shelf-stable items
Buy items that have a long shelf life like beans, lentils, frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen meat and fish, grains, and oats in bulk when they go on sale. Choosing cheaper proteins like canned or dried beans and lentils and frozen fish will help save you money andboost your nutrition! You can also buy a few extra loafs of your favourite bread while it’s on sale and freeze some to use within 6 months.
3) Make a list and stick to it
Plan your list around your grocery store’s flyers, what’s in season, and what you already have on hand to use up. If you struggle to use up food before it goes bad, check out our earlier post on food waste to make sure your grocery money isn’t winding up in the trash.
4) Give the ugly fruit a chance
Some stores offer discounted “naturally imperfect” produce that look blemished or misshapen but are still delicious and nutritious! Check with your local grocery store to see if they have this option, or shop from reduced or “use tonight” produce carts in the store. You can freeze overly spotty bananas for baking or smoothies and make sauces, soups or pesto from bruised or funny looking veggies.
5) Buy sturdy root veggies
Root veggies like carrots, beets, turnips, sweet potatoes and radishes are hardy and last longer than some other delicate veggies like tomatoes and salad greens. You can buy them loose for quite cheap and they’re full of nutrients. You can also preserve or freeze your own root veggies to save even more money!