Take a different approach to buy groceries.

*Waiting patiently in line to check out.* “Your total for today is….” This is way more than you had expected.

I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with grocery shopping.

It’s all fun and games while you’re picking up your snacks and drinks and filling your cart with all the things you want. However, when you get to the cashier, it’s a different story. Sometimes, you find yourself over budget.

However, overspending at the supermarket can be avoided if you have a concrete plan. Here are some ways you can buy groceries without breaking the bank.

Make a budget

A lady dressed in a purple sweater is asking "Did Someone say budgeting?"
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Create a budget before you decide to visit the supermarket. Are you trying to spend $80, $100 or more? It really depends on what you can afford and how long you expect your groceries to last.

Are you picking up items for the next three weeks? Or do you prefer to go grocery shopping every week? Ask yourself these questions before making your budget.

Create a shopping list and stick to it

A cartoon character is writing a long list. (grocery shopping)
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Making a shopping list seems simple. But sticking to it can be challenging.

First thing first, consider the meals you’re planning to make. That way, you can list the key ingredients needed for each dish. For example, grab some tomato sauce if you’re planning to make pasta.

Also, you can list your ingredients by using categories such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or by fruits, vegetables and dairy. It depends on your preference. Whatever it may be, it will be easier to navigate the aisles.

And make a promise to yourself that during your grocery run you will only grab items that are on the list. That way you’re able to stay on budget and get everything you need.

Shop at affordable supermarkets

A guy is leaping and throwing items in a No Frills cart.
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Who doesn’t love discounts? I know, I do.

Supermarkets such as No Frills, Metro and Freshco are the best places to shop for deals and save on your grocery bills!

So, the next time you need groceries, consider shopping at one of these stores. Not only do you get quality but discounts also! Sounds like a win to me.

Look at the best before and expiry dates

Will Smith is looking through a magnifying glass.
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Have you ever purchased fresh produce, and days later, it spoils? Frustrating right?

One way to avoid food spoilage is to check the best before and expiry dates. All of which makes it easier to track the shelf life of products. This way you will know if you have enough time to eat everything and can avoid waste!

So, before you pick up canned items, check the expiry dates.

Use your calculator

A man dressed in a white shirt is trying to calculate the total cost of something. He is frustrated.
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At the end of the day, you’re the one buying the groceries.

Calculating the total of your products before checking out can be helpful. Although, it sounds tedious, it’s better to know the total cost of the items in your shopping cart. This way if you’re over budget, you can always remove some items from your cart and avoid being surprised at checkout.

So, whenever you’re shopping, add up your bill, as you go.

Choose store brands

A shopper is picking up potato chips and throwing them in a shopping cart. (grocery shopping)
via Giphy

A can of Unico diced tomatoes costs $2.29, while the No Name version costs $1.49. From this example, it’s obvious that No Name is usually cheaper and this is true for most store brands.

In addition, you can buy products such as beans, juice and waffles from No Name, Compliments or President’s Choice for a reduced cost. You might be worried about the quality, but there’s no need. Similar to other brands, these store brands are all about providing quality at a lower cost.

The tip here, always consider buying from store brands to save money!

It can be challenging not to overspend while grocery shopping. But, if you have a plan, it’s easier to stay on budget while getting all the ingredients that you need. So, whenever you need groceries, follow the tips above. That way, you can buy your favourite food items without breaking the bank.

Here are four cozy meals you can make for under $20.

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