Our Mobilize workers, affectionately called Mobilizers, have a tremendous amount of on-the-ground stories and experiences to share with young Canadians that are interested in the Mobilize Jobs program. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing first-hand stories from Meaghen Stock – a Mobilizer alumni. This is her first story from the trenches on grocery shopping tips for a tight budget.
Written by guest blogger Meaghen Stock:
Grocery shopping tips
Grocery shopping on your own for the first time can be fun but overwhelming at the same time. You don’t realize how expensive food is until the money for it is coming out of your pocket. Here are some grocery shopping tips that I have used since joining Mobilize to help me save money, save food waste, and fill my tummy up with lots of food.
Tip #1: Coupons and flyers are your best friend
If you are in a location where you have options for grocery stores, price matching is the best way to help save money. Compare the prices of the basics you need in each flyer to help find the best deal. Some grocery stores will even match the price of their competitors if you take the flyer to show them the price. Doing this while living in the city saved me tons of money that I saved or used to have some great experiences.
Tip #2: Stock up while you can
When living in a more isolated place, prices tend to be more expensive. Some placements don’t even have an actual grocery store in town. Take time to travel to other places around, and while visiting stock up on as many groceries as you can. The more you can buy in bulk, the better. When I get out to a city I like to try and stock up on a month’s worth of groceries.
Tip #3: Make a list of what you really need
Some people think they can just go to the grocery store and grab whatever they think looks good. When going in with a specific list, you are more likely to spend less money and make healthier choices. I always try to plan out some meals and make a list based on that.
Tip #4: Leftovers are your best friend
Finding meals to cook for one can be a difficult task but by cooking more, you can separate the batch over a couple of days, and save yourself a lot of time. You can also change it up so you don’t get bored eating the same thing for days. For example, if you have a plain chicken breast and vegetables for dinner one night, the next day for lunch you can use some of the leftover chicken in a chicken caesar wrap. For easy and quick recipes to use, check out Pinterest.
Tip #5: Buy groceries with your housemates
Buying groceries and cooking can be hard on your own. Take advantage of the fact that you live with other people and share. Come up with an agreement and buy groceries as a group. This can help, especially when you have products with expiry dates. For example, you may not be able to drink the whole 2L carton of milk, but by sharing groceries, and having a couple people using the milk, it’ll be used up without expiring and going to waste.
Tip #6: Bulk foods can be carried over to following placements
The last couple of weeks before leaving the program or moving placements can be difficult grocery wise. It is best to try and use up any ingredients that can not be transferred, such as items that need to be refrigerated or frozen. Items like sugar, pasta, or coffee can be packed up and brought with you to use when you arrive at your next destination.
These grocery shopping tips helped me to not waste food, to eat healthier, and to not break the bank while grocery shopping.