Trim your grocery bill

Save money on your food purchases with these easy tips.

Expert advice to saving money

Benjamin Franklin said, "A fat kitchen makes a lean will," and he was right. I was behind someone at the grocery store who was shopping with her son. They had two grocery carts jammed full of all kinds of prepared food, junk food, comfort food and a few of the necessary staples.

While I'm usually not that interested in what people are buying, I was shocked when their food bill rang in at more than $450! It didn't look like they were preparing for a party, either. This seemed to be what they were buying on a regular basis.

Grocery expenses
Many people now spend more money every month on food than they do on their car! That makes buying groceries the second-highest monthly expense after paying your mortgage or rent. Many people don't think to include food in their financial planning because it's a necessity and we need it to survive; however, this is one area where people lose control every week and overspend.

Saving just $20 a week on your grocery bill can save you more than $1,000 a year. Saving $60 a week could help you save more than $3,000 a year.

I first met Kimberly Clancy when we did a story on Canada AM about trying to save money on your grocery bill. Clancy runs her own website, The site is a wealth of frugal knowledge, where Canadians can go to find out about sales from coast to coast, free shopping advice, coupon tips and ideas on how to shave money off their grocery bill. I went shopping with Clancy and the two of us had the exact same shopping list. The money she saved was amazing.

Power of coupons
Without using coupons, I spent $133.89. Using coupons, Clancy spent $23.45. That's a savings of $110.44.

Imagine saving $110 on your grocery bill! On this visit Clancy did use some freebie coupons she was saving up for our demonstration, but she says she routinely saves about 25 per cent or more on her grocery bill every week using coupons, flyers and watching for sales.

Clancy says, "I think many people spend way too much money on groceries, especially when you go to the premium grocery stores. These high-end chains will have beautiful layouts, fancy displays and better lighting, but most premium outlets also own a budget grocery chain that has prices that can be 30 per cent cheaper and the food comes from the same warehouse."

Page 1 of 2 -- Find helpful grocery shopping dos and don'ts on page 2


Excerpted from The Smart Canadian's Guide to Building Wealth by Pat Foran. Copyright 2006 by Pat Foran. Excerpted with permission by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.


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