VIDEO: How to Save Money Grocery Shopping

by Samantha on July 27, 2015

Here are 10 tips that will help you save money at the supermarket

vintage grocery

We all know that raising a family on a budget is a challenge, to say the least! With the price of food skyrocketing daily, it’s more important than ever to find ways to stretch our family dollar as much as possible.

While the prospect of going to the supermarket and stocking up every week is daunting for most of us, there are some simple tips that parents can follow to decrease the amount of money spent on groceries.

Whether you’re dealing with spending too much money at the grocery store, or managing a meltdown in the cereal aisle, there are options that can make parents breathe easier while at the supermarket, with or without the kids. And speaking of kids, this is what I deal with when shopping with the children. Fun? You betcha! 😉

kids in cart

As a follow up to this post - How to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill - Top 10 Tips For Parents - I’ve provided tips via YouTube video as well, for those of you who may not have the time to read the full post.

Check it out the video below and let me know what you think about the tips (either in the comments section below or via YouTube comments). Feel free to add some additional tips as well! If there are enough, I’ll include them in an updated follow-up post. And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to make sure that you receive the most recent video tips and advice!
VIDEO: How to Save Money Grocery Shopping - Top 10 Tips For Parents


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Simple money-saving strategies for families


That will be $257.43, please.

Ouch! That hurt!

Grocery shopping for a family of growing kids can be ridiculously expensive, as I’ve painfully found out. With a weekly shop a necessary requirement, a visit to the supermarket can bring on feelings of not only anxiety but downright fear as well. Pockets and wallets are only so deep and the thought of cleaning out the financial reserves in order to put food on the table can make any parent break out into a cold sweat.

With three growing kids and two adults, my grocery bill can be pretty hair-raising at times. Despite my best efforts, it’s definitely a challenge staying within a budget and making sure that my family dollars are stretched as much as possible.

That being said, there are some tricks that I’ve figured out that allow for greater savings and less money being handed over at the checkout. For anyone who’s been challenged to shop on a budget, these simple tips can really make a difference.

Here are my Top 10 Tips For Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill

1) Keep Up With Store Sales  - Get ahead of the game by knowing what the best deals are in your local area. Check all of the store flyers regularly (both print and online) and scour them for deals. Sign up for email newsletters and store memberships (where applicable) and watch your savings grow.

2) Be Fickle! - Don’t commit to just one grocery store. In keeping with Tip #1, know what’s on sale and also where it’s on sale. If the product or food item that you need is cheaper at a location other than your regular grocery store or supermarket, make the trip to that location and make it worth your while, financially. Map out a course of action and pick up your needed food items wherever they’re most economically priced for maximum savings.

3) Use Coupons - Whether it’s a manufacturer’s coupon or a store coupon, take any opportunity you have to save using these items. Look at coupons as free money: you have the option of saving, so why not? To not use coupons on your frequently-purchased items is almost the same as throwing money away. With online options and digital downloads available for most coupons, they are easily scanned from your smartph0ne or mobile device - no clipping required. There are also a number of coupon apps that take the guesswork and tedium of coupon clipping non-existent. **Scroll down to the end of the post for the top 10 coupon apps for both Android and iOS**

4) Shop in Season - Quite simply, fruits and vegetables that are seasonal are less expensive than those that are not. Think of it: a mango in a New York winter or a pumpkin in the dog days of summer means that both items have been transported from far-reaching locales. In addition to the obvious carbon footprint that the item will have, you’ll also have to contend with the high price required to transport the item from distant locals to your local supermarket. Shop for fruits and vegetables that are in season and help both your bank account and the environment.

5) Buy Store Brands - A little-known secret of supermarkets as well as many consumer goods stores is that they often sell name-brand products under a “white label” banner. In other words, those store-brand potato chips or acetaminophen could very well be the more expensive name brand items (e.g. Lays Potato Chips or Tylenol) in disguise. It is a very well-known and common practice for the makers of many name-brand products to offer the exact same items to consumers under the particular store brand where they are sold. In other words, these items are just as good as name brands and, even better,  you can often save up to a third or more off the name brand price. When it comes to groceries, consider buying store brand items for extra savings.

6) Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry - Perusing the aisles of your favourite grocery store on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster (pun intended). Before you head into the cereal aisle, make sure you’ve eaten enough that you’r full and not easily tempted by those unplanned snacks that beckon as you try to stick to your list. By eating before grocery shopping, there will be less likelihood that you will give in to a craving for the unplanned (and often expensive and unhealthy) food item in front of you.

7) Know Your Prices - To maximize the amount of money that you can save, make sure you go into the supermarket with a good idea of what things should cost and what your budget is for that particular day. As with any expedition, research and knowledge will help you achieve your goal - in this instance, saving money - and will arm you with the confidence to make the right food choices at the grocery store. Having a general idea about how much particular items cost will allow you to stay within your planned budgetary range and will lower your chance of overspending.

8) Buy Frozen or Canned Foods - Many foods that are frozen and canned are just as good for use in family recipes as fresh items, which are more expensive. If you’re down to the wire financially but are still on the hook to make a reasonably-balanced and healthy meal for the family, look no further than the frozen aisle of the grocery store and start saving. Examples of fresh food items that can be substituted for frozen in various recipes include frozen spinach in vegetarian lasagna, frozen peas for tuna casserole and canned tomatoes for homemade pasta sauce. (On a related note, always have some canned goods and non-perishable staples on hand so that you can rustle up a meal when you’re down to the wire and have to go grocery shopping. These included tomato paste, canned tomatoes, pasta, flour, sugar butter, etc.)

9) Make A Meal With What You’ve Got - Once a week, go through your cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer and get creative! Make a meal out of your existing food items to make sure that nothing is going to waste. Doing so will not only save you money but will give you a better perspective on what foods are being eaten - or not.

10) Buy in Bulk - For certain items, buying in bulk can make a considerable difference in your total weekly food bill. Whether it’s stocking up on staples such as flour or rice, or purchasing “bulk size” items such as toilet paper or diapers, check your prices, particularly the unit price and start saving.

So as you can see, following a few simple strategies while grocery shopping can result in considerable savings for a family on a budget. All it takes is a little bit of planning in order to get the most “bang for your buck.”

Remember, before you go to the supermarket:
  • Plan ahead
  • Have your coupons ready
  • Eat! Don’t shop while hungry
  • Frozen and canned goods can make cost-effective substitutes
  • Buy in season
  • Choose store brands wherever possible


The Top 10 Coupon Apps for Android

The Top 10 Coupon Apps for iOS

VIDEO: How to Save Money Grocery Shopping

What are some of your tips and tricks for saving money at the grocery store? Tell me about it in the comment section below.


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Monday Musings - Public School or Private School?

by Samantha on January 21, 2013

apple and books school

Public school or private school? Which one is better for your child?

Many of us have asked ourselves these questions, perhaps feeling that the grass is truly greener on the other side of the fence. While the public school system remains the “default” of sorts for all students attending classes, some parents reject the notion that private school is best, choosing to have their children educated in public programs. Conversely, there are many parents who feel that only by going the route of private education will they see their kids succeed via access to what is perceived to be better educational tools, teachers and facilities.

So how about you? What do you think? Is private school better than public school, or vise versa? Why? Answer in the comments below :)

VIDEO: Private school or public school: which is better for our kids?

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IKEA and Me: A Love Story

by Samantha on November 4, 2011

**DISCLAIMER** This is NOT a sponsored post, I have had no dealings with IKEA and I am not being paid or compensated in any way to talk about my love of the Swedish furniture maker.

My boys play “IKEA” at daycare. What? You don’t know what this is? Let me explain.

Sadly, my two-year-olds push a plastic play cart around in their daycare class and tell their friends and teachers “I go IKEA! I go IKEA!” BUSTED!

You see, I am a lazy sod (and I guess my husband is too) because I regularly take my kids to IKEA for dinner. It’s actually become a joke beyond our family, with friends and relatives regularly making comments such as:

” I was gonna call you but I figured you were with the kids at IKEA.”

“You’re eating at home tonight? Why? Was IKEA was closed for dinner?”

It’s gotten to the point that I’ve basically chronicled my kids growing up over the past couple of years through images of them in the dining room at IKEA. Pathetic but true.

IKEA for dinner
February, 2011 - Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

The Swedish Meatballs with fries are the gourmet meal of choice for the boys. My daughter loves either the mac and cheese or the chicken and fries special. My husband and I either get the chicken and fries or the fish and chips. See? We’ve got it down to a fine science. Vegetables are not in the mix, by choice. We’re renegades.

Anyway, meatballs aside, there is a reason for this regular jaunt to this Swedish Mecca of sorts. It’s not the food. No, I can’t say that the meals there are gourmet, let’s face it. We’re talking pretty basic stuff, folks. No, the reason behind the regular foray to IKEA is twofold: Exhaustion and laziness.

Kids in IKEA cafeteria
March 2011 - Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

Day’s end means the following: tired and hungry kids and stressed out parents. There’s that constant question of “what are we having for dinner?” that needs to be answered. Frankly, I really don’t know. I rarely know. It’s a fine science, figuring out what to make that the kids will eat that’s quick, easy and nutritious. It’s hard. I’m impatient and yes, I’m lazy. Sometimes I can’t be bothered and I really don’t care if the correct complement of nutrients, vegetables-in-relation-to-carbohydrates and related items are in sync on my kids’ plates. Yes, it’s easier to defer responsibility to the kindly Swedes and make a beeline for the nearest IKEA. And when my husband and I realized that the twins loved the meatballs and would eat everything on their plate, it was a no-brainer.

Kids at IKEA having Swedish meatballs
July 2011 Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

The family-friendly aspect of the store makes it an easy destination as well. Kids are loved there and you don’t worry if your children have the requisite meltdown as much as you would in another restaurant of a perhaps more distinguished caliber. And so we find ourselves more frequently than we should at the familiar cafeteria at our friendly neighborhood IKEA. 

Twins in shopping cart at IKEA
August 2011 Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

Parents will do anything to get a break as evidenced by not only my family’s jaunts to this location but by the many restaurants that are increasingly seeing moms, dads and kids in tow, looking for a break at dinnertime. The pressures of daily life come to a head sometimes and they just want a break. You know, a little oasis in their world of craziness. Not having to deal with dinner is the break that they’re looking for.

Kids at IKEA
September 2011 Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma
Kids at IKEA
September 2011 Copyright 2011 Multiple Mayhem Mamma

So there’s my dirty little secret. I don’t cook a balanced meal daily. I let my kids eat Swedish Meatballs at IKEA on a regular basis. I’m not the perfect mom. So be it. 

Are you lazy when it comes to food as well? How often do you eat out with the kids? Where do you go? Do you feel guilty?

VIDEO: How to Dine Out With Children

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