Shopping: Why Pay More?

Every year around the globe people spend over one TRILLION dollars on groceries!  In Canada,  food shopping amounts to (on average) 20% of our family income.  Most newcomers notice that the prices in Canadian stores are much higher that they are used to.  They're right - Canadians have the 10th highest food prices in the world.

While everybody needs to buy groceries, why pay more than you need to? We have only so much - or so little - to spend on food.  With a limited income and a limited budget, groceries are something you can save a lot of money on.

Saving fifty cents with a coupon on a can of soup might not seem like a lot, but saving $50 a week on your grocery bill will save you $2600 in one year! Here are just a few money saving tips on how to save while shopping for your family.

It is impossible to know if you're getting a good deal on something you're buying, if you don't know what the normal price of the item is. You likely remember the costs of the items you buy week after week. It's good to use the fliers that most stores send out each week to compare prices from store to store.

The best deals are generally on the outside covers of the fliers, but the sale prices are not necessarily always great prices. This is also why it's important to know your prices.

Now that you know what you want and how much it costs, its time to start collecting coupons!

Coupons are almost like free money.

You can find many coupons at your local grocery stores. Many stores have coupons for their own and national brands at the front of the store. You may also find coupons near products that are being promoted inside the store.

Some coupons come straight to your door in advertisements. There are two fliers - Shop & Save and Smart Source - that are in various newspapers monthly. You can also find coupons in magazines and the "Clip n' Save" booklet that may come inside.

You can also check on the websites of your favourite brands. Some companies offer promotions where you can immediately print a coupon right from your own printer, cut it out and take it to your local stores.  Other companies run promotions where they mail coupons to you (for free product, or money off).

Then there are online resources such as save.ca, smartcanucks.ca and redflagdeals.ca. They can direct you to coupons, provide advice and point out good deals.

As well, you can write to companies and ask to be put on their mailing list for promotions. They may send out coupons occasionally. You can also write and tell them your thoughts and ideas about their products. Often companies will reward your effort with coupons.  New products will sometimes have coupons attached to them. You can sometimes even find Try Me Free offers.

Don`t be afraid to combine your coupons with sale offers. That's where the real savings are to be found. For example., if you find $1.49 soup on sale for $1 and you have a coupon for fifty cents, you can use the coupon to reduce the sale price even more. At that reduced price you can afford to stock up - but remember, you`ll need a coupon for each item!

If you do your homework, do your research - hunt for coupons then start saving money! Its a bit of hard work but more money in your pocket is always a good thing. Why pay more than you have to?