Tips to cut down the grocery shopping bill as food prices rise

With the price of food on a steady incline, cutting costs is top of mind for many and there are ways to save – both online and in your fridge.

Siggy Rajzman is all about a deal. In fact, he says it is a personal challenge to scour out the lowest cost on grocery items like produce, poultry and fish, canned goods and staples like potatoes.

“King salmon, this was on sale until today. It was $2.99, normally around $4,” says Rajzman, as he points out three cans in the pantry. “A 10-pound bag of white potatoes $1.99.”

Rajzman searches through the many digital flyers for nearly every grocery store in his area using, which is also available as a smartphone app.

“You will find the deals on almost everything you need,” he says. “And Wednesday is the best day to look because you will see the flyers that will end that week with their specials and the one that starts the next day, Thursday, with their deals. One example is chicken breasts, $8.99 at one store today and tomorrow, a different store has it for $5.99.”

A chance to double-down on potential savings and with food prices on the rise, Rajzman says the 30 minutes each week spent searching for deals is worth it, and so is shopping at multiple stores.

Take Barrhaven for instance; Your Independent Grocer, Loblaws, Food Basics, Metro, Fresh Co., as well as two Farm Boy locations are all within a few minutes of driving.

While price matching may seem like a good option, and it is, not all stores participate.

“If you’re going to save 30 maybe 40 per cent then it’s very well worth it to do it,” Rajzman says. “If I see a really, really good deal on chicken, I’ll buy more and freeze it because everything is going up and if people just shop regularly they’re going to pay more. Bottom line is what is left in your pocket at the end of the week.”

Flyers can help you save some cash at the register, but there are also other ways to make your food budget stretch, with the items you have.

Betty-Ann, a savvy shopper, finding deals at Farmer’s Pick in Ottawa. She says she always checks the expiration date on dairy products, helping to make milk last that much longer.

“And don’t leave your food on the counter to spoil,” she says. “Put it in your fridge when you’re finished with it and take it out later when you’re ready to eat it.”

Mark Vaughan says his family has made changes to their diet.

“Today I’m getting some broccoli, lettuce, bananas, onions, and oranges,” he says. “With the high price of meat now, it’s just crazy. So the family is tending to go away from meats; more beans, pasta , that sort of thing you know and eat less processed foods which tends to be expensive.”

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