Shopping just keeps getting more and more expensive, but it doesn’t have to take a huge bite out of your pocketbook. Being frugal means finding and utilizing ways to save while you shop and learning how to stretch your dollars further.
I have several tips to help you stack your savings when you go shopping:
- Plan your grocery shopping trips using the weekly flyer sales. Then use this shopping list to create a weekly meal plan using the products left in your fridge and pantry. This helps reduce food waste and keeps the grocery bills down too.
- Shop at stores which offer price matching. Price match products you are buying with flyers advertising the same product from another retailer for less. This can save you a lot of money over the course of a year! Price matching is not just for non-perishable pantry items. You can utilize it on any exact item product that is advertised for less at a competitor, so don’t rule out saving money on produce and meat.
- Coupons are available in many formats to help you save: printable, tear pad, coupons flyer, mail out, mobile and loyalty. While the number of coupons for health food items are farther and fewer between, I always look for coupon savings when buying laundry, beauty and household items; these savings add up quickly. Check out my Canada coupons page and my printable Smartsource Canada coupons page to get started on your coupon hunt.
- Take advantage of mobile cash back offers. These are the offers that you redeem after your grocery shopping trip by sending in a photo of your receipt through the respective apps. Make sure you keep an eye out for double-up savings, this is when multiple cash back apps have the same product offering. Sometimes you can even score FREE products with multiple cash back redemptions.
- Submit any mail-in rebates for purchases you’ve made. I always carry the mail in rebate form with my grocery list for the products I wish to buy on rebate. This ensures that I purchase the correct, eligible size and can submit the rebate. I find the best way to ensure that you don’t procrastinate with sending in your mail-in rebate offers, is to complete and mail the MIR immediately after shopping and mail it the same or next day (whichever is most convenient).
- Earn loyalty rewards for future savings off purchases. So many retailers are offering some type of loyalty rewards program to thank you for your business. I recommend signing up for the programs that are most pertinent to you. Every time I shop I still see folks spending hundreds of dollars and earning no loyalty rewards. It reminds me of the credit card commercial where the friends are shopping, one woman uses her rewards credit card to pay and the other woman scoffs at her for paying this way. The other woman questions how much she earned…like $2 and the first woman proudly answers “yes, what did you get?”… My loyalty rewards add up and having them means my family can splurge on some of our luxury wants without affecting our household budget.
- Redeem loyalty rewards to save money off your current purchases. Programs like Shoppers Optimum, PC Plus and Air Miles offer on the spot redemption which can be applied toward your purchases. Please note that taxes may not covered in some cases of a loyalty reward redemption (see specific retailers for details).
- Use cash back websites when you shop online. My favourite cash back online shopping portal is Ebates Canada. They pay out your earnings on a quarterly basis to PayPal or via cheque. Another Canadian cash back shopping portal to check out is Great Canadian Rebates.
- Pay for your purchases with a cash back or loyalty rewards credit card to earn rewards (and sometimes double your loyalty rewards)! I only recommend this option to the folks who do not carry a balance on their credit card. It’s not savings to you if you carry a balance and have to pay interest, so please make smart choices when paying with a credit card.
Saving money doesn’t have to take a lot of your time. I spend about 10-15 minutes before my shopping trip organizing my list and looking for any coupons for the products I wish to buy. During my shopping trip I may use a few extra minutes at the cash register when price matching, so the cashier can input the new prices. Then after I shop I spend about 5 minutes or less sending in my mobile cash back receipts to save more!
What ways are you currently using to save off your shopping bills? Please leave a comment below, I would love hearing from you!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.