Whys and Hows
A recent release of a survey by the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), reported on the importance Ontario residents place on keeping their food costs under control.
In RBC’s Canadian Consumer Outlook for the first quarter of 2013 – of the 866 Ontario residents who took part in the study:
- 80% believed food prices had increased in the last year
- 58% said they now do more comparison shopping for food than in the past
- 33% said that increasing food prices will have a significant impact on their budget
Whether you are in the 33% or simply want to take control of your food budget – here are some tips on successful food budgeting and shopping:
Keep Your Food Budget Reasonable and Doable
- You stand a much better chance of making your food budget work if it is realistic.
- Take the time to figure out exactly what you need for your food budget.
- Write your budget down – and make a commitment to following it.
- Track you success by recording the amount of money you spend on food. Use your receipts to keep it accurate.
- Review and update your budget – to keep it relevant and doable.
Know Your Stores
- Make a point of finding the grocery store that meets your needs, has consistently lower prices, and is not too hard to get to.
- While it might be worth your while to take advantage of sales at multiple stores – remember to factor in transportation and time costs.
Know Your Prices
- Keep a price journal / notebook – where you can track prices of those items that your routinely buy
- It does not have to be complicated, just a lined notebook – and a commitment to keeping it current.
Make a List
- Go through your pantry, fridge and freezer to determine exactly what you are low on.
- Using flyers and coupons – create a shopping list of those items you will be buying.
- Review your list to make sure it is within your budget and realistic.
When in the Store
- Stick to your list – avoid impulse buying.
- If you come across a great in-store sale – try to remove something of equal value from your list before you buy it.
- Eat before you go grocery shopping – it will help you in you stick to your list.
After Grocery Shopping
- Put all perishable foods away asap.
- Record prices in your price notebook – using your grocery receipt(s).
- Record the total you spent in your budget sheets.
- Give yourself a pat on the back for taking the time to shop with a budget.
Don’t Give Up
Learn from your mistakes – and move on.
You and your financial well being are worth the effort.