You Really Can Eat Healthy On A Small Budget

You Really Can Eat Healthy On A Small Budget

People ask me all the time if I actually save money on good healthy food. This post will hopefully prove that it is possible.

Looking back over shopping trips from the past year or so, I wanted to share some amazing deals that I was able to get using coupons, cash back or other savings strategies.

TIPS TO SAVE ON FOOD:

  • Plan ahead! Meal planning, stocking up on sales and knowing how much your family eats will all help you save. Many of us over buy then end up wasting food. Plan, plan, plan.
  • Meat: Shop early in the day and look for those packs of meat close to Best Before dates. Most stores will mark them down 50% to sell fast.
  • Meat From Butcher: If you have a local butcher or market, there are often deals when you buy in bulk, or in freezer packs.
  • Meat from the Farm: If you purchase meat directly from a farmer, you can often get a good deal on 1/4 cow, or 1/2 pig, etc...this will be a large purchase, but will last a long time. Supporting local and getting meat as fresh as possible are added bonuses!
  • Fruit & Veggies: Again, clearance racks are great at supermarkets. Often a small bruise or one tomato in a container could be bad. Cut off the bruises on fruit and chop up and freeze for smoothies or pies. Veggies are perfect to chop and make soups, sauces or chilies.
  • Yogurt: Keep watching for those mark downs or sales and coupons for Yogurt especially. Freeze yogurt in ice cube trays, then use in smoothies.
  • Milk: You can also freeze milk, simply thaw and shake well before drinking. Watch for bonus points offers at Shoppers or Superstore. You can also find coupons for soy and almond milks often

Below are just a few examples of savings on regular grocery trips. Using Cash back apps, digital offers (PC points) and coupons can help you save even more on your regular grocery bill.

$1 for 6 loaves of bread and 3 Oasis 1.75l Juice

By purchasing the bread on the discount rack, and using a high value coupon for Bread and Juice combo, I was able to get all this for only $1.02.

DETAILS HERE

1dollar6bread3juice

Clearance and pink stickers galore!

All the items below were purchased for $61.40 

  • Whole Chicken
  • Lean Ground Chicken 
  • Lemon Chicken
  • Lemon Chicken
  • 3 Pepper Beef Strips
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • 4 pk  Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • 5 packs Mini Go Drinks ($2 each)
  • 3 blocks Black Diamond Cheese
  • 2 small Salads
  • 1 Medium Salad

Get all the details HERE.

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6140c  

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6140d6140f  6140b

Looking Back to 2012, here's a great shop!

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This is an oldie, but we had great booklets for $ off meat in the Ziploc bags that year.

  • Turnip $0.95 - $0.75 = $0.20
  • Snow Peas $1.65 - $0.75 = $0.90
  • Gr Beans $1.56 - $0.75 = $0.81
  • Onions BOGO Free $2.89 - $1.50 = $0.70 each (X2)
  • Cabbage $1.57 - $0.75 = $0.82
  • Chicken $2.26 - $1.50 = $0.76
  • Chicken $2.28 - $1.50 = $0.78
  • Chicken $2.24 - $1.50 = $0.74
  • ML Prime Chicken $7.71 - $2 = $5.71
  • ML Prime Chicken $7.60 - $2 = $5.60
  • GF Bread Mix $4.99 - $1 = $3.99
  • Bathroom Cleaner $5.49 - FPC = FREE

This is from January 2017.

  • 2 X Minigo 2/$5
  • Plain Greek Yogurt $2.15
  • Coconut Milk $2.99
  • Almond Milk $2.99
  • Fruit Tray, melon & berries $5.99 - 50% = $3 (I am the only one who eats melon, so rarely buy it, this is my treat)
  • Taco Salad $7.50 -50% =$3.75
  • Rolls 6pk $3.49 - 50%= $1.75
  • 1lb Strawberries $4.99
  • English Cucumber $1.49
  • 4 pk Red Peppers $3.99
  • Tomato Variety pack $6.99 - 50% = $3.50
  • 4lb Gala Apples $4.99
  • 4X Nectarines $3.03
  • Lean Ground Beef $11.99 - 50% = $6
  • Lean Ground Beef $12.21 - 50% = $6.10
  • Pork Chops $4.91
  • Pork Chops $4.91
  • Chicken Breasts Value pack $13.52 - $0.75 Coupgon= $12.77 (8 pack,not pictured as I put them in the oven and slow cooker when I got home)

TOTAL: $78.31

I hope you find these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you have for saving on food.

More Grocery Savings Articles:

7 Tips for Shopping on Amazon.ca

7 Tips for Shopping on Amazon.ca

 

It is safe to say that I am slightly, okay fully, addicted to shopping on Amazon.ca! I still comparison shop and make sure I can trust the sellers, but in general, I find the best deals on this site. Selection is amazing and products have always been of high value. This being said, there are a few things you need to consider when shopping, to ensure you have a good experience and get the best deal and service your money.

1. Sellers:

It is the individual sellers on Amazon you need to check on. Similar to shopping on Ebay, You need to pay attention to who is selling the item and read feedback on them.

Many items available on the Amazon website are sold by Amazon or the companies /brands that make them. Those are usually safe to order from and will provide consistently better customer service.

2. Pricing:

Know your pricing. Just because an Amazon seller (or any retailers for that matter) posts a "mark down", doesn't mean that it is a deal.

Compare the prices to other retailers before buying.

3. Free Shipping:

Many purchases made through Amazon offer Free Shipping when you spend $35.

"You receive free shipping if your order includes $35 of eligible items. Any item with "FREE Shipping" messaging on the product detail page, that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon, is eligible and contributes to your free shipping order minimum excluding taxes, gift-wrap, Gift Cards, oversize, and heavy items." See more details here

4. Prime Members:

Want Free 2 day shipping, extra discounts, unlimited photo storage and early access to daily deals?

If you do a high volume of shopping on Amazon, I would recommend the prime account. Free 2 day shipping on no minimum order value. Look for the deals marked with the Prime logo.

Get a 30 day free trial of Prime! After your free trial, Amazon Prime is just CDN$ 79.00/year (plus any applicable taxes). Cancel anytime. *Quebec residents receive an initial 13-month membership for CDN $79.00, instead of a free trial.

Check out all the details here.
Amazon Family members get 20% off Diaper subscriptions plus additional family-centric discounts and recommendations, compliments of Amazon Family. Amazon Family is free for all Prime members. Simply create a child profile during signup to begin.

Students receive 6 months Free Prime service, referral credits and special student deals.
After your free trial, your membership will upgrade to Amazon Prime for 50% off. Cancel anytime. Quebec residents get an 18-month membership for CDN $39 instead of a free trial.

5. Price Matching & Price Guarantee On TVs

Amazon offers price matching on TVs only. Here are the details.

Also, if you purchase a TV from Amazon and see it is cheaper at any of the listed retailers, within 30 Day, they will refund the difference.
TV Low Price Guarantee Retailers are:

  • Bestbuy.ca
  • Costco.ca
  • Dell.ca
  • Sears.ca
  • Visions.ca
  • Walmart.ca

6. Shop Amazon Warehouse

Amazon’s warehouse offers a large variety of open-box and returned items that fall under Amazon’s simple, money-back return policy. Pricing is dramatically reduced and you can find some pretty amazing deals there.

7. Amazon Coupons

Yes, Amazon has a Coupon section and offers discounts you can apply to items at checkout. Check out the coupons here.

 

More tips for online shopping:

How To: Shop Online & Save
Ebates Explained: Earn Cash Back

Saving Money & Healthy Meal Planning #FlippFoodChallenge

Saving Money & Healthy Meal Planning with the help of Flipp

As you may be aware, I am on a healthier lifestyle journey to lose weight and feel better. In the process my grocery bill has gone up from making better food choices and having less coupons or discounts available to save money on the fresh foods we are packing in our fridge. 

When I sit down to meal plan each week, first I look at what we have on hand in the fridge, freezer and pantry. I try to pick a variety of meal options for the week, and then I make my shopping list. By using the Flipp app, I have access to all the local flyers in one spot. The app is often updated with flyers a day early and before the paper copies arrive at my house.

With my phone in hand, I then create my shopping list based on what I need in addition to what I already have in my home. With Flipp, as I add an item to my list, it shows me if and where it is on sale. Many times I choose to price match, keeping my shopping to one stop instead of 5.

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This week I shopped for lots of healthy, fresh veggies. While there are rarely coupons for fresh foods like this, you can price match at Walmart, No Frills and Giant Tiger locations here in Atlantic Canada. Some other Loblaws chain stores in other regions price match as well.

I made this tasty and inexpensive salad with my Flipp shopping list, as well as a Spinach Bowl for lunch. By using Flipp to make my list, and price match, I was able to make these two meals for less than $8, with veggies left over for other meals.

Zoodle Salad with Lime Basil Dressing

Serves 2-3 as a side salad

  • 1 large Zucchini (2 medium)
  • 1 Roma Tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup English Cucumber, sliced and quarted
  • 1 Avocado,  diced
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lime, juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil
  • Dash Salt & Pepper

zucchiniSalad

Using a julienne tool make zucchini noodles. Place in a bowl and add tomatoes,  cucumbers and avocado.

In blender or food processor, puree olive oil, lime juice and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine.let marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes (tastes even better if you marinate longer).

The second recipe I made with my fresh veggies was a Spinach Bowl for my lunch.

Spinach Bowl

Serves 2 (full meal bowls) or 4 (as a side)

  • 4 -6 cups of fresh Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 sweet Pepper, diced (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow)
  • 1/2 Red Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon (if you like Balsamic Vinegar better, use 1 1/2 tsp in place of Lemon)
  • 1/2 cup diced Feta Cheese

Using a large frying pan, heat Olive Oil and add Peppers, Onion and Garlic. Stir and cook until onion is soft. Add Spinach and cook approximately 4 minutes until wilted.
Add Lemon juice and stir to mix well.
Place in bowls and add Feta cheese, mix it in or leave on top.

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This is an awesome Lunch option and so flavourful. You can add sliced Olives if you like, as well as a little greek seasoning in the pan with the veggies.

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I was part of the #FlippFoodChallenge and received compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tips for Yardsales (Buying and Selling)

Tips for Yardsales (Buying and Selling)

Last year, for one of my columns on CBC Information Morning 106.1 in Moncton, we talked about Yard Sales.
Jonna mentioned a faux pas she made a while back, when she went yardsaling with her family members. She started her experience with a $50 bill. Finding a tea cup for $0.50, she pulled out the $50 and the person selling did not have change. Her Aunt placed two quarters on the table and hauled her off!  I had to laugh, this happens so often, especially with bank machines pumping out $20 bills. Many people come to yard sales with bigger bills, but a $50 would be a surprise to the seller for sure. Read more below for tips for both buyers and sellers, to make your morning treasure hunt a pleasant one.
I hope the experience does not keep Jonna from trying again.
 

What other mistakes do people make?

  • Paying Sticker Price: Heading into a yard sale and paying the price on the tag, WITHOUT asking for a better price. Most sellers know they will be haggled on price, so they may put a little more on it than they will actually accept.
  • Check to be sure it works: Buying something electronic without checking if it works is a common mistake. We tend to trust that is someone is selling, it must work. Most people will have an outdoor outlet close buy. Plug it in and try it first. Who wants to get home and find out the $2 toaster does not work? It was a great deal, and yes, it's only $2....but it is your $2 and you may have wasted it.
  • Take some batteries: If you are looking for items that usually take batteries, carry some with you to test items! Yes, you can put a few batteries in your car just in case. I would suggest sellers have batteries on hand, but they often do not.
  • You do not need to buy EVERY DEAL: BEFORE you head out to shop, really think about what you are going for. You do not need to buy more "stuff" that you will store and just turn around and put in a yard sale or donate. I completely understand the rush of finding a deal (I am the coupon lady 🙂 ), but remember, it's only a deal if you will actually use it!
 

How can people get deals without looking really stingy or cheap? 

Don't think about it as being stingy, you are being frugal, you want to  pay the least you have to.
Ask for a deal: Just because you know what someone may have paid originally, it NEVER hurts to ask for a better deal. The worst response they can give you is, "I won't go any lower". You then decide what you are willing to pay. I am not a haggler, but I always ask what they want for something, even if it is marked.
Try to look at everything, gather up what you are looking to buy and then ask what the seller wants for the group of items. Often times they will not look at each item for a price, they will just ballpark it. Or may even drop the price by half or more. You simply never know how bad someone wants the stuff gone!
 

What tips do you have for people having yard sales? 

BE PREPARED (that applies to so many things in life)
Have your items priced: If you are like me, you may constantly have a Yard Sale Bin on the go. As I put an item in the bin, I put a price on it. Then on sale day, I have no labelling to do.
Set Up Tables: Prep tables or tarps the night before, ready to load up with your items in the morning. Tarps don't need to be put out until the morning of. Tarps or plastic bags are great to spread on the grass and display toys, stuffed animals or clothing. They keep everything off the grass and clean. I would put more expensive items on tables, closer to eye level will make them more appealing to people.
Have lots of change: Depending on your lowest priced items, you will want to have lots of change on hand. Quarters are usually my smallest coin, but if you are selling items at $0.10 or less, then you will want nickels and dimes as well.
Advertise: Make signs with "YARD SALE" , hours you will be set up and arrows directing to your street. At the end of your street put the address on the sign as well, maybe some balloons to draw attention as well. This will make your signs smaller for putting up. Post signs the night before. Remove your signs once you are done packing up your items.
Post your sale online (kijiji, facebook community groups, on your personal social media pages, etc)
 
You can also check out my post on Hosting a Successful Yard Sale.
 

PC PLUS Tip: Save offers

PC PLUS Tip: Saving Offers for next week.   Did you know that your PC Plus Offers can be saved for next week? You can select up to 3 offers each week and save them to go live the following week. image Simple swipe the offer to the left on your screen.  The option to save will appear. You also have the option, on any item, to select "Don't Show Again". That will remove those items from your targeted offers and never show up for you again Here you can see I saved a Maple Leaf Bacon offer and a Peppers offer for next week. image

How to Grocery Shop & Not Break The Bank!

How to Grocery Shop & Not Break The Bank!

Here are 7 tips to help you prepare and spend less:

Make a menu plan:

Planning what your family will eat can seem like a very time consuming task. I assure you, it saves you time, stress and money! Spend a little time each week to figure out what meals you have food for. Maybe you have enough food in your house to make 4 supper meals. This means now you only need to buy for 3 other meals that week. Here is an example of my relaxed menu plan.

Check your pantry:

Be sure you know what you already have on hand. It is so easy to over buy, especially on items you use often. You can even keep an inventory of what you have on hand and then when you reach a certain number, you stock back up. Here is a list of Pantry Basics you should have on hand.

Search the sales flyers:

Flyer sales are great to help you plan. If you have items you use all the time, and they are on sale, consider stocking up. You do not need a room full of stuff, but perhaps picking up 4 boxes of your favourite cereal, instead of 1, will get you through to the next sale.

Remember: Everything you buy is on a 4-6 week sales cycle. If it is on sale this week, you will see it on sale for roughly the same price in 4 to 6 weeks.

MAKE A LIST - Only buy what you need:

It is much easier to only buy what you need when you do the previous steps. Having a plan for the food you are buying, and knowing what you have on hand, means you will only buy what you need that week. If you see something on a clearance or in store sale and it will not be used/eaten, then it is NOT a deal if you throw it out! Download our Shopping List

Eat before you shop:

Hungry shoppers buy more. If you go to the grocery store when you are hungry, everything will look good and you will put more in your cart than you need.

Shop alone:

It is not always possible, but if you can shop alone, you will spend less money, stick to your list and not be distracted.

Look High and Low.

Manufacturers pay big bucks to have their products placed at eye level. The higher priced brands will be displayed where the majority of shoppers are bound to look. ALWAYS look above and below eye level when browsing.

Use Coupons, Loyalty Cards and Cash Back Apps to save even more!

 

Grocery Shopping Jan 17th

Grocery Shopping  Jan 17th *

weeklyGrocery Today we went grocery shopping as a family (4 of us). Sometimes this can backfire, when we go without a plan. Today I think we stuck fairly close to plan and ended up with a couple extra deals. Shopping as a group can sometimes create challenges, but today I had my list and planned to get Clayton, my 3 yr old to help putting items in the cart. He did a great job helping, and daddy and big brother Lorne also helped occupy him when I was going through the cash. We went to Atlantic Superstore and Walmart. Here is the break down of our shopping trip. I will post my meal plan later to give you an idea of where the food fits into our plan for the week. One thing I try to do each week is find he best produce prices and only pick up those items (unless there are other produce deals on the clearance rack, lots today, but I didn't even look, too tempting). Atlantic Superstore:
  • Onions $2
  • Carrots $2
  • Cauliflower X4 at $2.50 = $10
  • 3pk Romaine Lettuce $2.50
  • Golden Delicious Apples 4lb bag $2.50 - $0.75 (Coupgon) = $1.75
  • Avocado x2 @$1.67 each=$3.34 - $0.75 (Coupgon) = $2.59
  • PC Thin crust pizzas $5.49 (2,000 pts each) X4 = $21.96 (8,000 pts earned)
  • 4L Milk $6.35 - $1 (Coupgon)= $5.35
  • Eggs x2 @ $1.99 = $3.98
  • Sour Cream $1.89
  • No Name Waffles 8pk x6 @ 1.50 = $9 (Stocking up on these)
  • Larsen Hot Dog Wieners Lg Pack $5.99 (2,000 pts)
  • Hash Browns 2.69
  • PC Cream Cheese (lg) $4.99
TOTAL Out Of Pocket: $76.69 PC PLUS POINTS EARNED: 11,000 (10,000 in store and 1,000 digital) I earned a total of 11,000 pts today, which equals $11 when I redeem them in the future. Plus there are points that will be added for my produce purchases through the Guiding Stars program later this month. I used 3 Coupgons to total $2.50 off at the cash as well. We don't usually buy that many hotdogs or waffles at one time, but they were good prices and we had none left of either. Eggs I purchased to make Breakfast Burritos and Omelet Muffins. Next we went to Walmart and picked up a couple things.
  • Strawberries $2.97 (they are all out, so no luck there!)
  • Ground Chicken x2 (25% off) $5.08 = $10.16
  • Steak Packs x2 (25% off) 7.77 and 6.52 = $13.59
  • Bacon x2 $2.97 - $1 (tear pad) = $1.97 x2= $3.94
TOTAL Out of Pocket: $27.69 These groceries, in addition to what I have on hand, will feed us meals for most of the next 2 weeks. We will buy more salad ingredients for next week. Watch the blog for my menu plan with the above groceries.   *Please keep in mind, there will be junk food and not so healthy options at times, but I try to shop relatively healthy. We have a family of 4, children 3 yrs and 12 yrs and 2 adults.

CBC Information Morning Coupon Lady Column

CBC Information Morning Coupon Lady Column Here is a list of the archived radio columns I have done over the past 3 years. The most recent from this fall were not added online. I will post when I am back on air. We do a few months at a time, then break.
Column on CBC Information Morning Moncton 106.1FM

CBC Radio Column: Holiday Shopping

CBC Radio Column: Holiday Shopping *

shopping

How early do you start shopping?

It really depends on what I am buying. If it is toys for kids, I shop closer to the holiday or birthday, they like everything they see. What they like in August may be completely different than what they “want” in December. As our kids grow and reach teen years, you can shop more in advance. Gift get pricier and usually they are a little pickier. We'll get to online shopping in a second, but if you're out in the stores, what's the advantage to starting early? Selection is your biggest advantage. Getting out before the mad rush of holiday shopping will provide you the opportunity to find exactly what you are looking for. Sometimes, depending on the item, seasonal sales afford you better deals as well. Crowds are another reason to shop early. I would rather not shop when they malls are packed! Shouldn't we just wait for the inevitable sales? Sales will happen closer to the holidays, but you risk not getting items in stock, as mentioned above. Many retailers also have a price guarantee. Some are up to 30 days. You can buy and watch if the item goes on sale, go in with your receipt and get the price lowered. When it comes to savings, what advantages does online shopping offer?
  • Shopping from home
  • Comparing prices easily
  • Selection is often much better online
  • Prices are often lower
  • Options for earning Cash Back or points (eBates, Mr. Rebates, Airmiles, etc)
  What are some of the disadvantages of online shopping?
  • Using Credit, or Paypal may not be convenient
  • You can’t touch the product, for some items you may prefer in person shopping
  • Returns and exchanges can be tricky in some cases
  • Shipping costs are a factor
  • ALWAYS read fine print
  If it's not apparent on websites, how do we find out about great deals? Best tip to stay on top of online deals is to subsribe to the various retailer’s newsletters. Of course following www.everythingunscripted.com will help as well. We post as many of the best deals as possible. More and more we are including online retailers in our deals posts.   What's your favourite one stop shopping site?  One stop sites would be either Shop.ca or amazon.ca Log in through ebates.ca for cash back on these and many more sites. Walmart.ca has a great site, I would shop from them if it is getting close and stores are busy. Did I mention I don’t like crowds? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *This is based on the script from my CBC column about Shopping during the holidays. The actual on air column may or may not have covered everything we had prepared. I am sharing this as part of our articles on the site as it was prepared with a few additions. It is in an interview format, myself being the person responding to the questions. Each column is prepared to allow for approximately 5-7min of air time. I may have added additional info on this page or links to further details.

TIP: Per Unit Price Comparison

TIP: Per Unit Price Comparison image image Huggies Pull Ups These actually work out to be the same price. Depending on how many coupons you have, buying the large box makes your coupons go further. You would need to use 3×$2 coupons on the smaller pack, while only needing 1x $2 coupon to get the same price on the large pack. Another reason to go with the larger box is the limit on the Cash back offer.Items usually have a limit per week. If you can only redeem 1 time, then the larger box is your better deal. 22pk @10.99 -$2 coupon -$2 snap cash back =$6.99 Or $ 0.32 each 66pk @$24.97 -$2 coupon -$2 snap cash back =$20.97 Or $ 0.32 each