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How to save money on groceries

There are many things we can do to help reduce our family's grocery bills. Especially now as food prices are steadily increasing. Here are some tried and true methods that have helped me and that I hope will help you. 

Butter chicken, rice, peas and mango, prepared by Karla, the cook at Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre.

1.Don't shop hungry, you will make better choices.


2.Make a plan, it does not have to be fancy. Write a list of what dinner and lunch meals you would like to eat for a week. Breakfast is usually the simplest some examples could be:

Lunches - Soup & sandwiches, pasta/ sauce with cheese or meat, Fresh veggies & sandwiches, Quesadillas you can use anything for these (chicken, beef, tofu, cheese, salsa, tomato, onion) breakfast for lunch, Wraps eggs chicken salad, Tuna melts.  

Dinners could be anything on the list above or try chicken & rice, fried rice with meat,

nachos, tacos, baked potato topped with cheese sour cream bacon bits chicken or ground beef you can turn a potato into a meal by just changing up the toppings.  

3. Meal Prep - bag and freeze meals in advance so on the days when you are too tired to cook you won't feel the need to order out.  

4. Stay away from eating out or ordering in as much as possible, it is super expensive, generally high in salt and fat. 

5.Offer healthy snacks! Children snack all day, they have small tummies, and most don't want to sit and eat a big meal, that is perfectly fine. Offer them healthy snacks throughout the day instead. I remember parents demanding children finish everything on their plate and making children sit for hours. This can cause children to develop food aversion issues and an unhealthy relationship with food.  

Childrens taste buds are also still developing its ok to let them try new foods or ask them to try a bite of something but if they won't, don't get upset try again in a few weeks or months. I know it can seem easier to buy things like chips, pop and candy or fast food but eating these kinds of foods regularly will end up making your life harder overall. Causing your children to have more temper tantrums from sugar highs and lows. Worse attention spans and listening skills.  

Major health issues like obesity, depression, constipation, sleep issues, impaired growth physically as well as mentally & insulin resistance (diabetes) are just a few of the issues that can come from an unhealthy unbalanced diet.  


6. Protein does not need to always come from meat – beans, lentils, Dairy options like cheese, eggs nuts/seeds and tofu are all great high protein choices.  

Save money by buying less meat and purchasing a variety of other canned or dried sources of protein. 

7. Try frozen fruit! Children love fruit but it ends up getting thrown out before it gets consumed or forgotten about or a child's tastes are always changing week by week. Don't get discouraged try frozen fruit a lot of children will eat frozen fruit straight out of the freezer just let it thaw a bit serve it frozen or warm it up. Top it with a little sugar if it's very tarte. That way you aren't throwing your hard-earned money out.  

8. Buy all food on sale or clearance. Meat, cheese fruit and veg can all be frozen and used later. Blanching is a great technique for veggies. Cheese is fine frozen; it just doesn't slice as well after. It will crumble but is perfect in sauces or melted on sandwiches or buns. 

9. Check out discount stores like No frills, H& W produce & Giant tiger they have some great deals at times. Use apps like Shoppers optimum and scene card apps. It is a pain to get used to using it but once you get used to it you can save a lot of money on groceries yearly.  

10. Try the Flashfood app. It is great to use at No frill's superstores and wholesale club. This app allows you to see what items they are selling at these stores because they are almost at their expiry date. Then you can add them to your cart pay and go pick the food up that day or the next. Things go fast so check the app frequently.  

BONUS: Stretch one meal into two meals. For example, turn spaghetti sauce and pasta into a lasagna-just add noodles and some cheese. Make a chicken stew and turn leftovers into a pot pie-just pour any leftover of the stew into a pie shell top with another pie shell and bake it. Use leftover ground beef or turkey/chicken, frozen vegetables, or leftover vegetables make some sauce with a packet or two of gravy and top with mashed potatoes.  


At Norwood Centre our cook Karla and Program Support Team work to provide healthy meals and snacks for our participants as well as tools that caregivers can use to support their children and families wellbeing. We hear you! If you have a question or concern, please ask! 780-471-3737



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