Have you ever been frustrated at the high cost of your grocery bill? Doesn’t it seem like the cost of this essential expense just keeps rising and rising with no end in sight? Well, what if I told you it was possible to cut your grocery bill by 20%, 50%, even up to 100%? Sounds fantastic, I know! Right about now you’re thinking either: “where can I sign up?” or “where’s the catch?”.
Ok, it’s true, there is a catch – but it’s a pretty reasonable catch. The catch is you will have to do a little bit of reading and little bit of work to make it happen. The other catch is that you can end up walking out of the store having paid $0 or even having made money, but this definitely isn’t possible every time you go shopping and it is hard to achieve results that good when you’re just getting started. As you practice the art of saving money on your groceries, your savings will keep increasing until you are able to save more than 50% off your grocery bill on a regular basis!
Now that you know the stakes, I guess I better tell you how you can get started. Cassie Howard, the well-known Canadian blogger behind MrsJanuary.com, has recently released a brand new eBook called Money In Your Pocket: A Canadian Guide to Coupons, Stockpiling, and More. I have just finished reading the entire 65 page book, where she breaks down the complete process of getting huge savings on your groceries while providing additional links to a ton of useful resources to help you along. It’s a very worthwhile read, and it is my pleasure to review it and let you know what you can expect if you decide to read it yourself.
The Basics of Saving Money on Groceries – Chapter 1
The first chapter of the book is probably my favourite chapter because she covers so much ground in so few words about the basic principles you can follow to save money on your groceries and other purchases. She goes over things like how to read and use the sale flyers, menu planning, how to make a proper grocery list, retailer sales cycles (yes – sales are recurring and planned far in advance), and the basics of stocking up.
She also covers some more advanced topics like the Scanning Code of Practice (the who what??), price matching, and rain checks. Her description of price matching along with the provided links to resources on her own site actually make the thought of price matching a large number of items to save time, money, and gas a bearable one. Price matching is very intimidating to most first timers, but she actually makes it look easy and, by following her advice, chances are that it will be!
There are 17 topics in all in the first chapter and each one of them helps to provide a solid foundation for you to start saving money on your groceries. This all leads up to the biggest grocery money saver there is:
Use Coupons to Slash Your Grocery Bill – Chapter 2
Many people think coupons are a waste of time and money and they only allow you to save a few cents off an already expensive purchase. Many people also think that they will always save money buying the store brand product over the equivalent brand name making coupons irrelevant. By effectively using coupons, Cassie shows you how neither of these myths are true along with clearing up many more common misconceptions people have about coupons.
In fact, she teaches you how to make your coupons sing in a way you never thought possible to achieve unimaginable grocery savings. Some of the information she covers includes the following:
- 9 different ways to quickly find high value coupons.
- Great tips on sorting your coupons so they will actually get used and not lost or expired.
- Demystifying coupon jargon & legalese so you know what the terms and conditions actually mean.
- This really helps with stubborn cashiers who don’t actually know how to properly apply coupon rules.
- Ways to stack coupons so you can use more than one coupon on the same item to further reduce the price.
- She even shows ways to do this at stores other than London Drugs (famous for their coupon stacking policy).
- How you can even make money for taking groceries off the store’s shelves!
This chapter is very thorough and, after reading it, there won’t be much left that you don’t know about effectively collecting and using coupons in Canada. I’ve spent countless hours reading forums and blogs for years about saving money and coupons and most of the knowledge I’ve amassed in that time surrounding coupons is present in this chapter. There are even a few tidbits that I wasn’t previously aware of!
How to Build a Grocery Stockpile and Shop Your Own Basement – Chapter 3
Wouldn’t it be great whenever you ran out of toilet paper, toothpaste, or pasta to be able to run down to your basement and grab a fresh supply that only cost you 25% of what you would normally pay if you had to run out to the store immediately and get it. Not only would you never have to pay full price again, but you are saving time, gas money, and stress by not having to run unnecessary errands at the last minute! That’s what grocery stockpiling is all about and Cassie goes into great detail about how to effectively create a stockpile for those on any budget and constrained by any living quarters.
Most importantly, she’ll show you how to organize and use your stockpile so it doesn’t cause your family undue stress by it taking over the entire house or by having expired food go to waste on a regular basis. If you follow her blog at MrsJanuary.com, you would already know she has an amazing stockpile of her own in her basement so she has all the necessary experience to help you do the same.
Even More Ways to Save Money on Your Groceries – Chapter 4
Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more ways to save money on groceries, she comes through with a final chapter that gives you even more. Here you’ll find tips surrounding Mail In Rebates (MIRs), Rewards Programs (all hail the Shoppers Optimum rewards program), menu planning, and even freezer cooking so you never have to get expensive and unhealthy last minute take-out again.
Following the final chapter, she ties everything together with a list of very helpful online and printable resources from her site that you can use to make saving money on groceries much quicker and easier. She concludes by challenging you, the reader, to embrace the savings and to have fun with it so it never seems like a chore but instead a thrill to see how much money you can save next.
Money In Your Pocket is a Clear Winner
After reading the book, it is clear to me that this is an invaluable resource to Canadian grocery shoppers and it is particularly useful to those people who are new to couponing and have no idea that they can take real steps to significantly reduce their grocery bill. Even if you are a seasoned deal hunter like me, you will still learn some things you didn’t know before and this book is a great gift to give to family and friends whom you would like to see start saving more money but would easily be overwhelmed without a clear and simple guide like this one.
Unlike most of the content Cassie has produced in the last several years, this book isn’t free and neither should it be. I believe that people like her who are willing to spend so much of their time and energy providing endless amazing and free content to their readers should be rewarded for their efforts. She has clearly done this and she deserves every penny she earns from the selling of this book. The cost is a
very reasonable $8 extremely reasonable $4.99 and I can almost guarantee you that if you take her tips seriously you will save several times that much – probably on your first shopping trip alone!