Grocery Shopping for a Broke Student?

2

Replies

  • beadgalsarita
    beadgalsarita Posts: 47 Member
    When I was living in Toronto, we often shopped at NoFrills and BulkBarn. I haven't lived there in a few years, but I imagine they're both still fairly affordable. Definitely get your spices at BulkBarn or non-western stores, as they'll always be cheaper. With BulkBarn you can buy small amounts so you'll always be able to have fresh spices around.

    Like someone else said, also check out various non-western grocery stores. I'd occasionally find certain foods much cheaper there, although that won't be the case for all things.

    If you have an oven and are open to making your own bread, I suggest giving that a go. If you have no interest in actually spending time on making bread, not judging it's not for everyone, look into no knead bread. You just mix everything together, let it sit for 12 hours, spend <5 minutes shaping, let it rest for an hour or two and then bake. With this method, you get a really high quality loaf of bread with minimal work and expense as the only ingredients are flour, water, salt, and yeast.
  • AngelxAnnih
    AngelxAnnih Posts: 57 Member
    if you have a car - i often shop around for my weekly groceries - i get the flyers for all the stores by me (for me its safeway, giant and shoppers) and then I look at all of them to figure out what is on sale; shoppers tends to have better deals on shelf stable items (rice/beans than others)

    i know lots of ppl swear by Aldi - but i've been disappointed in their options/quality (bread that went moldy within a day)

    meal plan - budgetbytes is a great website because she breaks down cost to cook each meal

    No car and no Aldi but there is a shoppers like a 10 minute walk from my house. I've always thought they were a little pricey but I'll have to look again because they might be cheaper for some things (like the rice you mentioned).

    I find when I get bread it sits in my freezer for 3 months and then goes in the garbage haha. My boyfriend goes and buys a loaf and then no one eats it!
  • nickssweetheart
    nickssweetheart Posts: 904 Member
    edited October 2017
    if you have a car - i often shop around for my weekly groceries - i get the flyers for all the stores by me (for me its safeway, giant and shoppers) and then I look at all of them to figure out what is on sale; shoppers tends to have better deals on shelf stable items (rice/beans than others)

    i know lots of ppl swear by Aldi - but i've been disappointed in their options/quality (bread that went moldy within a day)

    meal plan - budgetbytes is a great website because she breaks down cost to cook each meal

    Aldis will vary a lot. Two by me are great, one the produce is really unreliable. You want to find a store with a fairly high turnover. The best thing to look for is an Aldi that's really busy on the weekends and on Wednesdays...and then do your shopping on a Monday.

  • AngelxAnnih
    AngelxAnnih Posts: 57 Member
    When I was living in Toronto, we often shopped at NoFrills and BulkBarn. I haven't lived there in a few years, but I imagine they're both still fairly affordable. Definitely get your spices at BulkBarn or non-western stores, as they'll always be cheaper. With BulkBarn you can buy small amounts so you'll always be able to have fresh spices around.

    Like someone else said, also check out various non-western grocery stores. I'd occasionally find certain foods much cheaper there, although that won't be the case for all things.

    If you have an oven and are open to making your own bread, I suggest giving that a go. If you have no interest in actually spending time on making bread, not judging it's not for everyone, look into no knead bread. You just mix everything together, let it sit for 12 hours, spend <5 minutes shaping, let it rest for an hour or two and then bake. With this method, you get a really high quality loaf of bread with minimal work and expense as the only ingredients are flour, water, salt, and yeast.
    When I was living in Toronto, we often shopped at NoFrills and BulkBarn. I haven't lived there in a few years, but I imagine they're both still fairly affordable. Definitely get your spices at BulkBarn or non-western stores, as they'll always be cheaper. With BulkBarn you can buy small amounts so you'll always be able to have fresh spices around.

    Like someone else said, also check out various non-western grocery stores. I'd occasionally find certain foods much cheaper there, although that won't be the case for all things.

    If you have an oven and are open to making your own bread, I suggest giving that a go. If you have no interest in actually spending time on making bread, not judging it's not for everyone, look into no knead bread. You just mix everything together, let it sit for 12 hours, spend <5 minutes shaping, let it rest for an hour or two and then bake. With this method, you get a really high quality loaf of bread with minimal work and expense as the only ingredients are flour, water, salt, and yeast.

    Oooh Bulk Barn is actually a great idea too, my boyfriend and roommate have 10% off there so maybe I should plan a trip over there with one of them!

    We have an apt (no dorm room) so there's an oven, I've never actually thought about making my own bread, because the loaf from the store never gets eaten and I don't know how to cook very well but that's definitely something I'm going to have to try out!
  • davidylin
    davidylin Posts: 228 Member
    Start stocking up on non-perishables when they go on deep discount even if you don't have immediate plans to use them. A can of tuna you bought two months ago goes really well with some diced onions and pickle relish to liven up any salad.
  • AngelxAnnih
    AngelxAnnih Posts: 57 Member
    Tip on bread if you don't eat it all: lay out slices on a sheet pan and freeze, then put in a plastic bag. When you want some, just pop it out of the bag and into the toaster.

    (I promise I'm not trying to take over your thread, but I have a couple of hours to kill this morning, and this is actually a topic I'm well educated in, out of necessity. ;) )

    Oh please, you go right ahead and take over cause I need all the suggestions I can get. These have been great because I'm not very good at the figure it out yourself. I'm a person who needs like someone to show me what I'm doing or give detailed instructions and then I figure the rest out on my own so this thread has been super helpful :)

    Do you put the bread in separate bags or in one bag with a paper towel between them? (Lol this is what I mean)

    We don't actually have a toaster, that's probably why all the bread goes in the garbage, they have to heat up the oven to make toast!

    That's probably too much effort for the men in my house when they first get up haha.
  • nickssweetheart
    nickssweetheart Posts: 904 Member
    I just put it in one bag. If you freeze the slices separately at first, they don't stick together. Also, if it gets dry, that's a perfect opportunity to make french toast! If you don't happen to have eggs in the house, you can use mashed banana and milk or plant milk. In my experience, if men wake up to french toast, they decide that you're a goddess. o:)
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    edited October 2017
    Follow sales! I use the Flipp app on my phone before I go grocery shopping to see what's on sale where.

    Definitely don't skimp on the protein, it's very important for your body. Cheap sources of protein would be eggs (eggs are SO nutritious and cheap), beans, lentils.

    Rice, potatoes, eggs, beans, lentils and fruit and veggies will take you far.

    Buy freezable/non-perishable stuff in bulk when on sale. Don't buy fresh fruit/veggies in bulk, because you don't want to end up throwing away half of them before they go bad.
    Meal-prepping is an awesome way to save money and not spend too much time in the kitchen. Cook some big portions and freeze half for a later meal.

    My favourite things to prep are: soups, stews, chilis, curries, lasagna, quiches, breakfast sandwiches
  • bebeisfit
    bebeisfit Posts: 951 Member
    Check out youtube or foodtv for videos on how to cook. You will never regret it and your friends will be happy to come over and be your tasters. I used to tell a friend to buy the vegetable or bring the wine/beer and I'll provide the meal, she would reciprocate by buying lunch at a restaurant.

    If you don't eat much meat, check out vegetarian times website or check out a few cookbooks at the library. One of my new favorite meals is a lentil/mushroom 'meat' loaf.

    Roasting vegetables all at once is a time saver. Eat alone, on a piece of toasted baguette or over pasta or polenta. You can make your own polenta with plain cornmeal and boiling water. Add parmesean cheese and eat while it's in the mushy stage or you can pour in onto a sheet pan and bake for a firmer texture..super cheap.
  • weightlosssloth
    weightlosssloth Posts: 5 Member
    Im a student and massively cut down my bill when I stopped buying processed food (and cut down a little on expensive fruits). Also less processed crap = greater volume of food for fewer calories = weightloss yay! My go to's are seasonal veggies (were having a marrow glut here) couscous, bulghar, oats, quinoa and rice proetin powder when i can buy them cheap, lentils, mushrooms, soy sauce to brighten things up, tofu. I also make my own hummus with canned chickpeas and a tablespoon of tahini. As soon as I start dropping into the small supermarkets on my way home (usually when hungry!) crackers, chocolate, expensive vegan yoghurt/crisps/coffee/food bars start creeping in my food bill goes up and my weight loss decreases!
  • AngelxAnnih
    AngelxAnnih Posts: 57 Member
    bebeisfit wrote: »
    Check out youtube or foodtv for videos on how to cook. You will never regret it and your friends will be happy to come over and be your tasters. I used to tell a friend to buy the vegetable or bring the wine/beer and I'll provide the meal, she would reciprocate by buying lunch at a restaurant.

    If you don't eat much meat, check out vegetarian times website or check out a few cookbooks at the library. One of my new favorite meals is a lentil/mushroom 'meat' loaf.

    Roasting vegetables all at once is a time saver. Eat alone, on a piece of toasted baguette or over pasta or polenta. You can make your own polenta with plain cornmeal and boiling water. Add parmesean cheese and eat while it's in the mushy stage or you can pour in onto a sheet pan and bake for a firmer texture..super cheap.

    I swear my views fund half of these cooking channels on YouTube but watching and doing are two different things.

    Oh that's a cute idea! I should try that with my sister! She loves cooking but she makes me sick every time with all her dairy haha. Maybe that would encourage her to eat more vegetables too haha

    I'm going to have to look up a recipe for polenta later tonight, I've never even heard of that :)
  • AngelxAnnih
    AngelxAnnih Posts: 57 Member
    Im a student and massively cut down my bill when I stopped buying processed food (and cut down a little on expensive fruits). Also less processed crap = greater volume of food for fewer calories = weightloss yay! My go to's are seasonal veggies (were having a marrow glut here) couscous, bulghar, oats, quinoa and rice proetin powder when i can buy them cheap, lentils, mushrooms, soy sauce to brighten things up, tofu. I also make my own hummus with canned chickpeas and a tablespoon of tahini. As soon as I start dropping into the small supermarkets on my way home (usually when hungry!) crackers, chocolate, expensive vegan yoghurt/crisps/coffee/food bars start creeping in my food bill goes up and my weight loss decreases!

    Woot another grocery list!! I actually have some tofu in my fridge and some chickpeas! Thanks
  • kellya252
    kellya252 Posts: 12 Member
    Superstore and Sobeys here (P.E.I.) offer 10% off to students on Tuesdays. You could see if the grocery stores in your area offer anything similar. You will need to show your student ID.
  • rickiimarieee
    rickiimarieee Posts: 2,212 Member
    Ssg25 wrote: »
    Amy's soup, eggs, frozen vegetables, frozen berries, oatmeal, cheerios/granola, peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, brown rice, rice cakes, kashi/kind granola bars, popcorn, baby carrots, apples and bananas are all cheap too

    Kind bars aren't cheap atleast I don't think so. I paid 15$ for a box and they aren't too filling
  • Muscleflex79
    Muscleflex79 Posts: 1,919 Member
    shans34 wrote: »
    Here in Canada food is crazy expensive. On a week of $50, this is my suggestions:
    Eggs 1.99 a carton at fresh co or food basics
    Frozen veggies 2$ a bag good for two or three meals
    $10 pack of 3 1lb ground lean beef
    Potatoes
    Rice 4-5$ for a decent size bag
    Lentils $3 per bag
    Curry powder
    Coconut milk 1$ /can
    Onions
    Garlic
    Ginger
    Whole chicken (you cut it up and for one person that’s 5 meals) $8 at food basics
    Salad fixings $5-8 depending
    Dressing $2
    Oatmeal $2 for instant $3 for oats
    Light mayo 3$
    That’s a week of eating really healthy with enough left over for bread.
    Dollar tree is a good place for sauces, can turkey flakes and spices as everything is $1.25
    Good luck

    Omg I never even thought of dollar tree/dollarama. I'm over here waddling through loblaws -.-
    Definitely going to have to get some flyers and shop around.

    loblaws is one of the pricier stores - check out fresh co, no frills, food basics - all cheaper for the basics...and shop sales only at the more expensive stores (metro, loblaws, fortinos)
  • shans34
    shans34 Posts: 535 Member
    shans34 wrote: »
    Here in Canada food is crazy expensive. On a week of $50, this is my suggestions:
    Eggs 1.99 a carton at fresh co or food basics
    Frozen veggies 2$ a bag good for two or three meals
    $10 pack of 3 1lb ground lean beef
    Potatoes
    Rice 4-5$ for a decent size bag
    Lentils $3 per bag
    Curry powder
    Coconut milk 1$ /can
    Onions
    Garlic
    Ginger
    Whole chicken (you cut it up and for one person that’s 5 meals) $8 at food basics
    Salad fixings $5-8 depending
    Dressing $2
    Oatmeal $2 for instant $3 for oats
    Light mayo 3$
    That’s a week of eating really healthy with enough left over for bread.
    Dollar tree is a good place for sauces, can turkey flakes and spices as everything is $1.25
    Good luck

    Omg I never even thought of dollar tree/dollarama. I'm over here waddling through loblaws -.-
    Definitely going to have to get some flyers and shop around.

    Get the Reebe app for your phone, it gives you weekly fliers from all stores in your area. Also get check out 51 another way to get cash back on purchases. Stay out of loblaws, very expensive!!!! Go to food basics or fresh co those are the cheaper places to buy foods with many great weekly deals!!! I’m in ontario also, Windsor currently but I used to live in Ottawa.
  • shans34
    shans34 Posts: 535 Member
    Oh and don’t shop at dollarama, only dollar tree, that one everything is 1.25$ dollarama is getting more and more expensive
  • AngelxAnnih
    AngelxAnnih Posts: 57 Member
    shans34 wrote: »
    Oh and don’t shop at dollarama, only dollar tree, that one everything is 1.25$ dollarama is getting more and more expensive

    I've noticed that! I went in there looking for a tray/pan and I picked one up that was $4 and put it right back! They need to change their name haha.
  • AngelxAnnih
    AngelxAnnih Posts: 57 Member
    shans34 wrote: »
    shans34 wrote: »
    Here in Canada food is crazy expensive. On a week of $50, this is my suggestions:
    Eggs 1.99 a carton at fresh co or food basics
    Frozen veggies 2$ a bag good for two or three meals
    $10 pack of 3 1lb ground lean beef
    Potatoes
    Rice 4-5$ for a decent size bag
    Lentils $3 per bag
    Curry powder
    Coconut milk 1$ /can
    Onions
    Garlic
    Ginger
    Whole chicken (you cut it up and for one person that’s 5 meals) $8 at food basics
    Salad fixings $5-8 depending
    Dressing $2
    Oatmeal $2 for instant $3 for oats
    Light mayo 3$
    That’s a week of eating really healthy with enough left over for bread.
    Dollar tree is a good place for sauces, can turkey flakes and spices as everything is $1.25
    Good luck

    Omg I never even thought of dollar tree/dollarama. I'm over here waddling through loblaws -.-
    Definitely going to have to get some flyers and shop around.

    Get the Reebe app for your phone, it gives you weekly fliers from all stores in your area. Also get check out 51 another way to get cash back on purchases. Stay out of loblaws, very expensive!!!! Go to food basics or fresh co those are the cheaper places to buy foods with many great weekly deals!!! I’m in ontario also, Windsor currently but I used to live in Ottawa.

    Ooh I will definitely download both of those apps!!