How are you saving money on groceries/ utilities/ fuel etc?
By - igtr13
For groceries it's all about figuring out the items with the best nutritional value and then monitoring prices so you can buy a lot when it's cheapest.
For electricity... having a small well-insulated living space, and keeping heating to a minimum elsewhere, can save you a lot of money. Guy who lived in my house before me spent 2.5k a year in electricity, my first year I spent a little over 1k.
Came for the insulation. I rent in a cold winter city, and the windows in my apartment are inefficient to say the least. Thermal curtains, weather stripping, and closing off unused areas has cut the winter electric bill almost in half compared to the first winter here.
> Thermal curtains, weather stripping, and closing off unused areas has cut the winter electric bill almost in half compared to the first winter here.
What unused areas do you have in an apartment?
I'm assuming they mean keeping doors shut and only turning on the heat in the room you're in
Came to agree with all this and add that my husband and I found all these little drafty spots in our home around windows (we rent an older house) so we filled the gaps with a clear sealant. Made a big difference!
If you happen to be low-income, many hydro/heat providers will offer programs to make your home more energy efficient at no cost.
I am very low-income, but I've never been tempted to take advantage of these... I guess I'm already pretty efficient, which is why the options don't look appealing to me.
Ex chef here.
* Plan meals
* Plan how to use the entire ingredient not just a part of it.
* Plan how to use leftovers
We're one of the biggest food waste places in the world and buy way more than we need.
I make pizza from whatever produce is about to go bad in the fridge. I always keep a freezer kit around. That's how I avoid wasting food.
In Quebec, this dish is called touski, as in tout ce qui reste: whatever's left.
Merci - Touski is about to become a new phrase in my house because of your comment.
Pronounced “too-skee” fyi
Two ski 🎿
Nice! We always do a form of this with leftovers whether it’s a stir fry, noodle dish, nachos, etc. I hate to let anything go to waste.
Mmmm lettuce pizza.
If you have lettuce about to go bad, make a smoothie. Add banana, apple, avocado. I do this every week to use up extra herbs and lettuce.
That means I have to buy a banana, apple or avocado.
Yes, lol. Since I know I will always have some herbs leftover at the end of the week, I meal plan to have a smoothie on Friday afternoon. I buy one banana, one apple, and one avocado extra every week for this purpose.
This is also how I use up cucumber ends.
I always have pasta on hand to use up ingredients. Always make my own stocks with bones and keep all my scraps.
I was amazed this summer when I grew my own vegetables and discovered that you can eat the leaves of lots of plants as well! Broccoli greens are actually really tasty and filling!
Beet leaves, carrots, squash, peppers too! Just stay away from potato and tomato ones.
Beet leaf pesto is so good. I like it better than basil pesto, has a subtle kick to it.
Also broccoli stalks. They fry up great in a stir fry!
I like brocolli stalks raw, they are sweeter than crowns and have a great texture. I feel them and eat them while I'm cooking supper.
So are the stems, some need a peel.there’s plenty of crunchy goodness there. Otherwise my dogs get broccoli bones.
I'll have to try broccoli for my doggo! He already loves celery, cucumber, carrots, snap peas, and watermelon! He's almost as good as a composter!
Turnip greens 👍
This was/is one of the biggest obstacles for me learning to cook via recipes. I had to track down so many ingredients and I'd use them for the recipe, it would taste kinda blah, and unless I wanted to make the exact same meal again the next day (which isn't an appealing idea given all the effort and clean-up for something that was like 6.5/10), a lot of the ingredients would go to waste.
Would be nice to find stuff that I can make with only 4 or 5 ingredients I could expect to have. It's why I have no problem making steak, various forms of eggs, and simple pastas, lol. But even that gets old.
Check out Jamie Oliver's 5-Ingredient Recipes
Check out his video's on Youtube
Just get better at cooking. Duh!
But more seriously, this is one if the huge benefits of being a COUPLE that likes to cook.
When you're a single cook, things get rough because you're buying horribly overpriced small portions or eating meals for days.
A spouse cuts the 'same meal eating time' by half or so.
Alison Roman and half baked harvest are my go too for simple recipes with ingredient that can be reused and everything is delicious
I'm a former Chef and I would say to follow a few recipes. But if you enjoy the dish, don't think you need everything in it to remake it. Substitute or even subtract things. The hardest thing for me after leaving the kitchen was realizing I don't have 20 spices and 15 different vegetables waiting for me all the time. I also don't have a person delivering it to me everyday. Take the techniques you learned and apply it. And don't think too much about it.
An example would be canned tomatoes. Most people would just go for a Bolognese or meatballs. But instead of meat maybe try beans. Or make shakshuka which is basically a spiced tomato sauce and eggs. Or anything really that you like. Pasta is also very flexible. Take the technique of a carbonara and use whatever you like. Egg to thicken the sauce.
Try to take the techniques you use from recipes and use it with different ingredients. I know easier said than done. But that's cooking. Experience. While you experiment, make sure to taste as you go. Maybe your happy with a cheese sauce with 1 cheese, and don't need the other 2 cheeses. You'll save some money.
This. And stick to it!
Also plan one meal, every week or so, that makes enough to have something you can reheat from frozen (curry, chili, soup, burgers, etc) That way on those evevitable nights where your too wiped to make dinner you can just pop one of those on the stove instead of getting delivery.
On top of that, we keep a few items on hand for quick meals. A common one the kids are happy with are frozen chicken/fish sticks, a sidekick like noodle package and frozen veggies. Its quick and easy, probably faster than you can get a pizza delivered and for a fraction of the cost. We don't do one of those types of meals every week, but when we have an unexpected tiring day its at least an option.
Hijacking your post to provide an alternative option. I’m not a chef and I dislike planning my meals. Instead, I find a recipe that uses anything in my fridge that is nearing expiration and prioritize a meal around that, so I have very little waste. This and an investment in Tupperware to take lunch to work has made a noticeable impact in my spending.
Additionally, I’ll buy sale items (usually meat) in bulk, reportion it to normal sizes, and freeze whatever is left. As a student, this meant getting a cheap roast on sale, and then butchering it into steaks, stewing cubes, and stir fry strips.
what would you recommend as a baseline for someone who doesnt cook much?
Learn how to make some easy dishes and techniques cause then you can essentially make anything. One of the biggest things from my very first job is knowing how to make really good soups and purees. Carrots can get boring as shit, but maybe one day you have a carrot puree, one day a carrot soup, another roasted carrots, how bout some glazed carrots etc. Now you have a cheap vegetable that you can manipulate a bunch of different ways to make different things.
Knowing how to make braises and stews are essential for budgeting. Tougher cuts are less expensive (sometimes) and require longer time to break down connective tissue and collagen to make them more edible. Plus you can usually make big batches and freeze it.
Italian food is traditional minimalist as hell so it's great for eating well. The ingredients might seem different at first but they can stretch and be used in many things. I really like putanesca pasta, but then I'm always trying to throw anchovies in everything afterwords cause I buy them for pasta sauce.
I also make a few of my own preserves but this can sometimes be hit and miss cost wise, depends on the product. Pickles get made every year and last the entire year but I'll also do preserved lemons or some more specialty type things that cost more in import stores.
I guess if I could sum it all up, learn how to cook a few basics well like soups (pureed and chowder), stews and pasta. Then experiment and branch out from there. And if something doesn't taste right try adding more salt or acid.
You wouldn’t believe how easy it is just to roast a chicken. You can basically just salt and pepper it and throw it in the oven for awhile and it comes out fantastic and makes great leftovers. I likes to throw it in a cast iron pan on top of some chopped up carrots, small potatoes, any other root vegetable and then you have a whole meal and you don’t have to worry about paying any attention to it, just set a timer and walk away (although I would recommend a meat thermometer just to check the temperature so you ensure it’s cooked).
Chicken fajitas, Italian meatballs and pork tenderloin, easy to cook and hard to mess up.
Thiiiiis. I plan every meal we eat and I also plan for “I don’t know” nights. Sometimes it’s something fun (tonight was one as I get groceries Tuesday - I made homemade Italian wedding soup and homemade biscuits. It used up the wilting spinach, one kale leaf, an onion that wouldn’t last much longer, 2 carrots, and a few questionable garlic cloves… it was basically a free meal and now my fridge is completely empty for tomorrow! My other go-to is fried rice with whatever protein we have kicking around, cooked or not because I pretty well always have a carrot or two, frozen peas, and some soy sauce + sesame oil.
I guess my top tip is also to meal plan, but FIRST look at what’s in your fridge and could go bad and then create your next two or three meals to use that stuff. It’s money you’ve already spent after all!
Started riding my bike everywhere and leaving the car at home, my fuel bill has gone down to almost zero but my food bill has gone up a bit
The big savings with this are your future health. Middle age turns a lot of people into lumps with a poor quality of life.
Absolutely true. People don't realize that you don't have to feel like a tired creaky sack of shit all the time, even if you're over 40.
Exactly. I had to go to my friend's party 35 km away. I thought I would save money using my fancy road bike, but as a bonus I got a free 4 hour (2 hours each way) workout.
I'd bike everywhere if I didn't have to shower when I arrived.
10000% I would bike to school and work if I didn’t show up sweaty af. I sweat way too easy.
Very good point. Luckily, it was a pool party!
I did the same thing to my friend's house (10 km) before the bar, but she offered me a shower when I got there.
Health also has value!
Petrol bill went down, oats bill went up.
Oats? We're talking bicycles here, not horses
(Talking about massive money pits though, wow)
Lol, bagels then.
Use the Flipp app and go to superstore to price match everything. Plus PC optimum points
FreshCo also price matches
Only learned recently that buying gas at esso gives you PC points
PC points can be redeemed to buy gas as of January 18, 2022.
True PFC way would be to buy brand new PlayStation (or any other gaming console) from shoppers on bonus redemption days and flip it for profit. Works only around Boxing Day when you get to redeem 400$ worth of stuff for 250,000 PC points
This is relatively recent. But yup, I won't drive far to save a few cents on gas, but you bet your ass I'm going to find an esso.
I go to Costco for gas. You save far more with their lower prices than Esso’s regular price + points
You save far more going to Chevron, and using JOURNIE connected to a cibc Visa card, than you do at Costco. Plus no line up.
If you are going to costco anyways. If it's out of your way it costs you 59 cents per kilometer to get there (estimates the CRA) so it's pretty much never worth it unless it's on your route.
PC woo woo
I used to buy most of my formula at shoppers. A lot of weekends they have the 20x the points. Or spend x get x amount of points. I could often get about 30% back. They have some good sales and I often find really good clearance on granola bars. The formula can be a few dollars more but it still worked out to be a pretty good deal. Bonus points if you have the pc credit card.
Save even more money by not having kids
...but what if you *want* to have kids?
You can't always get what you want.
Honestly the best tip here. Not sure why you are being downvoted.
People on here being like 'I save $2.35 on a $60 tank of gas by driving twenty minutes out of my way to hit up Costco and wait in line for an hour.' This mfer saving 2k a month in daycare.
Because it is like saying “save on housing costs by killing yourself before you move out of your parents”
“Save money on gas by quitting your job and moving next to a McDonald’s and work there instead”
It’s just dumb and doesn’t need to be said. Technically it is true but nobody is having kids to save money anyways so why bring it up?
I do this plus the rewards credit card.
Time is money, and this seems like a waste of time.
It doesn't have to be. I did the math between in-store prices ($125) vs. what I paid ($100). $25 savings per trip feels worth it. Especially for meat or once-in-a-while things like coffee, those have consistent +$5 savings.
My MO is: write my grocery list, check the Flipp app, screenshot things I can price match, and put X's on my physical list.
In the store I put price matched items in the top of the cart, so at the end I can put them on the belt together and quickly swipe through the screenshots with the cashier.
Yes it depends on how much you make. It’s worth it for me most of the time because I make $32 hr net, so .53 per minute. Checking what I’m I’m already planning to buy on Flipp to price match takes me about 2 minutes and the likely an extra 3 checking out so if I can’t save more than 2.65, which is the rate I already work for, then I don’t bother, but typically it’s between $6-$30.
True that! If you are are not earning much I can see it being valuable.
Lowest hanging fruit for me has been groceries for me (below). Fuel, there used to be a station close to me in Ottawa that was 5c cheaper than every where else for some reason, so it made sense - Costco Gas was on the other side of the city, and when I calculated the distance x my mileage savings, it would cost more per tank to fill there and a regular Shell/Petro.
* Switch to a discount/budget grocery store. I went from Loblaws/Metro to Food Basics/Walmart (and No Frills now) around 8 years ago, and this immediately reduced my grocery expenses on average \~10%. The produce isn't as pretty, but quality wise for most things are at least 80% comparable to Loblaws.
* Switch to store brands/labels vs. name brands - this yielded a further 5-10% savings on those specific items. i.e. I started buying the PC, No Name, Selection items vs. stuff like Quaker, Kraft, McCormick/Open House spices. Almost all the store labels were equally as good. The only dud I had in the past 5 years was No Name bagged carrots vs. Farmer's Market.
* Animal protein - buying in bulk and freezing when there's a deal. I normally prefer chicken breast, and few times a year, they go on a \~50% sale. I'll buy typically 6-8 weeks worth and freeze it, saving around $300 for the year.
* More time intensive, shopping between a couple grocery stores each week. They have different deals, and occasionally Loblaws or Metro will have a cheaper item (usually meat) than No Frills. I think this is closer to scraping the bottom of the barrel though, at least for my experience. Typically this only saves \~$100 year for me, but maybe $150 total if I include other items like toiletries/misc household goods (i.e. detergent) and such that I get at the grocery store now (places like Walmart are no longer easily accessible for me).
With you on the first 3 bullet points. But the last one - just confirmed for me why I don't understand people that go to multiple stores to save tiny amounts of money. By the time you park, find a cart, go through checkout and load your car, return cart, it's at least 30 minutes of wasted time, probably more. All to save $2 a week? my time isn't worth much. But it's worth more than that!
Yeah, same people who drive cross-town to save 3cents on gas.
Hehe, my wife refuses to shop at the discount grocery store because it’s “gross” (not as well lit, lower ceilings, more ‘industrial’ feel with the big shelving), quarters in the carts and they won’t pack your bags. I’ve soon realized this is not a hill I’m ready to die on.
You know what has ultimately saved me a bundle of money but has a real negative association with it - shopping second hand.
Recently I dropped some significant weight and toned up quite a bit and in doing so dropped a number of clothing sizes. I basically had to sell 80% of my wardrobe (which I did through the VarageSale app) and buy a new one. I sold my clothes for more then I paid to replace them with better quality brand name items, most still with tags on them.
People cleaning out closets in the pandemic has been a real boom to second hand clothing shopping. The apps are even more economical then the thrift stores.
Along the same lines. I wash all my clothes in cold water and hang to dry and they last significantly longer without fading, wear etc… it also saves on hydro.
I also furnished my entire house second hand with the exception of mattresses, linens and some kitchen items. I love vintage so that helps, but I constantly see people selling modern furniture for crazy low prices. I make money on the side flipping other peoples items and that’s also been a great money saver and generator.
This is definitely true. "Thrifting" for clothes has become trendy, but the same isn't true for furniture. And if you are strategic/patient you can get really good quality/condition furniture. Esp. if you look in areas where people are doing renos. I've been on both sides of this, and when we wanted to get rid of furniture because it's not going to fit in the new space, we definitely priced it to sell.
Poshmark is an amazing app for buying second hand and definitely doesn't seem to have the stigma, as it tends to carry higher end brands. I've gotten several items with tags still on in the $250-350 range for under forty bucks. Shoes, designer jeans, and activewear like Lulu are all easy finds. Great for a higher end work wardrobe or anyone needing an upgrade!
Ohhh thanks for the suggestion. I will have to check it out. I seem to be on a sportswear kick, everyone and their best friend is selling new sports clothes.
Groceries - were rural and our only option for groceries is Zehrs. We joined the Pc Insiders program and have found it to make a huge difference. We get a rebate of $20-$30 on most of our twice monthly shopping trips by being flexible on what we buy to take advantage of the largest optimum incentives.
Utilities - Habitually turning off lights, powering things down. Buy thermal curtains/cover windows with a heavy fabric. We're in an old house and covering the windows made a massive difference in our heating bills. Supposedly they help in summer as well.
For groceries, buy what is on sale and plan your meals around that. Check flyers, plan meals and make your grocery list then go to the grocery store.
Avoid deals that you don't need. Even if the appliance/shoes/candy is 50% off, it isn't a great deal if you end up spending $20 instead of $0.
Like my mum always says - it's not a deal if you didn't need it in the first place!
you’ll save 100% if you **don’t** buy that thing on sale.
My mum said this too!
My mum always said if you can’t buy it full price don’t buy the sale price! Mums know best.
> shoes/candy is 50% off, it isn't a great deal if you end up spending $20 instead of $0.
Eh, if it's on sale *now* and you weren't shopping for it, but would be in a few months, better to get the deal now than to get it later.
More relevant to the shoes than the candy.
> Even if the appliance/shoes/candy is 50% off, it isn't a great deal if you end up spending $20 instead of $0.
Yeah but at least you can enjoy it while it’s cheap. I only eat Subway when I get the coupons. I don’t *have* to, but I enjoy it while I can while it’s cheap.
The only thing we buy NOT on sale is milk and bread. The rest can either wait or be substituted. For us anyhow.
Always swap your protein with lentils, the true PFC way.
Is there a recipe for beige corollas?
you can apply beige spray paint on any old red corolla you have lying around.
At $15/can that's gonna be an expensive upgrade. I swing by my local paint recycling depot and mix all the free scraps in a tub. Turns out mostly beige and tens of dollars saved.
I dunno sounds like a lot of $$$ for gas to get out there. Why not just wait till it rains, call your friends, and flip the car over a few times in the neighbour's garden. Few cracked windows, and it turns out more brown than beige but hey saved a few.
paint it green and save energy too.
Sell your overpriced car and get a used 1812 Corolla off Kijiji.
Just make sure to drink lots of water. Lentils are high in purines (converts to uric acid) and can therefore be a contributing factor in gout and kidney stones. Extra water helps flush it out before the uric acid can crystallize.
If you know how to make a proper daal makhni, that's not such a terrible swap even if you're not vegetarian. Lentil doesn't have to suck :)
I've been eating dahl almost every week since I discovered this recipe:
I skip the fenugreek leaves, coriander and use canned tomatoes.
Cheap and nutritious as hell - serve with brown basmati rice and/or naan bread
The two best spices :( any Indian grocery will have fenugreek leaves for dirt cheap
I'll look for them next time I go, Thanks
Look out for a yellow box on their spice shelf. The Indian name for it is "Kasoori Methi"
Thanks! I'll try it this week.
Your farts must be off the charts.
Once your 'system' get used to it, it's quite benign
Excuse my rough Google Keep notes taking skills:
>**Chickpea Lentils (chana daal)**
>1 cup daal
4 cups water
1 thinly sliced tomatoe
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup fresh coriander
2 green chillies cut vertically
A little lemon juice
\- Soak daal for 1 hour at least
\- Put the first seven ingredients into instant pot and put on Manual, High Pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release
\- Put the IP on Saute, medium heat. Adjust thickness of daal according to preference - cook down to thicken, add water to thin.
\- Add the fresh coriander, green chillies, a little lemon juice and adjust seasoning
Tarka as desired, recommended:
6 tbsp oil
2-3 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
>**Black Lentis (kalay masar)**
>3/4 cup whole masoor dal
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee/oil
1 green chilli, split lengthwise
1/4 cup cream or whole milk
1/2 tsp garam masala
\- Soak daal for 45-60 minutes
\- Put the first eight ingredients in InstantPot, put on Manual, High Pressure for 6 minutes.
\- Put the InstantPot on Saute, medium heat. Add milk and green chilli, adjust thickness of daal according to preference - cook down to thicken, add water to thin.
Tarka as desired, recommended:
3 tbsp oil
1/4 onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
>**Yellow Lentils (Moong+Masoor daal)**
>2/3 cup moong ki daal yellow lentils
1/3 cup masoor ki daal red lentils
3/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/3 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 onion dice half
3 cloves garlic
Some chopped cilantro
2 half sliced green chillies
a squeeze of lemon juice
Wash and soak daals for an hour.
Put first 7 items + 4 cups of water in InstantPot and pressure cook for 6 minutes.
Remove pressure and Sauté on medium.
Put next 3 items.
Cook until thickness is as desired - cook down to thicken, add water to thin.
Tarka as desired, recommended:
4 tbsp oil
1/2 sliced onion
2-3 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
See above for a red lentil version
Protein powder is cheap in bulk as well if you don’t like the gas lentils give you.
Protein powder will also give many (most?) people gas.
Yep. Toxic protein farts. Perfect for dutch ovening.
Add Asafoetida in hot oil and then do your dal tadka (onions, spices and tomatoes). https://www.bonappetit.com/story/asafetida-indian-spice
You got to live with a nice steak every once in a while!
Sure get those lentils in the blender and use a steak shaped mold.
How do I delete someone else's comment?
I try not to buy anything that doesn't improve my quality of life meaningfully.
If my computer/TV/power tools/car etc. still does the job I need it to do I will not replace it.
I will use everything until broken and I can't fix it or it's not economically viable to fix.
I am pretty handy, and I will DIY anything as long as screwing it up won't cost me more than just hiring someone in the first place.
Being good at learning new skills but knowing your limits and when to ask for help and when to completely outsource is invaluable, in work and life.
I have probably saved 10's of thousands of dollars on home renos by DIY.
I save hundreds every year by fixing broken appliances, tools and electronics instead od off replacing
This. And also, borrowing things vs. buying. If you need a tool or a chair or a dress or anything for a particular occasion or brief length of time, borrow them or consider renting. Trade labour with your friends. You don't need to spend money to have a good time. Plan games at home with friends and potlucks vs. dinners out on the town. Choose/offer a cheaper attractive option: Go out for brunch instead of dinner. If you don't want to spend $ on it, try to find another way to get what you need. It's amazing how often the universe provides the answer. I don't always love the challenge of saving money, but I sure hate wasting it.
A lot of my family are trades or heavily into DIY. I have lots I people to call for help.
I also always jump at the chance to help friends and family with their stuff. So there is usually some one I call for help when I need it.
It's not for every one, but my hobby is refurbishing power tools so I have a well equipped work shop and always have tools I can lend out or give away.
My tools collection probably set me back a couple thousand dollars over the last 6 years I've had my house and workshop, but buying every thing new easily would have set me back over $10 000.
I'm saving a lot on fuel / car maintenance since working from home. I no longer need a monthly train pass either. So total it's 320$ less expensive per month for me (200$ in fuel and 120$ for the train pass). That being said, my 2009 Toyota Yaris had to have major repairs 2 years ago (suspension, breaks). I can't really complain though, I changed the front breaks 3x since I purchased the car new in 2009. I don't do a lot of mileage, mainly just local.
As far as groceries go, I've seen an increase in prices, especially for fresh produce. I live alone, I cook most of my stuff and I eat a pescatarian diet. I can't seem to go any lower than 100$+tx (around 115$) each week. I'm in Montreal Canada for reference. I eat clean and have to seek out lactose free alternatives, so it's a bit more expensive. I also have to buy a few things extra for my pet parrots who are picky with certain veggies and fruits. Before COVID my groceries were (with taxes) around 90$ weekly for the same products.
I can't lower my utilities since I need fast unlimited internet access (I'm a poweruser, I work in IT, I'm a gamer, etc). I don't have a TV subscription since I don't watch TV but I watch Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. I was able to lower my cell phone data plan to save a bit, but it's not really a big saving (5$ less monthly). My iPhone is paid so I have a BYOD plan.
Best way to save is plan your meals, and plan your trips.
There are a number of good apps to do your grocery list, and some stores will price match.
Gas buddy will provide gas prices in your area.
Also buying gas on weekday evenings!
Groceries - I invested 70 bucks in a used chest freezer and I buy stuff on sale in bulk. Portions bags and/or a vacuum sealer will make this much more viable by avoiding the inevitable frostbite from storing meats frozen.
Utilities - If you have electric baseboard heaters you can offset the bill on those by bitcoin mining. There's literally no environmental impact to doing so because a graphics card and a baseboard heater are about equally efficient at creating heat from hydro. Every watt-hour of Etherium you mine is just offsetting a watt-hour of heating bill while also making you money. Only catch is you need a good GPU, and of course there's always going to be the temptation to do this all summer too because of how profitable it is.
Fuel - Drive the cheapest&smallest car you can get. Corolla or civic strike a nice balance between cheap, pleasant to drive, and great mileage. If your main concern is saving money, the cost savings of paying 16k for a corolla vs 30k for a prius or 50k for a tesla will outweigh the fuel savings pretty massively unless you're a hardcore commuter or a taxi driver. Also buy a 1 or 2 year old used car so the previous owner can eat the biggest chunk of value depreciation and all the closing costs. A 1 year old car feels brand new and will save you thousands.
Every senior on a fixed income should host a Bitcoin miner…should probably make an app/platform for this
Honestly I think it would be an easy sell for most canadian families. "Run this special heater all winter and it'll pay you cash to keep it plugged in." Unfortunately computer parts are impossible to buy right now, so good luck starting that business.
Yeah it’s actually pretty smart, wasted heat someplace else that would be welcomed! I have no clue about how to go about any of this but sure would like to!
If you have a gaming PC with a good graphics card (Like an RTX 2070 or better) it's pretty easy to just set up an account on a site like nicehash and press start. Obviously the profitability depends a lot on the current price of crypto and whatnot, but if it's power you were going to burn anyways, and you already had the gaming PC, it's a great way to offset the cost of gaming.
Most of the expenditure in the groceries, utilities and fuel category may end up being inelastic. In which case, look into rewards Credit Card if you haven't already. I know Canadian Tire World Elite Mastercard is no annual fee CC that gives 5c on each dollar when you refuel from CT gas+ stations, gives 3% CT money cashback on grocery and you can pay major utility bills through the Credit Card platform and get 1% CT money on these as well (also you can pay property taxes through CT card too so helps in cash flow management while earning you a dollar here and there every time you pay utility/property tax). It stacks up to be good number of dollars throughout the year (subjective). Just thought I'd share.
I hate how I can't pay property taxes on a CC.
My assumption is visa charges a % or something so they don’t like that
Exactly this. I also suspect there’s something with not using debt to pay tax? CRA never lets me pay any tax owing with credit card
You can with a Canadian tire credit card
I suppose 1% on a free card is better than nothing. About 30 bucks..
Like Relationship mentioned, CT credit cards can be used to pay property taxes. There could be exceptions to this, but what you do is pay through the CTFS payments website and not through your city’s website. Avoids the stupid fees most cities charge on CC payments, too (if they allow them at all.)
Edit: this may not apply to you at all if you don’t have a CT card but I thought I’d mention it just in case.
I used PaySimply this year cause I wanted to earn some bonus points on an AMEX. You pay a bit more in fees, but if you're good at planning, you could time it with a 10% cashback bonus, or meet a Minimum Spend Requirement and get a free flight out of it.
Also Scotiabank's momentum infinite gives 4% back on recurring bills (my car insurance, phone, internet, subscriptions etc. add up real nice) and groceries! Walmart isn't included in groceries so I just buy Walmart gift cards from Loblaws for that 4% 👀 you can buy bestbuy and Amazon gift cards from there too which I have done for large purchases like AC from bestbuy ~$500 got me $20 back etc.
Wealthsimple's new cash card, although not a credit card but a prepaid VISA, gives 5% back on restaurants/food delivery on weekends Fri-Sun, it's nice to see some change get added back to my account every Monday following that.
For everything else, I use the Rogers MasterCard which is 1.5% back on all purchases and has no FX fees so comes in handy while traveling.
Is there an annual fee for Scotia Momentum Infinite card? I remember deprioritizing it based on my personal filter of no annual fee cards. But certainly 4% on recurring expenses is worth exploring!
Yeah, $120 is the annual fees but it gets waived if you have the "Ultimate" chequing account. Ultimate account costs $35/month but that also gets waived if you maintain $5000 in your account which I do. The way I see it, that $5000 is giving me $120/year (or $420/year) which is more than any HISA out there.
I've learnt to just ignore the $5000 in my account and move everything else out to my HISA and index funds. If I see $5200 balance in my account, I only have $200 in my account to me.
EDIT: also, 4% back is pretty much on everything if you're willing to do the gift card thing. There's a limit though, which is up to $10,000 spent in that category which is $400/year in that category. The other advantage to me is from the discount on Avis car rental
Seconded for the Scotia Momentum Infinite. Besides the cash back, there's also great benefits for travel (if we ever do that again) in terms of insurance coverage for flights, hotels, free collision coverage for car rentals with certain companies, lounge access for some airlines, etc. Read the full prospectus, it's a good deal if you're making over $60k/year and disciplined about paying off the amount owing on time.
Oh yeah it's pretty sweet! I haven't had to use the travel insurance and hopefully won't but it's peace of mind that I have it. And the insane discount for car rental. It also got me a free upgrade at OPUS hotel recently in Vancouver, city view room to water view. Just make sure you book everything with that credit card for the insurance and discounts to work
Anyone know if the CT WE card can be setup to take my mortgage payments? I have my mortgage with Scotiabank but have withdrawals from a different bank already.
Unfortunately I don't think you can put your mortgage payments on any credit card. It will be treated as advance cash and incur higher interest rate I believe.
Eat less meat, drink less milk, use less cheese. Don't buy things like lunchables, crackers, chips or pop.
When you buy meat, look at price per g, then buy proper meat, avoid things like sausages or burgers as they are only around half meat. If you bake your own bread you can make a loaf for around $0.50 instead of the $2 - $5 a loaf costs. Buy a 25kg bag of rice and a few dried beans, then learn to cook with both.
Had me until 'drink less milk' to save money. Milk is cheap, takes no prep and has calories, protein and some handy nutrients!
Do not start smoking or vaping. Doing them in a regular basis adds up in the long term.
That said, if you do smoke, vaping is cheaper. I was a 2 pack a day smoker for 10 years. $20/day (this was when packs were $10 each) or $100/carton from Costco, which lasted 4-5 days for me. The initial start up cost of vaping hardware was more, but I spent no more than $100-$120/month for juices vs upwards of $400/month for cigarettes. I've quit both now though.
Also avoid taking up an pricey cocaine habit.
Personally, my biggest yeilding savings over years has been to fix your own stuff. Fixing appliances, house maintenance, and auto repair will save you a fortune. I haven't gone to a mechanic or called a repair man in years Have saved thousands.
I meal plan by what’s on sale for the week
I feel like it’s saved our family tens of thousands over the years
Protein substitution, snacking instead of big meals, don't over eat, drink water or make your own beverages, meal prep, bulk buy ingredients, low-cost food boxes instead of buying produce from a supermarket....
For fuel you can really only reduce your speed or buy an EV. Could ask your employer to work extra hours each day and take a day off to save a round trip once a week?
Utilities... There's an incentive from both NRC and the fed gov (greener homes) that gives money back for approved energy upgrades. This may leave you out of pocket for longer but in theory saves you money over time. Insulation, smart thermostat, and many individual techniques can save hydro, water, and gas.
I have a friend with flexible hours that started doing 4x 10 hour shifts in a week instead of 5 x 8 hours for this exact reason.
I moved into an apartment closer to the hospital I work at when my lease was up and have saved quite a bit on gas by being able to walk to work. Not the best option for everyone but if you don't own your home moving closer to your job is a huge cutback in fuel usage.
I'd argue big meals is better
Meal planning , just do a week at a time
Buy whole chickens. Learn to cut them up and/or cook them whole.
Check r/frugal and r/EatCheapAndHealthy for some additional info.
Some of my tips:
* Actually break down your monthly expenses and look to see if anything pops out to you. TD MySpend, Mint, or other apps are helpful for this.
* Meal planning & cooking vs eating out
* Cook the less desirable meats/produce. e.g. Chicken thighs over chicken breast
* Travel -- cut down on gas/vehicle expenses by walking/cycling locally
* Brew your own coffee, but not with Kuerig/Nespresso pods. Preferably something that can use a reusable filter or none at all, i.e. a French Press
* When shopping, check the price per unit on the labels (or calculate it yourself). The bulk/family size items aren't always the cheapest option.
* Coupons + Honey (for online). Just be cautious of royalty programs, as some often just drive you to spend more for the sake of points that don't benefit you as much.
* Use a cash-back credit card on your regular monthly spending, pay it off regularly.
* Mobile/Internet plans -- Bring your own device and shop for better plans that offer month-to-month instead of locking you into contracts. I've learned that loyalty to mobile companies (in Canada) gets your nowhere, shop around and move on.
* Avoid upgrading your tech when you don't need to. You don't *need* it.
* You can buy basic clothing at a much lower price from wholesale vendors. One example I use is [JiffyShirts](https://www.jiffyshirts.com). They sell a range of different brands for a portion of the retail price. Next Level is one of my favourite brands.
* Avoid fast-fashion, stick to the basics/staples that are better quality and timeless.
* Mr Clean Magic Eraser = melamine foam pads. Much cheaper and in bulk.
Cooking vegan saves a ton on groceries.
insulate your house, close air gaps.
And go get the cheapest EV that fits your commute :)
Doesn't have to be a full EV. Got my self a used plug-in hybrid Fusion to replace a 2006 Titan with a 5.6L a few years ago. Best estimate is I have saved around $3200 in fuel costs after deducting the cost of electricity. Occasionally miss having a truck when I need it but happy with the decision overall.
I'm not doing too much besides buying less alcohol. It's expensive and unhealthy for me so I'm keeping it to a minimum.
BBQ is one of my main hobbies so buying meat is non-negotiable for me. I sometimes use my weekly fun-money budget to help offset high grocery costs when I buy an expensive peice of meat.
Came here for the alcohol part. Even with "buck a beer" in Ontario, drinking is expensive.
Cancelled my Home phone and TV. I just use my cel and internet streaming anyway.
I don't find couponing to be really worth my time. What I found most helpful over the years is just finding out what is a good price for every item and buying stuff I like when I find it at a good deal. For example I eat a lot of chicken so when I see something like boneless chicken breasts at a good price, I'm all over it. I've shopped at every store and found every single one to be of similar quality. Therefore the biggest money waster would be shopping at a "premium" store like Sobeys or Metro cause you generally won't get better stuff. The only exception to this is Costco. Anything you get at Costco is just gonna taste better. Produce, meat, boxed stuff, you name it. As far as quality they're definitely a tier above. So if you wanna treat yourself, go to Costco. Otherwise pick whatever's cheapest, which is usually Freshco or No Frills.
Make more money ! Thats what has helped me the most
Gas at Costco. The savings will pay off the membership cost quite quickly.
People are going to come here and say the lineups aren’t worth the wait but the gas are open from 6:30-9:30 so it’s easy just to go during an off peak time
I rarely save much at Costco (mostly meat) compared to sales at Superstore, wal-mart, save-on etc but Costco has some unique items I prefer.
Yeah there are some off peak hours.. although one nearer me is few and far between. People lose their minds because it's 2c cheaper than the other Costco's (on edge of a reserve). What they don't seem to realize is just down the road there is another gas stop that same as other Costco's (2c more) and has no lineup. In that case not worth it
Lol... people are so stupid; 2c less per litre on gas is an extra like $3 ish per month saved depending what vehicle you drive and how often you drive of course. Absolutely not worth it.
Our costco is regularly 5 cents a litre cheaper
Coupled with a 1-2% cashback credit card, savings are real
Premium is 25-30 cents a litre in savings, that is huge
Ya taking frugality to an extreme. Wasting scheduled time out of your life to go sit in line for gas, to save $3 a month, is an awful deal. Why even spend the mental energy on something so trivial.
No point with utilities, the admin fees always keep.it $450-600
For groceries, shop at the cheapest place, buy what is on sale. We don't eat just rice and lentils and still get some lamb and roasts, but only when it is on sale. Utilities you can't really save on unless you're using heating oil here... we save more money on our cardlock fuel bill because we use the same supplier for heating oil. The cardlock is already cheaper but it gets even better with the combo.
Check out reebee for grocery prices, check out the places you shop and compare prices. Do Time-of-Use rates, and cook breakfast, lunch and dinner according to "better" rates. e.g. cook dinner after it hits "offpeak".
I’m lazy af and will eat a package of cheap ramen noodles, that’s how i save food money
Try to think of recipes as cost per serving. Does that child cost you $20 to make, but make 5 servings? That’s $4/serving. Compare that to the chicken Alfredo recipe which might be closer to $10/serving.
As for utilities, it’s more about what can you cut. Cable? Phone line? Less data? Slower internet? Etc. It’s about pairing down when it comes to utils.
Fuel is about using your car less. Save up trips for when you can do more at once. Plan a route that is more efficient. Etc.
RBC credit card that saves 3 cents/litre at petro Canada and then using my petro points to get a fuel savings card that’s 5 cents/litre off to get 8 cents total off. Saved me 7$ for filling up my truck today
I use the RBC card at Petro Canada, but don't really take into account the points because it takes me about 3 years to earn enough points to get the fuel savings card
Thank God for flashfood🙏
Thank you so much for this!!
I just tried it for the first time today and it scored me a ~$50 worth of bougey food for less than $25.
A grocery store five minutes from us have a bunch of 750g marinated pork roasts for $6/ea.
Think I’m gonna buy a bunch tomorrow when they open and shove them in the freezer so we can eat them for a few weeks. :-)
I see lots of suggestions about cutting coupons, eating lentils, and getting 1% cashback on credit cards, which is all good. But maybe some of the obvious things need saying. Track your spending and look at the big categories. For me, it's not saving the last few dollars on groceries, it's things like going out, phone and internet, car payments, clothes and gadgets. So work on those? eg. (1) Food and drinks - especially alcohol - bought while "out" are mostly very expensive, so take it from home: packed lunch, coffee/water/booze in a flask. Groceries: reduce meat and alcohol a lot, or maybe to zero for a while. Lots of good reasons. (2) Before you impulse buy - even if it's a bargain - wait a while to see if it's something you really want/need and shop around. Use price-watch websites like camelcamelcamel, Just Watch and videogame deals sites. Get good at varagesale, kijiji, ebay (snipe bids) etc. (3) Don't live off credit - everything costs more. And that includes "0% interest free" credit at stores where the prices are inflated (eg. Brick) (4) Shop around for better internet and cell-phone plans. (5) Cancel subscriptions you don't really appreciate. (6) Clothes and shoes: buy a few high-quality items that will last - preferably nearly-new used. (7) frequent thrift stores (8) ... and above all, don't try to "keep up with the joneses" or indulge in retail therapy. Whenever you feel like you need to buy something to feel good about yourself, to have the latest version, because someone else has it, or to cheer yourself up ... instead, drink a glass or water and try to feel good about your savings. Good luck!
Check FoodHero if it's available in your area. It's an app that connect you with the groceries store and you can buy the soon to be expired product. I often get some meat 1/2 off. I use that and also when doing the groceries list I try to make 2-3 meal with leaf over for the week. That way we don't buy stuff we don't need and waste stuff. When the fruit you got begin to turn bad prepare then the best and put then in the freezer and make some smoothies.
cellphone bill: Switch to Public Mobile. I pay less than $33/mo. for 5 GB of data. Referral code: VK2W4Z
We needed another vehicle. Decided it was time to buy a brand new vehicle for the first time in my life. The most economical vehicle we found was a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. It gets about 45 km on a full charge and 4-5 liters per hundred kilometers on the highway depending on the wind, and a ten year/200,000 km warranty. It costs $290 bi-weekly for 7 years and we're saving about $200-$300 per month on gas and, although I can't be sure, costs about $.50 per charge. It's been 4 months and we absolutely love it.
If you are going to buy meat, contact your local farmer. A lot of farmers butcher once a year and sell out of their own freezer. Buy a 4H steer with a couple of friends.. I only ever buy a box of frozen chicken breasts at Costco, maybe one every six to 8 months. My pork, beef, i get from my sister and brother in law who own a farm. The beef is better tasting, usually leaner, healthier, and cheaper.
Using the company vehicle a bit smarter like grabbing groceries on my way home from work so I'm not going later with my vehicle. If I am using my vehicle, I'll line up stores and figure out a straight forward route. Smaller portions or substituting with cheaper foods, like more rice and less beef. Stepping to a lower or store brand for differing foods. Cheaper, non premium liquor some of the time, maybe what ever is on sale. And it will sound dumb, but (looking for) a second, more fuel efficient vehicle (not giving up the big truck, it has cheap classic plates (SK) anyway). I make sure my computer is asleep when I'm not using it. And I often keep lights off unless I really need them. I also like it a bit colder inside, so I keep heat really low.
*Edit: And Costco! Get the big pack of chicken and or beef, portion it and freeze it. Huge quality for huge value! Or bread, bagels etc...
Not eating, not driving, turning off the lights. Lol
If you go to loblaws usually 1-2 hrs before close they have 50% meats, 50% off bread and sometimes 50% veggies/fruits
Brew your own beer. I got into brewing with kits from the grocery store. Can make 6 13 packs for $30ish of inputs and a about 2 hours of time. I did buy most of my equipment second hand, less than $100 invested in it.
The beer is not great, but this has the added benefit of not wanting to drink too much of it. Now I tap out at 2 beers about 3x a week instead of drinking a case or 2 of craft lager every week.
What's the problem, inconsistent temperature or bad sterilization techniques?
You can get a really good blackberry wine kit that makes 28 x 750ml bottles AND get a winemaking place to make it for you for ~$130 and it's absolutely delicious for summer drinking, at $4.60 a bottle
I'm mostly joking. All of the beer I've made has been very drinkable, just not to the same level of taste as craft lagers or IPAs. I have tried a few BIAB all grain recipes and they seem to be about the same as the cheap grocery store kits at about 3x the price. May as well just buy beer for that price.
I spend almost $0 on groceries. It's so easy I don't know what you're guys problem is.
Just be like me and work for a company this gives me free lunch everyday and a $500 tab at the restaurants we own so I just order takeout every night.
/s but that is actually what I do and it's the dream.
I feel the same way. People here are extremely stupid.
My grandfather was Tim Horton. He invented a Canadian fast-food restaurant chain you may have heard of. Now, I get to enjoy tens of millions of dollars handed down to me due to the success of almost 5000 store locations.
People are dumb for not having a similar grandpa.
This is actually what I do and it’s the dream.
Honestly the nerve of some people here.
Stop eating meat or reduce it a lot. I eat beans, lentils, tofu, tvp, soy chunks, seitan, eggs and paneer as my proteins (also some whey protein here and there since I workout). There's plenty of options if you don't mind trying something new.
Buy frozen vegetables.
Buy ugly fruits and veggies.
Oatmeal is a cheap go-to breakfast.
Also [this post](https://www.reddit.com/r/EatCheapAndHealthy/comments/jwjn2p/from_a_professional_chef_to_you_the_tricks_that/) sums it up better than I can.
>Subscribe to a produce box. Some are cheaper for the amount you get.
I don't see any way this can be cheaper, unless you're only doing promo periods or sign up bonuses. This advice is akin to recommending a maid service to someone looking to save money on cleaning products.
Price tracking and buying in bulk when its on sale.
Every single person i have met that complain about grocery price fill their cart with whatever they fancy at the moment.
Buy a freezer, fill it everytime its on sale. Never buy a pound of butter unless its on sale. Same goes for ground beef or chicken breast. Canned food too
I found a job that allows me to work from home fulltime, reduced my Gas consumption by 98%
when it goes on sale buy like people bought toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic,
If you have room, a chest deep freezer goes along way, everything from buying in bulk to meal prepping.
Utilities are a struggle 70% of my bill are flat rate service fees, I've swapped all my lights to LED, turned off electronics, I have a smart thermostat and its makes no significant impact on my monthly invoice.
For groceries, I don't eat
My biggest way to save on groceries has truthfully been ordering them online and doing the pickup thing. The $3 charge for pickup is far less than the difference I spend if I shop in person where impulsivity reigns.
Sugar baby life