Have you ever noticed how grocery shopping can sometimes be quite demanding or do you ever think about how to stick to a student-friendly budget? I get it! Between focusing on schoolwork or working a part-time job, and hanging out with pals, it’s easy to forget to save money to buy groceries.

Rather than consistently ordering expensive restaurant food, the regular boxed mac and cheese or binging on pizza rolls, there are ways to settle on a realistic budget. As a result of increasing food prices, it’s getting difficult to grocery shop without breaking the bank. We all want to save our money on other necessary and fun things, including the constant residence and phone bills. Irrespective of not cooking every single meal, maintaining a budget and a healthy diet is significant. I have learnt that keeping a grocery list of things that I need allows me to save money big time.

Let’s get started on some useful tips to help you shop on a budget, while considering dietary preferences and restrictions.

Create a grocery list and stick to it

Based on your savings, determine how much you are willing to spend on groceries weekly or monthly. By organizing your list into different sections or food groups, it would be easier to buy only what you need. Making decisions about putting a grocery list together could be confusing as your budget is dependent on where you live or your food preferences. Whether you prefer gluten-free food products or you are vegetarian, the best thing to do is to research cheap recipes or ingredients that will satisfy your daily cravings. Tracking your expenses and food products that are on sale online or grocery store flyers would be helpful as well.

Get food items from less expensive stores

Finding stores with decent coupons and discounts can be cost-effective. You could shop at stores that offer more variety and food options to minimize spending. Most large grocery stores offer rewards program and discounts targeted to students. My number one rule of thumb is to always look out for supermarkets that offer all kinds of rewards and food options.

Be flexible with your food choices and don’t shop when you are hungry

Don’t get me wrong, you can’t rule down your food philosophy. However, you might want to listen to your appetite and buy what you need. So, you’re at the store and you notice that cauliflower is $8 dollar cheaper than cabbage. Don’t be hesitant to switch it up and something similar or new a try! Find food items you need in that moment and avoid shopping when you’re hungry. When you shop when you are hungry, everything suddenly looks appetizing and then you might buy foodstuffs that you don’t need.

You could consider splitting the cost of food items with your roommates

Since grocery shopping is one of student’s biggest culinary challenges, another way to save yourself tons of money is by doing this. Making a list of groceries that you and your roommate(s) need would help estimate how much you ‘ll need to save and how much to budget. It would be easier to set a budget limit as well, say maybe spending $40 per week on food products.

Spice it up with clever cookbooks

I know student life can be quite busy. However, investing in insightful cookbooks can help save money on food costs and whip up some magic in the kitchen. It’s worth checking out regular or student cookbooks for terrific food on a student budget. Cookbooks such as, Jamie Oliver 5 ingredients quick and easy food, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything or Canadian Living, The Ultimate Cookbook could be worth checking out.

So Knights get your shopping bags together and hit the store close to you. In the meantime, you could grab some delightful foodstuffs from these grocery stores:

St. Catharines Farmers’ Market

Hours of Operation: Open Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays

from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., year-round

Address: Market Square, 91 King St., corner of King and James streets


Hours of Operation varies year-round from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Address: 835 Ontario Rd, Welland, ON L3B 5E2


Hours of Operation varies year-round from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Address: 325 Thorold Rd, Welland, ON L3C 3W4

Welland Farmers’ Market

Hours of Operation: Saturday's: 6:00am-12:00pm, year-round

Address: 70 Young Street (between Young and Division Streets)

Commisso's Fresh Foods

Hours of Operation varies year-round from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Address: 6161 Regional Rd 57, Niagara Falls, ON L2J


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