If there was ever a blog post on Gradifying that was relevant to each and every grad student at Queen’s, it’s this one. Now I am not trying to make any assumptions here but I believe we all need to eat… we all need to eat cheaply… and we all prefer to eat conveniently too, right? This post is going to help you do just that! I’ve scoped out the best discounts in town, and some general tips for buying groceries on the cheap.
Where to buy food
There are many, many, many grocery stores and supermarkets located throughout Kingston. There are multiple Loblaws*, Metro*, Food Basics* and No Frills locations. You might also venture to Fresh Co. or Farm Boy. Maybe even Walmart, or perhaps Costco if you’re looking to buy in bulk. Just Google any one of these places to learn where they are. Lots of them are easily accessible from campus on food including Metro and Food Basics, but virtually every grocery store is on at least 1 city bus route!
*have at least one store located within a half hour walk from Queen’s campus
When to buy food
There are several grocery stores in Kingston and the three most relevant big name supermarkets include: Food Basics, Metro and Loblaws. Each offers its own discount night specifically for students. All 3 have 10% off for students on Tuesdays and Metro tops that with 10% off on Thursdays as well!
Check flyers and signage in store to find out about weekend long sales or specials over holiday weekends. Also shop earlier in the week to ensure sale items do not sell out!
How to save $$$ when you’re shopping for food
I would like to think I am a savvy shopper, but, well… I’m not. Some weeks I do really well, and others I crash and burn. So I spent some time looking up the most useful tips for shopping on a budget, and I learned a lot!
- Read the flyers, don’t just recycle them! Suddenly it makes sense why my Mom spent an hour every week turning the pages of flyers and looking for deals…because it actually does save you money!!!
- Use shopping apps! Flipp is an app that matches coupons with local grocery flyers. Reebee is another amazing app that allows you to set your location, and browse local flyers all while making a shopping list, or even searching for specific items!
- Plan your meals in advance! Don’t just walk into the grocery store without a plan. Think about what you need to make yourself meals for the week and go with a list of those things! Allow only a certain amount of money (~$10) for unexpected sales or purchases.
- Buy only what you need! If you don’t think you can use it all, don’t buy it, or figure out a way to use the rest.
- Make enough for 4! This is something my Nana taught me to do. Cook 4 portions of dinner and then take one for lunch the next day and then freeze the other 2. This has been my saving grace for the past semester.