Grocery Shopping Tips under budget for international students


Living in a different country is difficult for anyone, especially for students as they are away from their homes and families, having to deal with so much. From finding accommodation, submitting assignments on time, or examination pressure, life for an international student can prove to be hard and daunting.

When students are new to a country, they have a hard time being familiar with new norms such as the education system, traffic rules, culture, and more. Shopping in a new currency also becomes a challenge for them. 

Money management is a bit difficult to learn, but if done correctly, it is an art that can be mastered by everyone.  On-campus students have the chance to enjoy university meal plans. However, students staying off-campus have a harder time as they need to buy their groceries.

Let us discuss a few tips to buy groceries on a budget.

  1. Always Set a Budget and stick to it

Always make sure to set a proper budget and make a list of items that you consider a necessity. If you don’t, you may end up buying unnecessary items that could break your account and will be spending a huge portion of your grocery budget.

  1. Avoid buying packaged or processed foods

Sometimes you may find buying cheaper options that are packaged are better, compared to fresh fruits and veggies. This isn’t always the case as they prove to be unhealthy, which will lead to you consuming unnecessary calories.

  1. Buy store brand wherever possible

Most stores sell food items or fresh groceries under their brand. They are a bit cheaper compared to the other brands in the market. Although they may not have the fanciest packaging, they will be equally nutritious. Buying them is always a good option as you end up saving money.

  1. Buying in bulk would cost you less

Buying in bulk is always cheaper. You may want to consider this option especially if you have a roommate to share groceries with.

  1. Avoid shopping when hungry

When hungry, people tend to buy food that they will not end up eating. Avoid doing this so that you don’t end up stocking your kitchen with unnecessary food items.

  1. It is always suggested to compare the unit price for similar items

You can easily find the unit price (usually price per 100gram) under small print under the main price section.  This price can help you compare whether you should go for a larger quantity or the smaller quantity.

  1. Get to know the food prices

You must make a habit of noting down the prices of the food that you usually buy so that you can compare the same food in other stores.

  1. Check flyers for the deals

Make a habit of checking flyers for deals on groceries. This will help you save a few bucks when you are making your final payment!

  1. Shop for groceries from a grocery store for cheaper prices

If you buy groceries from a convenience store, it will charge you more. Always make a habit of buying groceries from an area that is a dedicated grocery store or a supermarket.

  1.   Always Check the Expiry Dates

Look at the best before or expiry date before buying any items, especially dairy or baked products. If you aren’t careful enough, you may end up wasting your money as the food you purchased will not be fit to eat.

Grocery Must-haves for students

  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruits & vegetables
  • Breakfast Cereal/Oatmeal/cookies
  • Milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Ketchup & salad sauces to treat your taste buds
  • A flavoured yogurt is a healthy option if you have a sweet tooth
  • Frozen snack items to satisfy your hunger
  • Pulses & Beans for a healthy diet

If shopping for a smaller quantity, you will get all these items under $100CAD which should be good for about 15-20 days. 

Hopefully, you have learned a lot from this article and will help manage your money better, allowing you to buy groceries under a budget you have set. Avoid eating from restaurants, or eating junk food, as it is not healthy for you. Try to make home-cooked meals as much as possible, as it is healthier, cheaper, and can be a very helpful skill to learn.

Eating healthy will make you active and will help you focus on your studies in a much better way. Share this article with as many friends as possible and live a healthy lifestyle! Next time when you go grocery shopping, make sure to keep all these points in mind so that you not only save money but eat healthily!

We will be coming up with a video soon on how to buy groceries under budget. Stay tuned for that!


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