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An ode to minimalism

An ode to minimalism

As we head into 2023, why not revisiting some of our habits to see where we could save a few dollars?

A first step is realizing that we are spending WAY TOO MUCH! For example, a good reflex before each purchase is to ask yourselves the: “Do I really need it? “.

Here are some tips to help you on your quest for minimalism:


How much for food

If we put aside going to restaurants to focus exclusively on groceries, do you even know how much money you spend each year?

What is interesting is that the money “we burn” is not always in what we buy, but in everything that ends up in the trash.  Everything we did not eat because it has expired or, simply not eaten. At the end of the month or the year, you would probably be outraged to know all the money that ended up in the bottom of a garbage can.

Plan, plan and stick to the plan

Among the tips proposed, the most popular is to get into the habit of picking your recipes for the week based on current specials and sticking to it. Very often, everything that is not part of the initial plan ends up in the bottom of a drawer or on the bottom shelves and is relegated to oblivion.

Less is more

Let’s also learn not to buy and cook for six if there are only two of us. And if it’s unthinkable for us because we have the soul of an Italian mamma, at the very least, let’s find a way to freeze the surplus so that it’s still edible a month later.

There are methods to freeze food so that it does not taste like the freezer. Google is full of information on this.

Group cooking

By searching on the Net, you can come across rather ingenious tricks to save on food and avoid losses such as, for example, families who decide to form groups and exchange meals between them. You can do this with your neighbours!

Not only does this help create diversity in what you eat, but it also allows you to have two or three free meals prepared in advance, meals that you will only have to reheat in the evening.

 Choose the cheapest grocery store

Obviously, where you choose to do your grocery shopping has a lot to do with your savings. However, do not forget to consider the cost of gas needed to make the trip. If we have to drive by three grocery stores across the city, not sure that the butter at $4.95 will be a bargain in the end.

Also, be careful not to fall into trap with the posters that seem to indicate a super bargain. Is it really? Sometimes our lack of knowledge of the real price of food plays against us.

Reinvent the way you eat

Let’s take the time to spot the loopholes, i.e. where you know there are unnecessary losses of money and where you know you are missing out on great savings.

  • Sometimes buying house brand, family packs or in bulk lowers the cost of the grocery bill.
  • Look at the foods discounted for “quick sale” and plan your next few days meals around them.
  • Shop seasonally and be aware of a food’s shelf life. Sometimes it is better to buy items the same day they are to be consumed.
  • Eat before going to the grocery store so that our stomach doesn’t decide instead of our head. And, if you can, leave the children at home because they are excellent influencers.
  • If you are loyal to a chain, the loyalty card may be interesting.
  • Some products are definitely less expensive at the pharmacy. Yes, you want to save time, but you want to save money too!

We invite you to watch this very interesting video capsule of a chemist who talks about the preservation of fruits and vegetables! CLICK HERE (FRENCH)

Clothing and other household items

What it costs us to dress often represents a large part of our budget. At least, if we need our clothes to be branded.

There are much cheaper options

If you haven’t had the audacity to go to the local thrift stores yet, it’s time for you to get started because you’ll find clothes that are often in perfect condition and, what’s more, have a lot of style. You even risk developing an aversion to spending $200 on a sweater when you know that you paid $20 for the “already worn” version of it!

Also, kijiji, PACs, MarketPlace and sales groups on Facebook are full of amazing bargains and not just clothes! Everything for the house and even more!

If your first instinct now becomes to check on these platforms first before committing to paying full price, you will certainly realize significant savings.

There are even sites where you can actually rent evening wear and maternity clothes (Belle and Belly). Any future mother will tell you; finding maternity clothes is no easy feat and knowing that we’ll probably never wear them again is a heartbreaking expense.

Just do your own research on the Net to discover all the shops (physical or online) that offer this kind of service.

By the way, did you know that IKEA, H&M and Simons sell second-hand products? The world is really changing… and for the better.

Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services