Grocery Shopping with Krystal | Give Me Back My Five Bucks | Personal Finance Blog

Grocery Shopping with Krystal | Give Me Back My Five Bucks | Personal Finance Blog

We had the pleasure to interview Krystal, who runs the blog, Give Me Back My Five Bucks and 20-something & Change at the website. She is really open and up front with her budget and what she spends her money on. She is an ex-shopoholic and we thought she would be perfect to provide insight on grocery shopping.

She even underwent a $100 monthly grocery budget challenge!


Here is the recap of the interview:

How many people do you shop for in your household?

I shop for just myself – so that gives me complete freedom to buy (or not buy) whatever I want.

Do you have a Costco or Sams Club membership?

I am the secondary card holder on my mom’s Costco account, so I do have a membership, but I don’t actually pay for it. I also don’t go very often because it’s incredibly hard to buy in bulk when it’s just for myself.

Do you shop name brand items (Unico, Kraft) or no-name store brands?

There are a few items where I always buy brand name – Heinz ketchup comes to mind – but 99% of the time I will buy the no-name store brand because it’s always so much cheaper and it usually tastes exactly the same.

Which store do you spend the most of your grocery budget?

I do most of my shopping at Real Canadian Superstore. I buy all of my fresh vegetables and fruit at a local Asian grocery store.

Do you use coupons on a regular basis?

Yes, there isn’t a shopping trip that goes by without using at least one or two coupons. Plus at Superstore they have a coupon board for additional savings.


Do you shop with a grocery list?

The store’s sale items, my coupons and the in-store coupon board serve as my grocery list. I like to buy items on sale and then build my meals around that. There are some staples that I buy every week, but I  really try to shop the sales to maximize my budget.


Do you shop at farmers markets on a regular basis?

I go at least once a month, but end up going more often in the summer when the weather is better. I find that with farmers markets, it’s hit or miss. Some things are a lot more expensive, but I find the savings comes in purchasing seasonal fruit.

Do you make home preserves or freeze fruits/vegetables?

I don’t make home preserves, but I do freeze a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Basically, my freezer is always full. :)

Do you shop using grocery flyers (planning in advance with sales)?

Always! Last month I challenged myself to only spend $100 on groceries (ended up only spending $92), and a big part of that was planning in advance by looking at what was on sale. My normal grocery budget is around $150/month, and I find that using flyers really helps keep my costs down.

Any tip to reduce your grocery bill?

Try challenging yourself to spend less on food next month. Clip coupons, shop sales, and analyze the prices at the stores you go to. Are you really getting the best deals? If you take a little time and effort into planning for every grocery shopping trip, you’d be amazed at how much you can really save.

Any grocery shopping advice?

Never shop hungry! :)

What is in your fridge at the moment? (If you could take a picture that would be great!)

Lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

Summary of Interview

We were impressed that Krystal shops at a combination of big box stores (Superstore) and her local Asian grocery store. We do something similar (our local Asian market has the best deals on most small orders of produce and we only get larger items of produce – like a case of mangoes or blueberries – at the larger supermarkets).


She brings a good point to keep challenging yourself and to try to reduce how much you spend.


We see she is also a favorite of Tim Tams (a New Zealand sweet that Lina introduced me to) and Bowen Island Brewery (a nice BC brewery). Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in the fridge we also notice – saves a lot over having many steaks and meat.


We would like to thank Krystal again for her time and great tips including to ‘never shop hungry‘! She blogs at Give Me Back My Five Bucks. You can also reach her on Twitter (@krystalatwork).

Steven Zussino

Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog,